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J.J. Shinker

Associate Professor of Geography


Ph.D., Geography, University of Oregon, 2003

  • Dissertation Title: Mechanistic Controls of North American Climate Variability

M.A., Geography, University of Oregon, 1999

B.S., Geosciences, University of Arizona, 1996

J.J Shinker         Global Climate Animations


Synoptic and Dynamic Climatology, Paleoclimatology, Hydroclimatology, Environmental Change, Water Resources, Drought and Geo-Visualization

Climate, water and the west are three topics that drive my research and teaching interests. In particular, I am interested in how the atmosphere moves and operates during extreme events such as droughts, ENSO, and early snowmelt events and what impact such extremes have on water resources, vegetation, fire and environmental disturbances in the west. Additionally, I am interested in utilizing Geospatial visualization tools such as animated map sequences ( to simultaneously illustrate spatial and temporal patterns of climate variables and 3D visualization environments to view and understand the multi-dimensional nature of climate processes. I am also the faculty advisor for the Multicultural Association of Student Scientists (MASS), a recognized student organization at UW whose mission is to promote and support underrepresented students in the sciences and social sciences.

Current research projects

  • timing of early and late snowmelt in Wyoming headwaters;

  • timing of precipitation anomalies during ENSO events and the implications for water resources;

  • the role of climate change and variability on vegetation and fire;

  • using modern climate analogs to understand past environmental disturbances; 

  • developing web-based animated maps of climate; and

  • development of 3D climate visualization tools to enhance learning approaches in the classroom. 


GEOG 1100: First Year Seminar, Surviving the Apocalypse: The Geography of Natural Disasters

GEOG 1010: Introduction to Physical Geography

GEOG/ENR 3450: Weather and Climate

GEOG/ESS 3480: Environmental Change

GEOG/ENR 4440/5440: Advanced Global and Regional Climate Variability

 Recent Publications

  • *Carter V. A., Power, M. J., Lundeen, Z. J., Morris, J. L., Petersen, K. L., Brunelle, A., Anderson, R. S., Shinker, J. J., Turney, L., Koll, R., and Bartlein, P. J., 2017 (in press). A 1,500-year synthesis of wildfire activity stratified by elevation from the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Quaternary International.

  • *Heyer, J. P., Brewer, S. C., and Shinker J. J., 2017. Using High-Resolution Reanalysis Data to Explore Localized Western North America Hydroclimate Relationships with ENSO. Journal of Climate. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0476.1.

  • §Shinker, J.J., 2014, Climatic controls of hydrologic extremes in the south-central Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Geology (Invited Manuscript for Special Issue on Quaternary Science Research in the Rocky Mountains), v. 49, no. 1, p. 51-60. Refereed.

  • §Shuman, B. N., Carter, G., Hougardy, D., Powers, K. and Shinker, J. J., 2014. A north-south moisture dipole at multi-century scales in the central and southern Rocky Mountains during the late Holocene. Rocky Mountain Geology (Invited Manuscript for Special Issue on Quaternary Science Research in the Rocky Mountains), v. 49, no. 1, p. 33-49. Refereed.

  • §Mock C. J. and Shinker, J. J., 2013. Modern Analog Approaches in Paleoclimatology. In: Elias S. A. (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences, vol. 3, pp. 102-112. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

  • §Shinker, J. J., Shuman, B. N., Minckley, T. A., and *Henderson, A. K., 2010. Climatic Shifts in the Availability of Contested Waters: A Long-term Perspective from the Headwaters of the North Platte River, Annals of the Association of American Geographers (Special Issue on Climate Change), 100 (4), 866-879.

  •  Shinker, J. J., 2010. Visualizing spatial heterogeneity of Western United States Climate Variability. Earth Interactions, 14 (10), 1-15, doi: 10.1175/2010EI323.1.

  • Shuman, B., **Pribyl, P., Minckley, T. A., and Shinker, J. J., 2010, Rapid hydrologic shifts and prolonged droughts in Rocky Mountain headwaters during the Holocene, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1029/2009GL042196.

  • Shinker, J. J. and P. J. Bartlein, 2010. Spatial variations of effective moisture in the Western United States. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2009GL041387.

  • Shinker, J. J. and P. J. Bartlein, 2009. Visualizing the large-scale patterns of ENSO-related climate anomalies in North America. Earth Interactions. DOI: 10.1175/2008EI244.1.


 § Invited submission

 *Denotes graduate student author

 **Denotes undergraduate student author



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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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