Paul Hanson

Paul Hanson

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Expertise & Interests
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Title Associate Director
Address 904 Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
68583-0989
Phone 402-472-7762
FAX 402-472-2946
E-mail phanson2@unl.edu
Vitae Download file

Hi, I'm Paul Hanson, and I'm the associate director of the School of Natural Resources. I am also an assistant professor in SNR. I'm associated with the geography/GIScience faculty and the geology and soils faculty.

Paul Hanson sampling a Wisconsin River terrace fill for optical dating.
Paul Hanson sampling a Wisconsin River terrace fill for optical dating.

My main research interests are studying the responses of river, hillslope, and eolian (wind-deposited) systems to climate change. My research goals include studying the evolution of the Platte River system, the responses of rivers and dune systems to climate change in the recent past, and the causes for stream incision on the western Great Plains and the central Rocky Mountains.

For much of this work, I use optical dating techniques (aka "Optically Stimulated Luminescence," a relatively new dating technique that is used for recently deposited geological materials) to construct chronologies of river, dune, and hillslope sediments. These studies are important for identifying the long-term climatic conditions in Nebraska, particularly concerning the nature of drought events and changes in flood magnitudes in the region.

Other aspects of my research involve producing surficial geologic maps, and studying groundwater resources in eastern Nebraska. These kinds of studies are important to achieve a better understanding of our groundwater and other geological resources that are of economic importance in Nebraska.

I teach courses in physical geography and lead natural resource field trip courses to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota and Big Bend National Park in Texas.

Selected Publications

Divine, D.P., Joeckel, R.M., Korus, J.T., Hanson, P.R., Olafsen Lackey, S., 2009, Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA): Introduction to a Hydrogeologic Study, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Conservation and Survey Division Bulletin 1 (New Series), 32 p.
Hanson, P.R., Joeckel, R.M., Young, A.R., Horn, J., 2009, Late Holocene Dune Activity in the Eastern Platte River Valley, Nebraska, Geomorphology 103, 555-561.
Mason, J.A., Miao, X., Hanson, P.R., Johnson, W.C., Jacobs, P.M., Goble, R.J., 2008, Loess record of the last Glacial-Interglacial transition on the northern and central Great Plains, Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 1772-1783.
Miao, X., Mason, J.A., Swinehart, J.B., Loope, D.B., Hanson, P.R., Goble, R.J., Liu, X., 2007, A 10,000-year record of dune activity, dust storms, and drought in the central Great Plains, Geology 35, 119-122.
Rawling, J.E., III, Hanson, P.R., Young, A.R., Attig, J.W., 2008, Late Pleistocene dune construction in the Central Sand Plain of Wisconsin, USA, Geomorphology 100, 494-505.
Hanson, P.R., Mason, J.A. and Goble, R.J., 2006, The formation of fluvial terraces along Wyoming's Laramie Range as a response to late Pleistocene flooding events. Geomorphology 76, 12-25.
Hanson, P.R., Mason, J.A. and Goble, R.J., 2006, The formation of fluvial terraces along Wyoming's Laramie Range as a response to late Pleistocene flooding events. Geomorphology 76, 12-25.
Miao, X., Mason, J.A., Goble, R.J. and Hanson, P.R. 2005. Loess-inferred dry climate and eolian activity in the early to mid-Holocene, central Great Plains, North America. The Holocene 15, 339-346.
Miao, X., Mason, J.A., Goble, R.J. and Hanson, P.R. 2005. Loess-inferred dry climate and eolian activity in the early to mid-Holocene, central Great Plains, North America. The Holocene 15, 339-346.
Hanson, P.R., Mason, J.A. and Goble, R.J. 2004. Episodic late Quaternary slope wash deposition as recorded in colluvial aprons, southeastern Wyoming. Quaternary Science Reviews 23, 1835-1846.
Mason, J.A., Jacobs, P.M., Hanson, P.R., Miao, X. and Goble, R.J. 2003. Sources and paleoclimatic significance of Holocene Bignell Loess, central Great Plains, U.S.A. Quaternary Research 60, 330-339.

Educational Background

  • BA - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology (1994)
  • MS - University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Geosciences (2003)
  • PhD - University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Geosciences (2005)

SNR Mission Area(s)

  • Environmental Science
  • Geography and Spatial Science

Affiliations (index)

Notable Websites

Other Areas of Interest

Regional Cenozoic sedimentology and stratigraphy, surficial processes, climate change and landscape evolution, evolution of hillslope, eolian, and fluvial systems, Quaternary geology, Quaternary geochronology, optical dating, soil geomorphology, geoarchaeology, Cenozoic paleoclimatology.

SNR Areas of Expertise

Keyword Expert Level

10 - Top Expert
1 - Mild Interest

Sand

9

Geographic Information System (GIS)

8

Mapping, Cartography

7

Select a keyword and see other SNR faculty and staff with this interest or expertise.

Undergraduate Majors Bachelor of Science in
  • Environmental Restoration Science
  • Geography

Bachelor of Arts in
  • Geography
Graduate Program(s)

Master of Arts in Geography

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography

Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences

Courses Taught
Course Number Course Title Fall Even Years Fall Odd Years Spring Even Years Spring Odd Years Summer Session Cross Listing
GEOG 412 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems X X X X GEOG/NRES 412/812
GEOG 491 Geography Field Tour GEOG 491/891; NRES 491
GEOG 812 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems X X X X GEOG/NRES 412/812
GEOG 891 Geography Field Tour GEOG 491/891; NRES 491
GEOG 902 General Seminar X X X X n/a
NRES 412 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems X X X X GEOG/NRES 412/812
NRES 477 Great Plains Field Pedology X X AGRO 477/877, GEOG/NRES 467/867
NRES 491 Geography Field Tour GEOG 491/891; NRES 491
NRES 812 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems X X X X GEOG/NRES 412/812
NRES 877 Great Plains Field Pedology X X AGRO 477/877, GEOG/NRES 467/867