As a geomorphologist, I seek to understand how landscapes change through time and how environmental changes are reflected across a landscape. To address these questions, I utilize a variety of geochronologic techniques, including exposure dating with cosmogenic nuclides (such as 10Be, 26Al, and 21Ne) and lichenometry, which allow me to study questions about landscape evolution, the timing of geologic events, and the rates at which geomorphic processes occur. Most of my field areas are glacial terrains, and many of my projects look at determining the timing of glacial events and how quickly glacial deposits have changed since they were deposited. My work involves a balance of field-based studies in alpine areas and Antarctica, laboratory analysis, and numerical modeling.

Additionally, I have broad interests in environmental management and the role of science in decision making. I study the sustainable use of natural resources, quantifying environmental impacts using life cycle assessments, and the role of science in environmental decision making.


Morgan, D., J. Putkonen, G. Balco, and J. Stone (2010). Quantifying regolith erosion rates with cosmogenic nuclides 10Be and 26Al in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, J. Geophys. Res., 115, F03037, doi:10.1029/2009JF001443.

Morgan, D.J., Putkonen, J., Balco, G., and Stone, J.O.H. (In press), Degradation of glacial deposits quantified with cosmogenic nuclides, Quartermain Mountains, Antarctica. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.

Putkonen, J., G. Balco, and D. Morgan (2008), Slow regolith degradation without creep determined by cosmogenic nuclide measurements in Arena Valley, Antarctica, Quaternary Research, 69(2), 242-249, doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2007.12.004.

Putkonen, J., M. Rosales, N. Turpen, D. Morgan, G. Balco, and M. Donaldson (2007), Regolith transport in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, in Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World—Online Proceedings of the 10th ISAES X, edited by AK Cooper and CR Raymond et al., USGS Open-File Report, vol. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1047.

Morgan, D.J., Born, B., Cook, R., Radenovic, H., and S. Renzi, (2007), Seattle Food System Enhancement Project: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study. University of Washington, Program on the Environment Certificate in Environmental Management Keystone Project, 2006-2007. City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods.