Research Interests

My research focuses on developing a process-based understanding of landscape form and evolution. We are seeking fundamental expressions or "laws" that can be used in a conservation of mass equation to explain landscape morphology and dynamics. My research group has proposed rate laws for soil production from bedrock, transport of soil on hillslopes, and incision into bedrock by rivers and debris flows. This work involves field studies, physical modeling, and the development of theory. We use digital elevation data to link landscape morphology and process laws, as well as to estimate the spatial variation in the potential for shallow landslides. My group is now examining high-resolution topographic data from airborne laser altimetry; such data are providing the field with the first opportunity to make these linkages over large areas. River channels cut valleys, convey sediment, and constitute crucial habitat. We have studies underway on debris flow channel incision mechanics on Earth and Mars, channel formation by sediment laden flows into still water, floodplain formation, sediment transport in steep channels, and the linkages between land use and channel characteristics important to river life.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 15: Geology

Secondary Section

Section 16: Geophysics