Peter Blanken Photo Portrait
Professor of Geography • Climatology; Biometeorology • Faculty of Hydrologic Sciences • Ph.D. University of British Columbia, 1997
Physical Geography

Research Interests

My overall research objective is to understand how the physical processes regulating water and carbon cycling at the Earth's surface are affected by environmental changes. I study a variety of ecosystems including lakes, wetlands, alpine tundra, forest, and grasslands. My research is based on observations made at each location using a variety of instruments, and I often use models and remote sensing to help interpret the measurements.

More Info

In addition to process-based field studies, I am also interested in how and why people recall and perceive past meteorological events. For example, how do people's recollection of climate compare to the actual observations, and what affects the accuracy and reliability of their climate memory? I'm also interested in how class size (enrollment) affects both teaching quality and students' inclass performance. I investigate this through statistical analysis of class evaluations, and surveys/interviews with faculty and students.

Recent Courses Taught

  • Fall 2023  GEOG/ENVS 4201  Biometeorology
  • Spring 2023  GEOG/ATOC/ENVS 3601  Principles of Climate
  • Fall 2022  GEOG 3251  Mountain Geography
  • Fall 2022  GEOG/ENVS 4201  Biometeorology
  • Summer 2022  GEOG 3251  Mountain Geography
  • Spring 2022  GEOG 3601 ATOC/ENVS 3600  Principles of Climate
  • Fall 2021  GEOG 3251  Mountain Geography
  • Fall 2021  GEOG/ENVS 4201  Biometeorology
  • Fall 2020  GEOG 3251  Mountain Geography
  • Fall 2020  GEOG/ENVS 4201  Biometeorology
  • Spring 2020  GEOG 3601 ATOC/ENVS 3600  Principles of Climate
  • Fall 2019  GEOG/ENVS 4201  Biometeorology
  • Fall 2019  GEOG 3251   Mountain Geography
  • Summer 2019  GEOG 3251  Mountain Geography
  • Spring 2019  GEOG 3601 ATOC/ENVS 3600  Principles of Climate



Selected Publications

Reservoir Evaporation in the Western United States: Current Science, Challenges, and Future Needs. K Friedrich, RL Grossman, J Huntington, PD Blanken… - Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2017

Ecosystem function in complex mountain terrain: Combining models and long‐term observations to advance process‐based understanding. WR Wieder, JF Knowles, PD Blanken, SC Swenson… - Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 2017

Estimating the Great Lakes net radiation using satellite remote sensing and merra reanalysis. S Moukomla, PD Blanken - International Journal of Digital Earth, 2017

The increasing importance of atmospheric demand for ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. KA Novick, DL Ficklin, PC Stoy, CA Williams, G Bohrer… - Nature Climate Change, 2016

Terrestrial carbon balance in a drier world: the effects of water availability in southwestern North America. JA Biederman, RL Scott, ML Goulden, R Vargas… - Global change biology, 2016

Microclimate and local climate. RG Barry, PD Blanken, Cambridge University Press, 2016

Publications updated October 2017