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Dr. Bryan N. Shuman


Paleohydrology, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology
Office Phone: (307) 766-6442

Dept. #3006
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3006 Office Room No: ESB 2010

➤ Personal Website


Geological Sciences, PhD, Brown University, 2001

Geological Sciences, MS, Brown University, 1997

Geology, BA, Colorado College, 1994

Research Projects

Patterns and consequences of past climatic change: tracking the availability of water.

Water is a vital resource. Water affects vegetation, natural processes like wildfire, and human society. Availability of water, however, changes constantly because of climatic factors. Future conditions, like those of the past, will deviate from modern norms. Yet, we know little about the potential for change beyond that experienced in recent centuries. Ongoing work focuses on documenting and mapping changes in the levels of lakes throughout North America over the past 15,000 years. Through comparison with vegetation and fire history data, geochemical data, archeological data, and climate model simulations, the results demonstrate patterns of climatic variation and attendant impacts on landscapes and societies.

Publications in PDF format

Recent Publications

Shuman, B., and C. Plank (2011). Orbital, Ice Sheet, and Solar Controls on Holocene moisture in the North Atlantic Drainage Basin. Geology 39: 151-154.

Henderson, A. K., D. M. Nelson, F. S. Hu, Y. Huang, B. N. Shuman, and J. W. Williams. (2010) Holocene precipitation seasonality captured by a dual hydrogen and oxygen isotope approach at Steel Lake, Minnesota. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 300 (3-4): 205-214.

Henderson, A. K., and B. N. Shuman. (2010) Differing controls on river- and lake-water hydrogen and oxygen isotopic values in the western USA. Hydrological Processes 24 (26): 3894-3906.


GEOL 1070 - Earth: Its Physical Environment
GEOL 2100 - Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
GEOL 3500 - Global Change: A Geological Perspective
GEOL 5200 - Paleoclimatology

Current Graduate Students

  • John Calder - PhD Candidate
  • Grace Carter - PhD Candidate
  • Jeremiah Marsicek - MS Candidate
  • Marc Serravezza - PhD Candidate

Research Statement

Ongoing Projects:

  • Changing spatial patterns of Rocky Mountain snowpack during the Holocene and their effects on ecological boundaries.
  • Sub-Millennial Hydroclimatic Variability in the Northeastern U.S. during the Holocene.
  • Comparing the Effects of Holocene and 20th Century Drought on Minnesota's Lakes
  • Effects of fire and climate on the vegetation history of the Big Woods of Minnesota.
  • Surface-Atmosphere Feedbacks and Holocene Climate Variations in Eastern North America: Linkages, Impacts, and Governing Mechanisms.

Teaching Statement

My training has been interdisciplinary, linking climatology and ecology with geology, and I have enjoyed teaching classes that span a wide range of environmental systems. Having attended Colorado College and Brown University, where undergraduate education was emphasized, I see its value and am committed to excellent undergraduate instruction. I also seek to be a dedicated advisor for graduate students. I am excited to organize seminars and courses with the aim of developing new ideas and advancing research, as well as teaching fundamental concepts about Earth System science, environmental change, and the scientific process.

In addition to training a diverse group of students, my research is integrated into a unique educational-outreach project focused on environmental change along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

Contact Us

Department of Geology and Geophysics

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071-2000

Phone: 307-766-3386

Fax: 307-766-6679


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