Steve Brown

Steve Brown, M.S.
Interim Chief Scientist
Senior Quaternary Geologist and Head
Quaternary and Engineering Geology
211A Natural Resources Building
615 E Peabody Ave
Champaign IL, 61820
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
  • A.B. Albion College, Albion, Michigan


  • Indiana Licensed Professional Geologist #1736
  • Illinois Licensed Professional Geologist #196.001206
Research Interests: 
  • Glacial geology and geomorphology of glacial landforms and landscapes
  • Glacial sequence stratigraphy and deposition systems
  • Geologic mapping
  • Borehole geophysics applied to unconsolidated sediments
Current Research Projects: 
  • 3D geologic mapping of Lake County, Illinois

Popular Media Appearances

Presenter in the television episode “America’s Ice Age”, of the How the Earth Was Made series, The History Channel.  Produced by Pioneer Productions for the Arts and Entertainment Network.  Air date: February 16, 2010

Selected Publications: 

Book Chapters

Taylor, S.J., Phillips, A.C., Post, S.L., and Brown, S.E., 2009, An Overview of Illinois’ Geological History and Landscape:  in Canaries in the Catbird Seat: The Past, Present, and Future of Biological Resources in a Changing Environment,  C. A. Taylor, J.B. Taft and C. E. Warwick (eds.), Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, p.  7-23.

Magazine Articles

Brown, S.E., Luman, D.E., and Shilts, W.W., 2012. Great Lakes States’ Lakes:  An Ice Age Legacy. LakeLine Magazine. North American Lake Management Society. Winter 2012. Vol. 32, No.4, p.17-28.

Journal Articles

Curry, B.B, Hajic, E., Befus, K., Clark, J. Carrell, J., and Brown, S.E., 2014, The Kankakee Torrent and other large meltwater flooding events during the last deglaciation, Illinois, USA, Quaternary Science Reviews Vol. 90, p. 22–36.

Geologic maps

Barnhardt, M.L., Stumpf, A.J., Thomason, J.F., and  Brown, S.E., 2012, Surficial Geology of Lake County, Illinois and adjoining areas: Illinois State Geological Survey, USGS-STATEMAP contract report, 2 sheets, 1:62,500.

Brown, S.E., and Thompson, T.A., 2005, Geologic map of glacial and post-glacial deposits, northern Lake County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Miscellaneous Map 71, 1:40,000-scale geologic map.

Brown, S.E., 2003, Glacial geology of the South Bend Area, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Open-file Study 03-15, 1:80,000-scale geologic map.

Field trip guidebooks

Stone, B.D., Kincare, K.A., O'Leary, D.W., Lundstrom, S.C., Taylor, E.M., Brown, S.E., 2003, Glacial and postglacial geology of the Berrien County region of Michigan: 49th Midwest Friends of the Pleistocene Field Conference Guidebook, 70 p.

Koelpin, R.U., Brown, S.E., Graves, B., Johnson, P.A., Hansell, R., Barr, R.C., Wright, D.L, and Duncan, R.T., 2000, Glacial, hydrological, engineering, and other environmental perspectives in the Indianapolis area: North Central GSA 34th annual meeting, April 4-7, Indianapolis, Post-meeting field trip guidebook, 36 p., 4 plates.

Brown, S.E., Fisher, T.G., Kehew, A.E., and Taylor, L.D., 1999, Pleistocene geology of north-central Indiana and south-central Michigan, guidebook for the 45th Midwest Friends of the Pleistocene Field Conference: Indiana Geological Survey Open-file Study 99-1, 77 p.

Abstracts with presentations

Brown, S E., 2013, Three-dimensional geologic mapping of Lake County, Illinois: no small task: in Thorleifson, Harvey, Berg, Richard C. and  Russell, Hazen, Three-Dimensional Geological Mapping Workshop Extended Abstracts, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting Denver, Colorado – October 26, 2013, Minnesota Geological Survey Open-File Report OFR-13-2, 84 p.

Brown, S. E., 2013, From Start To Finish: Three-Dimensional Geologic Maps And Models of Lake County, Illinois.  47th Annual Meeting of the North Central Section of the Geological Society of America, 2-3 May 2013, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Abstracts with Programs Vol. 45, No. 4, p. 18.

Brown, S.E., Thomason, J.F., and Barnhardt, M.L., 2011, Recognition of Lacustrine Sequences in Northeast Illinois and their Implications for Interpretations of Fluctuations of the Lake Michigan Lobe Margin: Have We Overlooked Allostratigraphy?; Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 43, No. 5, p.176, 2011 Annual Meeting, 9-12 October 2011, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA