Kathleen Springer


I study geologic deposits associated with desert wetlands, pluvial lakes, and anything else I can get my hands on to query the paleoclimate record of the American Southwest. I was trained as a geologist and paleontologist, with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geological Sciences from the University of California, Riverside, and spent the first part of my career at the San Bernardino County Museum where I was the Senior Curator of Geological Sciences. Now with the USGS, my research focuses on deciphering paleo-depositional environments of Quaternary localities (paleowetlands and pluvial lakes) throughout the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin, stressing the application of detailed stratigraphic and chronologic controls. I also use detailed geologic mapping to understand how hydrologic systems in the desert responded to past episodes of climate change and tectonic activity. In addition, I am a lifelong geoscience educator and communicator, specializing in earthquake science messaging by raising awareness of earthquake hazards and risk and promoting natural disaster preparedness. 



Peer Reviewed Publications

Bosch, S., Rech, J.A., Pigati, J.S., Nekola, J.C., Springer, K.B., Yanes, Y., 2018, A late Pleistocene-Holocene oxygen isotope record in the American Southwest from terrestrial gastropods. Quaternary Research. In preparation.

Gray, H.J., Mahan, S.A., Springer, K.B., Pigati, J.S., 2018, Testing the relationship between portable luminscence reader measurements and the depositional age of paleowetland sediments, Las Vegas Valley, Nevada. Quaternary Geochronology. In preparation.

Springer, K.B., Pigati, J.S., Scott, E., 2018, The geology and paleontology of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet. Submitted for publication.

Pigati, J.S., Springer, K.B., Honke, J.S., 2018, Desert wetlands record hydrologic variability within the Younger Dryas chronozone, Mojave Desert, USA. Quaternary Research. Accepted for publication.

Springer, K.B., Pigati, J.S., Manker, C.R., Mahan, S.A., 2018, The Las Vegas Formation. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper. Accepted for publication.

Springer, K.B., Pigati, J.S., Scott, E., 2017, Geology and vertebrate paleontology of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Nevada (USA). In Field Excursions in Southern California: Field Guides to the 2016 Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Meeting, (Kraatz, B., Lackey, J.S., Fryxell, J.E., eds.) Geological Society of America Field Trip Guide 45, 1-30.

Scott, E., Springer, K.B., Sagebiel, J.C., 2017, The Tule Springs Local Fauna: Rancholabrean vertebrates from the Las Vegas Formation, Nevada. Quaternary International 443A, 105-121.

Rech, J.A., Springer, K.B., Pigati, J.S., 2017, The Great Acceleration and the disappearing surficial geologic record. GSA Today 27 (11), 8-9.

Springer, K.B., Pigati, J.S., Scott, E., 2017, Stratigraphy, paleontology, and paleo-hydrology of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Nevada (USA). Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Field Trip Guide. Geology of the Intermountain West 4, 55-98.

Scott, E., Springer, K.B., 2016, First records of Canis dirus and Smilodon fatalis from the late Pleistocene Tule Springs Local Fauna, southern Nevada. PeerJ 4:e2151.

Pigati, J.S., Springer, K.B., and Manker, C.R., 2015, Desert wetlands—Archives of a wetter past: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015–3077, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20153077.

Springer, K.B., Manker, C.R., Pigati J.S. 2015. The dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112 (47), 14522-14526.

Ramelli, R.A., Page, R.W., Manker, C.R., Springer, K.B., 2012, Preliminary geologic map of the Corn Creek Springs, NW quadrangle, Clark County, Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Map 175, scale 1:24,000.

Ramelli, R.A., Page, R.W., Manker, C.R., Springer, K.B., 2012, Geologic map of the Gass Peak SW quadrangle, Clark County, Nevada: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Map 175, scale 1:24,000.

Springer, K.B., Scott, E., Manker C.R., Rowland, S., 2011 Vertebrate paleontology of Pleistocene lakes and groundwater discharge deposits of the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin. Nevada State Museum Paleontological Papers no. 1, 168-243.

Springer, K.B., Scott, E., Sagebiel, J.C., Murray, L.K., 2010. Late Pleistocene large mammal faunal dynamics from inland southern California: the Diamond Valley Lake local fauna. Faunal Dynamics and Extinction in the Quaternary: Papers Honoring Ernest L. Lundelius, Jr. (E. Scott, G. McDonald, eds). Quaternary International 217, 256-265.

Springer, K.B., Scott, E., Sagebiel, J.C., Murray, L.K., 2009. The Diamond Valley Lake local fauna: late Pleistocene vertebrates from inland southern California. Papers on Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology and Biostratigraphy in Honor of Michael O. Woodburne (L.B. Albright III, ed). Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 65, 217-235.

Scott, E., Springer, K.B., Sagebiel, J.C., Manker, C.R., 2006. Planning for the future: preserving and interpreting paleontology and geology in Joshua Tree National Park. America’s Antiquities: 100 Years of Managing Fossils on Federal Lands (Lucas, S.G., Spielmann, J.A., Hester, P.M., Kenworthy, J.P., Santucci, V.L., eds). New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 34, 159-164.

Scott, E., Springer, K.B., Sagebiel, J.C., 2004. Vertebrate paleontology in the Mojave Desert: the continuing importance of “follow-through” in preserving paleontologic resources. The Human Journey and Ancient Life in California’s Deserts: Proceedings from the 2001 Millennium Conference (Allen, M.W., Reed, J., eds.). Maturango Museum Publication no. 15, 65-70.

Scott, E., Springer, K.B., 2003. CEQA and fossil preservation in southern California. The Environmental Monitor 17, 4-10.

Anderson, R.S., Power, M.J., Smith, S.J., Springer, K.B., Scott, E. 2002. Paleoecology of a middle Wisconsin deposit from southern California. Quaternary Research 58(3), 310-317.

Campbell, K.E., Jr., Scott, E., Springer, K.B., 1999. A new genus for the Incredible Teratorn (Aves:Teratornithidae). Avian Paleontology at the Close of the 20th Century: Proceedings of the 4th International Meeting of the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution, Washington, D.C., 4 –7 June 1996 (S.L. Olson, ed.), Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 89, 169-175.

Springer, K.B., Murphy, M.A., 1994. Punctuated stasis and collateral evolution in the Devonian lineage of Monograptus hercynicus, Lethaia 27, 119-128.

Woodburne, M.O., Case, J.A., Springer, M.S., Woodburne, J., Springer, K.B., Power, J.D., 1993. Biostratigraphy and paleontology of the Etadunna Formation, South Australia, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 13(4), 483-515.

Murphy, M. A., Springer, K.B., 1989. Morphometric study of the platform elements of Amydrotaxis praejohnsoni n. sp. (Lower Devonian, Conodonts, Nevada). Journal of Paleontology 63(3), 349-355.