Noah M. McLean

Natural Sciences and Mathematics - Geology
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Slawson Hall, room 170H
University of Kansas
1420 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045


Dr. McLean has long been interested in using high-precision thermo- and geochronology to solve geological problems, especially those that require resolution at the limits of analytical precision. A main thrust of his research involves quantitatively interpreting the large volume of information used to calculate and interpret isotopic dates.

Selected Publications

McLean, Noah M. “Interpretational Approaches: Making Sense of Data.” Book Chapters. In Geochronology and Thermochronology. Wiley, 2017.
Dutton, Andrea A., Ken Rubin, Noah M. McLean, James F. Bowring, Eduard Bard, R. Lawrence Edwards, Gideon M. Henderson, et al. “Data Reporting Standards for Publication of U-Series Data for Geochronology and Timescale Assessment in the Earth Sciences.” Journal Articles. Quaternary Geochronology, March 8, 2017.
Blackburn, T., N. M. McLean, and S. A. Bowring. “U-Pb Geochronologic and Thermochronologic Time-Temperature Constraints for the 40 Ar/39 Ar  Horn- Blende Standard HB3gr.” Journal Articles. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, February 6, 2017.
McLean, Noah M., James F. Bowring, and George Gehrels. “Algorithms and Software for U-Pb Geochronology by LA-ICPMS.” Journal Articles. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17, no. 7 (June 2016): 2480–2496.
Miller, Robert B., Stacia M. Gordon, Samuel Bowring, Brigid Doran, Noah M. McLean, Zachary Michels, and Erin Shea. “Linking Deep and Shallow Crustal Processes during Regional Transtension in an Exhumed Continental Arc, North Cascades, Northwestern Cordillera (USA).” Journal Articles. Geosphere 12, no. 3 (11, 2016).
Eddy, Michael P., Samuel A. Bowring, Paul J. Umhoefer, Robert B. Miller, Noah M. McLean, and Erin E. Donaghy. “High-Resolution Temporal and Stratigraphic Record of Siletzia’s Accretion and Triple Junction Migration from Nonmarine Sedimentary Basins in Central and Western Washington.” Journal Articles. Geological Society of America Bulletin 128, no. 3–4 (March 2016): 425–41.
Horstwood, Matthew, Jan Kosler, George Gehrels, Simon Jackson, Noah M. McLean, Chad Paton, Norman Pearson, et al. “Community-Derived Standards for LA-ICP-MS U-Th-Pb Geochronology - Uncertainty Propagation, Age Interpretation and Data Reporting.” Journal Articles. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, February 1, 2016, DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2016.00379.x.
McLean, N. M., Daniel Condon, Blair Schoene, and Samuel A. Bowring. “Evaluating Uncertainties in the Calibration of Isotopic Reference Materials and Multi-Element Isotopic Tracers (EARTHTIME Tracer Calibration Part II).” Journal Articles. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 164 (August 1, 2015): 481–501.
Condon, D. J., R. B. Schoene, N. M. McLean, S. A. Bowring, R. Parrish, and S. R. Noble. “Metrology and Traceability of U-Pb Isotope Dilution Geochronology (EARTHTIME Tracer Calibration Part I).” Journal Articles. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 164 (August 1, 2015): 464–80.
Bookhagen, B., N. M. McLean, R. Buchwaldt, M. Rioux, F. O. L. Dudás, and S. A. Bowring. “EARTHTIME: Teaching Geochronology to High School Students in the US.” Book Chapters. In Geoscience Research and Education, edited by V. C. H. Tong. Springer, 2014.
McLean, N. M. “Straight Line Regression through Data with  Correlated Uncertainties in Two or More Dimensions, with an Application to Kinetic Isotope Fractionation.” Journal Articles. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 124 (January 1, 2014): 237–49.
Blackburn, Terrence J., Paul E. Olsen, Samuel A. Bowring, Noah M. McLean, Dennis V. Kent, John Puffer, Greg McHone, E. Troy Rasbury, and Mohammed Et-Touhami. “Zircon U-Pb Geochronology Links the End-Triassic Extinction with the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province.” Journal Articles. Science 340, no. 6135 (24, 2013): 941–45.
Hallman, Jason A., Noah M. McLean, Andreas Möller, Gregory A. Ludvigson, and Jon J. Smith. “Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Ogallala Formation Deposition Revealed by U-Pb Zircon Geochronology.” Journal Articles. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, In Preparation/Progress; Not Yet Submitted.

Selected Grants

CIF21 DIBBs: Collaborative Research: Cyberinfrastructure for Interpreting and Archiving U-series Geochronologic Data. 1443037. National Science Foundation. $82175.00. (9/1/2014 - 8/31/2017). Federal. Status: Funded
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Upcoming Colloquium


2/25/21: Dr. Katherine Ryker, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina

3/25/21: Dr. Jonathan Payne, Professor, Geological Science, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

4/8/21: Dr. Peter Burgess, Professor of Sedimentary Geology and Head of Earth Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

4/29/21: Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Professor, Geoecology & Carbonate Sedimentology and Director of the Center for Marine Environmental Science, Bremen University, Bremen, Germany.

Geology Scholarship

The 2021-2022 Academic-Year Undergraduate Scholarship Award Application is now online.
Complete the online form to be considered for the scholarship award.