Photo by Jay Kleiman

Karl Mueller

Karl, our resident geologist, also happens to be an avid landscape photographer. He is a professor of structural geology and active tectonics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he has taught for 23 years. Karl’s main passion as an educator is teaching field geology in the spectacular landscapes of Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Death Valley, and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Parks, where he often works to train NPS rangers about the local geology and history. Karl’s passion brings the local geology alive, and provides context for the stories captured in the stunning images photographers work so hard to create. Karl’s research, and that of his graduate students, is largely focused on developing better understanding of how earthquakes act to build geologic structures, the geomorphology of deforming landscapes, and mountain building early in the history of Mars and Mercury. The author of over 50 peer reviewed scientific publications, his work is funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and the Southern California Earthquake Center. His recent projects include studies of deformational and erosive processes in actively deforming landscapes in Japan, Baja California, Taiwan, Death Valley and Canyonlands. His current challenge is learning to think and view landscapes as a photographer, rather than as a life-long geologist, to better capture the aesthetic essence of the Earth’s surface.