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Greg Pope

Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies

BA, University of Colorado
MA, Arizona State University
PhD, Arizona State University
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Gregory Pope, Ph.D., professor and doctoral faculty in Earth and Environmental Studies at Montclair State University, has a PhD and MA degrees (Geography) from Arizona State University, and BA (Geography + Geology double major) from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. His research interests integrate earth science with human dimensions, and include deterioration of stone in monuments and architecture; historic and prehistoric human impacts on the environment; and soil and weathering processes in the environment. His publications include editorship of Weathering and Soils Geomorphology (in the Treatise in Geomorphology, both 1st and 2nd editions), chapter author in Essentials of Geomorphology, chapter author in Principles and Dynamics of the Critical Zone, articles in 11 journals in topics of physical geography and archaeology, conference proceedings, and field trip guidebooks. His research has been sponsored by the NSF, NEH, and New Jersey DEP, and he works with colleagues in Italy, Portugal, China, Northern Ireland, and throughout the United States. Dr. Pope teaches a variety of courses in physical geography and environmental geology at Montclair State. An active ambassador to the study of geography, Dr. Pope was a national councilor for the Association of American Geographers, and served previously as Chair of the Geomorphology Specialty Group of the AAG, regional councilor for the Middle States AAG, and president of the Middle States AAG.


Earth surface processes, physical geography, environmental change, and geoarchaeology.

1) Soil science
2) Geomorphology
3) Research methods
4) Weather and climate
5) Geoarchaeology
6) General physical geography and Earth science

Research topics:
1) Rock weathering and soil formation processes. Applications toward paleoclimate interpretation, landscape evolution, and extreme event impacts (such as forest fires).

2) Stone conservation. Deterioration of ancient and historic stone monuments and architecture. Deterioration of archaeological objects. Impacts of acid precipitation.

3) Climatic and weather hazards, such as severe storms, global warming, and air pollution.

4) Environmental change evident in soil and sedimentary record, particularly in New Jersey.


Office Hours


2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
or appointment, in office or Zoom, contact me e-mail
2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
or appointment, in office or Zoom, contact me e-mail


1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
appointment preferred, in office or Zoom
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
appointment preferred, in office or Zoom


Research Projects

Deterioration of archaeological materials

Using field tests (such as Schmidt hammer) and laboratory analysis (such as SEM and ICP), assessing the deterioration of cultural stone artifacts or architecture. Previous work included stone weathering in Portugal, and rock art deterioration in Portugal and Arizona. Current research is associated with the "Villa of the Antonines" project, Genzano di Roma, Italy, and with the "Norman Sicily Project"

Forest fire impacts on soils

With colleague Dr. Jennifer Callanan (William Paterson University), we seek to understand the impacts of forest fires on soil development. Thus far, we have identified a unique soil chemistry that persists for several years following a fire, as well as alteration to clay minerals. Ongoing research aims to ascertain the translocation of ash-generated cations and clay minerals into the soil profile. Fire-impacted soil development would influence the ecology, soil stability, and water quality.

Storm impacts on forest soils

Northwest New Jersey experienced a number of severe storms since 2011, including Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. My students and I have been surveying forest damage at the New Jersey School of Conservation and in Morris County, and quantifying the impacts on soil. Research was presented at the 2013 Binghamton Symposium and will appear in an upcoming paper.

Paleogeography of Northwest New Jersey

Over many semesters, student research teams have assisted me in interpreting soil formation, surveys of periglacial boulder beds, and relict landslides associated with the late glacial and post-glacial periods of northern New Jersey. Most of the studies have been associated with the NJSOC field research station. Several posters and papers, almost all with student co-authors, are linked in "Documents" above.

Research Experience for Undergraduates, Northwest New Jersey

Along with team members Drs. Josh Galster, Huan Feng, and Meiyin Wu, outstanding undergraduate students participate in ongoing research on watersheds in northwest New Jersey. My contribution is toward fingerprinting the source of stream sediments using trace elements. Sediment source would be partially dependent on land use; changes in land use as well as environmental change would impact stream quality. For Summer 2013, the goal is to extend this trace element fingerprinting toward soil profile development.

Student projects

I've advised and mentored graduate students in a variety of projects, including:
Forest fire impacts on soils and stream sediments (various projects)
Black carbon in soils and river sediments
Environmental education (various projects)
Talus slopes on Kittatinny Ridge
Periglacial soils in the Pine Barrens
Deer population management

I've participated as committee member for thesis and dissertation research on paleoclimate studies, igneous petrology, geohydrology, watershed geomorphology, environmental management, and transportation geography.