The climate of warm deserts favors sparse vegetation and limits chemical weathering, favoring the development of common desert landforms such as sand dunes, badlands, rocky hillslopes, often dry stream channels, and thin soils. Learn about the formation of unusual landforms known as desert pavement, hoodoos and hueweltjies (Afrikaans for “little hills”). Multidisciplinary studies and the emergence of dating methods shed new light on their genesis and increasingly their response to climate changes.

Les McFadden is a professor emeritus in the UNM Earth & Planetary Sciences (E&PS) Department. He received an MS & PhD in geosciences from the University of Arizona after earning a BA in anthropology from Stanford University. He served as chair of the E&PS Department (1999-2007) and is a fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA). In 2017 he received the Kirk Bryan Award for Excellence from the Council of the GSA.