Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Allen Glazner

photo of Allen Glazner

Allen Glazner is a geologist, educator and author with particular expertise in volcanoes, tectonics, and mountain building. He believes strongly that understanding the geologic underpinnings of the planet greatly enhances one’s enjoyment of the landscape and everything that lives on it. A native Southern Californian, Allen earned geology degrees from Pomona College and UCLA before embarking on a 38-year career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

While his research focus is on the American Southwest, Allen has field experience many other countries including Iceland, Alaska, the Caribbean, South Africa, Mexico, Australia, Chile, and Argentina. An award-winning teacher, he has led dozens of field trips for groups ranging from the general public to academic specialists, and has trained astronauts and National Park personnel in the field and classroom. In addition to over 150 academic papers, he has coauthored several books for the public including Geology Underfoot books on Death Valley, Yosemite National Park, and Southern California. 

Allen was a runner and now is an avid cyclist and hiker. He enjoys photography, especially landscape, aerial, and 3D-reconstructive. Reading, especially fiction, is one of his sedentary pursuits. See landscape photos and more at

What Our Travelers Say

Allen was brilliant and explained things very well from the start to the finish of the trip. He was always available to answer every question, his lectures were very helpful, actually fascinating, and I would take any tour he was involved with.

- Marcia Z., Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon

Allen's prepared presentations were very well done, and his impromptu comments during drives and hikes were wonderful additions to the experience. Additionally, he is a great conversationalist with plenty of insights on many topics.

- Annette F., Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon

Allen was a special addition to the was like a traveling classroom.

- Christy P., Splendors of Australia and New Zealand

Upcoming Tours

Alaska's Natural Wonders: Denali to Kenai Fjords

11 days | Starting at: $8,297
Aug 6, 2024 - Aug 16, 2024
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The Northern Rockies

11 days | Starting at: $6,891
Aug 24, 2024 - Sep 3, 2024

Featuring Glacier, Banff, and Jasper National Parks
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Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon

11 days | Starting at: $5,795
Oct 6, 2024 - Oct 16, 2024
Oct 5, 2025 - Oct 15, 2025
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Splendors of Australia and New Zealand

22 days | Starting at: $11,284
Jan 15, 2025 - Feb 5, 2025
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Iceland Voyage: Land of Fire and Ice

8 days | Starting at: $8,320
Jul 21, 2025 - Jul 28, 2025

Round-trip from Reykjavík aboard the 184-guest Le Bellot
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Adventure in Iceland

11 days | Starting at: $6,595
Jul 31, 2025 - Aug 10, 2025
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