Theo Barnhart
Contact Me


About Me

I like to think of myself as a new-school Earth scientist. My formal training is in geology; however, the projects I have and am working on revolve around geomorphology and Earth-system science. Rather than gaining information from field mapping or rock sample collection, I gain information about Earth-systems by gathering, processing, and manipulting large, spatiotemporially complex data sets. I use simulations and statistical methods in conjuction with these large data sets to answer questions that interest me. I am joining the Molotch Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Fall of 2013 to begin work on my PhD. I recently completed by MS from Idaho State University working with Benjamin Crosby, DeWayne Derryberry, and Joel Rowland (LANL). My MS project focused on understanding how meteorologic and hydrologic drivers control the growth of a permafrost degredation feature in northwest Alaska. I recieved my Bachelor's from Whitman College in Geology-Environmental Studies in 2010. For my senior honors thesis I investigated sediment flux from a tidewater glacier in Svalbard, Norway with Robert Carson, Julie Brigham-Grette , Nicholas Bader, and Ross Powell.

I am broadly interested in how water resources will change with climate change and how landforms and landscapes respond to changes in the factors that drive their evolution. I would also like to pursue interests in snow and mountain hydrology, process geomorphology, and remote sensing to better address my research interests. I enjoy research that uses novel techniques to tackle problems in Earth-systems science with broad regional and global implications. I am also interested in research problems that develope management or restoration tools for the natural world.

I grew up in Seattle, Washington backpacking and skiing in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Currently, I am taking the summer off in preparation for starting my PhD. I'm attempting to split my time between mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, learning Python, and publishing the remainder of my MS work.


PhD Geography, University of Colorado Boulder, Beginning Fall 2013.

MS Geology, Idaho State University, 2013, Thesis: Morphodynamics of the Selawik Retrogressive Thaw Slump, Northwest Alaska.

BA Geology-Environmental Studies, Whitman College, 2010, Cum Laude, Honors Thesis: Glaciomarine Sediment Flux and Transportation Mechanisms, Kronerbreen/Kongsvegan, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard.


Barnhart, T.B., B.T. Crosby, D.R. Derryberry, and J.C. Rowland (in prep.), Controls on the Retreat Rate and Form of the Selawik Retrogressive Thaw Slump, Alaska.

Barnhart, T.B. and B.T. Crosby (2013), Comparing Two Methods of Surface Change Detection on an Evolving Thermokarst Using High-Temporal-Frequency Terrestrial Laser Scanning, Selawik River, Alaska. Remote Sensing, 5(6), 2813-2837, DOI:10.3390/rs5062813.


Barnhart, T.B., B.T. Crosby, J.C. Rowland, and D.C. Finnegan (2012), High-Frequency Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning Reveals Connections between Environmental Drivers and Thaw Slump Headwall Retreat Rate and Form, Selawik River, Alaska, Abstract EP31C-0827, poster presentation, 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.

Barnhart, T.B. and B.T. Crosby (2011), Using High Frequency Terrestrial LiDAR to Correlate Meteorological and Hydrological Drivers to the Expansion of a Retrogressive Thaw Slump along the Selawik River, Alaska, Abstract C52A-05, oral presentation, 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

Barnhart, T.B., R. Powell, J. Brigham-Grette, R.J. Carson, P. Spencer, N.E. Bader, and K. Nicolaysen (2010), Glaciomarine Sediment Flux and Transportation Mechanisms, Kongsbreen, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, The 40th Annual International Arctic Workshop, INSTAAR, Winter Park, Colo., 10-12 Mar.

Barnhart, T.B., N.E. Bader, P. Arbetan, P. Brick (2009), Restoring a CiƩnaga: Monitoring Groundwater Levels Through Changes in Vegetation, The Murdock College Science Research Conference, Spokane, Wash., 29-31 Oct.

Community Activities

Meeting Sessions

Anderson, R.S., K.R. Barnhart, B.T. Crosby, and T.B. Barnhart, In Review, Thermal Control on Weathering, Erosion and Landscape Evolution, Session EP035, 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.