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Dr. Jon Harbor

Senior Advisor to the Provost and Emeritus Professor Dr. Jon Harbor

Curriculum Vitae


  • 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

  • Glacial Geomorphology and Paleoglaciology: Currently focusing on new insights into chronology, erosion patterns, and thermal regimes of former glaciers and ice sheets in central Asia and Antarctica using cosmogenic radionuclide approaches.
  • Education Research: Assessing long-term outcomes of a program engaging graduate students and middle school teacher mentors in developing and teaching middle school lessons based on the graduate students’ research.

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

  • Distinguished Career Award, Geomorphology Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers, 2022
  • Fellow, American Association of Geographers, 2019-present
  • Honorary Doctorate, Stockholm University, Sweden, 2015
  • 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 into Purdue University’s “Book of Great Teachers”, 2008

Professional Experience

  • Author / Co-Author of over 100 journal publications and PI / Co-PI of over 50 external grants for research and teaching
  • Currently serve as Senior Advisor to the Provost at Purdue University, and formerly served as Provost for Purdue University Global (Purdue’s online university serving the needs of working adults), Provost at the University of Montana, and at Purdue as Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of Digital Education, 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


  • Andersen, J.L., Newall, J.C., Fredin, O. Glasser, N., Lifton, N., Stuart, F., Fabel, D., Caffee, M., Pedersen, V., Koester, A., Suganuma, Y., Harbor, J., Stroeven, A., 2023. A topographic hinge-zone divides coastal and inland ice dynamic regimes in East Antarctica. Communications Earth and Environment 4, 9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00673-6
  • Braga, M., Jones, R., Bernales, J., Andersen, J., Fredin, O., Morlighem, M., Koester, A., Lifton,N., Harbor, J., Suganuma, Y., Glasser, N., Rogozhina, I., Stroeven, A., 2023. A thicker Antarctic ice stream during the mid-Pliocene warm period. Communications Earth and Environment 4, 321. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-00983-3
  • Liu, L., Zhang, H., Chai, Le., Harbor, J., Xu S., Zhang, W., He, Z., Zhang, J., 2023. Late Quaternary modeling and paleoclimate evolution of the Mount Taibai glacier (Qinling Mountains, China) constrained by cosmogenic radionuclide exposure dating. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology . 618, 111529. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2023.111529 .
  • Zhao, J., Harbor, J., Qiu, J., Caffee, M., Guo, W., Ji, H., Liu, R., Ma, H., 2023. Glacier fluctuations since the global Last Glacial Maximum in the eastern Tanggula Mountains, China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology , 627, 111742. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2023.111742
  • Zhao, J., Qiu, J., Harbor, J., Guo, W., Caffee, M., Ji, H., Chen, J., He, X., 2023. 10Be surface exposure dating of glacier fluctuations on the eastern slope of Mount Geladandong, central Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary International. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2023.12.004
  • Zhao, J., Qiu, J., Harbor, J., Ji, H., Caffee, M., Guo, W., Zheng, H. 2023. Timing and extent of late Quaternary glaciations on Karlik Mountain, eastern Tianshan range, China. Quaternary Science Reviews , 306. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2023.108038
  • Yang, M., Harbor, J., 2023. Authentic Learning Design Failures: The Need for Learner and Contextual Analysis and Participatory Design. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 14. https://doi.org/10.14434/ijdl.v14i1.35246
  • Suganuma, Y., Kaneda, H., Mas e Braga, M., Ishiwa, T., Koyama, T., Newall, J., Okuno, J., Obase, T., Saito, F., Rogozhina, I., Andersen, J., Kawamata, M., Hirabayashi, M., Lifont, N., Fredin, O., Harbor, J., Stroeven, A., Abe-Ouchi, A. 2022. Regional sea-level highstand triggered Holocene ice sheet thinning across coastal Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. Communications Earth and Environment 3, 273. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00599-z
  • Zakharov, W., Li, H., Fosmire, M., Pascuzzi, P., Harbor, J., 2021, A mixed method study of self and peer assessment: Implications of grading online writing assignments on scientific news literacy. College & Undergraduate Libraries . DOI: 10.1080/10691316.2021.1889426
  • Newall, J., Dymova, T., Serra, E., Blomdin, R., Fredin, O., Glasser, N., Suganuma, Y., Harbor, J., Stroeven, A. 2020 The Glacial Geomorphology of Western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Journal of Maps , 16:2, 468-478, https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2020.1761464
  • Yang, M., Lowell, V., Talafha, A., Harbor, J., 2020. Transfer of Training, Trainee’s Attitudes and Best Practices in Training Design: A Multiple-Case Study. Tech Trends, 10.1007/s11528-019-00456-5
  • Yao, P., Wang, J., Harbor, J., Wang, F, Zou, L., Wang, W., Chen, X., 2020, The relative efficiency and influence of glacial and fluvial erosion on Tibetan Plateau landscapes. Geomorphology , 352, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2019.106988
  • Bouchard, F., Sansoulet, J., Fritz, M., Malenfant-Lepage, J., Nieuwendam, A., Paquette, M., Rudy, A., Siewert, M., Sjöberg, Y., Tanski, G., Habeck, J., Harbor, J. 2019. “Frozen-Ground Cartoons”: Permafrost comics as an innovative tool for polar outreach, education, and engagement. Polar Record . https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247418000633
  • Chen, J., Liu, Y., Gitau, M., Engel, B., Flanagan, D., Harbor, J., 2019, Evaluation of the effectiveness of green infrastructure on hydrology and water quality in a combined sewer overflow community. Science of the Total Environment , 665, 69-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.416
  • Fu, P., Stroeven, A. P., Harbor, J., Heyman, J., Hättestrand, C., Caffee, M., 2019, Ice cap erosion patterns from bedrock 10Be and 26Al, southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms , 44, 918-932. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.4544
  • Reano, D., Masta, S., Harbor, J., 2019. Changing Future Faculty's Conceptions of SoTL. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2019.130203
  • Yu, F. and Harbor, J. 2019, CSTAT+: A GPU-accelerated spatial pattern analysis algorithm for high-resolution 2D/3D hydrologic connectivity using array vectorization and convolutional neural network operations. Environmental Modelling and Software , 120, 104496, 13p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.104496
  • Yu, F. and Harbor, J. 2019, The effects of topographic depressions on multi-scale overland flow connectivity: a high-resolution spatial and temporal pattern analysis approach based on connectivity statistics. Hydrological Processes, 33, 1403-1419. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13409
  • Blomdin, R., Stroeven, A. P., Harbor, J., Gribenski, N., Caffee, M., Heyman, J., Rogozhina, I., Ivanov, M., Petrakov, D., Walther, M., Rudoy, A., Zhang, W., Orkhonselenge, A., Hättestrand, C., Lifton, N., Jansson, K., 2018, Timing and dynamics of glaciation in the Ikh Turgen Mountains, Altai Region, High Asia. Quaternary Geochronology , 47, 54-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2018.05.008
  • Dahms, D., Egli, M., Fabel, D., Harbor, J., Brandova, D., Portes, R., Christl, M., 2018, Revised Quaternary glacial succession and post-LGM recession, southeastern Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA. Quaternary Science Reviews, 192, 167-184.
  • Orkhonselenge, A. and Harbor, J., 2018, Impacts of Modern Glacier Changes on Surface Water Resources in Western and Northern Mongolia. Journal of Water Resource and Protection , 10, 559-576. DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2018.106031
  • Wang, J., Yao, P., Yu, B., Zou, L., Wang, F., Harbor, J., 2018, Controls on spatial variations of glacial erosion in the Qilian Shan, northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Geomorphology , 318, 128-138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.06.004

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