SCSE Faculty Member Honored

Student and Faculty studying a sediment core
March 19, 2018

Swenson College of Science & Engineering Associate Professor Byron Steinman has been honored as a McKnight Land-Grant Professor. 

The designation is for a two-year period so Steinman will hold this Professorship from 2018 to 2020.

Byron Steinman

McKnight Land-Grand Professorship Recipient Byron Steinman

Steinman is a faculty member in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and the Large Lakes Observatory within the Swenson College of Science & Engineering (SCSE). He started teaching at UMD in 2014 and has distinguished himself with multiple research publications and external grants.

 “This award is as much a result of my hard work and passion for science as it is the guidance and insight I’ve received from my colleagues, the commitment of my students, and the outstanding support that my departments and SCSE have provided during my time at UMD,” said Steinman.

Steinman’s work focuses on investigating climate and environmental change through the development of sediment based paleoclimate records and analysis of observational and model data. This involves collecting sediment samples from lakes around the world followed by intricate studying of the samples to refine our understanding of the earth’s climate history.

“I like to joke with my students that we’ve somehow managed to become professionals at playing with mud,” said Steinman. “But seriously, I’m amazed everyday at how much mud from the bottom of a lake can tell us about Earth’s climate and environment. Lakes truly are the land’s sentinels.”

The Dean of SCSE Andrea Schokker said, “The McKnight Professorship is intended to help support and advance rising stars early in their career in academia. Dr. Steinman is an outstanding faculty member with cutting-edge research that makes a real difference for our world. He is also an educator in every sense and we are thrilled that he was chosen for this honor”.

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences is one of ten academic departments housed in SCSE, along with the Large Lakes Observatory, the UMD Air Force ROTC program, and the Iron Range Engineering program. SCSE has 3,440 undergraduates and more than 320 graduate students. The college connects students with hands-on research opportunities through its collaboration with multiple research institutions and area businesses. To learn more, visit:

Photo caption: Steinman (on left) is studying a sediment core with a graduate student.