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Francis Rengers

I investigate landslide and debris flow processes, primarily after wildfire.

General Research Statement:

My work leverages high-resolution topography from airborne and ground-based lidar, as well as drone-based structure-from-motion, to characterize the controls on mass movement after wildfire.  I also use modeling and field-instrumentation to characterize how wildfire creates the hydrologic and soil conditions that lead to sedimentation hazards. My work is primarily focused in the semi-arid portions of the Western United States, and I have worked on projects in Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. In addition, I serve as an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines, I advise USGS post-docs, and I am currently serving on Ph.D. thesis committees at several universities.


  • Ph.D., Geology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. 2014. The Influence of Transient Perturbations on Landscape Evolution: Exploring Gully Erosion and Post-Wildfire Erosion.
  • M. S., Geology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. 2005.  Grain Size Trends of Gravel Bars on the Rio Chagres, Panama
  • B. S., Geology, Summa Cum Laude, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. 2003. Spatial Analysis of Landforms on Reclaimed Surface Mines of Monongalia County 
  • B. A., French, Summa Cum Laude, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. 2003

Professional Appointments: 

2016-present                        Research Geologist

2014-2016                            Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Staley, D.M., Kean, J.W., Rengers, F.K. 2020. The recurrence interval of post-fire debris-flow generating rainfall in the southwestern United States. Geomorphology.

Rengers, F.K., McGuire, L.A., Oakley, N.S., Tang, H., Kean, J.W., and Staley, D.M. 2020. Landslides after Wildfire: initiation, magnitude, and mobility after fire.  Landslides.

Rengers, F.K., Kean, J.W., Reitman, N.G., Smith, J.B., Coe, J.A., McGuire, L.A., 2020. The Influence of Frost Weathering on Debris Flow Sediment Supply in an Alpine Basin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 125, e2019JF005369.

Wall, S., Roering, J., Rengers, F.K., 2020. Runoff-initiated post-fire debris flow Western Cascades, Oregon. Landslides.

Rapstine, T.D., Rengers, F.K., Allstadt, K.E., Iverson, R.M., Smith, J.B., Obryk, M.K., Logan, M. Olsen, M.J. 2020. Reconstructing the velocity and deformation of a rapid landslide using multiview video. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface.

Kean, Jason W., Staley, D.M., Lancaster, J.T., Rengers, F.K., Swanson, B.J., Coe, J.A., Hernandez, J.L., Sigman, A.J., Allst