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Erich Mueller

Department of Geography

Visiting Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Geography, University of Colorado, 2012

M.A., Geography, University of Colorado, 2002

B.S., Geology and Geophysics, University of Wisconsin, 2000

Ross Hall, Room 402

Office Hours: Monday, 12:30-2 p.m.; Wednesday, 1:30-3 p.m.

Image of Erich Mueller

Research Interests

Fluvial geomorphology, earth surface processes, river management, hydrology, geospatial analyses, environmental change, Colorado River basin


GEOG 1010 Introduction to Physical Geography

GEOG 3010 Geomorphology of Earth’s Dynamic Landscape

GEOG 4000 Terrain Analysis

GEOG 4450/5450 Fluvial Geomorphology

GEOG 4880/5880 Large River Management in the Colorado River Basin

GEOG 4880/5880 Hydrogeomorphology-Ecology Interactions in Rivers


Current Projects

  1. Environmental change and river rehabilitation in the delta of the Colorado River, United States and Mexico
  2. Spatial and temporal variability in sandbar dynamics in response to controlled floods and riparian vegetation encroachment along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona
  3. Linking climate, lithology, and topography to stream dynamics using modeling, geochemical tracers, and GIS in mountain watersheds
  4. Geomorphic change along the Green and Yampa rivers in response to natural and anthropogenic perturbation, Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado and Utah
  5. Connecting terrestrial sediment yields to submarine canyon development in coastal California


Selected Publications

Mueller, E.R., Grams, P.E., Hazel, J.E. Jr., and Schmidt, J.C. (in revision) Variability in eddy sandbar dynamics during two decades of controlled flooding of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Invited manuscript for Sedimentary Geology.

Mueller, E.R., Schmidt, J.C., Topping, D.J., Shafroth, P.B., Rodríguez-Burgueño, J.E., Ramírez-Hernández, J., and Grams, P.E. (2017) Geomorphic change and sediment transport during a small artificial flood in a transformed post-dam delta: The Colorado River delta, United States and Mexico. Ecological Engineering, 106(Part B), 757-755, doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.08.009.

Smith, M.E., Finnegan, N.J., Mueller, E.R., and Best, R.J. (2017) Durable terrestrial bedrock promotes submarine canyon formation. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2017GL075139.

Sankey, J.B., Kreitler, J., Hawbaker, T.J., McVay, J.L., Miller, M.E., Mueller, E.R., Vaillant, N.M., Lowe, S.E., and Sankey, T.T. (2017) Climate, wildfire, and erosion ensemble foretells more sediment in western USA watersheds. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL073979.

Mueller, E.R., Smith, M.E., and Pitlick, J. (2016) Lithology-controlled evolution of stream bed sediment and basin-scale sediment yields in adjacent mountain watersheds, Idaho, USA. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 41(13), 1869-1883, doi: 10.1002/esp.3955.

Mueller, E.R., Grams, P.E., Schmidt, J.C., Alexander, J.S., Hazel Jr., J.E., and Kaplinski, M. (2014) The influence of controlled floods on fine sediment storage in debris fan-affected canyons of the Colorado River basin. Geomorphology, 226, 65-75, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.07.029.

Mueller, E.R. and Pitlick, J. (2014) Sediment supply and channel morphology in mountain river systems: 2. Controls on single-thread to braided transitions. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, 119(7), 1516-1541, doi: 10.1002/2013JF003045.

Mueller, E.R. and Pitlick, J. (2013) Sediment supply and channel morphology in mountain river systems: 1. Relative importance of lithology, topography, and climate. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, 118(4), 2325-2342, doi: 10.1002/2013JF002843.

Smith, M.E., Carroll, A.R., and Mueller, E.R. (2008) Elevated weathering rates in the Rocky Mountains during the early Eocene climatic optimum, Nature-Geoscience, 1, 370-374, doi:10.1038/ngeo205.

Mueller, E.R. and Pitlick, J. (2005) Morphologically based model of bed-load transport capacity in a headwater stream. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, 110, F02016, doi: 10.1029/2003JF000117.


Professional Affiliations

Association of American Geography

American Geophysical Union

Geological Society of America


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Department of Geography

Ross Hall, Room 223

1000 E. University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3311


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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