Peter D. Lea

Associate Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science

Peter Lea

Contact Information
Earth & Oceanographic Science

Druckenmiller Hall - 120 D

Teaching this semester

EOS 1030. Addressing Sea Level Rise

Sea-level rise is accelerating due to climate change. Such a rise, combined locally with sinking land and/or trapping of coastal sediment, creates dramatic impacts on human lives and property and on coastal ecosystems and the services they provide. Explores the scientific basis for sea-level rise, projections of future impacts, and options for policy responses over decadal and single-event (disaster) time scales. Topics include: identifying the trade-offs between armoring and retreating from the coast; examining whether disasters are natural or human-caused; considering how race and socioeconomic status influence risk and recovery; questioning who controls the planning process; and exploring how science should be communicated in times of hyper-partisanship.

EOS 2335. Sedimentary Systems

Investigates modern and ancient sedimentary systems, both continental and marine, with emphasis on the dynamics of sediment transport, interpretation of depositional environments from sedimentary structures and facies relationships, stratigraphic techniques for interpreting earth history, and tectonic and sea-level controls on large-scale depositional patterns. Weekend trip to examine Devonian shoreline deposits in the Catskill Mountains in New York is required.


  • A.B. (Dartmouth)
  • M.S. (Washington)
  • Ph. D. (Colorado-Boulder)

Peter D. Lea teaches hydrology, glacial processes and landforms, and sedimentology. His research includes climatic and environmental change of the Bering land bridge, as well as the flow dynamics, biogeochemistry, and environmental history of Merrymeeting Bay, a freshwater tidal system in mid-coast Maine.