Suzanne Anderson


Departments / Academic Programs


  • PhD: University of California, Berkeley, 1995
  • MS: University of Washington, 1987
  • BS cum laude: University of Puget Sound, 1979

Research Programs, Labs, and Groups

Contact Information

(Office) 303 492-7071
S209, SEEC


Geomorphology, weathering, hydrology

Research Interests

Interactions of weathering and erosion to shape the architecture of the critical zone; surface water hydrology


Suzanne has been at the University of Colorado and a member of INSTAAR since 2003.  She studied chemistry as an undergraduate.  The eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980, which exploded at a personal inflection point in her life, turned her onto geosciences as a discipline.  She was pulled into the field of geomorphology by the dynamic groups of students and faculty in geomorphology, periglacial processes, and glaciology at the University of Washington, and completed an MS thesis in geological sciences at UW on permafrost in 1986 under the supervision of Bernard Hallet.  After a brief stint working in Sam Epstein's stable isotope lab at Caltech and teaching at Pasadena City College, she moved to Santa Cruz, California and began a PhD at UC Berkeley.  Her dissertation on chemical geomorphology (a term Suzanne coined) was one of several that came out of the Coos Bay project, supervised by Bill Dietrich and Keith Loague.  Suzanne then merged her interests in glaciers and weathering in an NSF Earth Sciences post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wyoming, where she worked with former UW colleague Neil Humphrey and with geochemist Tim Drever.  Suzanne has been involved in critical zone science since the inception of the Critical Zone Exploration Network, and has directed the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory since 2007.   She co-authored the textbook Geomorphology: The Mechanics and Chemistry of Landscapes with her husband Bob Anderson in 2010.  


  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2021
  • G.K. Gilbert Award in Surface Processes, American Geophysical Union, 2020
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2019
  • Certificate of Recognition, International Association of GeoChemistry, 2012