Christopher Baish

Christopher  Baish
  • Ph.D.
  • Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences
  • Geography Building
  • 673 Auditorium Road
  • East Lansing, MI 48824


Physical Geography; Soil Geography; Quaternary Geomorphology


I am a Physical Geographer with an interest in studying landscape history and dynamics, primarily through the lens of geomorphology and soils. In a broad sense, my research is focused on understanding the relationships between i) glacial and post-glacial sedimentological processes and surficial sediment distribution, ii) soil development (pedogenesis) and geomorphic setting, and iii) soil properties and vegetation distribution and productivity, particularly in the Midwest (USA). My graduate thesis work examines the origin and evolution of glossic horizons in the sandy loam soils of northern Lower Michigan. Through detailed pedon-scale physical, chemical, and micromorphological analysis, I aim to contribute insight into the mechanisms and external environmental drivers determining the formation of these unique pedogenic features. The ultimate goal of this work is to enhance the classification, mapping, and management of glossic soils in the Great Lakes region. In addition to my thesis research, I am currently participating in projects focused on the textural characterization and mapping of glacial till deposits in southern Michigan, and the stratigraphy and geochemistry of loess deposits in western Wisconsin.

I received a BA in Environmental Geography from the University of Northern Iowa. My undergraduate thesis work examined the soil-vegetation dynamics of a restored wetland prairie in northeast Iowa. I also contributed research toward the development of a state implemented watershed management plan for Dry Run Creek (Black Hawk County) while serving as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Prior to attending Michigan State University, I worked with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Soil Conservation Aide on the planning and monitoring of conservation practices intended to improve soil and water quality in northeast Iowa.