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Jeff Munroe

Philip B. and Sarah F. Cowles Stewart Professor of Geology

 work(802) 443-3446
 by appointment
 McCardell Bicen Hall 414

Jeff Munroe was raised in Massachusetts and received an undergraduate degree in geology from Bowdoin College.  For his M.S. research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he studied the development of permafrost-affected soils on the north slope of Alaska.  In 1996 he began a research collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service in northern Utah that continues to this day.  Part of this work formed the basis of his Ph.D. dissertation, also at the UW-Madison, studying the glacial and post-glacial history of the Uinta Mountains.  Since coming to Middlebury in 2001 he has continued his work in Utah and has developed additional research studying environmental change in northeastern Nevada, glacier retreat in Glacier National Park, and the evolution of lake environments and mountain soils in northern Vermont.  He teaches courses on geomorphology, Quaternary geology, environmental geology, paleolimnology, and Arctic & Alpine Environments.  When not in the lab or doing fieldwork, he enjoys hiking and nordic skiing.

Please visit Jeff's website for more information.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1306 - Mountains of the Northeast      

Mountains of the Northeast
The mountains of the northeastern U.S. are an integral part of the cultural and natural history of this region. In this seminar we will consider topics germane to northeastern mountains including the geologic origin of the northern Appalachians, characteristics of mountain environments, changing perceptions of northeastern mountains over time, mountains as resources for modern society, and challenges facing these environments today and in the future. Readings and discussion will be combined with field excursions to enhance our understanding of mountains from a variety of perspectives. 3 hrs sem./disc. CW SCI

Fall 2019

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GEOL 0112 - Environmental Geology      

Environmental Geology
Geological processes form the physical framework on which ecosystems operate. We require an understanding of the geological environment in order to minimize disruption of natural systems by human development and to avoid hazards such as floods and landslides. This course is an overview of basic tectonic, volcanic, and landscape-forming processes and systems, including earthquakes, rivers, soils, and groundwater. Environmental effects of energy, mineral, and water resource use, and waste disposal are also examined. Weekly field labs after spring break. Registration priority for first and second-year students. 3 hrs. lect./disc., 3 hrs. lab/field trips SCI

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

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GEOL 0251 / GEOG 0251 - Landscape Evolution      

Landscape Evolution
In this course we will investigate processes that shape the Earth's surface, including weathering, mass movements, and the effects of water, wind, and ice. Students will examine how such processes govern the evolution of landforms in differing climatic, tectonic, and lithologic settings. Field and laboratory study will focus on the role of active surficial processes, as well as glaciation and other past events, in development of the landscape of west-central Vermont. We will also discuss implications for human activities and maintenance of natural systems. (GEOL 0112 or GEOL 0161 or GEOL 0170 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab DED SCI

Fall 2018

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GEOL 0350 - Artic and Alpine Environments      

Arctic and Alpine Environments
In this course we will focus on the physical processes and environmental issues unique to arctic and alpine environments. Topics will include cold-climate weathering and landforms, ecosystem adaptations to cold environments, and snow and snowpack hydrogeology. The goal is to provide a strong scientific grounding through which contemporary issues involving arctic and alpine regions can be understood. Laboratory exercises will include field trips to the surrounding mountains, as well as analysis of datasets from other alpine and high latitude environments. (Formally GEOL 0250) (any 0100-level GEOL or GEOG course, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab DED SCI

Spring 2021

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GEOL 0352 - Quaternary Geology      

Glacial and Quaternary Geology
In this course we will examine the causes and effects of glaciation along with the characteristics that make the Quaternary Period unique in geologic time. Topics will include glaciology, glacial erosion and deposition, glacier reconstruction, and techniques for interpreting and dating the Quaternary stratigraphic and paleoclimatic record from diverse terrestrial, lacustrine, and marine archives. Consideration also will be given to how severe climatic fluctuations impacted nonglacial environments. An overnight weekend field trip at the end of the semester will introduce students firsthand to alpine glacial landforms. (Any 0100-level geology or geography course, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab DED SCI

Spring 2017

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GEOL 0500 - Readings And Research      

Readings and Research
Individual or group independent study, laboratory or field research projects, readings and discussion of timely topics in earth and environmental science. (Approval only)

Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021

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GEOL 0700 - Senior Thesis Research      

Upon completion of GEOL 0400, all senior geology majors will continue their independent senior thesis research by taking one unit of GEOL 0700. This research will culminate in a written thesis which must be orally defended. (Approval only)

Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021

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INDE 0800 - Ind Schol Sr Work/Proj/Thesis      

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

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INTD 1222 - Karst and Cave Geology      

Karst and Cave Geology
This course will provide an overview of diverse aspects of a peculiar landscape known as “karst,” from surface geomorphology to caves as archives of past climate conditions. Through in-class discussions and exercises, students will learn about karst hydrology, cave development, and how cave formations like stalagmites are created and can be used to generate paleoclimate records. A week-long fieldtrip to Mammoth Cave National Park will allow students to study the characteristic morphological features of both surface and subsurface karst. Students will also gain experience in fieldwork such as karst spring monitoring or microclimate studies of caves. Travel costs are covered. Questions about travel and financial or time implications of missed work/practice should be directed to the Chair. (Any lab-based 100-level Geology course or permission from Jeff Munroe) SCI WTR

Winter 2020

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Recent Publications

  1. Munroe, J.S., Brencher, Q.*: Holocene carbon burial in lakes of the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA.  Quaternary, 2(1), 13,
  2. Munroe, J.S., 2018: Hydrogeomorphic controls on Holocene lacustrine loss-on-ignition records. Journal of Paleolimnology, 61; 53-68.
  3. Munroe, J.S., 2018: Monitoring snowbank processes and cornice fall avalanches with time-lapse photography. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 154: 32-41.
  4. Munroe, J.S., 2018: Distribution, evidence for internal ice, and possible hydrologic significance of rock glaciers in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. Quaternary Research, 90: 50-65.
  5. Munroe, J.S., Bigl, M.F.*, Silverman, A.E.*, and Laabs, B.J.C., 2018, Records of late Quaternary environmental change from high-elevation lakes in the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt Range, Nevada, in Starratt, S.W., and Rosen, M.R., eds., From Saline to Freshwater: The Diversity of Western Lakes in Space and Time: Geological Society of America Special Paper 536, p. 33–51.
  6. Munroe, J.S., O’Keefe, S.S.*, and Gorin, A.L.*, 2018: Chronology, stable isotopes, and glaciochemistry of perennial ice in Strickler Cavern, Idaho, USA. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 130: 175-192.

*student co-author

Department of Geology

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753