Jeff Munroe
Office
McCardell Bicen Hall 414
Tel
(802) 443-3446
Email
jmunroe@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
by appointment

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 and Alpine Environments. When not in the lab or doing fieldwork, he enjoys hiking and nordic skiing.

Courses Taught

Course Description

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) (formerly GEOL 0500)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2022

Requirements

CW, SCI

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

SCI

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Course Description

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. (Any 0100-level geology course, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

DED, SCI

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Course Description

Past, Present, and Future of the Mountain Critical Zone
The Critical Zone is the name given to the thin slice of the Earth from the treetops to the base of the soil where geology, biology, hydrology and climate all come together. This course will focus on topics germane to the Critical Zone in mountain environments including glaciers and permafrost, cold-climate weathering and landforms, ecosystem adaptations to cold environments, snow and snowpack hydrogeology, responses to contemporary climate change and projections for the future. The goal is to provide a strong scientific grounding through which contemporary issues involving mountain regions can be understood. Laboratory exercises will include analysis of datasets from mountain environments. (Formerly GEOL 0250) (any 0100-level GEOL or GEOG course, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

DED, SCI

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Karst and Cave Geology
This course will provide an overview of the diverse aspects of a peculiar landscape known as “karst”, from surface geomorphology to caves as past environmental archives. Through in-class discussions and exercises, students will learn about karst hydrology and the challenges of using karst aquifers for drinking water supply. Students will understand the main processes of 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 discuss related topics such as landscape evolution, environmental pollution and cave archaeology with local experts. They will also gain experience in fieldwork such as karst spring monitoring or microclimate and sediment studies of caves and upon return to Middlebury College they will conduct labwork to analyse the different types of samples collected during fieldwork. Finally, they will interpret the results in small groups. (Any lab-based 100-level Geology course or permission from the Chair) (Approval Only) .

Terms Taught

Winter 2020, Winter 2022

Requirements

SCI, WTR

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Publications

  1. Munroe, J.S., Brencher, Q.*: Holocene carbon burial in lakes of the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA.  Quaternary, 2(1), 13, https://doi.org/10.3390/quat2010013.
  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