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John Attig


John W. Attig
Program Leader, Quaternary Geology
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Extension
Affiliated Faculty
Department of Geology and Geophysics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Tel 608/262.6131 Fax 608/262.8086
email jwattig@wisc.edu

Research interests

My research is focused on glacial geology and the evolution of glacial landscapes during the Quaternary (the last 2.6 million years).  This includes studies of Quaternary history, stratigraphy and sedimentology, glacial processes, the geochemistry of Quaternary deposits, and geochronology. 

For the last 30 years I have focused primarily on the Quaternary history and glacial geology of Wisconsin.  I have also had the opportunity to study glaciers and glacial processes in places such as Antarctica, Alaska, Scandinavia, and New Zealand. These efforts allow me to collaborate with colleagues to bring the latest ideas and techniques to my research in Wisconsin.

As a scientist at WGNHS, I use my knowledge of geology to develop maps, reports, and other publications that describe the distribution and nature of the glacial deposits of Wisconsin.

An important and enjoyable part of my work is interacting with students, clients, and professional colleagues who use geology as part of their efforts, and with the general public who have an interest in geology. Much of this interaction with the public takes place in the form of public lectures and field trips, and providing technical assistance. The publication of the book Roadside Geology of Wisconsin (coauthor with Robert H. Dott, Jr.) was a major public education effort.

Current projects

bulletQuaternary geology and landscape evolution of northeastern Wisconsin
bulletLoess distribution and chronology
bulletUsing optical dating to constrain the glacial chronology of Wisconsin
bulletQuaternary lithostratigraphy of Wisconsin

Selected publications/presentations

Syverson, K.M., Clayton, Lee, Attig, J.W., and Mickelson, D.M., Eds., 2011, Lexicon of Peistocene Stratigraphic Units of Wisconsin: Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Technical Report 1.

Batten, W.G., and Attig, J.W., 2010, Preliminary geology of Iowa County, Wisconsin:  Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Open-File Report 2010-01.

Rawling, J.E., Hanson, P.R., Young, Aaron, and Attig, J.W., 2008, Late Pleistocene dune construction in the Central Sand Plain of Wisconsin, USA: Geomorphology, vol. 100, p. 494-505.

Clayton, Lee, Attig, J.W., Ham, N.R., Johnson, M.D., Jennings, C.E., and Syverson, K.M., 2008, Ice-walled-lake plains: Implications for the origin of hummocky glacial topography in middle North America: Geomorphology, v. 97, p. 237-248

Attig, J.W., Hooyer, T.S., Mode, W.N., and Clayton, Lee, 2005, Glacial Lakes Wisconsin and Oshkosh—Two very different late-glacial ice-marginal lakes in Wisconsin: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 37, no. 5, p. 22.

Dott, R.H., Jr., and Attig, J.W., 2004, Roadside Geology of Wisconsin: Missoula, Montana, Mountain Press, 345 p.

Attig, J.W., and Batten, W.G., 2004, Quaternary geology of the Peshtigo River State Forest area: Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Open-File Report 2004-05.

Woodruff, L.G., Attig, J.W., and Cannon, W.F., 2004, Geochemistry of glacial sediment in the area of the Bend massive sulfide deposit, north-central Wisconsin: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 82, p. 97–109. Abstract: doi:10.1016/j.gexplo.2004.01.001