Christopher J. Schmidt

Photo of Christopher J. Schmidt
Christopher J. Schmidt
Professor Emeritus of Geosciences
  • Ph.D., Geophysics, Indiana University
  • M.S., Geology, Indiana University
  • B.S., Geology, Oberlin College
Teaching interests: 
  • Structural geology
Research interests: 
  • Origin of mountain belts

Dr. Christopher J. Schmidt attended Oberlin College where—after participating in Freedom Summer in 1964 and the third Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965—he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology. He subsequently earned master’s and doctoral degrees in geology and geophysics from Indiana University. Schmidt came to Western Michigan University as an assistant professor in 1978 and was at different times a visiting research professor at Texas A&M, Cornell University, Montana Tech, and Utah State University. He was a visiting professor and Fulbright Scholar at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad Nacional de San Luis in Argentina in 1993. Schmidt's main research interest is in the origin of mountain belts. He has worked throughout the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Montana and in the Argentine Andes. More than half of his published work is an outgrowth of geologic mapping in southwestern Montana. Schmidt has written 60-and-counting articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals and was senior editor of two Geological Society of America books dealing with faults and folds in the Rocky Mountains. He will continue geological mapping in Montana and Argentina in retirement and find a lot more time for his hobbies of fly fishing and collecting, restoring, and writing articles about 18th Century American flintlock long rifles and fowling guns. Schmidt will spend at least half of each year in Cardwell, Montana, but he will keep an office at WMU for writing during the winter months. He plans many fishing trips with his three sons and friend, Deb.

Recent Publications

  • C.J. Schmidt,  S.C. Whisner, and J.B. Whisner, 2014, Folding of a detachment and fault-modified detachment folding along a lateral ramp, southwestern Montana, USA, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 69 pp. 334-350.
  • Dailey, D., Sauck, W., Sultan, M., Milewski, A., Ahmed, M., Laton, R., Elkadiri, R., Foster, J., Schmidt, C., Alharbi, T., 2014, Geophysical, remote sensing, GIS, and isotopic applications for a better understanding of the structural controls on groundwater flow in the Mojave Desert, California: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies,
  • Vuke, S.M., Lonn, J.D., Berg, R.B., and Schmidt, C.J., 2014, Geologic Map of the Bozeman 30’ X 60’ Quadrangle, Southwestern Montana, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Open File Report.
  • Whisner, S.C., Schmidt, C.J., and Whisner J.B., 2014, Structural analysis of the Lombard  thrust sheet and adjacent areas in the Helena salient southwest Montana, USA, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 69 pp. 351-376.