In 2012 Nathan Rowley traveled to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland as a field assistant to assess vegetation health under various climate warming scenarios. In this photo, he is looking at muskox in the area, making sure to steer clear of these large animals.

Nathan Rowley (Interim Chair)

Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainability


  • B.S., M.Sc., The Ohio State University
  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University


Nathan Rowley is originally from Southern California. He attended Ohio State for his bachelor's and master's degrees and earned his Ph.D. from Penn State in 2015. His doctoral research explored the climatic influences and controls on the abundance and distribution of supraglacial melt lakes in Western Greenland.

He is a broadly-trained physical geographer with interests that take him from the tropics to the Arctic. His research fields include climatology, remote sensing, human-environmental interactions, and glaciology. As part of his approach to teaching, he is an avid supporter of mentorship of undergraduate research. Since coming to Ohio Wesleyan in 2014, he has supervised student research that includes:

  • Quantifying volumetric change in supraglacial melt lakes (Western Greenland) using satellite imagery in comparison to digital elevation models (DEMs)
  • Community Mapping in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica using drone imagery
  • Identification of hotspots during a heatwave in Chicago using satellite imagery
  • The influences of fertilizer use in Iowa on algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Assessing reforestation efforts in a proposed national park in Chile
  • Relating wintertime cold outbreak in East Asia with the Arctic Oscillation
  • Exploring the global distribution of marine protected areas and methods for standardization across nations
Nathan Rowley's research consists of mapping environmental degradation through deforestation of tropical forests to plant African palm. The fruit produces palm oil, which is a large global commodity.

Additional Research Interests Include:

  • Glacial and ice sheet surface processes; melt patterns along the ablation zone
  • Active and passive remote sensing for analysis of geophysical processes
  • Synoptic climatology and teleconnections – NAO, AO and ENSO
  • Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) Change using remote sensing
  • Utilizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to generate high resolution community maps
  • Cross-regional comparison of anthropogenic impacts on the environment

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • 2019 – Rowley, N.A., A. Carleton, and J. Fegyveresi, Relationships of West Greenland supraglacial melt-lakes with local climate and regional atmospheric circulation, under review, International Journal of Climatology
  • 2019 – Rowley, N.A. and J. Fegyveresi, Generating a supraglacial melt-lake inventory near Jakobshavn, West Greenland, using a new semi-automated lake-mapping technique, Polar Geography
  • 2016 – Assessing a Depth-Retrieval Method for Determining Supraglacial Melt Lake Volume, Eastern Snow Conference, Columbus, OH [talk]
  • 2016 – Amador, N. Examination of Piteraq Winds of West Greenland, Association of American Geographers, San Francisco, CA [poster]
  • 2013 – Amador, N., and R. Alley, FoveaPro: A GIS tool for semi-automating supraglacial melt lake detection and statistics, Midwest Glaciology Meeting, University Park, PA [talk]
  • 2013 – Lampkin, D., N. Amador, B. Parizek, K. Farness and K. Jezek, Drainage from water-filled crevasses along the margins of Jakobshavn Isbræ: A potential catalyst for catchment expansion, Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface

Professional Affiliations

  • American Geophysical Union  (AGU)
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS)
  • American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS)
  • Association of American Geographers (AAG)
  • Secretary of the Cryosphere Specialty Group (CSG) of the AAG
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
  • Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

Contact Info


Schimmel/Conrades Science Center #202
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3619

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