Vatche Tchakerian


Research interests include desert geomorphology, especially aeolian processes and landforms, mineral aerosols and desert dust, coastal dunes and Quaternary environments of the American Southwest. Current research focuses on the nature and frequency of late Quaternary aeolian activity in the southwestern deserts of North America, in particular the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, and dune dynamics and sediments of the Wahiba Sands in Oman. Other research projects include the dynamics of coastal dune/beach systems in central California, morphology and dynamics of stone pavements, Big Bend National Park, West Texas, and the Quaternary alluvial and aeolian geomorphology of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the Salt Basin of West Texas.

Selected Publications

  • Tchakerian, V.P. and Pease, P. (2015) The Critical Zone in Desert Environments, In: Giardino, J.R. and Houser, C. (editors), Principles and Dynamics in the Critical Zone, p. 449-472, Elsevier Publications. 
  • Tchakerian V.P., (2015).  Deserts and desertification.  In: Gerald R. North (editor-in-chief), John Pyle and Fuqing Zhang (editors). Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol. 3, pp. 185–192.  New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Pease, P. and Tchakerian, V.P. (2014) Source provenance of carbonate grains in the Wahiba Sand Sea, Oman, using the new LIBS method, Aeolian Research 15  (2014), p. 203-216
  • Tchakerian, V.P. (2009) Palaeoclimatic interpretations from desert dunes and sediments, in A. J. Parsons and A. D. Abrahams (eds.), Geomorphology of Desert Environments, 2nd ed., London:  Springer, p. 757-772.
  • Tchakerian, V. P. (2004). Desert Geomorphology. Encyclopedia of Geomorphology, London: Routledge (A. S. Goudie ed.), pp. 248-251.
  • Pease, P. P. and Tchakerian, V. P. (2003). Geochemical analysis of sediments from Quaternary sand ramps, southern Mohave Desert, California. Quaternary International, 104:19-29.
  • Lancaster, N. and Tchakerian, V. P. (2003). Late Quaternary aeolian dynamics, Mojave Desert, California. Paleoenvironments and Paleogydrology of the Mohave and Southern Great Basin Deserts, Boulder, Colorado (S. G. Wells, Y. Enzel and N. Lancaster eds.), Geological Society America Special paper 368:231-249.
  • Pease, P. P. and Tchakerian, V. P. (2002). Composition and sources of sand in the Wahiba Sand Sea, Sultanate of Oman. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 93:416-434.
  • Tchakerian, V. P. and Lancaster, N. (2001). Late Quaternary arid/humid cycles in the Mojave Desert and western Great Basin. Quaternary Science Reviews, 21:799-810.


Ph.D. 1989 University of California, Los Angeles

M.A. 1983 University of California, Los Angeles

B.A 1981 University of California, Los Angeles


Distinguished Faculty Award in Teaching from the Association of Former Students, May 2002 (University Award).

Distinguished Achievement Award in Faculty Administration from the College of Geosciences, Fall 2013 (College Award).

Additional Information


  • 1997-98: Associate Professor and Assistant Head, Geography, TAMU
  • 1999-00 Visiting Fellow, Monterrey Tech, Guaymas Campus, Sonora, Mexico
  • 2002: Professor, Geography and Geology & Geophysics, TAMU
  • 2002-2008: Associate Dean for Academics, College of Geosciences, TAMU
  • 2010-2014: Department Head, Geography, College of Geosciences, TAMU

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