Michael Kerwin

Associate Professor

Director, Environmental Science Program

  • Faculty

What I do

I am a paleoclimatologist who teaches field based environmental science classes in the SW USA, South Africa, and the Colorado mountains.


climate change, sustainability, drought.

Professional Biography

Dr. Michael Kerwin is the Director of the Environmental Science Program and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography & the Environment at the University of Denver.

Dr. Kerwin graduated from Colorado College in 1992 with a degree in geology. He received his Master’s (1994) and Ph.D. (2000) in geological sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder and was awarded a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellowship at the U.S. Geological Survey in 2001.


  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, 2000
  • MS, Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, 1994
  • BA, Distinction in Geology, Colorado College, 1992

Professional Affiliations

  • International Center for Academic Integrity

Media Sources


Dr. Kerwin’s research involves interpreting paleoclimate records to better understand the significance of current drought conditions in South Africa and the SW USA.

Featured Publications

LaVanchy, G. T., Adamson, J. K., & Kerwin, M. W. (2021). Integrating groundwater for water security in Cape Town, South Africa. In A. Mukherjee, B. R. Scanlon, A. Aureli, S. Langan, H. Guo, & A. McKenzie (Eds.), Global groundwater: Source, scarcity, sustainability, security and solutions (pp. 439-449). Amsterdam: Elsevier .
Kerwin, M. W., & Hughen, K. A. (2007). Postglacial paleoceanographic records of the North Atlantic Ocean. In I. Elias (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences (pp. 1839-1847). Amsterdam: Elsevier.


Kerwin, M. W. (2015). "If You're Not Cheating, You're Not Trying" Do Honor Codes Still Work?. Colorado College All Campus Lecture. Colorado College: Colorado College Honor Council.
Kerwin, M. W. (2013). Happy Birthday Denver! How is the Drought?. 2013 DU Earth Day Summit. University of Denver: University of Denver Sustainability Council.
Hamann, H. B., & Kerwin, M. W. (2018). Water Knows No Borders: Bringing International Water Resource Issues to the DU Classroom . DU Internationalization Summit. Denver, CO : University of Denver.
Kerwin, M. W. (2015). Fighting the Cheating Machine: Do Honor Codes Still Matter?. Sewanee The University of the South Lecture Series. Sewanee, TN: Sewanee The University of the South.
Kerwin, M. W. (2017). Preparing a Successful Teaching Statement and Student Centered Syllabus. A Career Development Worshop for NSF Geoscience Postdoctoral Researchs. University of Colorado: NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Reserach) UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Reserach).


  • William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award , University of Denver
  • 2012 Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Denver Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Campus of Integrity Award, International Center for Academic Integrity
  • Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • Top Student in "Wine Essentials Master Class", Wine Industry Association of Western Australia