Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty

Noah P. Snyder

Associate Professor

Director of Undergraduate Studies


Rivers are conduits for transport of fresh water, sediment and nutrients throughout the landscape. Humans manage rivers for water supply, power generation, flood control and navigation. These needs often conflict with ecological functions of rivers, such fish migration. My research focuses on understanding how rivers respond to changes, ranging from long-term variations in tectonics or climate to short-term shifts in dam function or land use. I link measurements of channel morphology from high-resolution airborne lidar digital elevation models with field-based measurements of stream processes.

  • Elisabeth Ames: A comparison of glacial and land-use controls on erosion in the northeastern United States
  • Samantha Dow: Measuring 20th century fluvial response to 18-19th century anthropogenic activity using two generations of damming in the South River, western Massachusetts
  • James LeNoir: Post-glacial sedimentation in Ossipee Lake, New Hampshire: Land use versus climate change
  • Xinyi Zeng: The influence of dams on the sediment supply from the Parker River watershed to the Plum Island Sound estuary
  • Kaitlin Johnson: Quantifying milldam legacy sediment storage in valley bottoms of two New England watersheds (2017)
  • Caleb Lucy: Rapid acquisition of low cost high-resolution elevation datasets using a small unmanned aircraft system: an application for measuring river geomorphic change (2015)
  • Aakash Ahamed: Geomorphic and land use controls on sediment yield in eastern USA (2014)
  • Austin Hopkins: A comparison of DEM-based methods for fluvial terrace mapping and sediment volume calculation: application to the Sheepscot River watershed, Maine (2014)
  • Benjamin Daniels: Effects of climate nonstationarity on low-flow models for southern New England (2014)
RECENT PUBLICATIONS ( * = Boston College student coauthors)
  • Lisius, G.L.*, Snyder, N.P., and Collins, M.J., 2018, Vegetation community response to hydrologic and geomorphic changes following dam removal, River Research and Applications, accepted 7 February 2018.
  • Collins, M.J., Snyder, N.P., Boardman, G., Banks, W.S.L., Andrews, M., Baker, M.E., Conlon, M.*, Gellis, A., McClain, S., Miller, A., and Wilcock, P., 2017, Channel response to sediment release: insights from a paired analysis of dam removal, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 42, p. 1636-1651, doi: 10.1002/esp.4108.
  • Hopkins, A.J.*, and Snyder, N.P., 2016, Performance evaluation of three DEM-based fluvial terrace mapping methods, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 41, n. 8, p. 1144-1152, doi: 10.1002/esp.3922.
  • Bresney, S.R.*, Moseman-Valtierra, S., and Snyder, N.P., 2015, Observations of greenhouse gases and nitrate concentrations in a Maine river and fringing wetland, Northeastern Naturalist, v. 22, n. 1, p. 120-143, doi: 10.1656/045.022.0125.
  • Snyder, N.P., Nesheim, A.O.*, Wilkins, B.C.*, and Edmonds, D.A., 2013, Predicting grain size in gravel-bedded rivers using digital elevation models: application to three Maine watersheds, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 125, n. 1/2, p. 148-163, doi: 10.1130/B30694.1.