Nick Swanson-Hysell


Nick Swanson-Hysell is an associate professor of Earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his BA in geology from Carleton College and his PhD in geosciences from Princeton University, and he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Rock Magnetism. His research seeks to place quantitative constraints on the long-term evolution of Earth through integrating geophysical and geochemical data sets that are developed within a rigorous geologic context. A major focus of this work is on the development of paleomagnetic and rock magnetic data sets in order to test hypotheses about the migrating positions of continents (paleogeography), changes to the surface environment (particularly planetary climate change), and the evolution of Earth’s magnetic field. Many of the research projects in his group focus on global change and tectonics in the Proterozoic Eon.

Swanson-Hysell directs the Berkeley Paleomagnetism lab, which is equipped with both a superconducting rock magnetometer and a quantum diamond microscope. In his teaching, he is passionate about inclusive field geology instruction that promotes critical thinking in the context of inquiry-based learning. In his research, he is passionate about open data and reproducible computational methods.


  • 2020 Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
  • 2019 NSF CAREER Award
  • 2014 William Gilbert Award


Department of Earth and Planetary Science, UC Berkeley


Berkeley, Calif.