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Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Professor Van De Water

Peter Van de Water

Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1999

Associate Professor
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Teaching Interests

My current teaching interests includes the introduction to Environmental Science class (EES 4).  I have, for some time focused on the EES4 class that is taught to students at University High on the Fresno State University Campus.   I am also involved with the Fresno State University EES4 class, especially the laboratory portion of the curriculum.  I also am involved with the introductory Environmental Science class (EES 31 (Currently offered as EES 150T)), where first time students are introduced to the college of Science and math as well as the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Environmental Science program.  Within the curriculum, I also have taught “Oceans and Atmosphere’s (EES167)”, and Terrestrial Paleoenviornments (offered as “temporary course”) and a new class about the Atmosphere (EES 109).

Research Interests

My research interests are varied, but center on vegetation changes occurring over the past 20,000 years.  My interests include primarily the fields of ecology and paleoecology.  I am involved in projects that study changes in plant morphology and plant communities from current times to the late Quaternary using macro- and micro-fossils.  Within the context of this focus, I have used the application of stable isotope analysis and morphological measurements to reconstruct past plant physiology, especially over the last great rise in atmospheric CO2 that occurred during deglaciation.  My research has also looked at the variability of natural populations as a means to test their suitability as proxy records from past landscape changes.  In addition, I have worked with atmospheric models to track the incorporation and downwind transport of pollen from source areas as a means to understand entrainment and depositional processes at long distances.  The most recent application of this work tracked plant gene-flow from genetically modified crop plants into wild relatives growing in surrounding areas.

Examples of Current Research Themes:

2016    A dynamic leaf gas-exchange strategy is conserved in woody plants under changing ambient CO2: evidence from carbon isotope discrimination in paleo and CO2 enrichment studies.  S. L. Voelker,  J. Brooks, F. Meinzer, R. Anderson, M. Bader, G. Battipaglia, K. Becklin, D. Beerling, D. Bert, J. Betancourt, T.Dawson, J-C Domec, R. Guyette, C. Korner, S. Leavit, S. Linder,  J. Marshall, M Mildner, J. O Gee, I. Panyushkina, H. Plumpton, K. Pregitzer, M. Saurer, A. Smith, R. Siegwolf, M. Stambaugh, A. Talhelm, J. Tardif, P. Van de Water, J. Ward and Lisa Wingate.  Global Change Biology (2016) 22, 889-902, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13102.

2015      Trayler, Robin B., Robert G. Dundas, Kena Fox-Dobbs, Peter K. Van de Water. Inland California during the Pleistocene – Megafaunal stable isotope records reveal new paleoecological and Paleoenvironmental insights. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 43, DOI 10.1016/j.palaeo 2015.07.034

2014      Franks, Peter J. Royer, Dana L., Beerling, David J., Van de Water Peter K., Cantrill, David, Barbour, Margaret, Berry, Joseph A. New constraints on atmospheric CO2 concentration for the Phaerozoic. Geophysical Research Letters, 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL060457.

2013      Bunderson, Landon D. Luvall, Jeffrey, Van de Water, Peter, and Levetin, Estelle. Juniper Pollen Hotspots in the Southwest. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

2012      Bunderson, Landon D., Peter Van de Water, Harrington Wells, Estelle Levetin.  Predicting and Quantifying Pollen Production in Juniperus ashei Forests. Phytologia: 94(3): 417-438.

2011      Meredith G. Schafer, Andrew A. Ross, Jason P. Londo, Connie A. Burdick, E. Henry Lee, Steven E. Travers, Peter K. Van de Water, Cynthia L. Sagers.  The Establishment of Genetically Engineered Canola Populations in the U.S.  PLoS ONE 6(10): e25736. doi:10.1371/journal.pone, 0025736

2009     Dundas, Robert G., Yesenia Ibarra, Frederika J. M. Harmsen, Peter K. Van de Water.  Bison cf. B. latifrons from the Late-Pleistocene Broach Locality, Fresno, California. Current Research in the Pleistocene 26:149-151.

2008      Levetin, Estelle and Peter K. Van de Water. Changing pollen types/concentrations/ distributions in the United States: Fact or Fiction. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports 8: 418-424.