Dr. Scott F. Burns

Professor of Geology, Department of Geology
Portland, Oregon
United States

Focus Areas

Higher Education
Environment & Sustainable Development


Dr. Scott Burns is professor of geology and former associate dean of the college of liberal arts and sciences at Portland State University. He has taught geology and ecology at the university level for 47 years and has won many awards for excellence in teaching. Dr. Burns has accompanied numerous travel/study programs in the alpine regions of Europe. As a naturalist, he has a special interest in and thorough knowledge of the plants and animals of the Alps, as well as the region's unique geology and environmental problems. His enthusiasm is contagious and his knowledge of geology is broad. Dr. Burns’ research interests cover environmental geology, soils, landslides, engineering geology, Quaternary geology, terroir of wines, and the Missoula Floods. His research themes include landslide-hazard mapping, terroir of Oregon, Swiss and Chilean wines, alpine soil development, radon distribution, heavy metals and trace elements in soils, landslide threshold and debris flow initiation. His education includes a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Colorado, (1980); a M.S. in Physical Science from Stanford University (1970) and B.S. in Chemistry from Stanford University (1969). Outside of the classroom, Dr Burns is interested in community service, gardening, basketball, golf, skiing, hiking, traveling and guest talks.He is presently president of the International Association of Engineering Geologists and gives many keynote talks around the globe.