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featured faculty geography
Prof.Faulkner on the Chippewa River
Dr. Doug Faulkner

What are you doing in this picture?

A student and I are doing a GPS survey of the Lower Chippewa River.  We are looking to find the original land survey points from 1848 before the land was opened up for settlement.

What classes/topics do you teach?

Physical Geography, Fluvial Geomorphology, Conservation of the Environment, Watershed Analysis

What is your favorite course to teach? Why?

I love to teach Fluvial Processes.  It is my field of study and there is field trip component to the class.  I also like to see the spark of curiosity from students in the class.

What kind of research do you do?

I focus on the lower Chippewa River and study hydrologic change both with a long term lens (20,000 years ago) and a more recent lens (150 years ago).  I research and analyze the changes we see in the landforms of the river valley over these periods of time. 

Do you advise any student organizations or take students on field trips?

I am the advisor for Delta Tau Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, National Geographical Honor Society.  I try to get students out in the field whenever possible. I incorporate field trips to local watersheds and river valleys as well as take upper level courses to locations across the globe, such as Western North Dakota, The Lower Colorado River, and even Hawaii.

Why should a student study geography at 

UW - Eau Claire?

We live in an interconnected world.  Geography helps us understand that world by using science and testable data, and we are able to take measurements and analyze data to ask questions in a scientific way to solve problems.  At UW - Eau Claire, you can begin working with high quality and committed faculty from the start and work to take part in undergraduate research, something that is done very well here and has been for some time. 

What do you like best about your job?

Taking students on field trips and working in the field are at the top of my list.  There is a lot of work, planning, and unknowns with field work; however, being in the field is very rewarding.  

What facilities or equipment do you get to use in your work?

I use survey equipment, GPS, current meters, and other lab tools both in the classroom and in the field.

"I love that I have a built in excuse to keep learning about the world.  The more I learn about the world around me the more my students benefit, it makes me a better teacher and researcher."

What do you hope your students are getting from your courses?

Both an appreciation and understanding of the planet and topics taught in my courses as well as understanding their place in this world. 

Best advice for students?

Be curious.  Never say I’m bored.  Bored is a state of mind.

Favorite UW - Eau Claire spot or event?

Putnam Park near the river on the rock outcropping.

Favorite Eau Claire restaurant?

Pad Thai

What are some of your hobbies or interests?

I really enjoy road cycling.  I try to use my bike or walk whenever possible, Eau Claire has great bike trails.  I also enjoy hiking and traveling, one of my favorite places is the Niobrara River in Nebraska.  It is a national and wild scenic river and a great place to canoe!

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.