Dr. David Franzi
Distinguished TEaching Professor of Geology
My principal area of expertise lies in the broad field of geomorphology. Geomorphology is the study of landforms and landscapes and their relationship to surface processes, underlying structure and the history of geological and environmental changes. Geomorphologists apply a process-oriented approach that views natural systems (rivers, glaciers, coastlines, oceans basins, tectonics, and etc.) and their distinctive landscapes as a balance between driving forces, such as climate, gravity and internal heat flow, and the resisting framework created by the lithology and structure of near-surface Earth materials. This approach emphasizes the relationship between process and form, and underscores the linkages between geomorphology and other geoscience disciplines such as; plate tectonics, atmospheric science, climate science, hydrology and ecosystems studies.
Students participate in all facets of my research and I have sponsored more than 90 students in research projects since the year 2000. Much of our current research deals with Pleistocene deglaciation in the Adirondack Mountains and Champlain valley. This study utilizes field mapping, LiDAR elevation models, and Geographic Information Systems technology to map glacial deposits and landforms in the region. I have also directed student research into nonpoint-source runoff in the Champlain valley, the hydrogeology of the Altona Flat Rock sandstone pavement Jack Pine barren, the geotechnical engineering properties and landslide susceptibility of surficial deposits, reservoir sedimentation, and the hydrogeology, sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Potsdam sandstone.