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Dr. Phillip Schmutz

  • Position: Chair and Associate Professor
  • Department: Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Office Location: Building 13, Room 206
  • Campus: 850.474.3418


Dr. Phillip Schmutz, an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, researches coastal/beach and aeolian geomorphology, particularly factors that can build sand dunes. He is working to develop better techniques for understanding the dynamics of these environments and to build more realistic models of coastal aeolian systems. Before Schmutz joined UWF’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2015, he earned a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Geography, both from Louisiana State University, and spent a year as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M University’s Department of Geology and Geophysics. In his research, Schmutz has studied surface moisture, evaporation dynamics, coastal vegetation and other topics related to beaches.

His work has been published in Journal of Coastal Research, Journal of Aeolian Research, Geomorphology and elsewhere. Schmutz also has made numerous presentations to the Association of American Geographers. He teaches Earth Science, Geomorphology and other courses. He has a B.A. in Geography & Environmental Studies from Baylor University, where he won a scholarship to fund study abroad.

Degrees & Institutions

Ph.D. Geography, Louisiana State University, 2014
M.S. Geography, Louisiana State University, 2007
B.A. Environmental Studies and Geography, Baylor University, 2004


Dr. Schmutz is interested in coastal/beach and aeolian geomorphology, particularly in issues related to the connectivity between beach hydrology and aeolian sediment transport. His research involves the development of improved techniques and approaches to measuring and modeling the dynamics of these environments, and to incorporate them into more realistic models of coastal aeolian systems.

Classes Taught

  • Introduction to Earth Science with lab
  • Geomorphology
  • Advanced Geomorphology


Schmutz, P.P., and S.L. Namikas. 2013. Measurements and Modeling of Moisture Contents Above an Oscillating Water Table: Implications for Beach Surface Moisture Dynamics. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 38 (11): 1317–1325  (DOI: 10.1002/esp.3418)

Edwards, B.L., Schmutz, P.P., and Namikas, S.L. 2012. Comparison of surface moisture measurements to depth-integrated moisture measurements on a fine-grained beach. Journal of Coastal Research. (DOI: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-12-00008.1) 

Schmutz, P.P., and S.L. Namikas. 2011. Utility of Delta-T Theta Probe for Obtaining Moisture Measurements from Beaches. Journal of Coastal Research. 27 (3): 478-485. (DOI: 10.2112/08-1130.1)

Hesp, P.A., Schmutz, P.P., M.L. Martinez, L. Driskill, R. Orgera, K. Renken, N.A.R. Revelo, and O.A.J. Orocio. 2010. The Effect on Coastal Vegetation of Trampling on a Parabolic Dune. Journal of Aeolian Research. 2 (2): 105-111. (DOI: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2010.03.001)

Keywords: aeolian geomorphology, beach hydrology, aeolian sediment transport, surface moisture, evaporation dynamics, coastal vegetation, fine-grained beach