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About Christopher L. Hill

Christopher Hill is a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and Professor Emeritus at Boise State University. He was Acting Dean of the Graduate College in 2016, and Associate Dean from 2012 to 2016. He served as the Director of the Environmental Studies Program from 2007 to 2012. Dr. Hill served on the U.S. National Committee (USNC) for the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) from 2016 until 2022; the USNC/INQUA is part of the Board on International Scientific Organizations, and represents the United States through the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Dr. Hill specializes in applying geologic and biologic methods to explore past and present environments, especially responses to climate and geoenvironmental change. His research and teaching has focused on the evolution of landscapes and ecosystems, as well as human-environmental interactions in North America, Eurasia, and Africa. He is a specialist in interdisciplinary environmental science, conducting research in geoarchaeology/paleontology and applied geoscience with expertise in stratigraphy/sedimentology and geomorphology, geochemistry and geochronology, historical ecology, and environmental/engineering geology. He also has a background in the history of science and science public policy.

Among Dr. Hill's 6 books are two editions of "Geoarchaeology" which was co-authored with Rip Rapp and published by Yale University Press. A Chinese translation was published by the Science Press, Chinese Academy of Science in 2020. He also published "Mesozoic and Cenozoic Vertebrate Paleontology in the Western Plains and Rocky Mountains" which is an edited volume produced as part of the 61st annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Dr. Hill has published over 180 journal articles, chapters in books, and scientific abstracts in addition to technical reports and book reviews.

Dr. Hill is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Honor Society. He has served in several administrative positions, including Chair and Secretary-Treasurer, for the Archaeological Geology Division of the GSA. He was also elected to serve on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA), which is an organization of interdisciplinary scientists founded in 1970 with the goal of advancing research on the physical, biologic and human dimensions of the last 2.6 million years of Earth history and environmental change. Dr. Hill served on the editorial board for the science journal Geology from 2016 to 2018.Geology has been the no. 1 ranked "geology" journal for twelve consecutive years on the online research platform, Web of Science.

Dr. Hill majored in Interdisciplinary Studies: Geology, Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. His graduate work was at the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University, where he earned a Ph.D. focused on geological and paleoecological evidence for long-term environmental change in the Sahara Desert (North Africa). Before joining Boise State University, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Tulane University and Associate Curator of Geology and Biology at Montana State University. Dr. Hill has served as a geologist for the Combined Prehistoric Expedition, is a Registered Professional Archaeologist, and served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Mores Creek Rim Ranches Water District (Boise County, Idaho).


2021 - Present Professor Emeritus, Boise State University
2017 - Present Program Director, National Science Foundation ‐ Division of Graduate Education
2013 - 2021 Professor, Boise State University
2016 - 2016 Acting Dean, Boise State University Graduate College
2012 - 2016 Associate Dean, Boise State University Graduate College
2007 - 2012 Associate Professor, Boise State University
2002 - 2007 Assistant Professor, Boise State University

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Special Act Award, National Science Foundation -2019
  • Provost's Excellence in Advising Award - 2010
  • Elected Fellow, Geological Society of America - 2008
  • Faculty Award for Research, Teaching, Service, Boise State University - 2004


  • Quaternary Paleontology
  • Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Environmental Anthropology
  • Quantitative Methods/Statistical Analyses
  • North American Paleoenvironments
  • Human Evolution and Paleoanthropology
  • Ice Age Mammals of North America
  • Prehistory of Egypt


1992 Ph.D., Southern Methodist University ‐ Institute for the Study of Earth and Man
1989 M.A., Southern Methodist University ‐ Institute for the Study of Earth and Man
1982 B.A. - Interdisciplinary Studies (Geology, Archaeology and Anthropology), University of Minnesota - Duluth

Contact Information


Books (4)

Contributions to Books (13)

Includes encyclopedia entries

Articles (28)