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AC GEO - Member Bio-Sketches


Catherine Constable is a professor of geophysics in Scripps’s Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics .  Constable’s research is concerned with Earth’s magnetic field. She is particularly interested in decadal to million year variations in the geomagnetic field and how the changing structure of the magnetic field and events like geomagnetic reversals can inform scientists about processes in Earth’s deep interior. Constable also uses recent satellite magnetic field observations to study the electrical conductivity of Earth’s mantle. She is an active proponent of the development of databases and cyberinfrastructure allowing electronic access to paleomagnetic and rock magnetic data and an author on more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific articles. (Term Expires: 2019)


After graduating from the University of British Columbia and doing a 9 month post-doc at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Falkowski was hired at the Brookhaven National Laboratory as staff scientist in the newly formed Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences Division where he developed the field of environmental biophysics. In 1998, he moved his research group to Rutgers University. In 2007, Dr. Falkowski was elected to the National Academy of Science for my research on the global carbon cycle.

Dr. Falkowski's research interests are focused on three areas - origins of life, how electron transfer reactions are mediated, and how organisms transformed the geochemistry of Earth. In the evolution of Earth, microbes became a major force in transforming this planet to make it habitable for animals, including humans. He seeks to understand the basic chemical reactions that enabled microbes to transform Earth's goechemistry. He work at the molecular level of proteins and fundamental chemical reactions of minerals, and the global scale of how this planet came to have oxygen as the second most abundant gas. His main interest is understanding how these kinds of processes have transformed our planet and may evolve on planetary bodies in our solar system and on extra-solar planets. (Term Expires: 2019)


Jose D. Fuentes is a professor on Meteorology at Penn State University. His research focuses on the processes controlling emissions, atmospheric transport, and chemical transformations of hydrocarbon compounds. Field studies focus of the oxidation of hydrocarbons and the formation of oxidants and secondary organic aerosols. Currently, he is the atmospheric sciences editor of Eos (the American Geophysical Union weekly periodical). Also, he serves an associate editor of the journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. (Term Expires: 2018)


Greg Hakim is the Chair of Atmospheric Sciences, and works to understand what the climate is doing now and will do in the future by reconstructing what it did in the past. To do this, he combs through the historical record for those sparse and noisy proxies of the state of the climate at different times. With those proxies, he is able to get view into the past far beyond the instrumented record, which goes back only about 150 years. Additionally, he also builds models to describe dynamic weather events, such as cyclones and hurricanes. With James Holton, he is the author of An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, now in its fifth edition. (Term Expires: 2018)


Dr. Heald is Professor and Associate Department Head of Civial and Environmental Engineering as well as a Professor of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. Her research interests are global atmospheric composition and chemistry, and interactions of these with the biosphere and climate system. This includes the study of both particles and gases in the troposphere, their sources, sinks, transformations, long range transport and environmental impacts. I work at the intersection of modeling and observational analysis, with a strong emphasis on the integration of the two. This involves using observations of the atmosphere from all scales: from ground stations, aircraft campaigns and satellite sensors with global models of chemistry and climate. (Term Expires: 2020)


Kip Hodges specializes in multidisciplinary studies of the evolution of orogenic systems. His research tools are drawn from the fields of structural geology, regional tectonics, metamorphic and igneous petrology, isotope geochemistry, geochronology, and geomorphology. His field areas have included Baja California; the East Greenland, Irish, and Norwegian Caledonides; the U.S. sector of the North American Cordillera; and the Peruvian Andes. For the past quarter-century, much of his research has focused on the Himalaya and Tibet. In addition to his role as Founding Director of SESE, Hodges serves as the scientific director of ASU's Noble Gas Geochemistry and Geochronology Laboratories. These state-of-the-art facilities are designed to support a wide range of tectonics and geochemical studies, with special emphasis on the design and implementation of advanced analytical instrumentation for (U-Th)/He and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and thermochronology. (Term Expires: 2019)


Dr. Kempton joined Geology as Head of Department in the autumn of 2013. She comes to K-State from the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council, the U.K. equivalent of the U.S. National Science Foundation, where she served as Head of Research and Director of Science.  She holds a doctorate in igneous petrology and a master's degree in sedimentology from Southern Methodist University.  Personal research interests to date have focused on the petrology and geochemistry of oceanic basalts and gabbros, lower crustal granulites, ultramafic peridotites and continental volcanism, with a specific focus on problems of mantle geodynamics, petrogenesis of basaltic magmas, and the evolution of the lower crust and upper mantle.  Dr. Kempton is also interested in pursuing new research problems in Earth’s Critical Zone, such as quantifying processes that control bedrock breakdown and rates of soil formation, how these processes vary with landscape type, tectonic setting and / or climate. (Term Expires: 2019)


Dr. Kraft teaches introductory geology classes at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA.  Her research interests are in student motivation and interest as it pertains to introductory science courses. (Term Expires: 2020)


Dr. Lynch obtained her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Melbourne in 1993, with a focus on global climate model development. She developed the first Arctic regional climate system model in 1993, and has been studying atmosphere-ice and atmosphere-land interactions since that time. She also conducts research on environmental governance and the role of Indigenous knowledges in adaptation to global change. Amanda Lynch has published more than 100 articles, policy briefs, book chapters and books on Arctic and Antarctic weather, climate and policy. She is Vice Chair of the World Climate Research Programme Joint Science Committee, a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She won the Priestly Medal in 2008. Her favorite temperature is -20oC. (Term Expires: 2020)


Chris Paola’s major research focus has been the development of techniques for experimental stratigraphy, the centerpiece of which is the Experimental EarthScape system (XES or “Jurassic Tank”), a large experimental basin equipped with a subsiding floor. The basin can be programmed to reproduce almost any form of natural subsidence pattern. It allows experimental study of the interplay between surface transport systems and basement subsidence that ultimately produces the sedimentary record: a kind of Rosetta Stone for the language of stratigraphy.

There are three major current efforts growing out of these experiments: an investigation of how sediment mass extraction can be quantified and used to predict downstream facies changes; quantitative comparison of shoreline dynamics and sequence stratigraphy in passive-margin versus foreland basins; and study of channel steering by subsidence and how this influences subsurface channel architecture. A new project in Bangladesh, with colleagues from several universities, will help Paola’s group extend these ideas to a very dynamic field area. They are also working on the filtering processes that convert topography into preserved stratigraphy; experiments and modeling of deltas and how they are influenced by waves and tides; and vegetation-sediment interaction, emphasizing fine sediments.

In addition, his group has worked extensively on stream braiding and how braided channels can be “corralled” into a single-channel state by vegetation. With the sedimentary record as a motivating factor, a common theme of all their research is an emphasis on quantification and prediction. For this and many other projects, Paola’s group collaborates extensively with SAFL colleagues from the Department of Civil Engineering. (Term Expires: 2019)


Dr. Shirley Pomponi is Research Professor and Executive Director of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research, and Technology at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University, in Fort Pierce, Florida. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Miami. Her research focuses on marine biotechnology, in general, and sponge systematics, cell and molecular biology, in particular. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is co-inventor on several patents. She has led numerous research expeditions worldwide and has made more than 300 dives in Harbor Branch’s Johnson-Sea-Link submersibles. Dr. Pomponi is immediate Past-President of the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories, and immediate past- Chair of the Florida Institute of Oceanography Council. She is a member of the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council, the U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life, the National Association of Marine Laboratories, and the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association. (Term Expires: 2019)


Dr. Riser is a Professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. His primary interests are in the ocean's role in climate, and in deducing the general circulation of the ocean and ocean/atmosphere/ice interactions through direct observations of the ocean circulation. (Term Expires: 2020)


Dr. Semeter ia as an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University.  His research concerns interactions between the Earth’s ionized outer atmosphere (the ionosphere) and the space environment.   Activities in Dr. Semeter’s lab include the development of optical and magnetic sensor technologies, radar experiment design and signal processing (with focus on incoherent scatter radar), and the application of tomographic and other inversion techniques to the analysis of distributed, multi-mode measurements of the space environment. (Term Expires: 2019)


Dr. Welker is the UArctic Research Chair in Arctic Ecology and Biogeochemistry at the University of Oulu, Finland and the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Dr. Welker’s research focuses on the Arctic Water Isotope Cycle using in-situ isotope geochemistry platforms on land and on the USCGC Healy.  In addition, his program focuses on Arctic Caribou Systems in Alaska and Finland, and Carbon feedback processes associated with permafrost thaw in Alaska and in NW Greenland.  Dr. Welker’s program contributes to the Arctic Observing Network, the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) and to Fulbright International Exchange programs by mentoring postdoctoral fellows currently from England and from Poland. (Term Expires: 2019)


Dr. White a joined the University of California Museum of Paleontology in July 2012 as the successor to Judy Scotchmoor in education and outreach. She comes to the UCMP after a 22-year history at San Francisco State University where she held positions of Professor of Geosciences and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering. She taught undergraduate classes in paleontology, historical geology, and the history of life, and guided research projects with graduate students in Miocene diatoms of the Monterey Formation of CA, and fossil cold seep assemblages in the Franciscan Complex.

Dr. White received her Ph.D. in earth sciences from University of California at Santa Cruz in 1989. Dr. White has extensive experience with science outreach programs for urban students and she is active in efforts to increase diversity in the geosciences. (Term Expires: 2019)


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