University of Colorado at Boulder

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Faculty | Associate Chair, Graduate Studies

John Pitlick

Geomorphology; Water Resources; Natural Hazards

Professor of Geography 

Physical Geography
Faculty of Hydrologic Sciences
303-492-5906 Gugg 315  
Ph.D. Colorado State University, 1988

Research Interests

My research focuses on linkages between surface-water hydrology and geomorphology in high-gradient river systems. The primary objective of this work is to develop a more complete understanding of the coupling between rivers and their surrounding landscapes. Field work is an important component of my research; the strategy used in many projects is to integrate field data with modeling techniques to quantify the effects of sediment transport on the natural functioning of river systems, often at spatial scales >100 km. Several past projects, done in collaboration with aquatic ecologists, have focused on the role of fluvial-hydraulic processes in modifying habitats for fish and benthic organisms. I have worked extensively in Colorado, also in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rocky Mountains and the French Alps. I am also the co-director of the Graduate Program in Hydrologic Sciences at CU-Boulder.

Selected Publications

Anderson, S., and J. Pitlick. (2014). Using repeat lidar to estimate sediment transport in a steep stream . Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, v. 119, p. 621-643. doi:10.1002/2013JF002933

Mueller, E.R. and J. Pitlick. (2014). Sediment supply and channel morphology in mountain river systems: 2. Single thread to braided transitions. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, v. 119, p. 1516–1541. doi:10.1002/2013JF003045

Mueller, E.R., and J. Pitlick. (2013). Sediment supply and channel morphology in mountain river systems: 1. Relative importance of lithology, topography, and climate . Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, v. 118, p. 2325–2342. doi:10.1002/2013JF002843

Pitlick, J., J. Marr, and J. Pizzuto. (2013). Width adjustment in experimental gravel-bed channels in response to overbank flows. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, v. 118, p. 553-570. doi:10.1002/jgrf.20059

Segura C., J. H. McCutchan, W. M. Lewis, and J. Pitlick. (2011). The influence of channel bed disturbance on algae biomass in a Colorado mountain stream. Ecohydrology, v. 4, p. 411-421. doi:10.1002/eco.142

Publications updated August 2014

Labs & Facilities

KESDA Ken Erickson Spatial Data Analysis Lab

KESDA Lab is an instructional computer lab with advanced software and hardware used to teach technique (skills) courses in geography.

Recent Courses Include

Fall 2014  GEOG 3511 (4) Introduction to Hydrology

Spring 2014  GEOG 3511 (4) Introduction to Hydrology

Spring 2014  GEOG 4251/5251 (3) Fluvial Geomorphology

Graduate Students

         
Scott
Anderson
M.A. Alumni
2013
Sediment Fluxes in a Changing Climate: Tahoma Creek Over Daily to Centennial Time-Scales
Tony
LaGreca
M.A. Alumni
2010
Fine Grain Sediment Transport over a Course Grain Gravel Bed
Erich
Mueller
Ph.D. Alumni
2012
Landscape Controls on Sediment Supply and Stream Channel Morpho-Dynamics in the Northern Rocky Mountains