Department of Environmental Sciences


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Main Campus
Wolfe Hall Suite 1235

2801 West Bancroft St.,
Mail Stop #604
Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390

Phone: 419.530.2009
Fax: 419.530.4421

Faculty: Timothy G. Fisher

Timothy G. Fisher
Professor of Geology
Department Chair, Environmental Sciences

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Geomorphology
  • Glacial and Quaternary Geology
  • Quaternary History of the Great Lakes

(419) 530-2009 |

 Timothy G. Fisher
Research Current Students
Recent Publications Past Students
Courses Download Vitae


Fisher ResearchResearch is primarily focused on:

Reconstructing the history, timing, and magnitude of discharge from the outlets of Lake Agassiz. This data can be considered baseline information for a variety of scientific disciplines. Importantly, oceanographers and climate modelers require this data to understand past climate changes (e.g. Younger Dryas) that may have been triggered by outlet switching.

Documenting and reconstructing paleo lake levels in the Great Lakes, specifically in the Lake Michigan basin. Work is ongoing along the western coastline of Michigan and on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Dr. Ed Hansen of Hope College, and Dr. Walt Loope of the USGS.

Resolving triggering mechanism to coastal sand dunes along the Great Lakes. This work requries reconstructing sand dune history as well as resolving aeolian proxy records from lakes downwind of the dunes. 

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Recent Publications

    >> View Dr. Fisher's Google Scholar page for complete list. 


Liu, X.,Lepper, K., Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V.
Geochemical characteristics of glacial Lake Agassiz sediments and new ages for the Moorhead Phase at Fargo, North Dakota, USA, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. Published on the web 23 July 2014, 10.1139/cjes-2014-0039

*Higley, M.C., Fisher, T.G., Jol, H.M., Lepper K., Martin-Hayden, J.M. 
Stratigraphic and chronologic analysis of the Warren Beach, Northwest Ohio, USA, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 51: 1-13

Featured as an Editors Choice visit:

Fisher, T.G., and Hansen, E.C.
2014, Introduction, in Fisher, T.G., and Hansen, E.E., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes: Geological Society of America Special Paper 508, p. vii-xi,

Fisher, T.G.,DeVries-Zimmerman, S., Hansen, E.C., Dean, S., and Bjorck, S.,
2014, Sand in lakes and bogs in Allegan County, Michigan as a proxy for eolian sand transport, in Fisher, T.G., and Hansen, E.C., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes: Geological Society of America Special Paper 508, p. 111-132

Fisher, T.G., Krantz, D.E., Castaneda, M., Loope, W.L., Jol, H.M., Goble, R.J., Higley, M.C., DeWald, S., and Hanson, P.R.
2014, Coastal geology and recent origins for San Point, Lake Superior, in Fisher, T.G., and Hansen, E.C., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the great Lakes: Geological Society of America Special Paper 508, p. 85-110

Loope, W.L., Jol, H.M., Fisher, T.G., Blewett, W.L., Loope, H.M., and Legg, R.J.
2014, Early Holocene signals of interbasin passage and glacial lake transgression in interior eastern Upper Michigan, in Fisher, T.G., and Hansen, E.C., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes: Geological Society of America Special Paper 508, p. 1-14

*Hanes, B.E., Fisher, T.G., Becker, R.H., and Martin-Hayden, J.M.
2014, Elucidating paleo dune activity and timing from wetlands in the lee of coastal sand dunes, Grand Mere Lakes, Michigan, USA, in Fisher, T.G., and Hansen, E.E., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes: Geological Society of America Special Paper 508, p. 133-150

*Baca, K.J., Fisher, T.G., and Gottgens, J.F.
2014, Temporally constrained eolian sand signals and their relationship to climate, Oxbow Lake, Saugatuck, Michigan, in Fisher, T.G., and Hansen, E.E., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes: Geological Society of America Special Paper 508, p. 151-166


Lowell, T.V., Applegate, P.J., Fisher, T.G., Lepper, K.  
      What caused the low-water phase of glacial Lake Agassiz? Quaternary Research     

Lepper, K., *Buell, A.W., Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V.
A chronology for glacial Lake Agassiz shorelines along Upham's namesake transect. Quaternary Research 80: 88-98.

Yurk, B.P., DeVries-Zimmerman, S., Hansen, E., Bodenbender, B.E., Kilibarda, Z., Fisher, T.G., and van Dijk, D.
Dune complexes along the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan: Geomorphic history and contemporary processes, in Gillespie, R., (ed.), Insights into the Michigan Basin: Salt Deposits, Impact Structure, Youngest Basin Bedrock, Glacial Geomorphology, Dune Complexes, and Coastal Bluff Stability: Geological Society of America Field Guide 31, p. 57–102, doi:10.1130/2013.0031(05).


Loope, W. L., Loope, H. M., Goble, R. J., Fisher, T. G., Lytle, D. E., Legg, R. M., Wysocki, D. A., Hanson, P. R., and Young, A. R.
Drought drove forest decline and dune building in eastern upper Michigan, USA, as the upper Great Lakes became closed basins. Geology, v. 40, no. 4, p. 315-318.

Fisher, T.G. and Lowell, T.V.
Testing northwest drainage from Lake Agassiz using extant ice margin and strandline data. Quaternary International 260, 106-114.

Breckenridge, A., Lowell, T. V., Fisher, T. G., and Yu, S.-Y.
A late Lake Minong transgression in the Lake Superior basin as documented by sediments from Fenton Lake, Ontario. Journal of Paleolimnology 47, 313-326.

Fisher, T. G., Weyer, K. A., Boudreau, A. M., Martin-Hayden, J. M., Krantz, D. E., and Breckenridge, A.
Constraining Holocene lake levels and coastal dune activity in the Lake Michigan basin. Journal of Paleolimnology 47, 373-390.


Fisher, T.G., Lepper, K., Ashworth, A.C. and Hobbs, H.C.
Southern outlet and basin of glacial Lake Agassiz. In: Miller, J.D., Hudak, G.J., Wittkop, C. and McLaughlin, P.I. (Eds.), Archean to Anthropocene: Field Guides to the Geology of the Mid-Continent of North America, Geological Society of America Field Guide 24, pp. 379-400. Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO.

Campbell, M.C., Fisher, T.G. and Goble, R.J.
Terrestrial sensitivity to abrupt cooling recorded by aeolian activity in northwest Ohio, USA. Quaternary Research 75, 411-416.

Lepper, K., Gorz, K.L., Fisher, T.G. and Lowell, T.V.
Age determinations for Lake Agassiz shorelines west of Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 48, 1199-1207.


Loope, H.M., Loope, W.L., Goble, R.J., Fisher, T.G., and Jol, H.M.
Early Holocene dune building linked to meltwater-driven lowering of glacial Lake Minong in eastern Upper Michigan, USA. Quaternary Research 74(1) 73-81.

Yu, S.-Y., Colman, S.M., Lowell, T.V., Milne, G.A., Fisher, T.G., Breckenridge, A., Boyd, M. Teller, J.T.
Freshwater outburst from Lake Superior as a trigger for the cold event 9300 years ago. Science V328, no 5983 pp. 1262-1266, DOI 10.1126/science.1187860
Yu-etal_Science10.pdf  |  Yu-etal-supmat_Science10.pdf

Hansen, E.C., Fisher, T.G., Arbogast, A.F., Bateman, M.
Geomorphic history of low perched, transgressive dune complexes along the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan. Journal of Aeolian Research 1: 111-127. doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2009.08.001


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  • EEES 1010 PHYSICAL GEOLOGY [3 hours]
    Introduction to classification and origins of rocks and minerals, surficial processes and landscape development, groundwater and other natural resources, geologic structures, earthquakes and the earth's interior, plate tectonics, and geologic time. No credit if EEES 2100 is taken. [Fall, Spring, Summer] Natural Sciences core course.
    Description and study of the earth's surface features from the point of view of their origin including landforms created by volcanism, tectonics, and erosional/depositional processes. Field trip required. [Fall] Prerequisite: EEES 1010 or 2100.
  • EEES 4100 / 5100 GLACIAL GEOLOGY [3 hours]
    To understand glaciers and glacial landscapes. Topics include mass balance, ice flow, hydrology, erosion, deposition, landforms, glacial lakes and development of the Ohio glacial landscape. Field trip is mandatory. [4100: Spring; 5100: Spring, odd years] Prerequisite: EEES 3100 or consent of instructor.
  • EEES 4200 / 5200 QUATERNARY GEOLOGY [3 hours]
    To provide understanding of such cyclical events as climate change, sea level fluctuations, vegetation change and ice sheet paleogeography during the Quaternary Period and to explore future changes for planet Earth. [4200: Spring; 5200: Spring, even years] Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
    To integrate glacial sedimentology and stratigraphy, with near-surface, geophysical methodologies. Field work to collect a variety of field data to analyze in the lab is mandatory. Data to be presented as posters. [Fall, every year; Fisher & Krantz] Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
  • EEES 4980 / 6980 SPECIAL TOPICS [1 - 4 hours]
    4980: An advanced undergraduate course covering some aspect of the environmental sciences not covered in the formal upper-division undergraduate curriculum. Student may repeat the course for different topics. Prerequisite: consent of instructor; 6980: A graduate course covering some aspect of the environmental sciences not covered in the formal graduate curriculum. Students may repeat the course for credit as topics vary. [Taught on demand; staff] Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

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Current Students

Jennifer Horton MS 2013 –

Deglacial history of the Huron Erie Lobe in Indiana and Ohio



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Past Students

Kira Baca MS 2013

Environmental impacts on the development and dune activity of Oxbow Lake along the southwest coast of Lake Michigan at Saugatuck, Michigan USA

Working as a high school science teacher.

Joe Blockland MS 2013

The Surficial Geology of Fulton County, Ohio: Insight into the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Glaciated Landscape of the Huron-Erie Lake Plain, Fulton County Ohio, USA

Working as a Geologist, North Dakota Geological Survey

Brad Anderson MS 2011

Rhythmic sedimentation in ancestral Lake Erie: estimating duration above the Lake Warren level, NW Ohio

Working as a consulting geologist.

Barb Hanes MS 2010

Paleo-storminess in the southern Lake Michigan basin, as recorded by eolian sand downwind of dunes

Worked as a consulting geologist, now works as a private consultant.

Mario Castaneda MS 2009

Chronology of Sand Point at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Teaching geology in Honduras; working
as a geologist for the Honduran government.

Brittany Austin MS 2007

Late Wisconsinan history and molluscan paleoecology of Stony and Silver Lakes, Oceana County, MI, USA

Working as a consulting geologist.

Melinda Campbell MS 2009

Surficial geology mapping of the dune-dominated Whitehouse 7.5’ Quadrangle

Ph.D. student at UIUC. Working for the Illinois State Geological Survey.

Henry Loope MS 2006

Deglacial chronology and glacial stratigraphy of the western Thunder Bay Lowland, Northwest Ontario, Canada

Ph.D. graduate, U Wisconsin-Madison 2013. Employed as research glacial geologist, Indiana Geological Survey.

Amber Boudreau MS 2005

Constraining the Nipissing transgression in Lake Michigan

Working as a consulting geologist.

Kelly Weyer MS 2005

Can eolian sand in lakes downwind of perched dunes be used as a proxy for paleo Lake Michigan levels?

Working as a consulting geologist.

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Last Updated: 4/14/15