Gifford Miller was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union for his "pioneering work in dating methods as well as his insights into Quaternary climates and the role of humans in ecological change." Fellowship is bestowed on no more than 0.1 percent of the total AGU membership of about 45,000 in any given year and recognizes scientists who have attained acknowledged eminence in the geophysical sciences.
Miller's primary research involves studying the geological record to evaluate the range of natural climate variability as a way to understand how Earth responds to climate changes as the result of ice ages. He has combined field observations with geochronological dating techniques in his research, with emphasis on the past 150,000 years--one complete glacial-interglacial cycle of Earth.
His interests include the timing and mechanisms of ice-sheet growth and decay in the Canadian and European Arctic and the interactions of ice sheets, oceans and the atmosphere during the last deglaciation. Miller also has developed new dating tools involving carbonate fossils as a way to date geological and archaeological events, and he has studied the impacts of human colonization on the megafauna of Australia and Madagascar.
Previous AGU fellows at INSTAAR have included Robert Anderson, John Andrews, and Mark Meier.