Peter Plumley

Research Associate Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering

314 Link Hall

(315) 443-9941


  • State University of NY at Albany, Geology B.S. 1974
  • Western Washington University, Geology M.S. 1980
  • University of California, Santa Cruz, Earth Science Ph.D. 1984

Lab/ Center/ Institute affiliations:

  • Director of the Central New York Science & Engineering Fair (CNYSEF)
  • Director for the NASA NYS Space Grant Consortium for Syracuse University

Areas of Expertise:

  • Earth Scientist with an extensive background in computers and technology
  • Research has been in the areas of plate tectonics and application of paleomagnetic techniques to regional tectonics
  • Active research is focused on educational issues of secondary students related to motivation and the Science of Learning
  • Designed, built and marketed a Super-Sensitive Horizontal Translation Beam Curie Point Balance
  • Primary investigations concern application of paleomagnetic techniques to regional tectonic and structural problems, plate tectonics, and strain analysis. 
  • Design, edit and create exhibits for science and engineering subjects.

Honors and Awards:

  • 2003 College Educator of the Year, by the Technology Alliance of Central New York
  • 2008 SU Gearup
  • 2011 The Post Standard-Achievement Award
  • 2015 Technology Alliance of Central New York, Science & Technology Outreach
  • 2019 Partners for Education & Business, Inc., Career Spark Award

Selected Publications:

Plumley, P. W., Coe, R. S., T. Byrne, M. Reid, and J. C. Moore, 1982, Paleomagnetism of volcanic rocks of the Kodiak Islands indicates northward latitudinal displacement, Nature, v. 300, p. 50-52.

Moore, J.C., T. Byrne, P.W. Plumley, M. Reid, H. Gibbons, and R. Coe. 1983, Paleogene Evolution of the Kodiak Islands, Alaska: Consequences of Ridge-Trench Interaction in a more Southerly Latitude, Tectonics, V. 2, N 3. P. 265-293.

Plumley, P. W. 1987, Paleomagnetism and Displacement of Alaskan Terranes,” Syracuse Scholar (1979-1991): Vol. 8: Iss. 1, Article 4. 

Plumley, P. W., M. S. Vance, and G. Milazzo, 1989, Structural and paleomagnetic evidence for Tertiary bending of the eastern Brooks Range flexure, Alaska, in; Deep structure and past kinematics of accreted terranes, ed J.W. Hillhouse, A.G.U. Geophysical Monograph/I.U.G.G., v. 5. Union Monograph, p. 127-150.

Pair, D. L., Muller, E. H., & Plumley, P. W., 1994, Correlation of Late Pleistocene glaciolacustrine and marine deposits by means of geomagnetic secular variation, with examples from northern New York and southern Ontario, Quaternary Research, 42, 277-287.