Robert Anderson
Distinguished Professor • Department Chair
Geological Sciences • INSTAAR • Earth Lab

Offices: Benson 462A, SEEC S210


I am a geomorphologist, one who studies the surface of the planet and how it has evolved. I have studied most aspects of the landscape, from the weathering of rock to generate soil, to the transport of soil down hillslopes, to the transport of sediment by rivers to the sea, to the evolution of coastlines that define the edge of the ocean. I have worked on tectonically alive and tectonically dead landscapes. My recent focus has been on alpine and Arctic landscapes in which ice figures prominently, as glaciers in alpine settings, and as permafrost and sea ice in the Arctic. I focus on the processes involved, working them as physics and chemistry problems. My research may be broken into three tasks: field monitoring, modeling, and establishment of timing in the landscape. Modeling involves numerical simulations meant both to interpret data and to generate generic landscapes, often resulting in animations. In dating landscapes, I employ cosmogenic radionuclides in a variety of ways.


glaciers, permafrost, cryosphere, hillslopes, rivers, coastal erosion, weathering, cosmogenic dating, landscape evolution models

Department Topic Areas

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of Washington 1986
  • M.S., Stanford University 1977
  • B.A., Williams College 1974