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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: 2017)


Dr. Dixon is a Professor of Anthropology (Archaeology) and Director, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. His areas of research include Arctic archeology, Paleoindian archeology, Quaternary paleoecology, high altitude - high latitude adaptations, museum studies. (Term Expires: 2017)


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)


Dr. Fine’s research focuses on understanding the role of the ocean in climate change occurring on time scales of up to decades. It involves understanding the physical processes that influence the capacity of the ocean to take up atmospheric constituents, such as carbon-dioxide a greenhouse gas, and oxygen which ventilates the ocean. (Term Expires: 2017)


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)


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: 2017)


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: 2017)


Lyons and his research group currently conduct research on four specific topics: 1. the biogeochemistry of Antarctic terrestrial/aquatic ecosystems and how they response to climate change, 2. the interactions and rates of chemical weathering, erosion/sediment transport and carbon dynamics, especially in small, mountainous watersheds, 3. the impact of urbanization, suburbanization and agricultural activities on water quality, and 4. the geochemical dynamics of carbon in agricultural landscapes. He is a Fellow of GSA, AAAS and AGU. He recently stepped down as the lead investigator of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research program, one of the two Antarctic LTER sites funded by the National Science Foundation. He is a US representative on the Geosciences Scientific Group of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR), and a former Director of the Byrd Polar Research Center at OSU. He is an associate editor for Chemical Geology and Applied Geochemistry, and a member of AGU's Book Board. (Term Expires: 2017)


Sumant Nigam is a Professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth System Science at the University of Maryland. His research interests include atmospher ic general circulation and teleconnections , climate dynamics, tropical ocean - atmosphere interaction, aerosols and Asian monsoon, and Great Plains hydroclimate variability and droughts. A current focus is unravel ing the natural variability and secular change components of the climate record to advance understanding of the recent warming of the northern continents. Developing seasonal monsoo n fore casts from more effective use of a ntecedent SST evolution in formation is another.

Dr. Nigam obtained his M.Sc.degree in Physics from the 5-year integrated science and engineering program at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, supported by the National Science Talent scholarship. He received his Ph.D. in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics from Princeton University in 1984, and postdoctoral training (1984-1987) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences. He came to the University of Maryland in 1987. Sumant was director of the Large-scale Dynamic Meteorology program at the US National Science Foundation from 2000-2002. Sumant is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the Royal Meteorological Society, and a Jefferson Science Fellow of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. (Term Expires: 2019)


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.


Kimberly Prather is the Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego.  Prather’s research focuses on understanding the impact of atmospheric aerosols and their impacts on clouds and climate. Early in her career, she developed a technique known as aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry that is widely used in atmospheric field studies around the globe to determine the origin and chemistry of aerosols.  A major focus of her research involves understanding how aerosols impact climate, with a major focus on their role in modifying clouds and precipitation processes. (Term Expires: 2017)


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: 2017)


Dr. Stroeve is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), a U.S. information and referral center that supports polar and cryospheric research.  Her specialties include remote sensing of snow and ice in the visible, infrared, and microwave wavelengths. (Term Expires: June 2017)


Dr. Sullivan is a Professor & Associate Chair for Graduate Education in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland.    His research area is particle physics.   The Maryland Particle Astrophysics group is involved in three pioneering experiments in this exciting field. The water Cerenkov detector, called Milagro, the Super Kamiokande experiment which is designed to study nucleon decay, solar neutrinos and supernovae neutrinos and our newest endeavor, the IceCube Experiment which is a one-cubic-kilometer international high-energy neutrino observatory being built and installed in the clear deep ice below the South Pole Station. (Term Expires: 2017)


Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover is a deep-sea biologist with an interest in the ecology of chemosynthetic ecosystems.  She began her work in this field in 1982, joining the first biological expedition to hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise.  After earning a Master’s degree in ecology from UCLA in 1985, she continued her graduate education in the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Biological Oceanography.  There she joined numerous expeditions and published on diverse topics such as reproductive strategies and recruitment of vent invertebrates, vent food webs, and taxonomic descriptions of new species.  In 1989, she described a novel photoreceptor in a vent invertebrate, which in turn led to discovery and characterization of a geothermal source of light at vents and investigations of its biological significance.  On receiving her Ph.D. in 1989, Van Dover joined the group that operates the deep-diving submersible ALVIN.  She qualified as pilot in 1990 and was pilot-in-command of 48 dives; she now serves as Chair of the Oversight Committee for a new, state-of-the-art human-occupied deep-submergence vehicle.  Her work with ALVIN has taken her to nearly all of the known vent fields in the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as to deep-water seamounts, seeps, and other significant seafloor features.  Her current research focuses primarily on deep-ocean exploration and the study of biodiversity and biogeography of invertebrates from chemosynthetic ecosystems. She has published more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is an active participant and Chief Scientist in NSF-and NOAA-sponsored field programs to hydrothermal vents and other chemosynthetic environments.

Professor Van Dover is a Fulbright Scholar, the inaugural recipient of the Mines Medal for “her exceptional leadership and innovation”, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is currently the Harvey W Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography in the Division of Marine Science and Conservation of the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, where she serves as Chair of the Division, Director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Marine Science and Conservation, and Director of the Marine Laboratory. (Term Expires: 2018)


David Voorhees is an Associate Professor of Earth Science and Geology  at  Waubonsee Community College at the Sugar Grove Campus in Sugar Grove, Illinois.   His primary professional interests are in geoscience education, specifically bringing the vastness and complexity of the earth to students both in and out of the classroom.  He is also a Principal Investigator for NSF STEM Scholarship Faculty Advisor for Students Organizing Sustainability (SOS). (Term Expires: 2017)


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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