Leif S. Anderson


Mountain environments are currently responding en masse to climate change. Glaciers are rapidly retreating with long-term implications for society at-large. The melting of land ice raises sea level, reduces water water availability in arid regions and increases landscape instability. I study glaciers and mountain landscapes in the past and present. When possible I try to leverage past and present understandings to estimate future possibilities.



R.S. Anderson


My research addresses the question: ‘How do mountain landscapes respond to climate?’ To address this question I develop my own models which I test using field and remotely-sensed data. My broad field experience and love of maps allows me to approach questions from multiple perspectives and methodologies.

I seek to develop broad, generalizable explanations for observed phenomena. I also conduct place-based field studies which in turn can also hone more general explanations, or theory.

My glacier-based research is focused on determining the role of climate in defining glacier geometry. In the past, I work to interpret past glacier extents preserved by deposits in the landscape using models. In the present I study how glaciers are changing in response to climate change, especially glaciers covered with a thin layer of rocks or debris. These glaciers are common in Alaska and High Mountain Asia.

Teaching and Outreach

             I strive to be a engaging, adaptable teacher in and out of the classroom. My passion for mountain settings helps foster exciting, imaginative learning environments. In addition to traditional geological techniques, I integrate numerical modeling, remote sensing, and GIS into my courses.

            More broadly, my goal is for geologic and environment change to be clear and visible to the public. I create time lapse videos of mountain processes and make videos from my model simulations. Videos like these spark the imagination, encouraging students to discover hidden processes on their own.

B. Hudson

Postdoctoral Positions