Curriculum Vitae

Sean F. Gallen (he/him)

Full CV (updated 08/12/2021): SFGallen_CV_long


  • Ph.D., Earth Science, North Carolina State University, 2013
  • M.S., Geology, Western Washington University, 2008
  • B.A. Geology & Political Science, The University of Vermont, 2004


  • 2018 – present: Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, Colorado State University
  • 2016 – 2017: Senior assistant (“Oberassistant”), Earth Surface Dynamics group, ETH-Zürich
  • 2015: Postdoctoral scholar, Earth Surface Dynamics group, ETH-Zürich
  • 2013 – 2014: Turner Postodoctoral Fellow, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan

Awards and Honors

  • NSF CAREER award, 2021
  • Warner College of Natural Resources Outstanding Publication Award, 2020
  • Geological Society of America Bulletin Exceptional Reviewer, 2016
  • Turner Postdoctoral Fellow, the University of Michigan, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 2013.
  • People’s Choice Award, Best Talk – North Carolina State University, Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Science and Department of Forestry and Environment Resources Graduate Research Symposium, fall 2012.
  • Outstanding Paper Award – Geological Society of America Southeastern Sectional Meeting, Spring 2012.
  • First Place, Best Poster – North Carolina State University, Graduate Research Symposium, spring 2012.
  • Best Talk – North Carolina State University, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Science Graduate Research Symposium, fall 2011.
  • Runner up, Best Poster – North Carolina State University, Graduate Research Symposium, spring 2011.

Active and Past Grants


  • NSF-Tectonics ($595,158) – CAREER: Data-Driven Inversion of Subduction Zone Topography Using Tectonic Geomorphology (EAR-2041910) (PI), 08/2021 – 07/2026.
  • CSU-Office of the Vice President of Research ($69,665) – Research Continuity Fund Proposal—Establishing Infrastructure to Study Freshwater Chemistry with the Purchase of an Ion Chromatograph System (co-PI), 01/2021 – 12/2021.
  • NSF-HS/GLD ($49,990) – RAPID: Wildfire impacts on snowpack, flow paths, and sediment dynamics across an elevation gradient (EAR-2101068) (co-PI), 10/2020-09/2021.
  • NSF- Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics (CSU portion – $54,400) – Collaborative research, NSF-BSF: The processes and feedbacks that induce multi-scale interactions between local divide migration, drainage reversal, and escarpment evolution (EAR-1945970) (PIs – Eitan Shelef (Pitt), Liran Goren (Ben Gurion), Sean Gallen (CSU)), 01/2020 – 12/2022.


  • CSU-Office of the Vice President of Research ($38,736) – Research Continuity Fund Proposal – Comprehensive assessment of hydrologic and geomorphic dynamics of the Cameron Peak wildfire in the Cache la Poudre watershed (co-PI), 11/2021 – 06/2021.
  • NSF-Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics ($12,000 – travel grant) – Perturbations of Earth Surface Dynamics Caused by Extreme Events (EAR-1924710) (PI), 2019.
  • CSU- Food-Water-Sustainability Competitive Grant Program ($60,000)- The Internet of Soil: Developing open-source, low-cost, IoT technology for monitoring soil moisture (Co-PI, PI – Jay Ham), 2019.
  • CSU-Office of the Vice President of Research ($18,000) – Instrumentation for climate and environmental monitoring at CSU’s Mountain Campus (PIs – Daniel McGrath and Sean Gallen), 2018 – 2019.
  • ETH-Zurich Research Council (250,400 CHF) – Evaluating the role of coseismic landsliding on unsteady erosion and the sedimentary cycle in mountainous landscapes: A case study of the Mw 7.8 Gorkha Earthquake, Nepal (Co-PI with Dr. Maarten Lupker and Dr. Sean Willett), 2016-2019.
  • ETH-Zurich Research Council (50,000 CHF) – Rapid response action following the April 25 Mw 7.8 Gorkha Earthquake: Acquisition of preliminary landslide, sedimentary and geochemical datasets (CO-PI with Dr. Maarten Lupker), 2015-2016.
  • Sigma Xi Gants-in-Aid of Research ($500) – Did the Minoans do it? Testing Natural versus Anthropogenic Controls on Holocene Valley-Bottom Aggradation in the Messara Plain, Crete, Greece, 2012.
  • GSA Graduate student research grant ($2,485) – Using Pleistocene Marine Terraces to Constrain Vertical Tectonics of south-central Crete, 2010.
  • WWU Research and Sponsored Programs Grants ($2,000) – Testing Tectonic Models for the Position of Paleocene Trench-Ridge-Trench Triple Junctions with Paleomagnetism, 2007.



  • New Student Seminar-Exploring Geosciences (GEOL-192, Fall 2021)
  • Critical Zone Science (GEOL-380A1, Fall 2018-present, offered even years)
  • Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers (GEOL-150, Fall 2018-present)
  • Geology of the Rocky Mountain Region (co-taught with J. Singleton, GEOL-401, Fall 2018, Spring 2021)
  • Geology Field Course (GEOL-436, Summer 2018-present)
  • Tectonic Geomorphology (GEOL-581B1, Spring 2018 – present, offered even years)
  • Seminars (Intro. to Data Analysis and Modeling [Spring, 2021]; Ancestral Rocky Mountains [Spring 2021]; Low-temperature Thermochronometry [Fall 2019]; Mountains, Climate, & Biodiversity [Spring 2019])


  • Tectonic Geomorphology (651-4143-00L, Spring, 2016-2017)
  • Digital Topography and Geomorphology (651-4904-00L, Spring 2017, Fall 2017)


Current students:

Omar Ghamedi (Ph.D., 2021-present): Development of topography and geodynamics of the Calabrian Subduction Zone, southern Italy.

Emily Perman (M.S., CSU, 2019-present): Origin and evolution of anomalous lineaments in the Atacama Desert, Northern, Chile (co-advised with Dr. John Singleton)

Johanna Eidmann (Ph.D., CSU, 2018-present): Role of humans and extreme events on water, sediment and carbon fluxes.

Eyal Marder (Ph.D., CSU, 2018-present): Long-term landscape evolution in decaying mountains.

Katherine Schide (Ph.D., ETH, 2016-present): Testing the role of earthquake-triggered landsliding on unsteadiness in erosion and sediment transport in high-relief, tectonically active settings from annual to geologic time-scales (co-advised with Dr. Maarten Lupker).

Past students:

Richard Ott (Ph.D., ETH, 2016-2019): Uplift, erosion, and tectonic and geodynamic evolution of the Hellenic Forearc, Crete, Greece.

Dorran Howell (M.S., ETH, 2016-2018): Constraining Central Himalayan Fault Geometries from Bedrock River Morphologies and Isotopic Proxies for Erosion Rate.

Elena Bruni (M.S., ETH, 2017-2018): Origin and Late Quaternary
emplacement of the unique fans in the Klados River catchment, Crete, Greece.

Marius Huber (M.S.,  ETH, 2015-2018): Beryllium-10 Cosmogenic Radionuclide exposure dating of far travel Gniess Boulders in Himalayan Rivers in Central Nepal. (co-advised with Dr. Maarten Lupker), and (B.S., ETH, 2015): Influence of regional uplift patterns, bedrock lithology and climate on terrace formation and river profile evolution in the Curone River Northern Apennines, Italy.