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Ryan Crow, Ph.D.

Ryan Crow is a Research Geologist at the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, in Flagstaff, Arizona. He did his graduate work at the University of New Mexico, where he studied the tectonic geomorphology of the Grand Canyon. Coming to the USGS in 2014 as a Mendenhall Postdoc, he focused on the landscape evolution of the lower Colorado River corridor and the Colorado River.

Ryan is pursuing a better understanding of the processes modulating Earth’s surface in the southwestern U.S. He is currently interested in integrating analytical and field-based geologic mapping approaches to understand the effect of fluvial systems, tectonics, exogenous events, and climate on landscape evolution. To arrive at a holistic view, he employs a multi-disciplinary approach utilizing a diverse range of geologic, geochronologic, tectonic, geophysical, and geochemical datasets, integrated through custom-designed geographic information system (GIS) tools. 

His current work is focused on:

  • Surficial geologic mapping along the lower Colorado River (CA, NV, and AZ)
  • Effects of epeirogenic uplift and faulting on river systems and landscapes in the Grand Canyon, Zion Plateau, and Lake Mead areas (AZ, UT, and NV)
  • Mantle evolution under and around the Colorado Plateau as constrained with geochemistry, geochronology, and mantle tomography (AZ, UT, NM, and CO)
  • The processes and timing of Colorado River inception and evolution in and downstream from Grand Canyon (CA, NV, and AZ)
  • Geomorphic effect of lava damming in Grand Canyon, AZ

Professional Experience

  • 2018 to current,  Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ

  • 2014 to 2018, Mendenhall Postdoctoral Scholar / Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ

  • 2013 to 2014, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

  • 2002 to 2005, Profession Research Associate, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

  • 1999 to 2002, Peace Corps Volunteer, Guatemala

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D., 2012, University of New Mexico

  • M.S., 2008, University of New Mexico

  • B.A.,1999, University of Colorado

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • 2003-present, Geological Society of America

  • 2005-present, American Geophysical Union

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government