Leonard Sklar

Leonard Sklar
Professor Emeritus of Geology
Fluvial, Hillslope, and Tectonic Geomorphology; Engineering Geology; Hydrology; Ecosystem Restoration

Contact Information

(415) 338-1204

TH 622



B.S. Applied Science - New York University
B.E. Civil Engineering - Cooper Union
M.S. Civil Engineering - University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. Geology - University of California, Berkeley

Research and Teaching Area

Together with my student collaborators, I am asking both basic and applied research questions about the physical processes that shape the surface of the earth and other planetary bodies.  We work at both the geological times scale at which landscapes evolve and the much shorter engineering time scale at which humans create and solve problems.  We use a spectrum of research approaches, including field observation and experimentation, laboratory physical modeling, development of theoretical models, and numerical landscape analysis and simulation. 

Recent and current research questions include: How do rivers cut through bedrock to create valleys and limit the heights of mountains? How can we better manage sediment to restore aquatic ecosystems downstream of dams?  How are river channels carved by liquid methane into water ice on Saturn’s frozen moon Titan?  What are the feedbacks between biology and geomorphology in a desert travertine stream?  What controls the size distribution of sediments supplied by hillslopes to river channels? What are the linkages between form and process in bedrock landscapes?

I teach courses in Geomorphology and Engineering Geology, and in quantitative methods applied to geoscience problems at both the undergraduate and graduate level.