Paul Robert Bierman
Paul Bierman is a professor of Geology and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. His research and teaching expertise focus on the interaction of people and Earth’s dynamic surface. Bierman is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. For college, he moved north to Massachusetts, where he earned a bachelors degree in Geology at Williams College. After several years working as an environmental consultant in Boston, Bierman moved north again to the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned both a masters and doctoral degree in Geology. After a short post-doctoral interlude far to the south in Australia, Bierman has been a professor at the University of Vermont since 1993.
Bierman’s research has taken him around the globe. He has studied erosion in Australia, South America, and several countries in Africa and the Middle East. In Greenland, Bierman and his graduate students are tracing the history of the Greenland Ice sheet over the last million years, an adventure that repeatedly takes them helicoptering over the ice.
Bierman works extensively communicating science to the pubic. He teaches summer science programs for highly motivated high school students, directs a public web site (www.uvm.edu/landscape) holding over 70,000 photographs of historic Vermont landscapes, has been co-author since 2005 of Pipkin et al., an introductory Environmental Geology textbook, and is the lead author (2014, 2020) of a new, NSF-funded textbook, Key Concepts in Geomorphology, that uses extensive visuals and photographs to teach about the workings of Earth’s surface.
Bierman was awarded the Donath medal as the outstanding young scientist of the year by the Geological Society of America in 1995; he has since received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation specifically for integrating scientific education and research. In 2005, Bierman was awarded the NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar award in recognition of his on-going attempts to integrate these two strands of his academic life. Together, Bierman, his graduate and undergraduate students, and collaborators have more than 160 publications in refereed journals and books as well as hundreds of abstracts.