Photo of David Cavagnaro standing on a path in nature.

David Cavagnaro

Ph.D. in Geology He/him/his


David is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geology with advisor Scott McCoy, researching post-wildfire debris flow hazards in the Western U.S. through field-based and computational methods. Specifically, his research aims to characterize the controls on post-fire hydrologic response in areas of Northern California and Nevada where the amount of burned area has dramatically increased in recent years due to climate change. His past research has focused on modern geomorphic change and Quaternary geology. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017 with a Bachelor's in Earth Sciences, having researched post-glacial landslides in Uganda. Prior to coming to Reno, he worked on coastal geomorphology research for the Maine Geological Survey and water quality and erosion mitigation with the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain in Vermont.

Research interests

  • Geomorphology
  • Post-wildfire geology
  • Quaternary geology


  • B.A., Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, 2017