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Roy J. Shlemon Center for Quaternary Studies


About the Center

The Quaternary Period of Earths geologic history spans the last 2.6 million years, and contains repeated climate changes (ice ages), large changes in the chemistry of Earth's atmosphere, massive extinctions and other evolutionary and ecological changes, the evolution of modern humans, and the emergence of civilization. These climatic, hydrologic, soils, landscape, ecological, evolutionary, and cultural changes offer a rich set of case studies that apply to many topics from Earth system science to natural resource management and economics.

The Shlemon Center is a cross-disciplinary intellectual community focused on using the rich geological, fossil and archeological record of the Quaternary Period to learn about how the Earth's environment changes and how such changes affect natural resources, such as water and forests, and societies. Few institutions have equal depth and excellence in this area.


Diverse Faculty: The current consortium of >20 faculty with Quaternary interests spans at least six departments (Anthropology, Botany, Geography, Geology&Geophysics, Renewable Resources, and Civil Engineering).

Research Opportunities: Studies of the Quaternary at UW build upon Wyoming's role as a natural laboratory, and we have related links with the Program in Ecology, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the Haub School of Natural Resources, many of UW's core facilities (e.g., Stable Isotope Facility; Nucleic Acid Facility), the Berry Center for Natural History, and the School for Energy Research.

Graduate Student Involvement: Graduate students associated with the center obtain degrees within their home departments, but benefit from interdisciplinary courses, multi-departmental student and faculty functions, and multi-departmental committee memberships.

Undergraduate Student Involvement: Undergraduates would benefit from a regular offering of courses at multiple levels on the Quaternary period and an undergraduate minor on Paleoenvironmental Studies.

Contact Us

Roy J. Shlemon Center for Quaternary Studies

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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