Mark D. Schwartz

Distinguished Professor
 Bolton Hall 490

Web Site:


PhD, Geography (Climatology), University of Kansas, 1985
MS, Geography (Climatology), Michigan State University, 1982
BS, Earth Sciences, Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, 1980

Office Hours

By appointment only

Courses Taught

Geog 310 – General Climatology Syllabus
Geog 403 – Remote Sensing: Environmental and Land Use Analysis Syllabus
Geog 411 – Physical Climatology Syllabus
Geog 455 – Applied Climatology Syllabus
Geog 804 – Advanced Remote Sensing Syllabus

Research and Teaching Interests

Mark D. Schwartz is a synoptic climatologist and phenoclimatologist. His main research interests are plant-climate interactions during the onset of spring and autumn. He has received seven National Science Foundation grants, authored over eighty peer-reviewed publications, and recently edited the 2nd edition of a book entitled Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science. Phenology is the study of periodic biological events in the animal and plant world as influenced by the environment, especially temperature changes driven by weather and climate. Wide ranges of phenomena are included, from first openings of leaf and flower buds, to insect hatchings and return of birds. Each one gives a ready measure of the environment as viewed by the associated organism. Thus, timings of phenological events are ideal indicators of the impact of local and global changes in weather and climate on the earth’s biosphere. Schwartz is also co-founder of the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN).

Representative Publications

Monahan, W. B., Rosemartin, A. , Gerst, K. L., Fisichelli, N. A., Ault, T. , Schwartz, M. D., Gross, J. E., & Weltzin, J. F. (2016) Climate Change is Advancing Spring Onset across the U.S. National Park System. Ecosphere , 7(10), e01465.
Ault, T. R., Zurita-Milla, R. , & Schwartz, M. D. (2015) A Matlab Toolbox for Calculating Spring Indices from Daily Meteorological Data. Computers & Geosciences , 83, 46-53.
Ault, T. R., Schwartz, M. D., Zurita-Milla, R. , Weltzin, J. F., & Betancourt, J. L. (2015) Trends and Natural Variability of North American Spring Onset as Evaluated by a New Gridded Dataset of Spring Indices. Journal of Climate , 28(21), 8363-8378.
Schwartz, M. D., Hanes, J. M., & Liang, L. (2013) Comparing Carbon Flux and High-resolution Spring Phenological Measurements in a Northern Mixed Forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology , 169, 136-147.
Schwartz, M. D., Betancourt, J. L., & Weltzin, J. F. (2012) From Caprio’s lilacs to the USA National Phenology Network. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , 10(6), 324-327.
Wolkovitch, E. M., Cook, B. I., Allen, J. M., Crimmins, T. M., Travers, S. , Pau, S. , Regetz, J. , Davies, T. J., Betancourt, J. L., Kraft, N. J., Ault, T. R., Kjell, B. , Mazer, S. J., McCabe, G. J., McGill, B. J., Parmesan, C. , Salamin, N. , Schwartz, M. D., & Cleland, E. E. (2012) Warming experiments underpredict plant phenological responses to climate change. Nature , 485(7399), 494-497.
Schwartz, M. D., & Hanes, J. M. (2010) Intercomparing Multiple Measures of the Onset of Spring in Eastern North America. International Journal of Climatology , 30(11), 1614-1626.
Schwartz, M. D., Ahas, R. , & Aasa, A. (2006) Onset of Spring Starting Earlier Across the Northern Hemisphere. Global Change Biology , 12(2), 343-351.