Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Scott Burns

photo of Scott Burns

Scott Burns is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Dept. of Geology at Portland State University where he just completed his 3rd year of teaching. He was also Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at P.S.U. from 1997-1999. Scott has been teaching for 53 years, with past positions in Switzerland, New Zealand, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana. Dr. Burns specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology. Scott has won many awards for outstanding teaching, the most significant being the Faculty Senate Chair Award at Louisiana Tech University in 1987, the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Portland State Alumni Association in 2001, and the George Hoffmann Award from PSU in 2007. Based on his national leadership performance Scott was chosen to be a fellow of the Geological Society of America (2004) and a fellow with the Kellogg National Fellowship Program (1990 – 1993). He was president of the Downtown Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon’s oldest and largest Rotary club in 2009. Scott is a 6th generation Oregonian who grew up in Beaverton and is very happy to be "home" after a 25 year hiatus! He actively helps local TV, radio stations and newspapers bring important geological news to the public. Scott enjoys all sports, especially basketball, running, skiing, hiking, swimming, tennis, and golf.

What Our Travelers Say

Very dynamic lecturer!

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Scott's enthusiasm was contagious!

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Scott's enthusiasm for geology is contagious! His lectures were outstanding! Learned so much! I will never look at a landscape the same again!

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Upcoming Tours

Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage

9 days | Starting at: $6,330
Jul 5, 2024 - Jul 13, 2024

Aboard the 264-guest Le Soléal
Tour Details ››

A Voyage along the Great Lakes

8 days | Starting at: $7,360
Oct 11, 2024 - Oct 18, 2024

From Toronto to Milwaukee aboard the 184-guest Le Dumount-d'Urville or Le Champlain
Tour Details ››