Dr. Jeffrey Nittrouer is an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences. He holds a PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas, and MS and BS degrees from Tulane University and the University of Washington, respectively. Prior to joining Texas Tech University, Dr. Nittrouer was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois and a faculty member at Rice University.
Dr. Nittrouer's teaching and research focus on geomorphology – the study of dynamic processes impacting the Earth's surface – with a particular emphasis on components of river systems, including their channels, floodplains, and deltas. His scientific methods combine detailed measurements from modern rivers with numerical models, to explore hydrology and patterns of sediment transport, deposition and erosion.
This research has many applications. For example, river landscapes are some of the most dynamic environments on Earth, and yet are heavily relied upon for societal welfare because they promote and enhance transportation, commerce, water management and recreation. As such, evaluating river operations is critical for efforts that preserve environmental integrity, as well as mitigate impacts to, and sustainability of, critical infrastructure.
Furthermore, Dr. Nittrouer examines how natural climate perturbations in Earth's history have shaped rivers in the past: the stratigraphy of ancient sediment deposits provides evidence that is used to reconstruct the impact of past climate-change events on hydrology and sedimentation. Combined with an expertise of modern systems, Dr. Nittrouer's science informs about the fate of rivers impacted by ongoing climate change.