Andrew Breckenridge

Dr. Andrew Breckenridge
Dr. Andrew Breckenridge
Dr. Andrew Breckenridge
Associate Professor, Geology
office. Bars 103A
MON. 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
WED. 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
THURS. 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
University of Wisconsin - Superior


PhD   University of Minnesota    2006
MS    University of Minnesota    1999
BS     Purdue University            1994

FYS 106 Natural History of the Boundary Waters
GEOL 110  Dynamic Earth
GEOL 112 Historical Geology
GEOL 310 Regional Geology of Minnesota and Wisconsin
GEOL 350 Physical Oceanography
GEOL 360 Geomorphology
GEOL 481 Geology Field Experience in the Western United States

Role as Faculty
I believe helping students learn to think critically and communicate effectively through writing and speech is a teacher's greatest challenge. As a geology instructor, especially at the introductory level, I also have the wonderful opportunity to reintroduce adults to the diversity, timelessness, and complexity of the Earth.

Research Interests
My teaching and research interests cover the areas of sedimentology, stratigraphy, global climate change, glacial geology, and the study of the Earth's landforms. I am fascinated by lake sediments because they provide a window into the past through which we can see how landscapes and climate have changed. These are my current research areas:


  • the history of Lake Superior over the last 13,000 years
  • understanding the nature of the drainage of Lake Agassiz, which may have initiated multiple abrupt climatic cooling events
  • mapping landslides caused by an incredible flood that occurred on June 10, 2012 to understand factors that lead to slope failure
  • developing techniques to use lake sediments to reconstruct barrenground caribou populations over thousand-year time scales


Recent Scholarly Activity (Research Gate profile)

2016. Breckenridge, A., Kremmin, T., Dott, E., Mossberger, I. Duluth harbor geologic history boat cruise – Pleistocene to Anthropocene. Institute for Lake Superior Geology Field Trip Guidebook v. 62: 160-187.

2015. Breckenridge, A. The Tintah-Campbell gap and implications for glacial Lake Agassiz drainage during the Younger Dryas cold interval. Quaternary Science Reviews 117: 124-134

2014. Douglas, P., Pagani, M., Eglinton, T., Brenner, M., Hodell, D., Curtis, J., Ma, K., Breckenridge, A. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 114: 346-364.

2013. Breckenridge, A. An analysis of late glacial lake levels within the western Lake Superior basin based on digital elevation models. Quaternary Research 80(3),383-395.

2013. Stroup, J.S., Lowell, T.C., Breckenridge, A. Stratigraphy from the demise of a large glacial lake: the Lake Ojibway, Ontario, Quebec example. Journal of Paleolimnology 50(1), 105-121

2012. Breckenridge, A., Lowell, T.C., Evans, G. A review and analysis of varve thickness records from glacial Lake Ojibway (Ontario and Quebec, Canada). Quaternary International 260, 43-54.

2012. Breckenridge, A., Lowell, T., Fisher, T., and S. Yu. A Late Minong transgression in the Lake Superior basin as documented by sediments from Fenton Lake, Ontario. Journal of Paleolimnology 47(3), 313-326.

2012. Fisher, T.G., Weyer, K.A., Boudreau, A.M., Martin-Hayden, J.M., Krantz, D.F., and Breckenridge, A. Constraining Holocene-aged lake levels in the Michigan Basin. Journal of Paleolimnology 47(3), 373-390.

Ongoing Research Opportunities for Students

  • Contribute to a project using ancient lake sediments to understand the response of ice sheets to rapid climate change. (NSF award #1602791)
  • Study sediments from the St. Louis River Estuary to understand how the harbor and baymouth bar (Park Point/Wisconsin Point) developed over the last 4,000 years.
  • Help test methods to use lake sediments to reconstruct caribou populations.
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