Dr. Jon Harbor - Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - Purdue University

Dr. Jon Harbor

Jon Harbor

Professor, Director of Digital Education, and Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Curriculum Vitae / Google Scholar


  • Ph.D. 1990, University of Washington (Seattle), Department of Geological Sciences and Quaternary Research Center.
    Dissertation: Numerical modeling of the development of glacial-valley cross sections.
  • M.A. 1984, University of Colorado, Department of Geography and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.
    Thesis: Terrestrial and lacustrine evidence for Holocene climatic/geomorphic change in the Blue Lake and Green Lakes Valleys of the Colorado Front Range.
  • B.A. 1982, University of Cambridge (U.K.), Department of Geography and Girton College. 1st Class Honours.
    Thesis: Glacial deposits and debris transport paths, Bara Shigri Glacier, Himachal Pradesh, Indian Himalaya.

Research Interests

  • Geomorphology: Currently focusing on new insights into chronology, erosion patterns and basal thermal regimes of former glaciers and ice sheets in central Asia and the Tibetan Plateau using cosmogenic radionuclide approaches.
  • Environment: Modeling, assessment and management of impacts of land use and climate change on water resources and nonpoint source pollution. Current projects in Puerto Rico, Guatemala and China.
  • Education Research: Development and assessment of domestic and international video conference, online and in-person collaborative learning models and tools; Assessing impacts of inquiry-based experiences on student ideas and teacher practice, including teaming PhD students with middle school teachers to enhance middle school science.

Teaching Interests
Introductory courses in geography and environmental sciences, mid level undergrad and grad courses in glacial geomorphology, applied geomorphology and hydrology, senior level capstone in applied environmental geosciences (service learning), internship courses, and pre-service and in-service programs on inquiry science for K-12 teachers.

Awards and Honors

  • American Council on Education Fellow, 2014-15
  • Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow, European Commission, 2013-14
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2010 - present
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (U.K.), 2010 - present
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, 2000-2001, New Zealand
  • Purdue Provost’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor, 2013 (top university award for graduate education)
  • Purdue Murphy Teaching Award, 2000 (top university award for undergraduate education)
  • Inducted in to Purdue University’s “Book of Great Teachers”, 2008

Professional Experience

  • Currently serve as Associate Editor for the journal Anthropocene
  • Author / Co-Author of >100 journal publications and PI / Co-PI of >50 external grants for research and teaching
  • Previous administrative appointments at Purdue University have included Associate Vice President for Research, Interim Dean of the College of Science, Founding Co-Director of Purdue's Discovery Learning Research Center, Founding and Interim Director of Purdue’s Global Sustainability Institute, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Science, and Head of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Recent Publications

  • Ebert, K., Axelsson, L., and Harbor, J., 2015, Opportunities and challenges for building alumni networks in Sweden: A case study of Stockholm University. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 37, 252-62. dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2015.1019117
  • Pope, I., Bowen, D., Harbor, J., Shao, G., Zanotti, L., Burniske, G., 2015, Deforestation of Montane Cloud Forest in the Central Highlands of Guatemala: Contributing Factors and Implications for Sustainability in Q'eqchi' Communities. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology. dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504509.2014.998738
  • Pope, I., Harbor, J., Zanotti, L., Shao, G., Bowen, D., Burniske, G., 2015, Cloud forest conservation in the Central Highlands of Guatemala hinges on improving soil conservation and intensifying food production. Professional Geographer. dx.doi.org/10.1080/00330124.2015.1006556
  • Stroeven, A., Heyman, J., Fabel, D., Björck , S., Caffee, M., Fredin, O., Harbor, J., 2015 A new Scandinavian reference 10Be production rate. Quaternary Geochonology, 29, 104-115.
  • Weeks, F., Gong, R., Harbor, J., 2015, A longitudinal study of the effectiveness of a K-12 engagement program on graduate student learning outcomes. International Journal of Higher Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v4n3p
  • Zhao, J.D., Wang, J., Harbor, J., Liu, S., Yin, X., Wu, Y., 2015, Quaternary glaciations and glacial landform evolution in the Tailan River Valley, Tianshan Range, China. Quaternary International, 358, 2-11. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2014.10.029
  • Blomdin, R., Heyman, J., Stroeven, A., Hättestrand, C., Harbor, J., Gribenski, N., Jansson, K., Petrakov, D., Ivanov, M., Orkhonselenge, A., Rudoy, A., Walther, M., 2014, Glacial geomorphology of the Altai and western Sayan Mountains, Central Asia. Journal of Maps. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2014.992177.
  • Jansen, J., Codilean, A., Stroeven, A., Fabel, D., Hättestrand, C., Kleman, J., Harbor, J., Heyman, J., Kubik, P. and Xu, S., 2014, Rivers under ice: fluvial erosion beneath decaying ice sheets. Nature Communications, 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4815
  • Li, Y., Liu, G., Chen, Y., Li, Y.N., Harbor, J., Stroeven, A., Caffee, M., Chang, M. Li, C., Cui, Z., 2014, Timing and extent of Quaternary glaciations in the Tianger Range, eastern Tian Shan, China, investigated using 10Be surface exposure dating. Quaternary Science Reviews, 98, 7-23. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.05.009
  • Li, Y., Li, D., Liu, G., Harbor, J., Caffee, A., Stroeven, A., 2014, Patterns of landscape evolution on the central and northern Tibetan Plateau investigated using in-situ produced 10Be concentrations from river sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 398, 77–89. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.04.045
  • Lifton, N., Beel, C., Hättestrand, C., Kassab, C., Rogozhina, I., Heermance, R., Oskin, M., Burbank, D., Blomdin, R., Gribenski, N., Caffee, M., Goehring, B., Heyman, J., Ivanov, M., Li, Y.N., Li, Y.K., Petrakov, D., Usubaliev, R., Codilean, A., Chen, Y., Harbor, J., Stroeven, P., 2014, Constraints on the late Quaternary glacial history of the Inylchek and Sary-Dzaz valleys from in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al, eastern Kyrgyz Tian Shan. Quaternary Science Reviews, 101, 77-90. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.06.032
  • Park, Y., Engel, B., Harbor, J., 2014, A web-based model to estimate the impact of best management practices. Water, 6, 455-471. doi:10.3390/w6030455
  • Pei, W., Zhang, M., Lai, Y., Jin, L., Harbor, J., 2014, Thermal stability analysis of crushed-rock embankments on a slope in permafrost regions. Cold Regions Science and Technology. 106-7, 175-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.coldregions.2014.07.005
  • Torres-Valcárcel, A.R, Harbor, J., Torres-Valcárcel, A., Gonzalez-Aviles, C., 2014, Historical differences in temperature between urban and non-urban areas in Puerto Rico. International Journal of Climatology. DOI: 10.1002/joc.4083
  • Torres-Valcárcel, A., Harbor, J., Gonzalez-Aviles, C., Torres-Valcárcel, A., 2014, Impacts of urban development on precipitation in the tropical maritime climate of Puerto Rico. Climate, 2, 47-77. doi:10.3390/cli2020047
  • Weeks, F. and Harbor, J., 2014, Assessing the impact of a K-12 engagement program on graduate learning outcomes for communicating with diverse audiences, pedagogy, and community engagement. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(2) #16. http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/ij-sotl/vol8/iss2/16
  • Zhang, W., Liu, B., Li, Y., Feng, J., Harbor, J. M., Liu, L., Wang, Z. and Li, D., 2014, Late Pleistocene Glaciations on Qianhu Mountain, Northwest Yunnan Province, China. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 96, 417-29. . doi: 10.1111/geoa.12041
  • Fu. P., Stroeven, A., Harbor J., Hättestrand, C., Heyman, J., Caffee, M., and Zhou, L., 2013, Paleoglaciation of Shaluli Shan, Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Science Reviews, 64, p.121-135, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.12.009
  • Fu, P., Stroeven, A., Harbor J., Hättestrand, C., Heyman, J., and Zhou, L., 2013, A complex glacial landform assemblage indicating polythermal ice cap glaciation in Shaluli Shan, southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Geomorphology, 182, p.66–78. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.10.030
  • Heyman, J., Heyman, B., Fickert, T., Harbor, J., 2013, Paleo-climate of the central European uplands during the last glacial maximum based on glacier mass balance modeling. Quaternary Research, 79, p.49-54. 10.1016/j.yqres.2012.09.005
  • Kassab, C. and Harbor, J., 2013, Alternative coordinate systems for analyzing cross-section shapes of glaciated valleys: a case study from the Dalijia mountains, China. Physical Geography, 34, p.108-123. 10.1080/02723646.2013.787580
  • Kassab, C., Wang, J. and Harbor, J., 2013, Glacial geomorphology of the Dalijia Shan region, northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Maps, 9, p.98-105. 10.1080/17445647.2012.754729
  • Ruggiero, D. and Harbor, J., 2013, Using writing assignments with calibrated peer review to increase engagement and improve learning in an undergraduate environmental science course. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7(2) p.1-13.
  • Wang, J., Kassab, C., Harbor, J., Caffee, M., Cui, H. and Zhang, G., 2013, Terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide constraints on late quaternary glacial chronology on the Dalijia Shan, northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Research, 79, p.439-451. 10.1016/j.yqres.2013.01.004
  • Zhang, M., Lai, Y., Dong, Y., Jin, L., Pei, W., and Harbor, J., 2013, Laboratory investigation of the heat transfer characteristics of a two-phase closed thermosyphon. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 95, p.67-73. 10.1016/j.coldregions.2013.08.006
  • Zhao, J., Yin, X., Harbor, J., Lai, Z., Liu, S., and Li, Z., 2013, Quaternary glacial chronology of the Kanas River valley, Altai Mountains, China. Quaternary International, 311, p.44-53. 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.07.047
  • Zhang, M., Min, K-H., Wu, Q., Zhang, J. and Harbor, J., 2012, A new method to determine the upper boundary condition for a permafrost thermal model: An example from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 23: 301–311. 10.1002/ppp.1755.
  • Fu P., Heyman J., Hättestrand C., Stroeven, A., and Harbor J., 2012. Glacial geomorphology of the Shaluli Shan area, southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Maps, 8 (1), 48-55.
  • Stroeven, A., Fabel, D., Harbor, J., Fink, D., Caffee, M. Dahlgren, T., 2011 Importance of sampling across an assemblage of glacial landforms for interpreting cosmogenic ages of deglaciation. Quaternary Research, 76(1),148–156. 10.1016/j.yqres.2011.04.004
  • Heyman J., Stroeven A., Caffee M., Hättestrand C., Harbor J., Li Y., Alexanderson H, Zhou L., Hubbard A, 2011. Palaeoglaciology of Bayan Har Shan, NE Tibetan Plateau: exposure ages reveal a missing LGM expansion. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30 (15-16), 1988-2001.
  • Li, Y., Liu, G., Kong, P., Harbor, J., Chen, Y., and Caffee, M., 2011, Cosmogenic nuclide constraints on glacial landform evolution in the source area of the Urumqi River, Tian Shan, China. Journal of Quaternary Science, DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1454
  • Heyman, J., Stroeven A., Harbor J., Caffee, M., 2011, Too young or too old: evaluating cosmogenic exposure dating based on an analysis of compiled boulder exposure ages. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 302, 71- 80.
  • Deb, D., Engel, B., Harbor, J., Lim, K., Hahn, L. and Zhai T., 2010, Modeling water quality impacts of fungicides used to combat soybean rust in Indiana. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 207, 273-88.
  • Dyehouse, M., Detwiler, J., Li, M., Bennett, D., Harbor, J., Childress, A., 2010, Practical Ways to Assess and Change Your Students? Perceptions of Scientists. Science Scope, 33(9), 45-51.

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