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Sara L. Rathburn, PhD.


Associate Professor Geosciences

Contact Info

Phone: (970) 491-6956   Office: Natural Resources 312

Email:   Lab:


Areas of Interest

 Channel response to sediment loadingChannel restorationEnvironmental flowsLandslide mappingSediment transport


Sara is a fluvial and hillslope geomorphologist focusing on mountainous basins. She received her Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 2001, and her M.S. in 1989 from the University of Arizona. With her graduate students, Sara studies channel response to sediment loading from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, and channel restoration within fluvial systems affected by sediment influxes from wildfire, debris flows, and floods. Sara is also working on large, glacial-fed braided rivers to understand the effects of climatic warming on sediment connectivity, geologic mapping of landslide-prone areas, and understanding the geomorphologic controls on establishment of floodplain forests. Finally, Sara is interested in geoscience education, especially watershed literacy for non-science majors, and research experience for undergraduates.