The Quaternary Period, the most recent in Earth’s history, witnessed numerous
climatic fluctuations, glaciations, sea-level changes, and shifts in organism
distribution. These changes shaped our contemporary environments and strongly
influenced human evolution. A knowledge of Quaternary events facilitates understanding
of current environmental changes and may enable anticipation of future changes.
Maine was particularly affected by Quaternary events because its landscape was
shaped largely by glaciation and its biota was influenced strongly by climatic
Quaternary and Climate Studies commonly are interdisciplinary and thus require
cooperation between several academic departments. To facilitate such cooperation,
a Climate Change Institute, dedicated to teaching and research,
was established at The University of Maine in 1972. The Institute is staffed
by members of the Departments of Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Computer
Science, Geological Sciences, School of Marine Sciences, and History. The Institute
is not a formal academic department. Rather, it serves to organize and promote
interdepartmental teaching and research related to Quaternary Studies.
The Master of Science in Quaternary and Climate Studies is offered. The program
provides students with training in the archaeology, biology, climatology and/or
geology of the Quaternary Period and contributes to an appreciation of the interaction
of these fields towards a better understanding of Quaternary paleoclimatology,
paleoecology, and prehistoric archaeology. Many of the courses pertinent to
the Quaternary Period are listed under offerings by cooperating departments.
Graduate thesis credits are arranged by the staff.
Research interests of staff members focus on historically oriented problems
of the Quaternary Period. These interests overlap and complement each other
to a degree which insures cooperation, and encourages interdisciplinary approaches
and joint research projects. Graduate students may pursue interdisciplinary
thesis projects and will be supervised jointly by several staff members. Although
much Institute research is conducted in New England and adjacent Canada, projects
are also current in the western and northeastern United States, Canada, India,
Nepal, China, the Arctic, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Chile, Antarctica, Peru,
Research assistantships are available on a competitive basis through both the Climate Change Institute and the Graduate School.
Paul Andrew Mayewski, Ph.D. (Ohio State University, 1973), honorary
Ph.D. (Stockholm University, 2000), Professor of Quaternary and Climate Studies
and Geological Sciences, Coop-erating Professor School for Marine Studies, Director, Climate Change Institute. Paleoclimatology, Glaciochemistry,
Daniel F. Belknap, Ph.D. (Delaware, 1979), Professor of Geological Sciences,
Center for Marine Studies, Quaternary and Climate Studies, and Oceanography.
Marine geology, Quaternary Stratigraphy, and Sedimentology.
Harold W. Borns, Jr., Ph.D. (Boston University, 1959), Professor of
Geological Sciences and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Quaternary and Glacial
Adrian L. Burke, Ph.D. (SUNY Albany, 2000), Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Archaeology of Northeastern North America, lithic technology and raw materials sourcing.
Ronald B. Davis, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1961), Professor of Plant Biology and
Quaternary and Climate Studies. Paleoecology of lakes and wetlands.
George H. Denton, Ph.D. (Yale, 1965), Professor of Geological Sciences
and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Paleoecology of lakes and glacial geology.
James L. Fastook, Ph.D. (Maine, 1976), Professor of Computer Sciences. Numerical modeling of glaciers and ice sheets.
Gordon S. Hamilton, Ph.D. (University of Cambridge, 1992), Research
Assistant Professor of Quaternary and Climate Studies. Polar glaciology, climate
change, remote sensing, and satellite geodesy.
Terence J. Hughes, Ph.D. (Northwestern, 1968), Professor of Geological
Sciences and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Quaternary glaciology.
George L. Jacobson Jr., Ph.D. (Minnesota, 1975), Professor of Plant Biology and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Paleoecology and Plant Ecology.
Davida E. Kellogg, Ph.D. (Columbia, 1973), Research Associate Professor
of Geological Sciences. Micropaleontology.
Thomas B. Kellogg, Ph.D. (Columbia, 1973), Professor of Geological Sciences.
Kirk A. Maasch, Ph.D. (Yale, 1989), Associate Professor of Geological
Sciences and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Theory of climate.
Daniel H. Sandweiss, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1989), Associate Professor of Anthropology
and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology, Coastal
Adaptations, Climate Change.
David Sanger, Ph.D. (Washington, 1967), Professor of Anthropology and
Quaternary and Climate Studies. Prehistoric Archaeology, Coastal Adaptations,
Detmar Schnitker, Ph.D. (Illinois, 1967), Professor of Oceanography.
David C. Smith, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1965), Professor Emeritus of History. Historical climates, Climate Research Group.
Kristin Sobolik, Ph.D. (Texas A&M, 1991), Associate Professor of Anthropology and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Archaeology, Paleonutrition, Desertic Adaptations.
Gregory A. Zielinski, Ph.D. (Massachusetts, 1987), Research Professor of Quaternary and Climate Studies and Maine State Climatologist. Climatology and Meteorology, Historical Climatology, Volcanism-Climate System.