MARK W. WILLIAMS, Ph.D
Fellow, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
Professor, Department of Geography
University of Colorado, Boulder
- (303) 492-8830 (voice)
- (303) 492-6388 (fax)
- Mailing Address:
- Dr. M. W. Williams
- INSTAAR, CB 450
- University of Colorado
- Boulder, CO 80309
Dr. Mark Williams,
Fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
and Professor of
at the University of Colorado,
received his Ph.D in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in ecology
from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1991.
He is also on the core faculty of Environmental Studies.
His research interest is the ecology of mountain areas,
looking at the interaction of organisms with their environment,
focusing on classical environmental variables such as soil, rocks, and minerals as well as surrounding water sources and the local atmosphere.
Mark has current or past research activities in many of the
mountain ranges throughout the world, including
the Rocky Mountains, Sierra
Nevada of California, the Tien Shan and Qilian Shan, China,
Andes of South America, European Alps, and the Himalayas.
Mark is on the faculty of the
Hydrology Program in Geography
and his classes can be used to satisfy the
Hydrology Certification Program in Geography.
Mark is the PI of the
Niwot Ridge LTER program
and a co-I on the research project:
Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice & Snow (CHARIS).
He was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2012.
He was a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador in 1999 and is a current
Fulbright Scholar in Nepal for 2013-2014.
Videos, Radio Interviews, Magazine Interviews
Here's a 2 minute video for prospective graduate students.
Requires an mp4 player.
click for video
Mark's research was featured in this joint NSF/CU press release on 12 January 2016: NSF DISCOVERY: Colorado high peaks losing glaciers as climate warms . Channel 7 news Denver interview . Story picked up by many dozens of newspapers: New York Times ; Colorado Public Radio ; Denver Post ; Boulder Daily Camera .
Mark was interviewed extensively by local and national media about the acid mine drainage spill into the Animas River on 5 August 2015.
Channel 9 News Denver ,
Popular Science ,
Time Magazine, Vice , Christian Science Monitor
CU Boulder's Arts and Sciences Magazine for June 2014 highlights some of my research on nitrogen cycling for the Niwot Ridge LTER program:
Warming trend boosts nitrogen in Boulder watershed
Mark is interviewed by Ryan Warner on Colorado Public Radio on 1 May 2014 about Why gas patch residents should test their water regularly
and by the Coloradoan on 20 June 2014
Landowners can test wells for oil and gas pollutants
His LTER team's research is highlighted in a new five-minute educational video released in September 2012, and titled, "Water: A Zero Sum Game" viewable at
Learn More About Climate at CU-Boulder . The video was
nominated for an EMMY
Here's a long video from April 2012 on climate change and water resources as part of CU on the weekend outreach program.
Save Our Snow: Part One
December 2012 interview in Elevation Outdoors Magazine
GEOG 1011 -- Introduction to Physical Geography: Landscapes and Water
GEOG 3251 -- Mountain Geography
GEOG 3511 -- Introduction to Hydrology
GEOG 4110 -- Alpine Hydrology and Hydrochemistry
GEOG 4311/5421 -- Watershed Biogeochemistry
GEOG 4321/5321 -- Snow Hydrology
GEOG 5241 -- Hydrologic and Hydrochemical Modeling
GEOG 3900 -- Snow Hydrology Internship Program
Daniel Cordalis, JD/PhD candidate in ENVS; Daniel, a member of the Navajo Nation, is primarily interested in water policy and how Indian tribes can ensure their proper allocation of the resource, but also is interested in promoting Indian policy and initiatives on the national level. He has received his JD degree and has advanced to candidicy in ENVS.
Alana Wilson, MA student Surface-groundwater interactions of the major rivers of High Asia.
Qinghuan Zhang, PhD student Modeling the hydrology and hydrochemistry of the Boulder Creek Watershed.
Alice Hill, PhD student Modeling the hydrology of glacier-fed rivers in High Asia.
- Bunyamin Yilmaz, MA student Full scholarship from Turkey to develop a terrain-based model of potential avalanche activity.
Kelsey Dailey, MA student in ENVS; Kelsey is starting her first year as an MA student working on biogeochemical cycling for the NWT LTER program.
Current Research Activity
PI (NSF): NWT LTER
PI (NSF): Mountain Groundwater and Climate Change
Co-I (NSF): Development of GPS As a Snow Sensor
PI (NSF): The Role of Dust on Snow and Other Aeolian Inputs in Soil Formation and Biogeochemical Cycling in Barren, Alpine Catchments
CoI (NSF): Coupled Natural and Human Systems in the Colorado Front Range Wildland
PI (State of Colorado): Hydrologic remediation of the Commodore and Nelson Mine Shafts near Creede, Colorado
CoI (USAID): effect of shrinking Himalayan glaciers on Asia's water supply
Co-I (NSF): SRN: Routes to Sustainability for Natural Gas Development and Water and Air Resources in the Rocky Mountain Region
Co-I (USDA/NSF): WSC Collaborative Research: Snowpack and Ecosystem Dynamics: The Sustainability of Inter-basin Water Transfers under a Changing Climate
Co-I (USAID/NSF): Establishing a collaborative assessment of the impacts of climate change on the hydrological regime of the Langtang River Basin, central Nepal
PI (NASA): Using Remote Sensing and Physically-Based Hydrologic Models to Assess the Contribution of Snow and Ice Melt to the Major Rivers of High Asia (12-EARTH12F-270) to the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program
Rory Cowie, PhD 2014 Surface-groundwater interactions in mountain catchments. Currently, post-doc with Noah Molotch's group at CU-Boulder.
Katya Hafich, MA 2014. Biogeochemical cycling at high elevations. Currently working with the Office of University Outreach, her dream job.
Morgan Zeliff, MA 2013. Mountain groundwater. Currently a Senior Manager at Center for ReSource Conservation in Boulder CO. Her name is now Morgan Shimabuku.
Adina Racoviteanu, PhD 2011 Glacial hydrology in the Himalaya's.
Currently, Post Doc at LGGE, Grenoble France.
Jennifer Petrzelka, MA 2011 Snow response to climate change.
Currently, hydrologist for the city of Greeley.
Adrianne Kroepsch, MA 2011 Hydrology of coalbed methane deposits. Currently a PhD student with Patty Limerick at CU-Boulder.
Rory Cowie, MA 2010 Surface-groundwater interactions in mountain catchments. Currently, post-doc with Noah Molotch's group at CU-Boulder.
Jordan Parman, MA 2010 Water chemistry of mountain streams along an elevational gradient, Colorado Front Range. Currently, Water quality technician, Denver Metro Waste Water.
Ashley Nielson, MA 2008 Hydrology of an alpine wetland. Currently: Hydrologist for the National Weather Service at the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center in Salt Lake.
Leora Nanus, PhD 2008 Sensitivity criteria for
atmospheric pollution to lakes in the National Parks
of the Rocky Mountains. Currently: Assistant Professor, San Francisco State College
Ken Hill, MA 2007 Ken is now working with the National Park Service in Alaska. He works with the Inventory and Monitoring program in 8 parks (Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, etc).
Daniel Cordalis, MA 2007 Hydrology of an acid mine site. Currently: PhD student.
Tyler Erickson, PhD 2005 Spatial distribution of snow. Currently: Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Michigan Technological University
Kim Raby, MA 2005 Use of Water Quality Data for Land Management Decisions: A Case Study in San Juan County, CO. Currently: Environmental Scientist/Hydrologist for New Fields LLC in Boulder
Fengjing Liu, PhD 2004 Surface/groundwater interactions. Currently: new Assistant Professor, University of Missouri
Meredith Knauf, MA 2004 Hydrochemistry of rock glaciers. Currently: environmental scientist, Trihydro Engineering, Laramie, Wyoming.
Adina Racoviteanu, MA 2004.
Sacred mountains. Currently: PhD student.
Eran Hood, PhD 2002 watershed biogeochemistry. Currently: Associate Professor, University of Alaska Southeast
- Andreas Torrizo, MA 2002, hydrogeologist, Ross Environmental Associates, Inc., 36 Stowe, VT.
- Dave Manthorne, MA 2002, hydrologist, USGS
Tom Davinroy, PhD 2000 Hydrology and biogeochemistry of talus fields. Currently: Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Jennifer Hazen (Peers), MA 2000 Hydrology of an acid mine drainage site. Currently: Managing Scientist, Stratus Consulting
Mark Rikkers, MA 1998 Meltwater flow through snow. Currently: executive director of the dZi Foundation, which partners with underserved communities in remote regions of the Himalaya to build sustainable locally-driven programs that improve quality of life through advancing education and health while reducing poverty. He is also a guide for Telluride Helitrax and does their avalanche forecasting.
Paul Brooks, PhD 1995 microbes under snow. Currently: Associate Professor, University of Arizona
- George Ingersoll, MA 1994, Hydrologist, USGS.
Past Research Activity
Mary Murphy Mine: acid mine drainage
Glaciers in the Andes
CENTRAL ASIA CLIMATE DATABASE
Protection of Telluride headwaters
Snow/Elk interactions, Yellowstone