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, 1973), honorary Ph.D. (Stockholm University, 2000), Director and Professor, Climate Change Institute and Professor of Earth Sciences. Climate change and atmospheric chemistry.
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.
Douglas Bird, Ph.D. (California, Davis, 1996), Research Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change. Human behavioral ecology.
Harold W. Borns, Jr., Ph.D. (Boston University, 1959), Professor of
Geological Sciences and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Quaternary and glacial geology.
Fei Chai, Ph.D. (Duke, 1995), Associate Professor of Marine Sciences. Ecosystem modelling, tropical oceanography, El Niño, ocean carbon cycle.
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.
Brenda Hall, Ph.D. (Maine, 1997), Research Assistant Professor of Climate Change Institute and Earth Sciences. Glacial geology, geomorphology, geochronology.
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.
Roger Hooke, (California Inst. of Tech., 1965), Research Professor of Earth Sciences and Climate Change Institute. Geomorphology and glaciology.
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.
Joseph T. Kelley, Ph.D. (Lehigh, 1980), Professor of Earth Sciences. Marine geology, sea level change.
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.
Karl Kreutz, Ph.D. (New Hampshire, 1998), Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences and Climate Change Institute. Isotope geochemistry, climate and environmental variability.
Kirk A. Maasch, Ph.D. (Yale, 1989), Associate Professor of Geological
Sciences and Quaternary and Climate Studies. Theory of climate.
Steve A. Norton, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1967), Professor of Earth Sciences and Climate Change Institute. Paleolimnology, environmental chemistry, isotope geochemistry.
Brian Robinson, Ph.D. (Brown, 2001), Research Assistant Professor of Climate Change Institute. Prehistoric archaeology, Northeastern United States, paleoindians.
Paul (Jim) Roscoe, Ph.D. (Rochester, 1983), Professor of Anthropology. Anthropology of war, cultural ecology, political evolution.
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, hunter-gatherers.
Molly Schauffler, Ph.D. (Maine, 2003), Research Assistant Professor of Climate Change Institute. Paleoecology, environmental science education.
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.
Richard Will, Ph.D. (Alberta, 1985). Prehistoric archaeology, northeastern prehistory, lithic technology.