Laura Levy

Associate Professor

Laura Levy
(707) 826-3165
Founders Hall, Rm. 12

My research focuses on reconstructing climate over the last ~15,000 years using glacier fluctuations. I've previously worked mostly in the Arctic- Greenland and Alaska, but my most recent research is focused on the Klamath Mountains of northern California. I use 10Be dating of glacial deposits (e.g. moraines) in conjunction with lake sediment cores from lakes downvalley from glaciers. I've also recently started studying peatlands - the timing of their formation and determining how much carbon is stored in them. If you are interested in reading more about my research, you can visit my personal website.

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor, Cal Poly Humboldt, 2023-present
  • Assistant Professor, Cal Poly Humboldt, 2017-2023
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Aarhus University, Denmark, 2014-2017
  • Soundscape Program, Grand Canyon National Park, 2006- 2009
  • Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2003-2005

Specialty Area

Glacial geology, Sedimentology, Quaternary climate change


PhD, Earth Sciences, Dartmouth, 2014
MS, Geology, Northern Arizona University, 2002
BA, Geology, Mount Holyoke College, 1998

Courses Taught

GEOL 109 - General Geology
GEOL 210 - Earth Systems History
GEOL 332 - Sedimentary Geology
GEOL 380 - Special topics in Geology
GEOL 435 - Advanced Field Methods
GEOL 475 - Field Camp
GEOL 452/552 - Glacial Geology
GEOL 453/553 - Quaternary Stratigraphy
GEOL 700 - Communicating Science


Larsen, N.K., Søndergaard, A.S., Levy, L.B., Strunk, A., Skov, D.S., Bjørk, A.A., Khan, S.A., Olsen, J., 2022. Late-glacial and Holocene glaciation history of North and Northeast Greenland: Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, vol. 54, p. 294-313. Link.

Larsen, N.K., Søndergaard, A.S., Levy, L.B., Laursen, C.H., Bjørk, A.A., Kjeldsen, K.K., Funder, S., Strunk, A., Olsen, J., Kjær, K.H., 2021. Cosmogenic nuclide inheritance in Little Ice Age moraines- A case study from Greenland: Quaternary Geochronology, vol. 65, p. 101200. Link.

Medford, A.K., Hall, B.L., Lowell, T.V., Kelly, M.A., Levy, L.B., Wilcox, P.S., Axford, Y., 2021. Holocene glacial history of Renland Ice Cap, East Greenland, reconstructed from lake sediments: Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 258, p. 106883. Link.

Funder, S., Sørensen, A.H., Larsen, N.K., Bjørk, A.A., Briner, J.P., Olsen, J., Schomacker, A., Levy, L.B., Kjær, K.H., 2021. Younger Dryas ice margin retreat in Greenland: new evidence from southwestern Greenland: Climate of the Past, vol. 17(2). Link.

Levy, L.B., Larsen, N.K., Knudsen, M.F., Egholm, D.L., Bjørk, A.A., Kjeldsen, K.K., Kelly, M.K., Howley, J.A., Olsen, J., Tikhomirov, D., Zimmerman, S.R.H., Kjær, K.H., 2020. Multi-phased deglaciation of South and Southeast Greenland controlled by climate and topographic setting: Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 242. Link.

Larsen, N.K., Søndergaard, A.S., Levy, L.B., Olsen, J., Strunk, A., Bjørk, A.A., 2020. Contrasting modes of deglaciation between fjords and inter-fjord areas in eastern North Greenland: Boreas, vol. 49, p. 903-917. Link.

Larsen, N.K., Levy, L.B., Strunk, A., Søndergaard, A.S., Olsen, J., Lauridsen, T.L., 2019. Local ice caps in Finderup Land, North Greenland, survived the Holocene Thermal Maximum: Boreas.

Levy, L.B., Kelly, M.A., Applegate, P.A., Howley, J.A., Virginia, R.A., 2018. Middle to late Holocene chronology of the southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet: a comparison with temperature records. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, vol. 50(1).

Larsen, N.K., Levy, L.B., Carlson, A.E., Buizert, C., Bjørk, A.A., Strunk, A., Skov, D.S., 2018. Instability of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream over the last 45,000 years. Nature Communications, vol. 9(1), p. 1872-1880.

Strunk, A., Larsen, N.K., Nilsson, A., Seidenkrantz, M.S., Levy, L.B., Olsen, J., Lauridsen, T.L., 2018. Relative Sea-Level Changes and Ice Sheet History in Finderup Land, North Greenland. Frontiers in Earth Science, vol. 6.

Levy, L. B., Larsen, N. K., Davidson, T. A., Strunk, A., Olsen, J., & Jeppesen, E., 2017. Contrasting evidence of Holocene ice margin retreat, south‐western Greenland. Journal of Quaternary Science, vol. 32, p. 604-616.

Larsen, N.K., Strunk, A., Levy, L.B., Olsen, J., Bjørk, A.A., Lauridsen, T.L., Jeppesen, E., Davidson, T.A., 2017. Strong altitudinal control on the response of local glaciers to Holocene climate change in southwest Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 168, p. 69-78. 

Axford, Y.L., Levy, L.B., Kelly, M.A., Francis, D., Hall, B., Langdon, P.G., Lowell, T., 2017. Timing and magnitude of early Holocene warmth in East Greenland inferred from chironomids. Boreas 46(2), doi: 10.1111/bor.12247.

Lusas, A.R., Hall, B.L., Lowell, T.V., Kelly, M.A., Bennike, O., Levy, L.B., Honsaker, W., 2017. Holocene climate and environmental history of East Greenland inferred from lake sediments. Journal of Paleolimnology 57(4), 321-341, doi: 10.1007/s10933-017-9951-5.

Strunk, A., Knudsen, M.A., Egholm, D.L., Jansen, J.D., Levy, L.B., Jacobsen, B.H., Larsen, N.K., 2017. One million years of glaciation and deunudation history in Greenland: Nature Communications vol. 8, 1-8, doi: 10.1038/ncomms14199.

Levy, L.B., Kelly, M.A., Lowell, T.V., Hall, B.H., Howley, J.A., Smith, C.A, 2016. Coeval fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet and a local glacier, central East Greenland,during late-glacial and early Holocene time: Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 43, 1623-1631, doi: 10.1002/2015GL067108.

Levy, L.B., Kelly, M.A., Lowell, T.V., Hall, B.H., Hempel, L.A., Honsaker, W.M., Lusas, A.R., Howley, J.A., Axford, Y.L., 2014. Holocene fluctuations of Bregne ice cap, Scoresby Sund, east Greenland: a proxy for climate along the Greenland Ice Sheet margin: Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 92, p. 357-368. 

Lowell, T.V., Hall, B.L., Kelly, M.A., Bennike, O., Lusas, A.R., Honsaker, W., Smith, C.A., Levy, L.B., Travis, S., Denton, G., 2013. Late Holocene expansion of Istorvet ice cap, Liverpool Land, east Greenland: Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 63, p. 128-140. 

Levy, L.B., Kelly, M.A., Howley, J.A., Virginia, R.A., 2012. Age of the Ørkendalen moraines, Kangerlussuaq, Greenland: Constraints on the extent of the southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the Holocene: Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 52, p. 1-5. 

Levy, L.B., Kaufman, D.S., and Werner, A., 2004. Holocene glacier fluctuations, Waskey Lake, northeastern Ahklun Mountains, southwestern Alaska: The Holocene, vol. 14 (2), p. 185-193. 

Briner, J.P., Kaufman, D.S., Werner, A., Caffee, M., Levy, L.B., Manley, W.F., Kaplan, M.R., Finkel, R.C., 2004. Glacier readvance during the late glacial (Younger Dryas?) in the Ahklun Mountains, southwestern Alaska: Geology, vol. 30, p. 679-682.