Adam Burnett | Colgate University - Faculty Directory

Colgate Directory

Adam Burnett

Adam Burnett

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Geography; Chair of the Geography Department
Geography, 325 Ho Science Center
p 315-228-7252
"Colgate attracts an exceptional group of bright, curious, and hard-working students. The opportunity to work with such students within an environment that also encourages and supports faculty scholarship makes Colgate a great place to work."


BS, Aquinas College, 1984; MA, Ohio University, 1986; PhD, Michigan State University, 1990

Teaching Experience

  • GEOG 131: Introduction to Environmental Geography
  • GEOG 235: Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 332: Weather and Climate
  • GEOG 401: Senior Seminar in Geography
  • ENST 100: Earth and Environmental Systems


Climatology; environmental studies; geographic information systems


Research interests include (1) middle latitude atmospheric circulation variability using instrumental observations and paleoclimate data; (2) Great Lake-effect snowfall; and (3) the relationship between atmospheric circulation and warming in the Antarctic Peninsula.


  • Burnett, A.W. (2005) "Teleconnections” in Encyclopedia of World Climatology. Edited by John E. Oliver, Dordrecht: Springer, 707-711.
  • Burnett, A.W., H.T. Mullins, and W.P. Patterson (2004) “Relationship between atmospheric circulation and winter precipitation d18O in central New York State,” Geophysical Research Letters, 31, L22209, doi:10.1029/2004GL021089.
  • Domack, E.W., A.W. Burnett, and A. Leventer (2003) "Environmental setting of the Antarctic Peninsula" inAntarctic Peninsula Climate Variability: An Historical and Paleoenvironment Perspective. Washington D.C: American Geophysical Union Antarctic Research Series Vol. 79, pgs. 1-13.
  • Burnett, A.W., M.E. Kirby, H.T. Mullins, and W.P. Patterson, (2003) "Increasing Great Lake-Effect snowfall during the Twentieth Century: a regional response to global warming?" Journal of Climate, 16(21): 3535-3542.
  • Mullins, H.T, A.W. Burnett, M.F. Hilfinger IV, and M. Kirby. “Millennial-scale Holocene lake level fluctuations at Green Lakes State Park, New York: implications for atmospheric circulation over the northeastern United States” (2003) Northeastern Geology and Environmental Science, 25(3): 197-205.
  • Kirby, Matthew E.; H.T. Mullins, W.P. Patterson, and A.W. Burnett, (2002) “Late-glacial-Holocene atmospheric circulation and precipitation in the northeast United States inferred from modern calibrated stable oxygen and carbon isotopes”, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 114(10):1326-1340.
  • Kirby, M.E., W.P. Patterson, H.T. Mullins, and A.W. Burnett, (2002) “Post-Younger Dryas climate interval linked to circumpolar vortex variability: isotopic evidence from Fayetteville Green Lake, NY.” Climate Dynamics, 19:321-330.
  • Hilfinger, M.F., H.T. Mullins, A.W. Burnett, and M.E. Kirby (2001) “A 2500 year sediment record from Fayetteville Green Lake, NY: Evidence for anthropogenic impacts and historic isotope shift.” Journal of Paleolimnology, 26: 293-305.
  • Kirby, M.E., H.T. Mullins, W.P. Patterson, and A.W. Burnett (2001) “Lacustrine isotopic evidence for multi-decadal natural climate variability related to the circumpolar vortex over the NEUSA during the past millennium.”Geology, 29:807-810.
  • Burnett, A.W. and A.R. McNicoll (2000) “Interannual variations in the Southern Hemisphere winter circumpolar vortex: relationships with the semiannual oscillation.” Journal of Climate13:991-999.
  • Burnett, A.W. (1994) “Regional-scale troughing over the southwestern United States: temporal climatology, teleconnections, and climatic impact.” Physical Geography, 15:80-98.
  • Burnett, A. W. (1993) “Size variations and long-wave circulation within the January Northern Hemisphere circumpolar vortex: 1946-89.” Journal of Climate, 6:1914-1920.
  • Burnett, A. W. (1993) “Regional synchronies and amplitude changes in the January 500-mb middle latitude geopotential height record.” Physical Geography, 14: 99-113.
  • Winkler, J.A., A.W. Burnett, B.J. Skipper, J.B. Moore, G. Mulugeta, and J.M. Olson. (1990) “Agroclimatic resource assessment: an example for peach cultivation in the lower peninsula of Michigan.” Physical Geography, 11:49-65.


The temporal climatology, teleconnective associations, and climatic impacts of regional-scale troughing in the southwestern United States (Department of Geography, Michigan State University, 1990).

Professional Experience

  • Geography Department Chair, July 2008 - present
  • Learning Assessment Coordinator July 2005 - present
  • Associate Dean of the Faculty, July 2005-June 2007
  • Environmental Studies Program Director, 1997-2000
  • Geography Department Chair, 2000-2003


Colgate Presidential Scholar, July 2008-2010

Board Membership

Colgate University Upstate Institute Executive Board