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Publications in VIVO

Willis, Mike

Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • I blend fieldwork with the use of geodetic and remote sensing tools to answer questions about the contribution of land based ice to sea level change. I focus most closely on ice dynamics and topographic changes. I am also interested in landslide, earthquake and volcano hazards and how problems scale both spatially and temporally. I use high performance computing resources to examine topographic changes at a multitude of locations around the planet. I am trying to integrate computing vision techniques into the class room in order to leverage machine learning techniques for geoscientific problems.


  • geodesy, remote sensing, polar regions, natural hazards, landslides, drones, uav, glaciers, glaciology, topography, urban topography, sea level, machine learning


selected publications


courses taught

  • GEOL 1010 - Exploring Earth
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Introductory geology for majors and non-majors. Studies Earth, its materials, its characteristics, its dynamic processes, and how it relates to people. Separate lab (GEOL 1030) is recommended. Degree credit not granted for both GEOL 1010 and GEOL 1012.
  • GEOL 1170 - Our Deadly Planet
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2021
    This course investigates those events so dramatic and catastrophic that they have left evidence in the geologic record that suggest they significantly impacted life on the planet. These include. but are not limited to, violent volcanic eruptions, mega-earthquakes and associated tsunamis, landslides and sector collapse on volcanoes, megafloods, rapid climatic change, superstorms, and impacts from asteroids and comets. The intent is to use examples from recent events and processes to frame and interpret evidence for these types of events observed in the rock record.
  • GEOL 3950 - Natural Catastrophes and Geologic Hazards
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Surveys historic and prehistoric natural disasters, their cause and potential for recurrence. Meteorite impact, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, landslides, floods, magnetic reversals and major extinction events. Department enforced prerequisite: one year of science.
  • GEOL 4700 - Special Geological Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2022
    Studies in selected geological subjects of special current interest (for undergraduates). May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours within a term.
  • GEOL 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022
    Offers seminar studies in geological subjects of special current interest. Primarily for graduate students, as departmental staff and facilities permit. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours provided that topics vary.
  • GEOL 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours.


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