University of Vermont

University Communications

PAUL R. BIERMAN

Professor
Geology
Arts & Sciences
Phone:(802)656-4411
Email Address:Paul.Bierman@uvm.edu
Public Relations:Josh Brown (802)656-3039 joshua.e.brown@uvm.edu
Specialty:Climate change, Environmental Geology, glaciers, earthquakes, carbon dating, lakes, isotope geochemistry; glacial geology; weathering, climate change, science education, human landscape interaction, vermont history
Biography:Bierman is the recipient of the Donath Medal as the most promising young geologist in the country. He is a Geomorphologist and Geochemist with wide-ranging interests including environmental geology, hydrology, isotope geochemistry, glacial geology, surface process, and rates of weathering and denudation. He works at the interface between active research, education, and science literacy at all level. He is involved in the Governor's Institutes of Vermont and in National Science Foundation's career program, and involves students in service learning projects in a great deal of his research. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, he currently is working to understand the recent evolution of New England landscapes, in particular, the timing and distribution of major storms and floods over the past 10,000 years. He also is involved in a study of land use and shrinking "green space" in Burlington. Bierman has examined Earth Surface Processes at scales ranging from micron thick coatings of rock varnish to the evolution of Australian landscapes. Research interests include the rate of bedrock weathering (mostly of granites) which involves field work in such locations as central Australia and the Canadian arctic. Bierman directs UVM's Cosmogenic Nuclide Extraction Lab -- one of only a handful of laboratories in the country dedicated to the preparation of samples for analysis of 10-Be and 26-Al from pure quartz. He maintains a cosmogenic isotope lab at UVM where 10-Be and 26-Al are extracted for isotopic analysis, and also devotes time to making measurements with the accelerator mass spectrometer at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Bierman was recently awarded the NSF Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars in recognition of his work with landscape and historic imagery (see uvm.edu/landscape)