Note: In 2010 I changed my name from Amanda Curry Henck to Amanda Henck Schmidt. Previous research appears under both names.

Yangjuan, Sichuan, China
Yangjuan, Sichuan, China.

We have a blog for the lab - Oberlin College Geomorphology Research Group - that my students and I post to about lab projects.

We also post to Instagram @obiegeomorph.

My research in the popular press

I will be in China on sabbatical for the 2019-2020 school year funded by a Fulbright. Oberlin wrote a short article on my work.

Students from the research group and I are in this video about undergraduate research at Oberlin.

I led a January 2019 trip to China to study national parks. We were written up on the Oberlin webpage and a student on the trip made a video of our experience.

A February 2019 article on the Oberlin webpage talks about our project in Dominica looking at the effects of Hurricane Maria.

A January 2019 article on the Oberlin webpage talks about our work in Cuba.

In fall 2018, I was written about in the Hong Kong International School alumni magazine, DragonTales (I'm on p. 50)

In fall 2015, my summer field work with Megan Curiel (OC'16) and Philip Swanson (OC'18) in collaboration with Dr. Brian Collins (OC'79, now at University of Washington) on sediment sources and human impacts on erosion was featured on the Oberlin College website in an article by Amanda Nagy.

During summer 2015, Adrian Singleton (OC'15) was featured in an article for the Oberlin campus website.

During summer 2013, Jenny Bower (OC'13) and I traveled to Yunnan, China with UVM graduate students, Thomas Neilson and Veronica Sosa Gonzalez, and Sichuan University graduate students, Wei Renjuan and Zhang Chunmin, for field work. We were featured on the Oberlin College website in an article by James Helmsworth (OC'13).

During summer 2011 while in the field with Xenna Goh (OC'12) I blogged for the NY Times Scientist at Work blog.

I was featured in the June 2011 issue of the Fulbright Student Newsletter. The story is about my time in Jiuzhaigou in 2010 as a Fulbright Student Fellow.

Overview of my research

In my research I try to use a variety of tools to understand why the surface of Earth looks the way that it does. At the biggest scale, I am interested in how we can learn about what forces shape the landscapes that we see today. My research ranges in scale from small-scale projects that are community driven and aim to understand how people interact with their environments to large-scale projects to understand landscape evolution over million-year timescales

My latest research is driven by two overarching questions:
1) What happens to sediment movement over the landscape when people change the environment?
2) What has shaped the long-term evolution of the landscape of Eastern Tibet?

To conduct this research I use a variety of tools including short-lived radionuclides (processed at Oberlin), cosmogenic radionuclides, field work, GIS and remote-sensing based landscape analysis, and Chinese sediment data. I collaborate closely with colleagues at a number of universities in geology, geography, anthropology, urban planning, and forest resources departments.

My research is primarily focused in western China. I work on small-scale problems in western and northern Sichuan Province and larger scale problems in eastern Tibet, Yunnan, and western Sichuan. I have close collaborative relationships with the Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory and Geomorphology Research Group at the University of Vermont, the Environmental Studies department at Sichuan University, the International Research Lab at Jiuzhaigou National Park, and with the Cool Mountain Education Fund.

Last update: 12 October 2016

Contact me


amanda . schmidt at oberlin . edu
(remove extra spaces and replace at with @)

At work

CARN 406 (office) and 418 (lab)
Phone: 440-775-8342

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