Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Dorothy J. Merritts

Dr. Dorothy J. Merritts

Department of Earth and Environment
Franklin and Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003
(717)291-4133 (office phone)
(717)291-4186 (office fax)

www.fandm.edu/dorothy-merritts

Biographical Summary

Dorothy Merritts (B.Sc. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, M.Sc. Stanford University, Ph.D. University of Arizona) is a geologist with expertise in streams, rivers, and other landforms, and on the impact of  geologic processes and human activities on the form and history of Earth's surface.  In the western United States, she conducted research on the San Andreas fault of coastal California, and her international work focuses on fault movements in South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, and Costa Rica. Her primary research in the eastern United States is in the Appalachian Piedmont, particularly in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, where she is investigating the role of human activities in transforming the upland woodlands and valley bottom wetland meadows of Eastern North America to a predominantly agricultural and mixed-industrial/urban landscape since European settlement.  She is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  In 2004-2005 she was the Flora Stone Mather Visiting Distinguished Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 2011-2012 she was appointed the Cox Visiting Professor at Stanford University.  She is the author of two textbooks and more than 50 scientific articles, and the editor and contributing author for numerous scientific books.

Education

Ph.D. | University of Arizona | June 1987 | Geology
Concentrations in geomorphology, tectonics, hydrology, and soils
Dissertation: Geomorphic response to surface uplift, northern San Andreas fault, California
National Science Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

M.S. | Stanford University, CA | June 1983 | Engineering Geology
Concentrations: Earthquake and landslide hazards, groundwater hydrology, and soil mechanics
Thesis: Alluvial fan development at a fault-bounded mountain front, Panamint Valley, CA

B.S. | Indiana University of PA | June 1980 | Geology
Concentrations: Impacts of coal surface mining, mathematics, and geochemistry

W. A. Tarr Award for Outstanding Senior Graduate, June 1980
Honors Thesis: Estimating surface-water runoff with the Universal Soil Loss Equation for strip-mined land reclamation design

Professional Employment (Since 1980)

  • Cox Visiting Professor, Stanford University, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, 94305-2210
  • Flora Stone Mather Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Dept of Geological Sciences, Cleveland, OH, 2004-2005
  • Scientific Advisor, Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, Active faulting, seismic hazards, and nuclear power development, 1999-present (7 trips to South Korea).
  • Chairperson, Environmental Studies Program, Franklin & Marshall (F&M) College, 1996 to 1998, 2001 to 2002, 2006-2011
  • Full Professor, Geosciences Department, F&M College, from 1987 to present (promoted from Assistant to Associate in 1993, and from Associate to Full in 2000)
  • Research assistant, USGS, 1981-1987, Western Regional and Earthquake Hazards, Menlo Park, CA
  • Chief Geologist, North Fork Yuba River Gold Mining, CA, 1981

Publications

Books and Edited Volumes

National Research Council Committee on Challenges and Opportunities in Earth Surface Processes (Chair of committee), 2010, Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth's Surface:  The National Academies Press, ISBN-10: 0-309-14024-2; ISBN-13: 978-0-309-14024-9 http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12700&page=1

Merritts, Dorothy, de Wet, Andrew, and Menking, Kirsten, 1998, Environmental Geology:  An Earth System Science Approach:  W. H. Freeman and Co., New York, NY, 399 pages. oclc:36969747

Merritts, Dorothy, 1998, Teacher’s Manual for Environmental Geology: An Earth System Science Approach:  W. H. Freeman and Co., New York, NY, 166 pages.

National Research Council Committee on Undergraduate Science Education Panel (Merritts member/writer), 1998, Science Teaching Reconsidered:  A Handbook: National Academy of Sciences Press, 185 p. oclc:36179039 and http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=5287

Committee on Alluvial Fan Flooding (including Merritts and other members of the National Research Council panel), 1996, Alluvial fan flooding:  National Academy Press, 172 pages. oclc:35902273 and http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=5364

Ellis, Michael, and Merritts, Dorothy, editors, 1994, Tectonics and Topography, Special Section, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 99 (published as separate volume with 24 edited articles).

Journal Articles and Chapters in Edited Volumes

Walter, Robert, Kratz, Laura*, Merritts, Dorothy, Rahnis, Michael, and Cassel, Elizabeth 2012 (invited review paper in preparation), Unrecognized anthropogenic base-level controls on streams from historic dam breaching:  Sedimentary Geology.

Merritts, Dorothy, Rahnis, Michael, Walter, Robert, Hartranft, Jeff, Cox, Scott, Scheid, Chris*, Potter, Noel*, Jenschke, Matthew*, Reed, Austin*, Matuszewski, Derek*, Kratz, Laura*, Manion, Lauren*, Shilling, Andrea*, Datin, Katherine*, 2011 (in press), The rise and fall of Mid-Atlantic streams: Millpond sedimentation, milldam breaching, channel incision, and stream bank erosion:  Reviews in Engineering Geology, special issue on “The Challenges of Dam Removal and River Restorations”, editors Jerome V. DeGraff and James E. Evans.

Hartranft, Jeffrey, Merritts, Dorothy, Walter, Robert, Rahnis, Michael, 2011, The Big Spring Run restoration experiment:  Policy, geomorphology, and aquatic ecosystems in the Big Spring Run watershed, Lancaster County, PA:  Sustain: A Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Issues:  Issue 24, p. 24-30. http://louisville.edu/kiesd/sustain-magazine

Merritts, Dorothy, Walter, Robert, Rahnis, Michael, Hartranft, Jeff, Cox, Scott, Gellis, Allen, Potter, Noel, Hilgartner, William, Langland, Michael, Manion, Lauren*, Lippincott, Caitlin*, Siddiqui, Sauleh*, Rehman, Zain*, Scheid, Chris*, Kratz, Laura*, Shilling, Andrea*, Jenschke, Matthew*, Reed, Austin*, Matuszewski, Derek*, Voli, Mark*, Datin, Katherine*, Ohlson, Erik*, Neugebauer, Ali*, Ahamed, Aakash*, Neal, Conor*, Winter, Allison*, and Becker, Steven*, 2011, Anthropocene streams and base-level controls from historic dams in the unglaciated mid-Atlantic region, USA:  Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, v. 369, p. 1–34. (One contribution of 13 to a Theme Issue ‘The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?’)  http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1938.toc

Merritts, Dorothy, Walter, Robert, and Rahnis, Michael, 2010, Water-powered Milling and Its Legacy as a Source of Suspended Sediment to the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay:  Feature article in Susquehanna River Basin Commission Report State of the Susquehanna 2010: http://www.srbc.net/stateofsusq/documents/LegacySedimentsFeatureArticle.PDF

Voli, Mark, Merritts, D., Walter, R., Ohlson, E., Datin, K., Rahnis, M., Kratz, L., Deng, W., Hilgartner, W., and Hartranft, J., 2009, Preliminary reconstruction of a Pre-European Settlement Valley Bottom Wetland, Southeastern Pennsylvania. Water Resources Impact, v. 11, no. 5, p. 11-13. http://www.awra.org/impact/issues/0909imp_toc.pdf

Litchfield, Nicola, Ota, Yoko, and Merritts, Dorothy, 2009, Tectonic Uplift and Subsidence (Chapter 7), in Volcanism, Tectonism, and Siting Nuclear Facilities:  Cambridge University Press, edited by Connor, C., Connor, L., and Chapman, N., p. 116-141. http://ebooks.cambridge.org/popups/pdf_viewer.jsf?cid=CBO9780511635380A012&ref=false&pubCode=CUP

Walter, Robert and Merritts, Dorothy, Natural streams and the legacy of water-powered milling: Science v. 319, no. 5861, p. 299-304. doi:10.1126/science.1151716

Choi, S.-J., D. J. Merritts, and Y. Ota (2008), Elevations and ages of marine terraces and late Quaternary rock uplift in southeastern Korea, J. Geophys. Res., 113, B10403.  doi:10.1029/2007JB005260 http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007JB005260

Wohl, Ellen, and Merritts, Dorothy, 2007, What is a natural river? Geography Compass, v. 1, no. 4, p. 871-900, Blackwell Publishing. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2007.00049.x

Merritts, Dorothy, 2007, Fluvial environments:  Terrace sequences:in Elias, Scott (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, p. 694-704. oclc:70178107

Thomas W. Gardner, John Webb, Aaron G. Davis, Elizabeth J. Cassell, Claudia Pezzia, Dorothy J. Merritts, and Barton Smith, 2006, Late Pleistocene landscape response to climate change: Eolian and alluvial fan deposition, Cape Liptrap, southeastern Victoria, Australia: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 25, no. 13-14, p. 1552-1569. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2005.12.003

Savoy, Lauret, Merritts, Dorothy, Griggs, Gary, and Rust, Derek, 2005, The Northern California Coast: Oregon Border to Point Delgada, Chapter 9 in Living with the Changing California Coast, edited by Gary Griggs and Kiki Runyan: University of California Press. pp. 163-191. oclc:57392670

Merritts, Dorothy, Savoy, Lauret, Griggs, Gary, Walker, Robert, 2005, The Northern Coast of California: Point Delgada to Point Arena, Chapter 10 in Living with the Changing California Coast, edited by Gary Griggs and Kiki Runyan: University of California Press. pp. 192-203. oclc:57392670

Savoy, Lauret, Merritts, Dorothy, Grove, Karen, and Walker, Robert, 2005, The Northern Coast of California: Point Arena to San Francisco, Chapter 11 in Living with the Changing California Coast, edited by Gary Griggs and Kiki Runyan: University of California Press. pp. 204-221. oclc:57392670

Snyder, Noah P., Whipple, Kelin X., Tucker, Greg E., and Merritts, Dorothy J., 2003, Channel response to tectonic forcing:  Field analysis of stream morphology and hydrology in the Mendocino triple junction region, northern California: Geomorphology, v. 53, p. 97-127. doi:10.1016/s0169-555x(02)00349-5

Snyder, Noah P., Whipple, Kelin X., Tucker, Greg E., and Merritts, Dorothy J., 2003, Importance of a stochastic distribution of floods and erosion thresholds in the bedrock river incision problem: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 108, B2, p. 2117-2132. doi:10.1029/2001jb001655

Snyder, Noah P., Whipple, Kelin X., Tucker, Greg E., and Merritts, Dorothy J., 2002, Interactions between onshore bedrock-channel incision and nearshore wave-base erosion forced by eustasty and tectonics: Basin Research, v. 14, p. 105-127. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2117.2002.00169.x

Gardner, Thomas, Marshall, Jeffrey, Merritts, Dorothy, Bee, Bhavani, Burgette, Reed, Burton, Emily, Cooke, Jennifer, Kehrwald, Natalie, Protti, Marino, Fisher, Donald, and Sak, Peter, 2001, Holocene forearc block rotation in response to seamount subduction, southeastern Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica: Geology (Boulder), v. 29, no. 2, p. 151-154. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2001)029<0151:HFBRIR>2.0.CO;2

Merritts, Dorothy J., Bodin, Paul, Beutner, Edward, Prentice, Carol S., and Muller, Jordan, 2000, Active surface deformation in the Mendocino triple junction process zone:  in Bokelman, Gotz, and Kovach, Robert L. (editors), Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Tectonic Problems of the San Andreas Fault System, Stanford University Publications/Geological Sciences Volume XXI, September, 2000, pages 128-143. oclc:48011532 and http://pangea.stanford.edu/GP/sanandreas2000/index.html.

Merritts, Dorothy, 2000, The effects of variable river flow on human communities: in Wohl, Ellen E. (Editor), Inland Flood Hazards: Human, Riparian, and Aquatic Communities, Cambridge University Press, p. 271-290. oclc:42652759

Prentice, C.S. Langridge, R., and Merritts, D J., 2000, Paleoseismic and Quaternary tectonic studies of the San Andreas fault from Shelter Cove to Fort Ross, in: Bokelmann, G. and Kovach, R.L., eds.: Proceedings of the Third Conference on Tectonic Problems of the San Andreas System, Stanford University Publications, p.349-350. oclc:48011532 and http://pangea.stanford.edu/GP/sanandreas2000/index.html

Snyder, Noah P., Whipple, Kelin X., Tucker, Greg E., and Merritts, Dorothy J., 2000, Landscape response to tectonic forcing:  Digital elevation model analysis of stream profiles in the Mendocino triple junction region, northern California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 112, no. 8, pl. 1250-1263. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(2000)112<1250:LRTTFD>2.3.CO;2

Prentice, Carol S., Merritts, Dorothy J., Beutner, Edward, Bodin, Paul, Schill, Allison, and Muller, Jordan, 1999,  The northern San Andreas fault near Shelter Cove, California. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 111, n. 4, p. 512-523. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1999)111<0512:NSAFNS>2.3.CO;2

Pazzaglia, Frank J., Gardner, Thomas W., and Merritts, Dorothy J., 1998, Bedrock fluvial incision and longitudinal profile development over geologic time scales determined by fluvial terraces: in Rivers Over Rock: Fluvial Processes in Bedrock Channels, edited by Ellen Wohl, American Geophysical Union Geophysical Mongraph Series, no. 107, p. 207-235. oclc:39890460

Merritts, Dorothy, Eby, Rebecca, Harris, Ron, Edwards, R. Lawrence, and Cheng, Hai, 1998, Variable rates of late Quaternary surface uplift along the Banda Arc-Australian Plate collision zone: InStewart, I. S., and Vita-Finzi, C. (editors), Coastal Tectonics.  Geological Society, London, Special Publications, vol. 146, p. 213-224. oclc:40839033

Merritts, Dorothy, 1996, The Mendocino triple junction:  Active faults, paleoseismicity, and causes of rapid uplift: Journal of Geophysical Research (special issue on Paleoseismology), v. 99, no. B7, p. 14,031-14,050. doi:10.1029/95JB01816

Merritts, Dorothy, and Brustolon, Amy, 1995, The Mendocino triple junction:  Active faults, paleoseismicity, and causes of rapid uplift:  USGS Open-File Report on International Lithosphere Program-U. S. Geological Survey Workshop on Paleoseismology.

Merritts, Dorothy, and Tim Hesterberg, August, 1994, Stream networks and long-term surface uplift, New Madrid seismic zone:  Statistical and topographic modeling: Science, v. 265, p. 1081-1084. doi:10.1126/science.265.5175.1081

Merritts, Dorothy, and Ellis, Michael, 1994, Introduction to Special Issue on Tectonics and Topography, in Ellis, M. and Merritts, D., editors, Tectonics and Topography, Special Section Part I, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 99, no. B6, p. 12,135-12,141. doi:10.1029/94JB00810

Merritts, Dorothy, Vincent, Kirk, and Wohl, Ellen, July, 1994, Long river profiles, tectonism, and eustasy:  A guide to interpreting fluvial terraces: in Ellis, M. and Merritts, D., editors, Tectonics and Topography, Special Section Part II, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 99, no. B7, p. 14,031-14,050. doi:10.1029/94JB00857

Chadwick, Oliver, Kelly, Eugene, Merritts, Dorothy, and Amundson, R. G., 1994, Carbon dioxide consumption during soil development: Biogeochemistry, v.24, no. 3, p. 115-128. doi:10.1007/BF00003268

Merritts, Dorothy J., Chadwick, Oliver A., Hendricks, David M., Brimhall, George H., and Lewis, Christopher J., 1992, The mass balance of soil evolution on late Quaternary marine terraces, northern California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 104, p. 1476-1499. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1992)104<1456:TMBOSE>2.3.CO;2

Merritts, D. J., Chadwick, O. A., and Hendricks, D. M., 1991, Rates and processes of soil evolution on uplifted marine terraces, northern California: Geoderma, v. 51, p. 241-275. doi:10.1016/0016-7061(91)90073-3

Merritts, Dorothy, and Vincent, Kirk R., 1989, Geomorphic response of coastal streams to low, intermediate, and high rates of uplift, Mendocino triple junction region, northern California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 101, p. 1373-1388. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1989)101<1373:GROCST>2.3.CO;2

Merritts, D.J., and Bull, W. B., 1989, Interpreting Quaternary uplift rates at the Mendocino triple junction, northern California, from uplifted marine terraces: Geology, v. 17, p. 1020-1024. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1989)017<1020:IQURAT>2.3.CO;2

Field Guides, Short-Course Manuals, CD-ROMS, & Web Site Content

Merritts, Dorothy, Walter, Robert, Rahnis, Michael, and Heister, Kristina, 2006, Buried Holocene streams and legacy sediment:  Late Pleistocene to historical changes in stream form and process and implications for stream restoration, mid-Atlantic Piedmont region, 48 p; Annual Meeting Geological Society of America Field Trip. Available at http://edisk.fandm.edu/robert.walter/downloads.html.

Pazzaglia, F. J., Braun, D. D., Pavich, M., Bierman, P., Potter, N. Jr., Merritts, D., Walter, R., and Germanoski, D., 2006, Rivers, glaciers, landscape evolution, and active tectonics of the central Appalachians, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, in Pazzaglia, F. J., ed., Excursions in Geology and History:  Field Trips in the Middle Atlantic States:  Geological Society of America Field Guide 8, p. 169-197. doi:10.1130/2006.fld008(09)

Merritts, Dorothy, and Walter, Robert, October 2004, Fields and Streams:  Landscape, Land Use, and Erosion in Lancaster County, PA:  Bonchek Policy Workshop and Field Trip, Franklin and Marshall College, 15 p.

Merritts, Dorothy (editor), with contributions from Paul Bierman, Clark, Robert, Andrew DeWet, Allen Gellis, Michael Langland, Lauren Manion, Mark Metzler, Thomas Moreland, Milan Pavich, Frank Pazzaglia, Luke Reusser, Joanna Reuter, Dan Synoracki, and Robert Walter, 2003, Channeling through time:  Landscape evolution, land-use change, and stream restoration in the Lower Susquehanna River Basin, Pennsylvania:  Southeastern Friends of the Pleistocene Field Trip Guidebook, October 17-19, 2003, 84 p.

Muhs, Daniel, Prentice, Carol, and Merritts, Dorothy J., 2003, Marine terraces, sea level history and Quaternary tectonics of the San Andreas fault on the coast of California, in Easterbrook, D., ed., Quaternary Geology of the United States, INQUA 2003 Meeting, Field Guide, p. 1-22. oclc:53033144

Merritts, Dorothy, and Burgmann, Roland, 2001, Tectonics and Topography:  Crustal Deformation, Surface Processes, and Landforms: Geological Society of America Short Course Manual, Annual Meeting, 66 p., with CD global tectonics image gallery and Matlab code for tectonic/landscape modeling.

Merritts, Dorothy, and Rahnis, Michael, 2001, Tectonics and topography:  Images and computer modeling:  GSA Annual Meeting Workshop in Structural Geology and Tectonics Division, CD with ~100 landscape photos, digital maps, and other electronic images, as well as 4 computer programs, two developed by Merritts for the CD to accompany the GSA workshop.  The CD has been distributed widely since the conference, and was not limited to participants at the GSA workshop.

Extended Abstracts, Book Reviews, and USGS Open-File Reports

Merritts, Dorothy J., Prentice, Carol S., Bodin, Paul, and Muller, Jordan, 2001, Active surface deformation in the Mendocino triple junction process zone:  in Proceedings volume, International Lithosphere Program, Paleoseismology Section, "Ten Years of Paleoseismology" Conference, New Zealand. (3-page abstract)

Hesterberg, Tim C., Stanford, Derek C., and Merritts, Dorothy J., 2001, Tectonic deformation estimation using stream gradients: Nonparametric function estimation from difference data using splines and conjugate gradients (9 pages): Computing Science and Statistics, Volume 33 (CD-ROM), Proceedings of Interface 2000, Interface Foundation of North America.

Merritts, Dorothy, 2000, The Mendocino triple junction:  Active faults, episodic emergence, and rapid uplift:  Extended abstract in Proceedings of the Geological Society of America Penrose Conference, Great Cascadia Earthquake Tricentennial, p. 64-65.

Merritts, Dorothy J., 2000, Review of "Introduction to Geomorphology" by Frank Ahnert:  EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, v. 81, no. 40, p. 463. doi:10.1029/00EO00343 [Book review solicited by editor of EOS.]

Professional Activities (Since 1990)

Conference/Workshop Leader or Participant

  • Workshop leader with co-leader Chris Paola (University of Minnesota) on intersections of Earth surface process science and NSF's SEES (Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability) initiative.  Workshop white paper https://netfiles.umn.edu/xythoswfs/webui/_xy-19935902_1-t_cLewUwlG

  • Workshop leader and organizer with Dr. Noah Snyder (Boston College), NCALM (http://www.ncalm.cive.uh.edu/), and others, New tools in process-based analysis of lidar topographic data, University of Colorado, Boulder, June 2010 (National Science Foundation funding). Workshop report http://www.opentopography.org/index.php/resources/short_courses/lidar2_2010

  • Workshop leader and organize, with Dr. George Hilley (Stanford University), NCALM (http://www.ncalm.cive.uh.edu/), and others, June 2008, High-resolution topographic analysis with lidar, University of Colorado, Boulder (National Science Foundation funding).  Workshop report http://opentopo.sdsc.edu/docs/NCALM_workshop%20report_June2008.pdf

  • Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference 2007, invited speaker for session on dam removal

  • Field trip leader and co-leader, Annual meeting Geological Society of America, Fall 2006
  • Pardee Symposium on Erosion Co-Chair, Fall Annual Geological Society of America meeting, 2006
  • Co-Leader and Organizer, Boncek Policy Workshop on Sources of Sediment to the Chesapeake Bay, Sep 9-10, 2005
  • Invited speaker and Panel Chair, Nuclear Power Development and Geologic Hazards in Southeastern Asia, Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, October 16, 2004, Seoul, S. Korea
  • Field trip organizer and field guide editor, Southeastern Friends of the Pleistocene Field Trip, Lower Susquehanna River Basin, Pennsylvania, October 17-19, 2003
  • Field trip organizer and field guide co-author, International Quaternary Association Field Trip (Marine terraces and sea-level history along the San Andreas Fault), July 18-22, 2003
  • Workshop organizer and leader with Dr. Roland Burgmann (University of California at Berkeley), "Tectonics and Topography", Structure and Tectonics Program, Geological Society of America, October, 2001
  • Speaker, 3rd Conference on Tectonic Problems of the San Andreas Fault System, Stanford University, 2000
  • Invited speaker and session chair, National Academy of Sciences, 3rd Annual Chinese-American Frontiers of Science Symposium, session on Tectonics and Topography, October, 2000
  • Invited participant, Penrose Conference, Great Cascadia Earthquake Tricentennial, June, 2000
  • Invited Speaker, Mendocino Triple Junction Conference, USGS, Menlo Park, CA, April, 1997
  • Co-Convenor, Geological Society of America Session on Intraplate Tectonics and Topography, Fall, 1995
  • Co-Convenor, AGU Session, Geomorphic Constraints on Tectonic Processes, December, 1994
  • Invited participant, USGS-Inter-Union Commission on the Lithosphere Workshop on Paleoseismology, Marshall, CA, September 1994
  • Invited participant, Penrose Conference on Triple-Junction Interactions, April, 1994
  • Co-Convenor, Chapman Conference on Tectonics and Topography, August, 1992
  • Co-Convenor, Friends of the Pleistocene Field trip, Mendocino Triple Junction, June, 1992

Research Project Director or Co-Director

  • Keck Geology Consortium Undergraduate Project Director, Marine Terrace Deformation along the Northern San Andreas fault, CA, June-July, 2003
  • Keck Geology Consortium Undergraduate Research Faculty Member, Southeastern Australian Tectonics and Topography, field work completed in June-July 2002
  • Keck Geology Consortium Undergraduate Project Director, San Andreas fault at Point Arena, CA, July-August, 1999
  • Keck Undergraduate Research Faculty Member, Costa Rican Tectonics and Topography, field work completed in June-July 1998
  • Keck Undergraduate Research Faculty Member, Virginia Landscape Evolution, field work completed in June-July 1997
  • Keck Geology Consortium Undergraduate Project Director, Onshore Termination of the Northern San Andreas fault at Point Delgada, CA, June-July, 1995

Scientific Advisor, Organization Officer, and Proposal Panel Review Member

  • Chair, NSF External Site Visit Review Panel, National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics, June 2007
  • Committee member, NCALM (National Center for Air-borne Laser Swath Mapping), 2006-present
  • Co-chair, Chesapeake Bay  Tributary Strategy Steering Committee, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Jan 2006 to present
  • Panel review member, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, Northern San Andreas fault, August, 2005
  • Consultant to Korean Institute of Geology and Mining to investigate active faulting/marine terrace deformation in area of nuclear power plant construction; trips to S. Korea in February 2000; April 2003; November 2003; March 2004; March 2005; November 2005; January 2006; December 2006
  • Panel review member, U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, Pacific Northwest target area, June 1999
  • Panel review member for proposals for NSF Geosciences Directorate, May 1998
  • Appointment to Committee on Understanding Alluvial Fan Flooding, Water Science and Technology Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences (1994-1996)
  • Elected officer, Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division, Geological Society of America, 1994-98
  • Committee Member, International Geomorphological Union Committee on Tectonics and Surface Processes (1993-1998)
  • USGS National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program external grants New Madrid Seismic Zone panel member, 1993
  • American Geophysical Union Erosion and Sedimentation Committee member, 1990-1994

Science Education Activities

  • Invited panel member to 3-day colloquium on the role of science in the liberal arts, sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa and the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, Wabash College, Indiana, April 2003
  • Invited speaker and workshop leader, Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) Workshop:  Bringing the Earth into the Classroom -Using Data, Images, Models, and Problems, July 2000
  • Invited panel leader and speaker, NSF- and AGI-funded initiative to enact curricular reform of introductory Earth science courses nationwide, Trinity University, Fall, 1998
  • Invited panel member, AGU-NSF Spheres of Influence Committee/Workshop, December, 1996
  • Panel review member for proposals for National Science Foundation Education Division, July 1996
  • Appointed to Committee on Undergraduate Science Education, National Academy of Sciences, January, 1993 to 1998; committee writer of Science Teaching Reconsidered:  A Handbook

Editorial Positions

  • Associate Editor of Journal of Geophysical Research, Fall, 1994 to 1997
  • Associate Editor of special issue of Journal of Geophysical Research on Tectonics and Topography, published both as three issues and a separate volume in 1994

Colloquium and Seminar Talks (Since 2000)


Gilbert Club, Berkeley University (December 2011), National Cooperative Soil Survey Northeastern US Conference (June 2010); Indiana University of Pennsylvania (May 2010); Millersville State University Native Plants Society (June 2009); William Morris Davis Lecture at Boston College (May, 2008); University of Washington (May, 2008); Stanford University (February, 2008); PA Statewide Biologists’ Annual meeting at Stroud Water Research Center (October 2007); Williams College 5-College Consortium Lecture Series (September 2007); EPA Chesapeake Bay Water Resources Directors’ meeting (June 2007); EPA Chesapeake Bay Program (Sediment Subcommittee; Modeling Subcommittee; March 2007), University of Pennsylvania (January, 2007), PA DEP Watershed Keystone Seminar (July 2006), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (May 2006), University of California at Berkeley (April 2006), Johns Hopkins University (March 2006), PA Department of Environmental Protection (March 2006), Philadelphia Geological Society (Feb 2006), Virginia Stream Alliance (Jan 2006), EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Nutrient Subcommittee (Dec 2005), Lancaster County GIS Open House (November 2005), Lebanon and Lancaster County Conservation District Watershed Forum (October 2005), University of Delaware (Oct 2005), EPA Chesapeake Bay Program (Sept 2005), Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Committee (Sept 2005), PA Department ofEnvironmental Protection (DEP, July 2005), PA Chesapeake Bay Commission Members (Senators and Representatives, June, 2005), Johns Hopkins University (May, 2005), Ohio University (April, 2005), Wooster College (April, 2005), University of Vermont (February, 2005), Brigham Young University (February, 2005), Colorado State University (February, 2005), University of CA at Berkeley (December, 2004), Case Western Reserve University (September, 2004, and February, 2005), University of Minnesota (April, 2004), University of Vermont (February, 2004), Dartmouth University (February, 2004), Indiana University (November 2002); Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, New Zealand (August, 2002); Stanford University, May 2001; Lafayette College (April, 2001); Brown University (March, 2001); MIT (March, 2001); Brigham Young University (November 2000); Korean Institute of Geology and Mining (February 2000)...[not all listed]...Gilbert Club, Berkeley University (December 1986),

Honors and Professional Recognition

  • Cox Visiting Professor, Stanford University, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 2011-2012.

  • Geological Society of America, Kirk Bryan Award (Best Paper) to Walter, Robert C., and Dorothy Merritts, 2011, for "Natural streams and the legacy of water-powered mills", published in Science, 2008, v. 319, p. 299-304.  Citation and responses at http://www.geosociety.org/awards/11speeches/kirkbryan.htm

  • Bradley Dewey Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Franklin and Marshall College, 2010 http://thediplomat.fandm.edu/article/561

  • Chair, National Academy of Sciences Committee on Challenges and Opportunities in Earth Surface Processes, 2007-2010.  http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12700&page=1

  • Presenter, William Morris Davis lecture (2nd annual), Boston College, 2009:  “An unnatural river runs through it.”  Audio and slides available at  http://wilma.bc.edu/program/merritts/

  • Senate Resolution 283 (2008) The State of Pennsylvania Senate Resolution 283: “Whereas, Professor Walter’s and Professor Merritts” scientific skills, professionalism and ability to communicate this new information have provided invaluable assistance to this Commonwealth and its partners in understanding stream dynamics and integrating this knowledge into restoration efforts of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries…”. http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2007&sind=0&body=S&type=R&bn=283

  • Association of Women Geoscientists’ Outstanding Educator award, 2006
     
  • Flora Stone Mather Distinguished Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2004-2005
     
  • Distinguished lecturer, Vassar College, October, 1997
     
  • Nominee, Young Presidential Investigator Award, 1990
     
  • Dissertation fellowship, National Science Foundation, 1983-1987
     
  • W. A. Tarr Award for Outstanding Senior Graduate, 1980

Civic Activities as Scientist/Advisor

  • Co-Founder, Conestoga Watershed Consortium, June 2004-present
  • Board Member, Little Conestoga Watershed Alliance, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2000-present
  • Organizer and teacher, Looking to the Future, seminar series for high-school students and teachers in Lancaster County, PA, sponsored by the Hourglass Foundation, March-May 2004 (focus on soil formation, soil erosion, agriculture, and suburbanization in Lancaster County)
  • Organizer and teacher, Looking to the Future, seminar series for high-school students and teachers in Lancaster County, PA, sponsored by the Hourglass Foundation, March-May 2003 (focus on landscape evolution and land-use change)
  • Organizer and teacher, Looking to the Future, seminar series for high-school students and teachers in Lancaster County, PA, sponsored by the Hourglass Foundation, March-May 2002 (focus on water resources)
  • Pro-bono hydrologic analysis of groundwater flow in the Acopian Wetland Preserve, Pennsylvania, nesting habitat for the endangered bog turtle, The Nature Conservancy, 2001-2002
  • Pro-bono hydrologic analysis of sinkhole locations for Mt Nebo farmer, Lancaster County, 1993

External Department Reviews

  • Skidmore College, New York, May 2007
  • Mt Holyoke College, Massachusetts, May 2005
  • Colorado College, Department of Geology, February 2004
  • William Paterson University, New Jersey, Environmental Science Program, August 2002
  • City University of New York, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Winter 2001
  • Rutgers University at Newark, Department of Geological Sciences, Spring 2000

Funded Proposals (Not including internal F&M grants)

  • Walter, Robert, and Merritts, Dorothy, 2010-2012, Floodplain restoration and Sediment/Nutrient Load Reductions, US EPA & PA Department of Environmental Protection, $200,000.

  • Merritts, Dorothy, Walter, Robert, Mertzman, Stan, William, Chris, and Yoder, Claude (co-PIs), 2009-2011, National Science Foundation-Major Research Instrumentation Grant for the upgrade of existing XRF facilities and to purchase new analytical instruments, including XRD spectrometer, two gamma ray spectrometers, a laser particle analyzer, an x-ray particle analyzer, and a RTK GPS instrument ($545,000).

  • Walter, Robert, and Merritts, Dorothy (with M. Langland, D. Galeone, and A. Gellis, USGS), 2008-2010, Floodplain restoration and Sediment/Nutrient Load Reductions, PA Department of Environmental Protection, $513,750.

  • Merritts, Dorothy, and Walter, Robert, 2006-2008, Statewide (PA) stream bank erosion and nutrient loads from legacy sediments:  PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA), $200,000.

  • Walter, Robert, and Merritts, Dorothy, 2006-2008, Sources of sediment to the Chesapeake Bay:  Chesapeake Bay Commission, $110,000.

  • Merritts, Dorothy, and Walter, Robert, 2006-2008, Statewide (PA) stream bank erosion and nutrient loads from legacy sediments:  PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA), $200,000.

  • Walter, Robert, and Merritts, Dorothy, 2006-2008, Sources of sediment to the Chesapeake Bay:  Chesapeake Bay Commission, $110,000.
  • Walter, Robert, and Merritts, Dorothy, 2006-2008, Sources of sediment to the Chesapeake Bay:  PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA), $130,000.
  • Harris, Ron, Merritts, Dorothy, and Liu, Ming, 2003 (funded Jan 2004-Dec 2006), Three-dimensional deformation field of a nascent plate boundary, Sunda Arc, Indonesia:  National Science Foundation.  $53,135.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, and Gardner, Thomas, 2003-2004, Deformation along the Northern San Andreas Fault, CA: The William R. Keck Foundation,  $35,320.
  • Manduca, Cathy, Merritts, Dorothy, and Savina, Mary, 2002-2005, Integrating pedagogy, resources, and community interaction in the National Science Digital Library: Examples focused in the Geosciences, National Science Foundation, $625,000.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 2000-2002, Development of inquiry-based instructional video modules for faculty who teach introductory Earth Science courses:  National Science Foundation, $33,757.
  • Gardner, Thomas, Merritts, Dorothy, and Webb, John, 2002-2003, Late-Neogene and Quaternary tectonics and landscape evolution along the southeastern Australian passive margin, Cape Liptrap, Australia: The William R. Keck Foundation, $47,060.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 2000-2001, Venture Fund grant to develop computer models that illustrate and explain natural phenomena, including meandering of streams, flow of ocean currents, and rock slip that generates earthquakes: Franklin and Marshall College, $5000.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1998-2001, Processes of bedrock incision in rivers:  National Science Foundation, $77,296 (Collaborative with Dr. Kelin Whipple, MIT).
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1999-2001, Peer learning in the geosciences:  National Science Foundation, $98,000.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1999-2000, Distributed deformation and slip along the San Andreas fault, Fort Ross to Point Arena, CA: The William R. Keck Foundation,  $44,820.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, and De Wet, Andrew, 1998, Start-up grant to prepare introductory Earth systems science textbook: W. H. Freeman and Co., $13,500.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1995-1998, Distributed deformation at the Mendocino triple junction:  National Science Foundation, $45,000. (Collaborative with Dr. Paul Bodin, Center for Earthquake Research and Information, University of Memphis.)
  • Merritts, Dorothy, and Hesterberg, Tim, 1995-2000, Statistical estimates of uplift from stream gradients and other tectonically sensitive topographic features:  National Science Foundation, $70,000.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, Prentice, Carol, and Beutner, Edward, 1994-1995, The northern termination of the San Andreas fault:  Active faults, paleoseismicity, and rapid uplift:  U. S. G. S. National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, $52,248.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, and Beutner, Edward, 1995-1996, Quaternary deformation, northern San Andreas fault: The William R. Keck Foundation, $55,071.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, and Hesterberg, Tim, 1995-1996 Statistical identification and analysis of tectonically sensitive topographic features:  U. S. G. S. National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, $69,162.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1993-1995, Tectonic and surficial processes, Banda Arc collision zone:  Petroleum Research Fund, $25,000.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, and De Wet, Andrew, 1993, Start-up grant to prepare introductory Earth systems science textbook: W. H. Freeman and Co., $12,500.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, and Ellis, Michael, 1992, Tectonics and topography:  Topographic expression and interactions between crustal deformation and surficial processes.  A proposal funded by NASA for support for the American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference held in August 1992, $12,400. 
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1992, Patterns and rates of crustal deformation during late Holocene time, northern termination of the San Andreas transform boundary:  U. S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, $33,825.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1992, Indicators of surface deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone:  U. S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, $17,400.
  • Merritts, Dorothy, 1991, Climatic and tectonic variables controlling formation of fluvial terraces, coastal northern California:  National Science Foundation Continuation Grant, $7,500.
  • Sternberg, Robert, and Merritts, Dorothy, 1989, Geophysical exploration:  Near-surface applications to geology and archaeology:  National Science Foundation Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Grant, $64, 300 (1/2 is matching funds from Franklin and Marshall College).
  • Merritts, Dorothy, Wohl, Ellen, and Vincent, Kirk, 1989, Climatic and tectonic variables controlling formation of fluvial terraces, coastal northern California:  National Science Foundation Research at Undergraduate Institutions Grant, $93,500.