Wilkes University

Dr. Matthew S. Finkenbinder

Silhouette of a person

Associate Professor

Cohen Science Center 424
(570) 408-3871

Dr. Finkenbinder is a sedimentary geologist and Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department.  His primary research interests include paleoclimatology, Quaternary stratigraphy, stable isotope geochemistry, Paleolimnology, and radiometric dating methods.  His research focuses on reconstructing past climatic changes on a range of timescales using the sedimentary record from small lakes.  His current research projects include lake sediment-based projects in the interior of Alaska, the Brooks Range in northwest Alaska, the Northern Rocky Mountains of Montana, the Great Lakes region of southern Ontario, and Bonne Bay in west-central Newfoundland.  Dr. Finkenbinder teaches a variety of introductory and upper-level undergraduate Geoscience and Environmental Sciences courses in support of the department.  He is primarily responsible for teaching traditionally defined soft-rock courses including Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Gemorphology, Paleoclimatology, Historical Geology and Field Geology. The primary learning goals in his courses are to learn pertinent geological concepts, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, develop an appreciation for Earth Science issues and their societal relevance, and hone written and oral communication skills.  Geological field trips play a critical role in the educational process for his classes.

  • Assistant Professor of Geology: Wilkes University, 2016 – present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher: University of Pittsburgh, 2015 – 2016
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellow: University of Pittsburgh, 2014 – 2015
  • Teaching Fellow: University of Pittsburgh, 2010 – 2015
  • Project Geologist: HRP Engineering, 2008 – 2010
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant: West Virginia University, 2005 – 2008
  •  Ph.D. Geology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (2015)
  • M.S. Geology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (2008)
  • B.S. Geoenvironmental Studies, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA (2005)
  • Introduction to Geology
  • Historical Geology
  • Global Climate Change
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Geomorphology
  • Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Steinman, B.A., 2016. North Atlantic Ocean-atmosphere controls on Holocene climate change in Newfoundland reconstructed using multi-proxy analysis of lake sediment cores. Global and Planetary Change 143, 251-261.
  • Larsen, D.J., Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Ofstun, A., (2016). A multi-proxy record of Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate and environmental change from Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, WY. Quaternary Science Reviews 138, 62-75.
  • Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Finney, B.P., Stoner, J.S., Dorfman, J.M., 2015. A multi-proxy reconstruction of environmental change spanning the last 37,000 years from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 126, 227-241.
  • Dorfman, J.M., Stoner, J.S., Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Xuan, C., St-Onge, G., 2015. A 37,000 year environmental magnetic record of aeolian dust deposition from Burial Lake, Arctic Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 128, 81-97.
  • Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Edwards, M.E., Langdon, C.T., Steinman, B.A., Finney, B.P., 2014. A 31,000 year record of paleoenvironmental and lake-level change from Harding Lake, Alaska, USA. Quaternary Science Reviews 87, 98-113.
  • Wilkes University Library Committee, 2017 – present
  • Woman Empowered by Science outreach, 2017 – present
  • Earth and Environmental Science Day outreach, 2016 – present
  • Fonds de Recherche du Québec Postdoctoral Fellowship 2016 (declined)
  • Arctic Climate Dynamics Course Scholarship, University of Bergen (2016)
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship 2014-2015
  • University of Pittsburgh Leighton Memorial Graduate Scholarship (2013, 2012)
  • Geological Society of America J. Hoover Mackin Award Honorary Mention (2012)
  • Geological Society of America Graduate Research Grant (2012, 2007)
  • WVU Teaching Assistant of the Year (2006-2007)
  • Marshall Miller Geology Field Camp Award (2006)
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geological Society of America