Eric Klein, Ph.D.

Dr. Eric Klein
Assistant Professor
Department of Geological Sciences
(907) 786-1284


PhD, 2013, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
MS, 2004, Environmental Science, Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, AK
BA, 2000, Political Science, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA


Dr. Klein is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences where he teaches courses in hydrogeology, paleoclimatology, and geochemistry.  His current research incorporates both modern and paleo techniques to understand how water moves through Earth systems and how these patterns change with time.

Teaching Responsibilities

GEOL A345 Hydrogeology
GEOL A490/A690 Paleoclimate
GEOL A492 Geology Seminar

Research Interests

Dr. Klein is interested in how water moves through the Earth and leaves different signals (some physical, others biological or chemical) that allow us to understand its distribution and impacts across multiple time periods, landscapes, and phase changes. He uses field instrumentation and stable water isotope ratios to understand the movement and relationship between modern hydrogeological variables, such as precipitation and water table depth. These modern data help place historical changes in context, as he also studies the response of paleo Earth systems, such as lakes and glaciers, to hydroclimate fluctuations through environmental reconstructions using multiple proxy records like those from ice and peatland sediments.  Much of Dr. Klein’s current research is in high northern latitude and Arctic environments.


*Student author

[14] Gallego-Sala, A., D. J. Charman, S. Brewer, … E.S. Klein… Y. Zhao. 2018. Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming. Nature Climate Change.

[13] Stansell, N.D., E.S. Klein, M. Finkenbinder, C. Fortney*, J. Dodd, J. Terasmaa, and D. Nelson. 2017.  A stable isotope record of Holocene precipitation dynamics from Lake Nuudsaku, Estonia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 175. 73-84.

[12] Daniels, W., J.M. Russell, A. E. Giblin, J. M. Welker, E. S. Klein, and Y. Huang. 2017. Leaf wax hydrogen isotope fractionation from synthesis to sedimentation in the Arctic tundra, North Slope, Alaska. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 213. 216-236.

[11] Klein, E.S. and J. Welker. 2016. Influence of sea ice on ocean water vapor isotopes and Greenland ice core records. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (24). 12-475-12483

[10] Puntsag, T.*, M.J. Mitchell, J.L. Campbell, E.S. Klein, G.E. Likens, and J.M. Welker. 2016. Arctic Vortex changes alter the sources and isotopic values of precipitation in NE US. Scientific Reports, 6:22647.

[9] Klein, E.S., M. Nolan, J. Cherry, J. Young, J. McConnell, M. Sigl, and J. Welker. 2016. McCall Glacier record of Arctic climate change: Interpreting a northern Alaska ice core with regional water isotopes. Quaternary Science Reviews, 131. 274-284.

[8] Treat C., M. Jones M., …E.S. Klein… 2016. Effects of permafrost aggradation on peat properties as determined from a pan-arctic synthesis of plant macrofossils. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.

[7] Leffler, A.J., E.S. Klein, S.F.Oberbauer, and J.M. Welker. 2016. Coupled long-term summer warming and deeper snow alters species composition and stimulates gross primary productivity in tussock tundra. Oecologia, 1-11.

[6] Klein, E.S., J. Cherry, J.Young, D. Noone, A. Leffler, and J. Welker. 2015. Arctic cyclone water vapor isotopes support past sea ice retreat recorded in Greenland ice. Scientific Reports, 5:10295.

[5] Loisel, J., Z. Yu, D. Beilman, P. Camill,  … E.S. Klein…2014. A database and synthesis of northern peatland soil properties and Holocene carbon and nitrogen accumulation. The Holocene: 1-15.

[4] Klein, E.S., Z. Yu, and R. K. Booth. 2013. Recent Increase in Peatland Carbon Accumulation in a Thermokarst Lake Basin in Southwestern Alaska. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 392.186-195.

[3] Klein, E.S., R. K. Booth, Z. Yu, B. G. Mark, and N. D. Stansell. 2013. Hydrology-mediated Differential Response of Carbon Accumulation to Late Holocene Climate Change at Two Peatlands in Southcentral Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews, 64. 61-75.

[2] Klein, E. S., E. E. Berg, and R. Dial. 2011. Reply to comment by Gracz on “Wetland drying and succession across the Kenai Peninsula Lowlands, south-central Alaska”. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 41 (2). 429-433.

[1] Klein, E., E. Berg, and R. Dial. 2005. Wetland drying and succession across the Kenai Peninsula Lowlands, south-central Alaska. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 35 (8). 1931-1941.