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About Christopher C. Barton

Christopher C. Barton is Founder and Leader of the Complexity Research Group, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wright State University since 2004. He is a pioneer in the identification and quantification of nonlinear dynamics and complexity in earth, environmental, human, and economic systems. He uses the mathematical tools of fractals, chaos, and complexity to analyze, model, and forecast future behavior of complex systems. Current research topics include: fault trace scaling on Venus, temporal pattern of reversals of the Earth's magnetic field, dynamics of stream and river discharge, precipitation travel time through watersheds, and shoreline dynamics. Dr. Barton received two master’s degrees (1976, 1977), and a Ph.D. (1983) from Yale University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at U.C. Berkeley. He was a senior research scientist and project chief the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 1984 until his retirement in 2004. He has twice been a USGS G.K. Gilbert Fellow at IBM with Benoit Mandelbrot, the "father of Fractals.” He is the author of more than 60 published research papers and is the senior editor of two books. He is a contributing editor to the international journal, Fractals since 1994.


Present Professor, Wright State University Earth and Environmental Sciences

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Professional Service and Affiliations

2004 - Present Editorial Board, Fractals Complex, Patters, Scaling in Nature and Society
2000 - Present Co-Director, Colombia Consortium for Risk Management in a Changing Environment
1990 - Present Investigator, Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, LTER, Woodstock, New Hampshire
Present President, Nonlinear Geophysics Section of American Geophysical Union
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  • EES 4430/6430 Analysis and Prediction of Complex Natural and Human Systems
  • EES 1050 Dynamic Earth
  • EES 7160 Complexity in Environmental System
  • EES 4210/6210 Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • EES 6990 Independent Study: Matlab Programming for Science Research
  • EES 6270 Seminar (Complexity)


1983 Ph.D., Yale University
1977 M.Phil., Yale University
1976 M.S., Yale University
Post-doctoral fellow, U.C. Berkeley

Contact Information

Brehm Laboratory 265
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
(937) 775-3444


Articles (26)