Eric W. Portenga

A photo of Eric Portenga

Associate Professor of Earth Surface Processes

Geography & Geology

140V Strong Hall


[email protected]


  • Ph.D. (2015) Earth Science, University of Glasgow, Scotland and Macquarie University, Australia (Joint degree)
  • M.S. (2011) Geomorphology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • B.S. (2008) Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Interests and Expertise

Dr. Eric Portenga is a geomorphologist from West Michigan specializing in understanding how our planet's surface evolves over historical and geological timescales. After completing his BS in Geological Sciences at the University of Michigan, Dr. Portenga received his MS in Geology from the University of Vermont, and then he completed a joint-Ph.D. in Earth Science at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and Macquarie University in Australia. He returned home to Michigan for a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Portenga has studied long-term landscape evolution of the Appalachian Mountains, landscape response to human land-use practices in Australia throughout the Holocene, uplift and erosion of the Santa Monica Mountains in California, deglaciation in Greenland, and erosion in Bhutan and South Africa. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge and working with colleagues and students at Eastern Michigan University as well as expanding his research to include untangling parts of Michigan's glacial history.


  • ESSC 104 Earth Hazards
  • ESSC 110 The Dynamic Earth System
  • ESSC 227 Topographic Maps
  • ESSC 325 Geomorphology
  • ESSC 355 Geologic Field Methods Lab
  • ESSC 370 Quaternary and Glacial Geology


Environmental Science and Society, Environmental Geoscience Concentration

Grants, Honors and Awards

  • NSF-EAR-GLD-1939000. RUI: Quantifying the effects of wildfire burning on 10Be concentrations in river sand - A study of the 2018 Woolsey Fire, Santa Monica Mountains, CA

Publications and Presentations

View a complete list of research output at Eric Portenga's Research Website