Allan Ludman









Professor, Undergraduate Geology Advisor, GLOBE NY Metro Director 
Field Geology/Petrology

Science Building E206
Phone: 718-997-3324


Research Interests 

I study the evolution of the Northern Appalachians, mostly in Maine and New Brunswick. The scope of this research requires a broad multidisciplinary approach, starting with basic geologic mapping in one of the last “unknown” areas in New England. This fieldwork generates a broad range of topical studies, including sedimentation, stratigraphy, and regional basin analysisstructural geologytectonicsigneous and metamorphic petrology, and Geophysics that have kept graduate and undergraduate researchers busy for decades. Current projects include:

  • Detrital age spectra of post-Taconian sedimentary rocks as a clue to provenance and regional paleography.
  • Identifying reactivation histroy of regional scale transcurrent faults.
  • Identifying cryptic terrane boundaries beneath sedimentary basins.

My students and I are usually the first geologists to see the bedrock exposures that we find in the woods, streams, and on lakeshores — a rarity in New England where geologists have trod the same ground for almost 200 years. Because eastern Maine is one of the last areas of the northeast to receive geologic attention, much of the work involves basic mapping, but topical projects abound for Masters and Ph.D. theses. Previous students have studied detailed stratigraphic transects; volcanic stratigraphy and geochemistry; diagenetic processes that created a banded ironstone; multiple deformation of Cambro-Ordovician rocks; contact metamorphic melting near large gabbroic plutons; evolution of a small layered gabbro complex, and strain distribution and fault history of a regional-scale strike-slip fault. Many more await.

As founding director of GLOBE NY Metro, the internationally acclaimed GLOBE Program® for Southern New York State, I am also committed to improving K-12 science education through an ambitions teacher training initiative.


Teaching Philosophy and Interests

My job as a professor is to impart to my students not only the content of the courses I teach, bit also the scientific excitement that has kept me active as a researcher for more than four decades. From my experience, I believe that the enjoyment and excitement of geology comes after students actually work as geologists, not just read textbooks. Geology is the most tangible of sciences; it has abstract concepts like any other discipline, but we can see, touch, smell, and taste what we study. My classes therefore create situations in which students can experience the joys (and frustrations) of research, ask and answer geologic questions for themselves, and learn how geoscientists study the Earth in the field and laboratory. Even my introductory courses use an inquiry-based approach in which the class explores possible answers to significant geologic questions. Advanced and graduate courses feature individual or group research projects, written and oral reports. And as much hands-on work in the field as possible.


I teach at all levels of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum:

General education: Geology of Natural Disasters; The Physical Environment; Natural Resources; Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Moving Continents, Physical Geology;

Majors: Mineralogy; Optical Mineralogy and Petrography; Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology; Geochemistry; Field Methods; Field Geology; Geologic Reasoning;

Graduate: Geologic Mapping with GIS; Metamorphic Petrology; Graduate Field Geology; Tectonics of the Northern Appalachians; Mineralogy; Strain history of metamorphic rocks; Application of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology to Tectonic Problems;

Classes for teachers: Earth Materials and Earth Processes, GLOBE Program certification, GLOBE Program Research.

Courses Taught


  • GEOL 12 Natural Disasters
  • GEOL 16 Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Moving Continents
  • GEOL 25 Natural Resources and the Environment
  • GEOL 101 Physical Geology
  • GEOL 59 (now GEOL 261) Methods of Field Geology
  • GEOL 60 (old number) Field Geology
  • GEOL 201 Earth Materials I
  • GEOL 202 Earth Materials II
  • GEOL 373 Geological Reasoning
  • GEOL 399.3 Special Topics


  • GEOL 501 Earth Materials and Earth Processes
  • GEOL 551 GLOBE Program for Elementary Teachers
  • GEOL 552 GLOBE Program Research for Secondary teachers
  • GEOL 717 Field Methods
  • GEOL 718 Field Geology
  • GEOL 720 Mineralogy
  • GEOL 763 Geographic Information Systems and Geologic Mapping
  • GEOL 799 Variable topics courses including
    • Metamorphic Petrology
    • Tectonics of the Northern Appalachians
    • Application of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology to Tectonic Problems Strain history of metamorphic rocks



Ludman, A., Aleinikoff, J., Berry IV, H., & Hopeck, J. (2018). SHRIMP U–Pb zircon evidence for age, provenance, and tectonic history of early Paleozoic Ganderian rocks, east-central Maine, USA. Atlantic Geology, 54, 335 – 387. doi:

Eaton, T., and Ludman, A., 2018 Interpretation of field magnetic survey and bedrock mapping to constrain contact of the Bottle Lake Complex near Passadumkeag Mountain, east-central Maine; Maine Geological Survey Open File Report 18-5, 21 p.

Ludman, A., Hopeck, J., and Berry, H. IV, 2017. Provenance and paleogeography of post-Middle Ordovician, pre-Devonian sedimentary basins on the Gander composite terrane, eastern and east- central Maine: Implications for Silurian tectonics in the northern Appalachians. Atlantic Geology v. 53, p. 63-85  doi:10.4138/atlgeol.2017.003

Wang, C., and Ludman, A., 2004, Deformation conditions, kinematics, and displacement history of shallow crustal ductile shearing in the Norumbega fault system in the Northern Appalachians, eastern Maine; Tectonophysics, v. 384, p. 129-148.

Ludman, Allan, and West, David P. Jr. editors, 1999, Norumbega fault system of the Northern Appalachians; Geological Society of America Special Paper 331, 202 p.

Ludman, Allan, 1998, Evolution of a transcurrent fault zone in shallow crustal metasedimentary rocks: the Norumbega fault system of the Northern Appalachians; Journal of Structural Geology v. 20, p. 93-107.

Ludman, Allan, J. Hopeck, and P.C. Brock, 1993, Nature of the Acadian orogeny in eastern Maine; in Roy, D.C. and Skehan, J.W., editors, The Acadian Orogeny: Recent Studies in New England, Maritime Canada, and the Autochthonous Foreland; Geological Society of America Special Paper 275, p. 67-84

Ludman, Allan, editor, 1991, Geology of the Coastal Lithotectonic Block and neighboring terranes; New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference Guidebook, 400 pp.



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