Nelson Ham

Professor of Geology and Environmental Science

B.A., Augustana College 
M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Programs: Geology, Environmental Science

My teaching and research interests are in the area of surface processes:
  • How do things like rivers and glaciers change the shape of the Earth’s surface?
  • How are they connected to climate change?

I regularly teach introductory geology, hydrogeology and geomorphology. But, I have also taught courses about the geology of Wisconsin, environmental geology and glacial geology. My research projects over the past two decades have focused on modern and ancient glacier processes.

I have made 7 summer trips to study the Burroughs and Matanuska Glaciers in Alaska, and have also conducted geologic mapping projects in Wisconsin with scientists from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. A major objective of this work has been to reconstruct the glacial history of Wisconsin during the last Ice Age and to understand how the landscape of our state was formed by glacial processes.

I’m interested in interdisciplinary teaching and research, especially focusing on important relationships among geology, biology/ecology and chemistry.

Courses
ENVS 300 Environmental Science 
GEOL 105 Geology 
GEOL 225 Hydrogeology 
GEOL 250 Geomorphology