Gund Fellow, Professor

Paul Bierman has been a geologist and professor at the University of Vermont since 1993. His research and teaching expertise focus on the interaction of people and Earth’s dynamic surface.

Bierman’s research has taken him around the globe. He has studied erosion in
Australia, South America, and several countries in Africa and the Middle East. In
Greenland, Bierman and his graduate students are tracing the history of the
Greenland Ice sheet over the last million years, an adventure that repeatedly takes
them helicoptering over the ice. In Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York,
Bierman and his students created the first record of storminess and erosion that
extended back over the last 10,000 years.

Bierman works extensively communicating science to the public. He teaches
summer science programs for highly motivated high school students, directs a
public web site ( holding over 70,000 photographs of
historic Vermont landscapes, has been co-author since 2005 of Pipkin et al., an
introductory Environmental Geology textbook, and is the lead author of a new, NSF-
funded textbook, Key Concepts in Geomorphology, that uses extensive visuals and
photographs to teach about the workings of Earth’s surface.



  • Schmidt, A. H., Neilson, T. B., Bierman, P. R., Rood, D., Ouimet, W.B., and Sosa-Gonzalez, V., (2016), Influence of topography and human activity on erosion in Yunnan, SW China, Earth Surface Dynamics. Earth Surface Dynamics, 4, 1–12, 2016.
  • Bierman, P., Shakun, J., Rood, D, Corbett, L., and Zimmerman, S. (2016). Marine-sediment 10Be and 26Al records of a persistent and dynamic East Greenland Ice Sheet over the past 7.5 Myr. NATURE. 540, 256–260. doi:10.1038/nature20147
  • Bierman, P. R., Coppersmith, R., Hanson, K.,  Neveling, J., Portenga, E., Rood, D. (2014) A cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southern Africa.  GSA Today. v. 24, n.9, 10.1130/GSATG206A.1
  • Bierman, P. R., Corbett, L., Graly, J., Neumann, T, Lini, A., Crosby, B., and Rood, D., (2014), Preservation of a pre-glacial landscape under the center of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Science. 10.1126/science.1249047
  • Bierman, P. and Montgomery, D. (2013).  Key Concepts in Geomorphology, W.H. Freeman, ISBN-10: 1429238607. 1st edition. 494 p.

Awards and Recognition

  • Nominated for NSF Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics & Engineering Mentoring, Governors Institute of Vermont, 2011
  • Nominated as Faculty of the Year, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2006 Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Director’s Award, National Science Foundation, 2005 Fellow, Center for Research on Vermont, 1998
  • CAREER award for integration of research and teaching, National Science Foundation, Hydrologic Sciences, 1997
  • PKAL Member, nominated 1997
  • National Science Foundation, Waterman Award, nominee, 1997
  • Donath Medal for Research Achievements as a Young Scientist, Geological Society of America, 1996

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Environmental geology, geochemistry, Earth surface processes, geologic dating, human impact, landscape history


  • PhD, Geology, University of Washington
  • MS, Geology, University of Washington
  • BA, Geology and Environmental Studies, Williams College


  • (802) 656-4411
Office Location:

Delahanty Hall, Trinity Campus, 180 Colchester Avenue

  1. Personal Website