Hi, I'm Paul Hanson, and I'm the associate director of the School of Natural Resources. I am also an assistant professor in SNR. I'm associated with the geography/GIScience faculty and the geology and soils faculty.
My main research interests are studying the responses of river, hillslope, and eolian (wind-deposited) systems to climate change. My research goals include studying the evolution of the Platte River system, the responses of rivers and dune systems to climate change in the recent past, and the causes for stream incision on the western Great Plains and the central Rocky Mountains.
For much of this work, I use optical dating techniques (aka "Optically Stimulated Luminescence," a relatively new dating technique that is used for recently deposited geological materials) to construct chronologies of river, dune, and hillslope sediments. These studies are important for identifying the long-term climatic conditions in Nebraska, particularly concerning the nature of drought events and changes in flood magnitudes in the region.
Other aspects of my research involve producing surficial geologic maps, and studying groundwater resources in eastern Nebraska. These kinds of studies are important to achieve a better understanding of our groundwater and other geological resources that are of economic importance in Nebraska.
I teach courses in physical geography and lead natural resource field trip courses to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota and Big Bend National Park in Texas.
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Master of Applied Science
Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciencesincluding specializations in
Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciencesincluding specializations in