Rusack Professor of Environmental Studies and Earth and Oceanographic Science
Chair of Earth and Oceanographic Science Department
Druckenmiller Hall - 216
Dharni Vasudevan Phil Camill
Understanding environmental challenges requires scientific knowledge about the different spheres of the Earth -- land, water, air, and life -- and how they interact. Presents integrated perspectives across the fields of biology, chemistry, and earth and oceanographic science to examine the scientific basis for environmental change from the molecular to the global level. Foundational principles are developed to address major course themes, including climate change, energy, soil/air/water pollution, chemical exposure and risk, land use change, and biodiversity loss. Laboratory sessions consist of local field trips, laboratory experiments, group research, case study exercises, and discussions of current and classic scientific literature.
The modern world is experiencing rapid climate warming and some parts extreme drought, which will have dramatic impacts on ecosystems and human societies. How do contemporary warming and aridity compare to past changes in climate over the last billion years? Are modern changes human-caused or part of the natural variability in the climate system? What effects did past changes have on global ecosystems and human societies? Students use environmental records from rocks, soils, ocean cores, ice cores, lake cores, fossil plants, and tree rings to assemble proxies of past changes in climate, atmospheric CO2, and disturbance to examine several issues: long-term carbon cycling and climate, major extinction events, the rise of C4 photosynthesis and the evolution of grazing mammals, orbital forcing and glacial cycles, glacial refugia and post-glacial species migrations, climate change and the rise and collapse of human civilizations, climate/overkill hypothesis of Pleistocene megafauna, climate variability, drought cycles, climate change impacts on disturbances (fire and hurricanes), and determining natural variability versus human-caused climate change.
University of Tennessee, B.A. 1993.
Duke University, Ph.D. 1999.
EOS AGU Transactions spotlight (2012) for the article: Harden, J.W., C. Koven, C.L. Ping, G. Hugelius, A.D. McGuire, P. Camill, T. Jorgenson, P. Kuhry, G Michaelson, J. O’Donnell, E.A.G. Schuur, C. Tarnocai, K. Johnson, G. Grosse (2012) Field Information Links Permafrost Carbon to Physical Vulnerabilities of Thawing. Geophysical Research Letters
Gillis, J (2011) As permafrost thaws, scientists study the risks. New York Times, Dec 16, 2011.
Schultz, C. (2011), Exploring the effects of climate change on northern soil carbon, Eos Trans. AGU, 92(40), 348, doi:10.1029/2011EO400016
Editor’s Highlight, Journal of Geophysical Research—Biogeosciences (2011) and EOS AGU Transactions spotlight (2011) for the article: Grosse et al. (2011) Vulnerability of high latitude soil carbon in North America to disturbance. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 116, G00K06, 23 PP., 2011 doi:10.1029/2010JG001507
Pojar, J. (2010) A new climate for conservation: Nature, carbon and climate change in British Columbia (PDF). Commissioned by the Working Group on Biodiversity, Forests and Climate, an alliance of ENGOs.
Williamson, T.B.; Colombo, S.J.; Duinker, P.N.; Gray, P.A.; Hennessey, R.J.; Houle, D.; Johnston, M.H.; Ogden, A.E.; Spittlehouse, D.L. (2009) Climate change and Canada’s forests: from impacts to adaptation (PDF). Sustainable Forest Management Network and Natural Resources Canada.
Staudt, A. (2009) New science demonstrates need for aggressive cap on carbon pollution. National Wildlife Federation
The Big Thaw (2009) Science Illustrated, Jan-Feb digital issue
The Big Thaw (2009) Popular Science, Feb. 2, 2009
Beem, E.A. (2009) Northward Over the Great Ice. Bowdoin Magazine
Ferguson, C., E.A. Nelson, and G.G. Sherman (2008) Turning Up the Heat: Global Warming and the Degradation of Canada’s Boreal Forest (PDF). Greenpeace Canada
Walker, G. (2007) A world melting from the top down. Nature 446:718-721.
IPCC Climate Change (2007) Working Group II: Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability. Ecosystems, their properties, goods and services, section 4.4.6: Tundra and Arctic/Antarctic ecosystems.
Stokstad, E. (2004) Defrosting the Carbon Freezer of the North. Science 304:1618-1619.
IPCC (2002) Climate change and biodiversity. IPCC Technical paper V.
Wadia, R. (2001) While policy-makers squabble, Amazon vanishes. CNN
Duke Studies Show U.S. Central Plains Vulnerable to Global Warming (1998) Science Daily
Camill, P. (2013) Message from the president. Newsletter of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Vol 5, Issue 1 (Spring 2013)
Camill, P. (2012) Message from the president. Newsletter of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Vol 4, Issue 3 (Fall 2012)
Camill, P. (2012) Message from the president. Newsletter of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Vol 4, Issue 2 (Summer 2012)
Camill, P. (2012) Message from the president. Newsletter of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Vol 4, Issue 1 (Spring 2012)
Camill, P. (2011) Message from the president. Newsletter of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Vol 3, Issue 5 (Fall 2011)
Camill, P. (2011) Message from the president. Newsletter of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Vol 3, Issue 4 (Summer 2011)
Camill, P. (2009) Environmental literacy in the academy. Newsletter of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Vol 2, Issue 2 (Summer 2009)
Camill, P. (2002) Watch your step: Understanding the impact of your personal consumption on the environment. Peer-reviewed case study on NSF-sponsored Case Studies in Science website at SUNY Buffalo.
Camill, P. (1999) The Deforestation of the Amazon: A Case Study in Understanding Ecosystems and Their Value. Peer-reviewed case study on NSF-sponsored Case Studies in Science website at SUNY Buffalo.
Anson*, M., K. Bahm*, P. Camill, M. Hearn*, E. Johnson, E. LePage*, T. Marcello*, C. Mawhinney*, L. Wang* (2010) Coastal Vulnerability Analysis: Inventory and Recommendations. 63 pp.
Environmental Studies Senior Capstone Group (2009) Brunswick, Maine Climate Action Plan: Inventory and Recommendations. Bowdoin College. 71 pp.
Environmental Studies Senior Capstone Group (2009) Topsham, Maine Climate Action Plan: Inventory and Recommendations. Bowdoin College. 53 pp.
Bowdoin Climate Commitment Advisory Committee (CCAC) (2009) A Blueprint for Carbon Neutrality in 2020. Bowdoin College. 18 pp.
Bowdoin Climate Commitment Advisory Committee (CCAC) (2009) Bowdoin College Climate Neutrality Implementation Plan. Bowdoin College. 76 pp.
Shinneman, A., M.B. Edlund, W.O. Hobbs, C. Umbanhowar, Jr., P. Camill, C. Geiss (2016). Calibration of diatom assemblages to infer lake response to climate over time in a highly variable landscape at the boreal forest-tundra ecotone. Journal of Paleolimnology DOI 10.1007/s10933-016-9911-5
Huntington, T. G., W. M. Balch, G. R. Aiken, J. Sheffield, L. Luo, C. S. Roesler, and P. Camill (2016), Climate change and dissolved organic carbon export to the Gulf of Maine, Journal of Geophysical Research—Biogeosciences, 121, 2700–2716, doi:10.1002/ 2015JG003314.
Treat, C.C., M. C. Jones, P. Camill, M. Garneau, J.W. Harden, G. Hugelius, E.S. Klein, U. Kokfelt, P. Kuhry, J. Loisel, P. Mathijseen, J. A. O’Donnell, P. Oksanen, T.M. Ronkainen, A. B. Sannel, J. Talbot, C. M. Tarnocai, and M. Valarinta. (2016) Effects of permafrost aggradation on peat properties determined from a pan-arctic macrofossil synthesis. Journal of Geophysical Research—Biogeosciences. 121(1):78-94.
Umbanhowar, Jr., C.E., P. Camill, M. Edlund, C. Geiss, E. Emmons, P. Henneghan, M. Krueger, M. Kubis, M. Parker, K. Passow (2015). Lake-landscape connections at the forest-tundra transition of northern Manitoba. Inland Waters 5(1):57-74.
Hugelius, G., J. Strauss, S. Zubrzycki, J.W. Harden, E.A.G. Schuur, C.L. Ping, L. Schirrmeister, G. Grosse, G.J. Michaelson, C.D. Koven, J.A. O'Donnell, B. Elberling, U. Mishra, P. Camill, Z. Yu, J. Palmtag, and P. Kuhry (2014) Improved estimates show large circumpolar stocks of permafrost carbon while quantifying substantial uncertainty ranges and identifying remaining data gaps. Biogeosciences11:6573-6593.
Yu, Z., J. Loisel, D. Charman, D. Beilman, P. Camill. (2014) Holocene peatland carbon dynamics in the circum-Arctic region: an introduction. The Holocene
Loisel, J, Z. Yu, D. Beilman, P. Camill, and the Holocene Peatland Carbon Network (2014). A circum-Arctic database and synthesis of peatland soil properties and Holocene carbon accumulation. The Holocene
Hernandez, D., M.McKone, C. Alster, E. Esch, P. Camill (2013) Rapid accumulation of soil carbon and nitrogen in a prairie restoration chronosequence. Soil Science Society of America Journal. doi:10.2136/sssaj2012.0403.
Umbanhowar, Jr., C.E., P. Camill, M. Edlund, C. Geiss, W. Durham, D. Kreger, W. Molano, C. Raskob, M. Stocker, A. Tvera, J. Williams (2013) Contrasting changes in surface waters and barrens over the past 60 years or a subarctic forest-tundra site located in northern Manitoba based on remotre sensing imagery. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 50: 967–977. dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2012-0162
Hugelius, G., C. Tarnocai, J.G. Bockheim, P. Camill, B. Elberling, G. Grosse, J.W. Harden, K. Johnson, T. Jorgenson, C.D. Koven, P. Kuhry, G. Michaelson, U. Mishra, J. Palmtag, C-L. Ping, J. O’Donnell, L. Schirrmeister, E.A.G. Schuur, Y. Sheng, L.C. Smith, J. Strauss and Z. Yu. (2013) Short communication: Spatially distributed estimates of soil organic carbon storage between 1 and 3 m depth in the northern circumpolar permafrost region. Earth System Science Data 6:73-93.
E.A.G. Schuur, B.W. Abbott, W.B. Bowden, V. Brovkin, P. Camill, J.P. Canadell, J.P. Chanton, F.S. Chapin III, T.R. Christensen, P. Ciais, P.M. Crill, B.T. Crosby, C.I. Czimczik, G. Grosse, J. Harden, D.J. Hayes, G. Hugelius, J.D. Jastrow, J.B. Jones, T. Kleinen, C.D, Koven, G. Krinner, P. Kuhry, D.M. Lawrence, A.D. McGuire, S.M. Natali, J.A. O’Donnell, C.L. Ping, W.J. Riley, A. Rinke, V.E. Romanovsky, A.B.K. Sannel, C. Schädel, K. Schaefer, J. Sky, Z.M. Subin, C. Tarnocai, M. Turetsky, M. Waldrop, K. M. Walter-Anthony, K. P. Wickland, C.J. Wilson, S.A. Zimov (2013) Expert assessment of potential permafrost carbon feedback to climate change. Climatic Change 119:359-374.
Kothari, A., P. Camill, J. Brown. (2013) Conservation as if people mattered: Policy and practice of community based management. Conservation and Society (lead article for a special issue created from the 2008 Bowdoin Mellon symposium). 11(1)
French, N.H.F., L.L. Bourgeau-Chavez, M.J. Falkowski, S. Goetz, L.K. Jenkins, R.B. Powell, P. Camill, C.S. Roesler (2013) Remote sensing for mapping and modeling carbon flux and storage. Chapter 5 in Brown, Robinson, French, Reed (eds): Land Use and the Carbon Cycle. Cambridge University Press
Harden, J.W., C. Koven, C.L. Ping, G. Hugelius, A.D. McGuire, P. Camill, T. Jorgenson, P. Kuhry, G Michaelson, J. O’Donnell, E.A.G. Schuur, C. Tarnocai, K. Johnson, G. Grosse (2012) Field Information Links Permafrost Carbon to Physical Vulnerabilities of Thawing. Geophysical Research Letters L15704, doi:10.1029/2012GL051958, 2012
Camill, P., C.E. Umbanhowar, Jr, C.E. Geiss, W.O. Hobbs, M. Edlund, A. Cook Shinneman, J.A. Dorale, J. Lynch. (2012) Holocene climate change and landscape development from a low-Arctic tundra lake in the western Hudson Bay region of Manitoba, Canada. Journal of Paleolimnology (special issue on Holocene climate change in Arctic lakes) 48(1):175-192.
Yu, Z., D. Bielman, S. Frolking, G. MacDonald, N. Roulet, P. Camill, D. Charman (2012) Peatlands as a model ecosystem of soil carbon dynamics—A reply to Tarnocai et al (2011) Peatlands and their carbon dynamics. EOS
Camill, P., M. Hearn*, K. Bahm*, and E. Johnson (2012) Using a boundary organization approach to develop a sea level rise and storm surge impact analysis framework for coastal communities in Maine. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Schuur, EAG, B.W. Abbott, W.B. Bowden, V. Brovkin, P. Camill, J.P. Canadell, F.S. Chapin III, T.R. Christensen, J.P. Chanton, P. Ciais, P.M. Crill, B.T. Crosby, C.I. Czimczik, G. Grosse, D.J. Hayes, G. Hugelius, J.D. Jastrow, T. Kleinen, C.D, Koven, G. Krinner, P. Kuhry, D.M. Lawrence, S.M. Natali, C.L. Ping, A. Rinke, W.J. Riley, V.E. Romanovsky, A.B.K. Sannel, C. Schädel, K. Schaefer, Z.M. Subin, C. Tarnocai, M. Turetsky, K. M. Walter-Anthony, C.J. Wilson, S.A. Zimov. (2011) High risk of permafrost thaw. Nature 480:32-33.
Camill, P. and K. Phillips (2011) Capstones and Practica in Environmental Studies and Sciences Programs: Rationale and Lessons Learned. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 1(3):181-188.
Camill, P. (2011) Using energy audits and climate action planning as a community based environmental studies capstone experience at Bowdoin College. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 1(3):206-214.
Grosse, G., J. Harden, M. Turetsky, A. David McGuire, P. Camill, C. Tarnocai, S. Frolking, E.A.G. Schuur, T. Jorgenson, S. Marchenko, V. Romanovsky, K.P. Wickland, N. French, M. Waldrop, L. Bourgeau-Chavez, R.G. Striegl. (2011) Vulnerability of high latitude soil carbon in North America to disturbance. Journal of Geophysical Research—Biogeosciences, 116, G00K06, 23 PP., 2011 doi:10.1029/2010JG001507
Yu, Z., D. Bielman, S. Frolking, G. MacDonald, N. Roulet, P. Camill, D. Charman (2011) Peatlands in the global carbon cycle. EOS 92(12):97-98.
Umbanhowar, C.E., Jr., P. Camill, J.A. Dorale. (2011) Regional heterogeneity and the effects of land use and climate on the ecosystems of 20 lakes in the Big Woods region of Minnesota. Journal of Paleolimnology 45:151-166.
Camill, P., L. Chihara, J.B. Adams, G. Rafert, A. Barry, C. Andreassi, M. Mandell. (2010) Early life history transitions and establishment of Picea mariana in thawed permafrost peatlands. Ecology 91:448-459.
Camill, P. (2010) Global Change. Nature Education Knowledge (Nature Publishing Group) 1(8):25.
Camill, P., A. Barry, E. Williams, C. Andreassi, J. Limmer, and D. Solick. (2009) Climate-vegetation-fire interactions and their impact on long-term carbon accumulation in boreal peatlands. Journal of Geophysical Research—Biogeosciences 114: G04017, doi:10.1029/2009JG001071.
Camill, P. (2009) Sunken ground and empty oceans. Whole Terrain (invited contribution for special issue). Vol. 16:10-13.
Teed, R., Umbanhowar, C.E., Jr., Camill, P. (2009) Multi-proxy lake sediment records at the northern and southern boundaries of the aspen parkland region of Manitoba, Canada. The Holocene 19(6):937-948.
Power, M.J. et al. (multiple-authored article) (2007) Changes in fire regimes since the Last Glacial Maximum: an assessment based on a global synthesis and analysis of charcoal data. Climate Dynamics 30(7-8): 887-907.
Camill, P. (2006) Case studies add value to a diverse teaching portfolio in science courses. Journal of College Science Teaching, 36(2): 31-37.
Umbanhowar, C.E. Jr., P. Camill, R. Teed, C. Geiss. (2006) Asymmetric vegetation responses to mid-Holocene aridity at the prairie-forest ecotone in south-central Minnesota. Quaternary Research 66:53-66.
Camill, P. (2005) Permafrost thaw accelerates in boreal peatlands during late-20th century climate warming. Climatic Change 68:135-152.
Camill, P., M.J. McKone, S. Sturges*, W. Severud*, E. Ellis*, J. Limmer*, C. Martin*, R.T. Navratil*, A. Purdie*, B.S. Sandel*, S. Talukder* and A. Trout* (2004) Community and ecosystem-level changes in a species-rich tallgrass prairie restoration. Ecological Applications 14(6) 1680-1694.
Geiss, C., S. Banerjee, P. Camill, and C. Umbanhowar. (2004) Sediment magnetic signature of land use and drought as recorded in lake sediment from south-central Minnesota, USA. Quaternary Research 62:117-125.
Camill, P. (2003). Ecosystem concepts: introduction. Nature Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Nature Publishing Group, Macmillan Publishers.
Camill, P., C.E. Umbanhowar, R. Teed, C.E. Geiss, L. Dvorak, J. Kenning*, J. Limmer*, and K. Walkup. (2003) Late-glacial and Holocene climatic effects on fire and vegetation dynamics at the prairie-forest ecotone in south-central Minnesota. Journal of Ecology 91(5).
Geiss, C.E., C.E. Umbanhowar, P. Camill, and S.K. Banergee. (2003) Sediment magnetic properties reveal Holocene climate change along the Minnesota prairie-forest ecotone. Journal of Paleolimnology 30:151-166.
Camill, P. (2002). Watch your step: Understanding the impact of your personal consumption on the environment. Journal of College Science Teaching 30(1):29-35. Also accessible on SUNY Buffalo Case Studies in Science website.
Camill, P., J.A Lynch, J.S. Clark, J.B. Adams* and B. Jordan*. (2001) Changes in biomass, aboveground NPP, and peat accumulation following permafrost thaw in the boreal peatlands of Manitoba, Canada. Ecosystems 4:461-478.
Camill, P. (2000) Using journal articles in an environmental biology course. Journal of College Science Teaching. 30(1):38-43.
Camill, P. (2000) How much do local factors matter for predicting transient ecosystem dynamics? Suggestions from permafrost formation in boreal peatlands. Global Change Biology 6:169-182.
Camill, P. and J.S Clark. (2000) Long-term perspectives on lagged ecosystem responses to climatic change: Permafrost in boreal peatlands and the grassland/woodland boundary. Ecosystems 3(6):534-544.
Camill, P. (1999) Peat accumulation and succession following permafrost thaw in the boreal peatlands of Manitoba, Canada. Ecoscience 6(4):592-602.
Camill, P. (1999) Patterns of boreal permafrost peatland vegetation across environmental gradients sensitive to climate warming. Canadian Journal of Botany 77 (5): 721-733.
Clark, J.S., Beckage, B., Camill, P., Cleveland, B., HilleRisLambers, J., Lichter, J., Mohan, J., MacLachlan, J., and Wyckoff, P. (1999) Where does recruitment limitation occur in forests? American Journal of Botany 86(1):1-16.
Camill, P. and Clark, J.S. (1998) Climate change disequilibrium of boreal permafrost peatlands caused by local processes. The American Naturalist 151(3):207-222.
Valett, H.M., Fisher, S.G., Grimm, N.B., and Camill, P. (1994) Upwelling, downwelling, and algal recovery from floods in a desert stream. Ecology 75(2): 548-560.
Camill, P. (1992) Growth and structural patterns in a post-fire sandhill community. Proceedings of the Sixth National Conference on Undergraduate Education 3:1548-1553.