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Paul Bierman

(he, him, his)
Fellow of the Gund Institute for Environment, Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Vermont

I am a geologist with broad, interdisciplinary interests in both research and teaching. I have been at the University of Vermont since 1993. I oversee the NSF/UVM Community Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory and the UVM Landscape Change Program. Since coming to UVM in 1993, my students and I have published more than 190 refereed papers and presented more than 400 abstracts on research ranging from the erosion of Africa to teaching hydrology via service learning. Our work has been supported by grants from the NSF, DoD, USGS, UVM, and private foundations.

One theme ties my research and that of my students together: human/landscape interaction. Over the past two decades, my students and I have used a variety of techniques to figure how, where, and how quickly material is shed from Earth's surface. We have used cosmogenic isotopes such as 10-Be to track sediment from its origin on bedrock outcrops to its resting place in sedimentary deposits all over the world. In the arctic, we've examined glacial erosion and climate change in Baffin Island and Greenland. In the deserts of Australia, we've demonstrated that rock surfaces remain nearly unchanged over millions of years. In Vermont, we've used lake cores, alluvial fan trenches, and the historic image record to document how 10,000 years of mega storms and 200 years of human impact have changed the face of our landscape. My current focus is on climate records, climate change, and public engagement in science.

I am the author of two textbooks, Key Concepts in Geomorphology (2013, 2020: Freeman), and Geology and the Environment (2014, 2024: Cengage). He has an upcoming book with Norton, When the Ice is Gone, that details the history and science of the US military on Greenland.


  • 1993–present
    Fellow Gund Institute for Environment, Professor of Geology and Natural Resources, University of Vermont


Geological Society of America, Donath Medal for Young Scientists; US NSF Career Award; US NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award.