Theodore B Barnhart


Theo’s work focuses on understanding how changes in snowmelt will alter streamflow across the western United States and he has expertise in snow hydrology, hydrologic modeling, remote sensing, large-scale data analysis, and geomorphology. Theo will receive his doctorate from the University of Colorado in May of 2018 and earned a M.S. in geology from Idaho State University in 2013 and a B.A. in Geology-Environmental Studies from Whitman College in 2010. For his undergraduate thesis, Theo worked on understanding what controls sediment production from a tidewater glacier system in Svalbard, Norway. For his Master’s thesis, Theo studied the processes that control the growth of a permafrost degradation feature in northwest Alaska. Theo has also worked on post-fire soil erosion in Bryce Canyon National Park via the Geological Society of America’s GeoCorps program and for Whitman College’s Semester in the West program managing fieldwork projects and the program’s technical systems. While working on his dissertation Theo has mentored undergraduate students collecting data to help generate a remotely sensed leaf area index product and has worked closely with the Boulder Creek and Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatories as well as with collaborators at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. With the USGS, Theo is working on understanding how the choice of precipitation forcing data influences hydrologic modeling results, accounting for the water used for unconventional oil and gas development and production, and terrain processing and analysis routines for hydrologic analyses.


Ph.D. Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 2018 (in progress)

Dissertation: The Response of Streamflow and Evapotranspiration to Changes in Snowmelt Across the Western United States.


M.S. Geology, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, 2013

Thesis: Morphodynamics of the Selawik Retrogressive Thaw Slump, Northwest Alaska.


B.A. Geology-Environmental Studies, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, 2010

Thesis: Glaciomarine Sediment Flux and Transportation Mechanisms, Kronebreen/Kongsvegan, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard.