Welcome to the Brown University Quaternary Environments web site that features the terrestrial component of Earth Systems History Research at Brown. Quaternary environmental research encompasses the mapping and analysis of  the vegetation and climate history in North America since the last glacial maximum 21,000 years ago. It also involves the study of coastal processes and sea level rise that accompanied glacial retreat and continue today. All of these studies illustrate the environmental changes within New England that affected humans who have lived here since late-glacial times. Recent research has featured the study of changing late Quaternary water levels in New England lakes. Research on these topics is therefore divided into four main headings: Vegetation Dynamics, Paleoclimates, Coastal Studies, and Geoarchaeology. Tom Webb currently directs this research program that includes research staff, graduate students, and undergraduates (see People). Several books and research articles describe the breadth of research in Quaternary Environments that Brown researchers have accomplished during the last 28 years (see Publications).

Click for instructions on using Pollen Viewer 3.2. Visit our Vegetation Dynamics web page and try out our enhanced interactive pollen viewer, version 3.2. The viewer lets you observe how taxon distributions and associations have changed during the last 21,000 years. What were the major vegetational responses to warming and cooling after the last "ice age"?

NEMPID database (James W. Bradley, editor, version 1.1, April, 2001), fr: Newby et al., QSR 24 (2005), click here Paleo-Calib or here Paleo-Data.xls. The NEMPID began in 1994 as part of the exhibition, "Origins and Ancestors: Investigation New England's Paleo Indians" (curated by J. Bradley with A. Spiess and P. Newby as guest curators) at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Andover, MA. Generous contributions have made NEMPID possible, in particular, R. Boivert (New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources), D. Dincauze (UMASS, Amherst), R. Funk (NY State Archaeologist, emeritus), N. Hamilton (U. of Southern ME), B. Jones (Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center), S. Loring (Arctic Studies Program, Smithsonian Institute), J. Petersen, (U. of VT), A. Spiess (ME Historic Preservation Commission) and R. Will (Arc Inc.).


Bryan, Paige & Jeff coring at Echo Lake, NH Bryan at the scope studying pollen.

Coring at Echo Lake, North Conway, NH
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Pollen Identification Research
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This site is best viewed with screen resolution set to 800 x 600.  If you have any suggestions or observations concerning the Quaternary Environments web site, please send an e-mail to web author Phil Leduc or to Professor Tom Webb.

Last updated: September, 2002.  Click here to view a log of the changes made to the QE web site.