Earth and Environmental Sciences
I’m an Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Science and a Principal Senior Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt University. As an associate dean, I have oversight of the College Scholars Program, Honors Scholarships, Departmental Honors programs, serve as the Arts and Science liaison with Undergraduate Admissions, and counsel undergraduate students in a whole range of issues. I also have the pleasure of being the faculty head of Memorial House, which means my family and I live in an apartment in the house, where about 80 first-year students live. This is all part of the Martha Rivers Ingram Commonsfirst-year living-learning environment. Additionally, I serve as a faculty VUceptor for first-year students.
I am a geomorphologist, and my research is primarily on glacial geology. I like to say that I ask fairly simple questions about glaciers, like, "Where did they used to be?" "When were they there?" and "How did they get there?" To answer these questions, I utilize a variety of geochronologic techniques, including exposure dating with cosmogenic nuclides (such as 10Be, 26Al, and 21Ne) and lichenometry, to study questions about the timing of glaciations and the rates at which geomorphic processes occur. My work involves a balance of field-based studies in alpine areas and Antarctica, laboratory analysis, and numerical modeling. Increasingly, I am using additional geochemical techniques such as Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) and U-Pb ages of detrital zircons in glacial tills to look at the provenance of tills and the flow patterns glaciers through time.
More information about my jobs, my teaching, and my research is available here: https://my.vanderbilt.edu/danmorgan/
Website Content Contributions
Glacier Flow Model and Introduction to Monte Carlo Methods part of Teaching Computation with MATLAB:MATLAB Workshop 2019:Activities
The goal of this assignment is for students to recognize that adding some randomization and "noise" to a model yields different results each time we run the model, and we can pull some useful statistics ...
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Ocean Circulation part of Oceanography:Activities
Laboratory exercise to explore water density, surface ocean currents, and ocean circulation
Mohr Circles part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Activities
This lab will give students practice plotting Mohr circles, interpreting experimental data for creating new fractures and pre-existing cracks, and how pore-pressure and earthquakes affect materials.
Oceanography Laboratory part of Oceanography:Courses
Laboratory section for an introductory level oceanography course.
Structural Geology part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Courses
This course addresses many topics about how rocks break and deform, for which I try to emphasize applications to earthquakes, hydraulic fracturing, hydrocarbon extraction, and landscape evolution.
Teaching from multiple perspectives part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Essays
Daniel Jones Morgan, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University Teaching from multiple perspectives "Like most North Americans of his generation, Hal tends to know way less about why he feels ...
Other Contributions (2)
The degradation of glacial deposits in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica part of Vignettes:Vignette Collection
Surface deposits such as glacial moraines and tills can yield significant information about the timing, extent, and rate of environmental change on Earth. In order to correctly interpret the record of past ...
Slow erosion without creep in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica part of Vignettes:Vignette Collection
Quantifying erosion rates is central to understanding how landscapes evolve through time and for discerning the links between landforms and the processes that shape them. The alpine valleys of the McMurdo Dry ...