As geologists, we have greatly advanced our understanding of how the Earth has evolved over the past 4.5 Ga.  Now, with the emergence of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other technology (GPS, seismology, low temperature thermochonology), it is possible to examine recent deformation of the Earth's surface.  

Studies of the topography are important because they aid in our understanding of landscape evolution, allowing us to learn how mountains are built and then torn down over time.  Our understanding of how surface processes sculpt the landscape could help us identify active faults and improve the mitigation of geologic hazards such as landslides and earthquakes.  Studies of the landscape may also improve our understanding of climate change, as climate and the topography interact with each other.

Mountain & climate interactions create afternoon storms at Grand Teton National Park 

My research assimilates geologic and geospatial information to understand the kinematic history, tectonic evolution, and active deformation of mountain belts around the world.  My analyses use GIS to dechipher the relationship between geomorphic, geologic, and geodetic measurements extracted from the Earth's surface.  GIS processing and analysis allow topographic changes in the landscape to be quantified over large regions and in detail, providing insight into the processes that drive mountain belt evolution.  Through my research I hope to aquire a better understanding of the feedbacks between climate, tectonics, and erosion and their role in landscape change.

You can find my recent publications, presentations, and information related to the classes I teach in the links above.  Enjoy and please feel free to contact me with questions at lsschlei@umd.edu.
canyon brontotheres
Left:  Me as a young geologist with my Mom on a trail in Canyon de Chelly, AZ
Center:  Examining river rocks near the AT and Max Patch on the North Carolina - Tennessee border
Right:  Standing in Brontotheres tracks near Tucson, AZ during the Arizona Field Methods class