Department of Geosciences, campus box 8072 Pocatello Idaho 83209-8072 phone: 208-282-3365
Department of Geosciences Idaho State University Home Page

Glenn D. Thackray, Professor . . . Chair of Geosciences Department

------ Email: ------ Phone: 208-282-3565

Glenn Thackray, Professor of Geology, Idaho State University


  • Quaternary Geology
  • Geomorphology


  • Ph.D., 1996, University of Washington, Seattle
  • M.S., 1989, University of Oregon
  • B.S., 1985, Beloit College
  • Joined the Idaho State University faculty in 1994

Current and Forthcoming Projects:

  • Chronology of glaciation in the Sawtooth Mountains and surrounding ranges, central Idaho
  • Fluvial, lacustrine, and eolian sedimentation, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho
  • Hydrologic properties of surficial and subsurface sediments, Idaho National Laboratory, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho
  • Fluvial and tectonic geomorphology, Big Lost River Basin, Idaho

Research Interests:

Sunset Mt Cook New Zealand

My research interests span a broad range of surficial geologic realms. My principal background and research focus lies in the application of Quaternary geology and geomorphology to paleoclimatic investigations. To that end, I recently completed a study of glaciation in the Olympic Mountains of Washington, and am pursuing glacial and lacustrine records of late Quaternary climate change in Idaho.

The Olympic project produced one of the most detailed late Quaternary alpine glacial chronologies for western North America. Several glacial advances in the last 100,000yr appear to have been controlled largely by the effectiveness of Pacific moisture delivery, itself influenced by ice-sheet induced changes in atmospheric circulation, and may have been influenced by North Atlantic Bond cooling cycles and Heinrich events.

Along with two current graduate students, I am now testing ideas generated by the Olympic chronology by constructing a glacial chronology for central Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains and, ultimately, for surrounding ranges. In addition, I am involved with several other researchers in a nascent nvestigation of late Pleistocene-Holocene climatic and hydrologic variability at Mud Lake on the eastern Snake River Plain.

New Zealand Mountains

I am also involved in research projects in neotectonics, fluvial geomorphology, and surface and groundwater hydrology. My Olympic project described above also dealt with Quaternary coastal tectonism associated with the Cascadia subduction zone. By documenting deformation of the Pleistocene glacial-nonglacial sequence along a coastal transect, I was able to calculate permanent uplift rates and compare those rates with geodetically measured 20th century uplift in order to determine the relative proportion of interseismic strain accumulation. In Idaho, I will soon be starting a project to assess geomorphic influences of late Pleistocene-Holocene basin and range normal faulting in the Big Lost River Valley and am involved in studies of hydrologic properties of surficial and subsurface sediments at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Current Vita in pdf format

Current Publications in pdf format