Collegiate Affiliation

Kurt Kipfmueller is an Associate Professor of Geography, Environment and Society at the University of Minnesota. Born and raised in Michigan, Kurt has a passion for the Great Lakes and its forest communities.

His research explores the intersection of climate variability and forest vegetation patterns, particularly with respect to disturbance regimes. He utilizes the information contained within the annual rings of trees to reconstruct and better understand variations in past environments. His work takes place in the Rockies, Pacific Northwest, and Upper Great Lakes.

Kurt teaches courses in climate variability, biogeography, dendrochronology, and fire ecology. He is the 2010 winner of the Arthur "Red" Motley Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota and a 2017 recipient of the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • B.S.: Geography and Earth Science, Central Michigan University, 1993
  • M.A.: Geography, University of Wyoming, 1997
  • Ph.D.: Geography, University of Arizona, 2003


  • Red Pine Ecology
  • Dendrochronology
  • Fire Ecology of the Great Lakes
  • Biogeography
  • Climatology
  • Paleo-environments
  • Landscape ecology and natural disturbances
  • Global change
  • Forest dynamics
  • Whitebark pine ecology
  • Forest ecology
  • Mountain pine beetles
  • Physical geography
  • Climate change