Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Christopher Poulsen

Christopher J Poulsen


Professor and Chair, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Phone: (734) 615-2236
Fax: (734) 763-4690


Ph.D., Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University

B.A., Geology, Carleton College


Climate change; climate modeling; paleoclimate and paleoceanography; paleoaltimetry; surface-atmosphere interactions; water stable isotopes.

Google Scholar Profile: click here.

ORCID: 0000-0001-5104-4271

Personal Introduction

Professor Poulsen is both a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, College of Engineering. You can view his other department web page at

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

  • John Dewey Teaching Award, University of Michigan (2013)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, Germany (2009)
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of America (2007)
  • Innovative Teaching Award, University of Southern California (2001)
  • International Paleoceanography Conference VI, Student Poster Award (1998)
  • Muan Fellowship, Pennsylvania State University (1998)
  • Shell Doctoral Fellowship, Pennsylvania State University (1997)
  • NASA Space Grant Fellowship, Pennsylvania State University (1996)
  • U.S.G.S., N.A.G.T.-U.S.G.S. Internship (1994)
  • Keck Fellowship, Carleton College (1993)


Selected recent publications (full list can be found here).

Skinner, C.B., Poulsen, C.J., Chadwick, R., Diffenbaugh, N.S., and Fiorella, R.P. (2016) The role of plant CO2 physiological forcing in shaping future daily-scale precipitation, Journal of Climate. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0603.1. 

Tabor, C.R., Poulsen, C.J., Lunt, D.J., Rosenbloom, N.A., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Markwick, P.J., Brady, E.C., and Farnsworth, A., (2016) The cause of Late Cretaceous cooling: A multi-model/proxy comparison, Geology, doi:10.1130/G38363.1.

Fiorella, R.P., Poulsen, C.J., Pillco Zola, R.S., Barnes, J., Tabor, C., and Ehlers, T.A. (2015). Spatiotemporal variability of modern precipitation d18O in the Central Andes and implications for paleoclimate and paloaltimetry estimates, Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, 120(10), 4630-4656, doi: 10.1002/2014JD022893.

Poulsen, C.J., Tabor, C.R., and White, J.D. (2015). Long-term climate forcing by atmospheric oxygen concentrations, Science, 348 (6240), 1238-1241, doi:10.1126/science.1260670.

Feng, R., Poulsen, C.J., Werner, M., Chamberlain, C.P., Mix, H.T., and Mulch, A. (2013). Evolution of Early Cenozoic topography, climate, and stable isotopes in precipitation in the North American Cordillera, American Journal of Science, 313, 613-648, doi:10.2475/07.2013.01.

Insel, N., Poulsen, C.J., and Ehlers, T.A., (2010). Influence of the Andes Mountains on South American moisture transport, convection, and precipitation, Climate Dynamics, v. 35, 1477-1492, doi:10.1007/s00382-009-0637-1.

Poulsen, C.J., Ehlers, T.A., and Insel, N., (2010). Onset of convective rainfall during gradual Late Miocene rise of the Central Andes, Science, 328, 490-493, doi:10.1126/science.1185078.

Updated: 2017-02-08