Peter Wigand

Dr. Peter E. Wigand

University of Nevada, Reno/Mail Stop 0154
Department of Geography, Mackay Science Hall
Reno, NV 89557-0154

(775) 784-6995
Fax: (775) 784-1058

Great Basin and Mojave Paleoenvironmental Consulting
2210 Seneca Drive, Reno, NV 89506
(775) 677-2306


Research statement

Dr. Wigand is a paleoecologist and archaeologist. Using pollen, macrofossil, wood, and charcoal analyses, he has over thirty years of experience reconstructing the environments of the last 50,000 to 150,000 years in the Great Basin, the American West, and the eastern Mediterranean. During the last twenty years he has extensively analyzed woodrat middens from the Intermountain West, focusing on the frequency, magnitude and duration of late Quaternary cycles of wetter and drier climates and their relationship to D & O cycles recorded in ice cores. His analyses include the correlation of middle and late Holocene tree ring sequences with high resolution pollen records. In addition, since working in a radiocarbon dating laboratory in the 1980s, he has continued analysis of radiocarbon dating results and the interpretation of their meaning. His current research includes the initiation of large paleoenvironmental research projects in coastal southern California and areas west of the Rockies from the Canadian to Mexican border. Since his return from a Senior Fulbright Teaching/Research Fellowship in Middle East (1999/2000) he has investigated the global links between the climates of northern hemisphere aridlands. He spends a large portion of his time conducting field work, but also a significant amount in the laboratory. See Dr. Wigand's personal web site for more on his research: . Currently Dr. Wigand spends much of his time in private consultation applying the techniques of paleoecology to modern issues of environmental impact in Western North America. He also spends much of his time working with students in the Department of Geography's Paleoecology Laboratory in which a variety of paleoecological studies can be conducted.

Research Areas of Interest

Reconstructing high resolution vegetation and climate histories; Quaternary paleoecology; fire history and its relationship to changing climate and vegetation contexts; human adaptation in arid environments; and most recently reconstruction of late Quaternary coastal environments and their dynamic affect upon native populations (see poster).

Professional Preparation

University of Washington, Seattle Anthropology B.A. 1970
Washington State University, Pullman Anthropology M.A. 1978
Washington State University, Pullman Anthropology Ph.D. 1985

Courses Taught

Geography 437/637 - Geography of Past Enviroments

Geography 440/640 - Mountain Geography

Geography 472/672 - Arid Lands Geogarphy

Anthropology/Geology 720 - Principles of Palynology 1970

Anthropology/Geology 722 - Principles of Plant Macrofossil Analysis

Anthropology/Geology 708/750 - Great Basin Paleoenvironments 1970

Anthropology 499/699 - Modern and Past Environments of the Great Basin

Geology 702x - Paleohydrology

Selected Publications

Wigand, P. E. 2007. Pp. 37-48. Chapter 4: Pleistocene and Pre-European Grassland Ecosystems - Late Quaternary Paleoecology of Grasslands and other Grassy Habitats. In Stromberg, M, J. Corbin, and C D’Antonio (eds.). Ecology and Management of California Grasslands. University of California Press, Berkeley, California. 390 pp.

Nicholas E. Graham, Malcolm K. Hughes, Caspar M. Ammann, Kim M. Cobb, Martin P. Hoerling, Douglas J. Kennett, James P. Kennett, Bert Rein, Lowell Stott, Peter E.

Wigand, and Taiyi Xu. 2007. Tropical Pacific-Mid-latitude Teleconnections in Medieval Times. Climatic Change 83(1-2):241-285.

Wigand, P. E. 2007. Postglacial pollen Records of Southwestern North American Pp. 2773- 2783. In Elias, S. A. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, volumes 1-4. Elsevier, London, UK.

Wigand, P. E. 2006. Postglacial pollen Records of Southwestern North American In Elias. S. A. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, volumes 1-4. Elsevier, London, UK.

Banks, W. E. and P. E. Wigand. 2005. Reassessment of radiocarbon age determinations for the Munkers Creek Phase. Plains Anthropologist 50(194):173-183 .

Wigand, P. E. and D. Rhode. 2002. Great Basin Vegetation History and Aquatic Systems: The Last 150,000 years. Pp. 309-367. In Hershler, R., D. B. Madsen and D. R. Currey (eds.), Great Basin Aquatic Systems History . Smithsonian Contributions to Earth Sciences 33. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Mladen Zic, Robert M. Negrini, P. E. Wigand . 2002. Evidence of synchronous climate change across the northern hemisphere between the north Atlantic and the northwestern Great Basin, USA. Geology 30(7):635-638.

Jahren, A. H., R. Amundson, C. Kendall and P. E. Wigand . 2001. Paleoclimatic reconstruction using the Correlation in d 18 O of hackberry carbonate and environmental water, North America. Quaternary Research 56(2):252-263.

Hallett, J. C. and P. E. Wigand . 2001. The role of dietary fiber in dung size of bushy-tailed woodrat, Neotoma cinerea : its potential application to paleoclimatic interpretation. Western North American Naturalist 61(1):57-63.

Negrini, R. M., D. B. Erbes, K. Faber, A. M. Herrera, A. P. Roberts, A. S. Cohen, P. E. Wigand, and Franklin F. Foit, Jr. 2000. A paleoclimate record for the past 250,000 years from Summer Lake, Oregon, U.S.A.: I. Chronology and magnetic proxies for lake level. Journal of Paleolimnology 24 (2):125-149.

Cohen, A. S., M. Palacios, R. M. Negrini, P. E. Wigand, and D. B. Erbes. 2000. A paleoclimate record for the past 250,000 years from Summer Lake, Oregon, U.S.A.: II. Sedimentology, paleontology, and geochemistry. Journal of Paleolimnology 24 (2):151-182.

Wigand, P. E. 1999. Stable isotopes in biotic materials and regional climatic reconstruction. Pp. 119-138. In Rose, M. R. and P. E. Wigand (eds.) Proceedings of the Southern California Climate Symposium, 25 October 1991: Trends and Extremes of the Past 2000 Years. Technical Reports #11. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 269 pp.

Rose, M. R. and P. E. Wigand (eds.). 1999. Proceedings of the Southern California Climate Symposium, 25 October 1991: Trends and Extremes of the Past 2000 Years. Technical Reports #11. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 269 pp.

Harvey, A. M., P. E. Wigand and S. G. Wells. 1999. Response of alluvial fan systems to the late Pleistocene to Holocene climatic transition: contrasts between the margins of pluvial Lakes Lahontan and Mojave, Nevada and California, U.S.A. Catena 36:255-281.

Wigand, P. E. and A. Simmons. 1999. Chapter 8: The Dating of Arkotiri Aetokremenos. In Simmons, A. (ed.), Faunal Extinction in an Island Society: Pygmy Hippopotamus Hunters of Cyprus. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.

Wigand, P. E. 1997. Native American diet and environmental contexts of the Holocene revealed in the pollen of human fecal material. Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 40(1):105-116.

Plummer, M. A., F. M. Phillips, J. Fabryka-Martin, H. J. Turin, P. E. Wigand, P. Sharma. 1997. Chlorine-36 in fossil rat urine: an archive of cosmogenic nuclide deposition over the past 40,000 years. Science 277(5325):538-541.

Wigand, P. E. 1997. A late-Holocene pollen record from Lower Pahranagat Lake, southern Nevada, USA: High resolution paleoclimatic records and analysis of environmental responses to climate change. Pp. 63-77. In Isaacs, C. M. and V. L. Tharp (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Pacific Climate (PACLIM) Workshop, April 15-18, 1996. Interagency Ecological Program. Technical Report 53. California Department of Water Resources.

Forester, R. G., J. P. Bradbury, C. Carter, A. B. Elvidge, M. L. Hemphill, S. C. Lundstrom, S. A. Mahan, B. D. Marshall, L. A. Neymark, J. B. Paces, S. E. Sharpe, J. F. Whelan and P. E. Wigand . 1996. Synthesis of Quaternary response of the Yucca Mountain unsaturated and saturated zone hydrology to climate change. 1996 Milestone Report 3GCA102M. U.S. Geological Survey - Yucca Mountain Project Branch. 110 pp.

Miller, R. F. and P. E. Wigand . 1994. Holocene Changes in Semiarid Woodlands: Response to climate, fire and human activities in the US Great Basin. Bioscience 44(7):465:474.

Simmons, A. and P. E. Wigand, 1994. Assessing the Radiocarbon Determinations from Akrotiri Aetokremnos, Cyprus. Pp. 247-264. In Bar-Yosef,O. and R. S. Kraa, (eds.), Late Quaternary Chronology and Paleoclimates of the Eastern Mediterranean . Radiocarbon, Tucson, AZ.

Nowak, C. L., R. S. Nowak, R. J. Tausch and P. E. Wigand, 1994. A 30,000 year record of vegetation dynamics at a semi-arid locale in the Great Basin. Journal of Vegetation Science 5:579-590.

Nowak, C. L., R. S. Nowak, R. J. Tausch and P. E. Wigand, 1994. Tree and shrub dynamics in northwestern Great Basin woodland and shrub steppe during the Late-Pleistocene and Holocene. American Journal of Botany 81(3):265-277.

Tausch, R. J., P. E. Wigand and J. W. Burkhardt. 1993. Viewpoint: Plant community thresholds, multiple steady states, and multiple successional pathways: legacy of the Quaternary? Journal of Range Management 46:439-447.

Mehringer, P.J., Jr. and P.E. Wigand . 1990. Comparison of Late Holocene environments from woodrat middens and pollen, Diamond Craters, Oregon. In Martin, P.S., J. Betancourt and T.R. Van Devender (eds.), Fossil Packrat Middens: The Last 40,000 Years of Biotic Change . University of Arizona Press.

Wigand, P.E. 1987. Diamond Pond, Harney County, Oregon: Vegetation history and water table in the eastern Oregon desert. Great Basin Naturalist 47 (3):427-458.

Sheppard, J.C., P.E. Wigand, C.E. Gustafson and M. Rubin. 1987. A Revaluation of the Marmes Rockshelter radiocarbon chronology. American Antiquity 52(1):118-125.

Mehringer, P.J., Jr. and P.E. Wigand . 1986. Holocene history of Skull Creek Dunes, Catlow Valley, Oregon, U.S.A. Journal of Arid Environments 11:117-138.