William S. Bartels

William S. BartelsProfessor

Office: 024 Palenske Hall
Phone: (517) 629-0313

Dr. Bartels is a stratigrapher and vertebrate paleontologist who specializes in the sedimentary geology of river deposits, ancient terrestrial ecosystems, and the paleontology of non-dinosaurian reptiles. Two current research projects focus on describing new Eocene fossil vertebrate faunas recovered from field sites in Wyoming and using reptile diversity and body size to estimate ancient climatic parameters such as mean annual rainfall and temperature.


  • Geol 103  Historical Geology (lecture and lab)
  • Geol 205  Sedimentation & Stratigraphy (lecture and lab)
  • Geol 209  Geochronology & Paleontology (lecture and lab)
  • Geol 210  Regional Field Geology
  • Geol./Biol. 309  Vertebrate Paleontology (lecture and lab)
  • Geol 314  Geological Field Methods
  • LA 101  Dinosaurs


  • Ph.D. Geology, The University of Michigan, 1987
  • M.S. Geology, The University of Michigan, 1981
  • A.B. Geology, Rutgers College, 1977


  • 1996- date  Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, Albion College
  • Department Chair, 1995-2007
  • Arnold G. Langbo Trustee’s Professor, 2001-date
  • 1992-1996  Associate Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, Albion College
  • 1986-1992  Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, Albion College

Externally Funded Grants

  • National Science Foundation, REU Site Grant, Tertiary Sedimentary Geology and Paleontology, Green River Basin, Wyoming, Summer 1997-1998
  • National Park Service, Challenge Grants (Fossil Butte National Monument), Summer, 1996-1997
  • National Geographic Society, Research and Exploration Grant, Research Scientist (G. F. Gunnell, University of Michigan, P. I.), Summer, 1992-1994
  • Pew Foundation, Research Fellow Grant, Summer, 1992-1993

Selected Recent Publications

  • 2008  Biostratigraphy and Biochronology of the latest wasatchian, Bridgerian, and Uintan North  American Land Mammal “Ages.”  Papers on Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology, and Biostratigraphy in Honor of Michael O. Woodburne. L. Barry Albright III and Judd S. Case, editors. Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society (In Press).  (with G.F. Gunnell, Paul C. Murphey, R. K. Stuckey, K. E. Townsend, P. Robinson, and J-P. Zonneveld)
  • 2006  Lunulichnos tuberosus Ichnogen. and Ichno. Nov. from the early Eocene Wastach Formation, Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming: An arthropod-constructed trace fossil associated with alluvial firmgrounds.  Ichnos, 13:87-94. (with J-P. Zonneveld, J.M. Lavigne, and G.F. Gunnell)
  • 2004  Discussion and Reply: 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of the Eocene Green River Formation,  Wyoming.  Discussion. GSA Bulletin, 116: 251-252. (with W.C. Clyde, J.P. Zonneveld, and G.F. Gunnell)
  • 2003  Stratal architecture of an Early Eocene fluvial‑lacustrine depositional system, Little Muddy Creek area,  southwestern Green River Basin, Wyoming.  In: Raynolds, R.G. and Flores, R.M. (eds.), Cenozoic Systems of the Rocky Mountain Region, Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists Memoir, 253-287. (with J-P. Zonneveld, and W.C. Clyde)
  • 2001  Basin-margins, biodiversity, evolutionary innovation, and the origin of new taxa. In: G.F. Gunnel (ed.), Eocene Biodiversity: Unusual Occurrences and Rarely Sampled Habitats.  Plenum, Topics in Geobiology: 403-432.  (with G. F. Gunnell)
  • 2001  Linking the Wasatchian/Bridgerian boundary to the Cenozoic Global Optimum: new  magnetostratigraphic and isotopic results from South Pass, Wyoming.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 167:175-199.  (with W.C. Clyde, N.D. Sheldon, P.L. Koch, G.F. Gunnell)
  • 2000  Early Eocene fossil vertebrates from the southwestern Green River Basin, Lincoln and Uinta counties, Wyoming. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 20:369-386. (with J.P. Zonneveld and G. F. Gunnell)

Selected Recent Meeting Presentations/Abstracts

  • 2005  Bored turtles along Paleolake Gosiute strandlines, Wasatch Formation, South Pass, Wyoming.  GSA Abstracts with Programs, 2005: A-339. (with J.P. Zonneveld, and G.F. Gunnell)
  • 2004  A late Wasatchian (late early Eocene) vertebrate assemblage preserved in meandering stream channel deposits, Northern Red Desert, Wyoming.  GSA Abstracts with Programs, 2004: A-92. (with G.F. Gunnell, J.P. Zonneveld)
  • 2004  Early fluvial (Cathedral Bluffs) deposition into a lacustrine basin (Green River) and the preservation of an unusual terrestrial vertebrate assemblage. GSA Abstracts with Programs, 2004: A-92. (with J.P. Zonneveld, and G.F. Gunnell)
  • 2002  Stratigraphy, vertebrate paleontology, and paleoecology of the Wasatch Formation, Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming. GSA Abstracts with Programs, 2002:A-557. (with G.F. Gunnell and J.P. Zonneveld)
  • 2002  Stratal architecture of an early Eocene fluvial‑lacustrine depositional system. GSA Abstracts with Programs, 2002:A-480. (with, J.P. Zonneveld, W.C. Clyde, and G.F. Gunnell)
  • 2002  Paleolake fluctuations and vertebrate speciation in basin margins: an example of “transgressive forcing” at South Pass, Green River Basin, Wyoming. GSA Abstracts with Programs, 2002:A-481. (with G.F. Gunnell, J.P. Zonneveld, and K.M. Muldoon)