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Lawrence Tanner

Lawrence Tanner


Science Center Addition 210
Le Moyne College
1419 Salt Springs Road
Syracuse, NY 13214


(315) 445-4537


Director, Center for the Study of Environmental Change
Director, Environmental Science Systems
Director, Environmental Studies


  • PhD (1990) University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • MS (1980) University of Tulsa
  • BA (1978) Williams College

Courses Taught

  • BSC 110: Paleobiology of Dinosaurs
  • ESS 121: Global Resources
  • ESS 128: Global Ecosystems - Costa Rica
  • ESS 129: Global Ecosystems - North America
  • ESS 205: Physical Geology
  • ESS 238: Earth-History and Inhabitants
  • BIO 237: Ecology of the Galapagos
  • ESS 320: Earth’s Surface
  • BIO/ESS 348: Environmental Research - Iceland
  • BIO/ESS 458: Global Climate Systems

Research Interests

Much of my work focuses on the paleogeography and paleoclimate of the Mesozoic world (probably a consequence of my childhood fascination with dinosaurs). My current research in this area examines the environmental conditions (climatic, atmospheric, etc.) as dinosaurs rose to ascendancy in the Late Triassic, the record and causes of extinctions for the early Mesozoic, and the global environmental processes responsible for mass extinctions in general. Primarily, this research is conducted through field studies (sedimentology and stratigraphy) of early Mesozoic formations in the Four Corners area and the Canadian Maritimes.

A secondary interest is in volcanology, particularly the recognition of volcanic processes through the study of volcanoclastic deposits. Most of my work in this area has been concentrated on the volcanoes of southern Italy (Etna, Stromboli and the Iblean Plateau of Sicily), where I have worked for some years with Dr. Sonia Calvari of the INGV in Catania, Sicily. I am also deeply interested in the effects on the climate and environment of large-scale volcanic eruptions, such as those of large igneous provinces.

Most importantly, I have passionate concern for the rapidly changing environment of our Earth. The realization that modern climate change and habitat loss are already having a significant impact on ecology drives my research with Le Moyne students investigating changes in soil and forest structure and carbon cycle dynamics in such diverse locations as Iceland and Costa Rica. I encourage solidarity between environmental action groups and faith traditions in addressing these concerns.

Please see my personal webpage for a listing of 90+ publications, most of which are available on ResearchGate.

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