Irina Overeem (she/her)

Irina Overeem (she/her) CV

Associate Professor

  • Deputy Director, CSDMS



  • Ph.D.: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 2002
  • M.Sc.: Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1996
  • B.Sc.: Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1993

Contact Information

(Office) 303 492-6631
Sustainability Energy and Environment Complex
4001 Discovery Dr.
Boulder, CO 80303 USA
Department of Geological Sciences
2200 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80309
Office N246C


Earth surface process modeling; Coastal and river geomorphology; Sedimentary geology; Civil engineering and applied earth sciences.

Research Interests

Numerical modeling of river and coastal processes; Sedimentary systems; Polar regions


My long-term research goal is to develop predictive surface process models, which form a tool to quantify responses of the Earth system to changing environmental conditions. I have a keen interest in using field studies to critically assess model performance. I have special interest and concern for remote and pristine regions of the world. The fact that global changes are amplified in high-latitude stresses the importance of working in these regions for a global understanding of the changing environment. Current research projects involve sedimentary processes in fjord environments, and floodplain sedimentation. I have interest in Greenlandic rivers and their response to Greenland Ice Sheet melt, and in Arctic coastal erosion mostly applied to the Beaufort Sea coast.

Additionally, I am the Deputy Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS), where our team promotes the modeling of surface processes by developing, supporting, and disseminating integrated software modules that predict fluxes of water, sediment and nutrients in landscapes and their sedimentary basins. I am most involved in the ‘Coastal’ and ‘Education and Knowledge Transfer’ Working Groups.


  • Science Communication Fellowship, University of Colorado, 2015
  • National Oceanographic Partnership Program Award, NOPP, 2010
  • Outstanding Student Award, Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude, The Netherlands, 1996
  • Tropenfonds , Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1994
Photo Gallery




All publications by Irina Overeem (she/her) >


Teaching Statement

I have always greatly enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for the Earth Sciences. As a teacher I want to inspire, provide opportunities and empower. I see science as a process that highlights questioning, discovery, challenge, and synthesis towards solution. For me, science and engineering is all about investigating the world around oneself, and drawing conclusions based on a combination of collected data, hypotheses, and thorough analysis. If that can happen in the field, all for the better! I strive to pass along an exciting view of science, as well as a firm footing in methodologies and quantitative reasoning.

I am always interested in engaging with students who are looking into graduate research. Work in my growing group of sedimentary process modelers investigates sediment fluxes from Greenland, river and delta permafrost dynamics in Alaska and sedimentation rates in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh. 
These projects provide opportunities for new exciting new sedimentology and river/delta science topics, with a combination of fieldwork and modeling.
Please feel free to email me for more information! 


Excursion on Fluvial Sedimentology in Spain

Sandbox experiments to teach about the effects of vegetation on river deposition

Collaboration with local engineering organizations on coastal sustainability of Bangladesh

Training in Field Methods can get muddy in deltas


Current Courses

  • GEOL 1010: Exploring Earth This class investigates the processes operating on and below Earth’s surface, the composition of the Earth, and the resulting features of landscapes, natural hazards, and earth materials & resources.
  • GEOL4700-023: Sedimentary Systems Modeling Class that sweeps though theory of sediment transport, morphodynamics and source to sink sedimentary systems. Modeling labs run existing river and coastal models and teach skills in Python.
  • GEOL5700-023: Sedimentary Systems Modeling Class that sweeps though theory of sediment transport, morphodynamics and source to sink sedimentary systems. Modeling labs run existing river and coastal models and teach skills in Python.
  • GEOL5702: Geomorphology Seminar Explores the dynamics and forms of the earth's surface through critical reading and discussion of both classical and modern literature. Weekly, we will choose two papers to read and discuss, with participants taking turns in leading the discussion.
  • GEOL4700-123: Field Methods in Earth Surface Processes Learn about fieldwork preparation, map reading, GPS location marking, DEM analysis, design of sample strategies. Conduct field measurements for quantifying river dynamics with modern equipment, collect /analyze sediment samples. Prticipants create a fieldbook and project report.

Past Courses

  • GEOG 5700: Surface Process Modeling: applying the CSDMS Modeling Tool
    Numerical surface process modeling and hydrological modeling with the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System-CSDMS- tools.
  • : Geological Modeling
    Hands-on course on numerical geological modeling techniques for process studies and subsurface modeling.
  • : Reservoir Geological Fieldwork 3 weeks fieldcourse on fluvial outcrop studies and quantitative reservoir geological architecture, taught in the Pyrennees in Spain.
  • : Sedimentary Geology and Tectonic Processes of the Ganges-Brahmaputra River System 2 weeks fieldschool on ‘Sedimentary Geology and Tectonic Processes of the Ganges-Brahmaputra River System’, 32 students, Bangladesh, February 2014.
  • : River and Coastal System Modeling Two day short course on numerical modeling with a variety of models, teach this every summer for about 30 US and International students in the National Center for Earth Dynamics Summer Institute, University of Minnesota.

Postdocs & Students