I study geomorphology, soils and Quaternary stratigraphy to reconstruct paleoclimates over the past two and a half million years of geologic time.
My main study areas are in the central and western USA (Mississippi Valley, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, desert Southwest, Pacific Coast and Alaska), but I have also worked in the Caribbean, Spain and Israel. My main interests are in origin and paleoclimatic significance of dune fields, stratigraphy and paleopedology of loess, effects of long-range-transported dust on soils, the atmosphere, oceans and ecosystems, and sea level history.
University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 1977-1980 (Ph.D., Physical geography/Geology)
University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 1973-1975 (M.S., Physical geography/Soil science)
University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 1972-1973 (B.A., Physical geography)
University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 1970-1972 (B.A., English, History)
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 1968-1970 (English)
1995-date: Geologist, Geology and Environmental Change Science Center, USGS, Denver, CO
1985-1995: Geologist, Branch of Isotope Geology, USGS, Denver, CO
1983-1984: Soil Scientist with USGS while on leave-of-absence with the University of Wisconsin to accept National Research Council Research Associateship, Denver, Colorado.
1980-1985: Assistant and Associate Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
1978-1980, part-time Soil Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Central Regional Geology.
1977-1979: Instructor (while a Ph.D student), Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado at Denver
1975-1976: Soil Scientist, U.S. Soil Conservation Service/Iowa State University
Science and Products
Science and Products
Pre-USGS PublicationsCrittenden, R.C. and Muhs, D.R., 1986, Cliff-height and slope-angle relationships in a chronosequence of marine terraces, San Clemente Island, California: Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, v. 30, p. 291-301.Muhs, D.R., 1985, Age and paleoclimatic significance of Holocene sand dunes in northeastern Colorado: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, v. 75, p. 566-582.Muhs, D.R., 1985, Amino acid age estimates of marine terraces and sea levels, San Nicolas Island, California: Geology, v. 13, p. 58-61.Muhs, D.R., Kautz, R., and MacKinnon, J.J., 1985, Soils and the location of cacao orchards at a Maya site in western Belize: Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 12, p. 121-137.Muhs, D.R., 1984, Intrinsic thresholds in soil systems: Physical Geography, v. 5, p. 99-110.Muhs, D.R., 1983, Airborne dust fall on the California Channel Islands, U.S.A.: Journal of Arid Environments, v. 6, p. 223-238.Muhs, D.R., 1983, Quaternary sea-level events on northern San Clemente Island, California: Quaternary Research, v. 20, p. 322-341.Gillette, D.A., Adams, J., Muhs, D.R., and Kihl, R., 1982, Threshold friction velocities and rupture moduli for crusted desert soils for the input of soil particles into the air: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 87, p. 9003-9015.
Muhs, D.R., 1982, A soil chronosequence on Quaternary marine terraces, San Clemente Island, California: Geoderma, v. 28, p. 257-283.Muhs, D.R. and Szabo, B.J., 1982, Uranium-series age of the Eel Point terrace, San Clemente Island, California: Geology, v. 10, p. 23-26.Muhs, D.R., 1982, The influence of topography on the spatial variability of soils in Mediterranean climates, in Thorn, C.E., ed., Space and Time in Geomorphology: London, George Allen and Unwin, p. 269-284.Johnson, D.L., Muhs, D.R., and Barnhardt, M.L., 1977, The effects of frost heaving on objects in soils, II: Laboratory experiments: Plains Anthropologist, v. 22, p. 133-147.