Brenda Bowen

Board Member

I am an interdisciplinary geoscientist and received a B.S. and M.S. in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Utah where my doctoral research focused on the history of fluid flow in the iconic Navajo Sandstone with links to the geologic history of Mars. I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Central Michigan University studying the geochemical evolution of acid saline lakes and sediments in southern Western Australia. I was a faculty member in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University for nearly a decade before returning to Utah. I am currently the Director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center and a Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah. I have >50 publications that focus on how changing environmental conditions influence the composition of sediments, authigenic minerals, and fluids in both modern dynamic surface systems and ancient lithified strata. I am interested in the links between biology, geochemistry, sedimentology, and human activities in extreme environments. Recent work is focused on how surface process, groundwater flow and geochemical change impact landscape evolution in human-modified system. I use field observations, satellite and airborne remote sensing, and a wide range of lab-based analytical techniques (primarily geochemistry and microscopy) to characterize and interpret records of change. My research practice is conducted in collaboration with scholars and practitioners from across disciplines and sectors including social science, planetary science, microbiology, anthropology, communication, humanities, engineering, planning, land management, policy, and the arts. I also actively work to promote interdisciplinary sustainability research and academic programs that address critical issues related to understanding global change and creating sustainable solutions related to energy, resources, and climate. I currently teach about the oceans, geological field methods, sustainability, and global change. I serve as an elected member of the National Academy of Science Board for Earth Science Resources, which provides opportunities for me to work closely with federal agencies and a broad range of geoscience scholars from across the U.S.