Louis Oppenheim


I am gay and I am an igneous petrologist and geoscience educator.//


Like many geoscientists, I did not go into undergrad expecting to study the earth. Instead, I was drawn into the field while taking an introductory geology lecture and lab at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). I was especially enamored by the different materials that make up the earth and the processes that form various rocks and minerals. After receiving my BS from UNLV in 2015, I was provided the opportunity to pursue an MS at CSU Fullerton while working on a project characterizing mineral transfer and recycling between distinct granitoid bodies making up the Tuolumne Intrusion within Yosemite National Park.

Minerals and magmatic processes hold a special place in my heart, but so does geoscience education. Since receiving my MS in the Spring of 2020, I have begun working as a geology lecturer at CSU Fullerton. I love the opportunity to utilize different teaching methods about geologic concepts to undergraduate students with various interests and experiences (and possibly get students interested in pursuing a geology major).

I submit my story because I did not encounter any openly LGBTQ+ members of the geoscience community when I became a geology major. As such, I wasn’t sure how well I would be accepted by my peers and established geologists. I hope to contribute to queer visibility in the geosciences so that LGBTQ+ students interested in geology can see that somebody like them exists in this field and is both thriving and accepted.

Beyond my work as a geologist, I enjoy playing video games and traveling to new places with my husband.