We investigate small things to tell the big stories of Earth’s environments across geologic time, from the modern to the early Earth.
Get involved in research
The Earth Materials and Earth History Lab group in the Sciences and Mathematics Division at UW Tacoma explores the geological history of the deep and surface Earth using mineral structure and physical properties, magnetism, and other geophysical techniques. The focus of much of our work is on understanding transport processes in sedimentary and magmatic systems. Our research projects, described below, have criscrossed the geologic time scale, from investigating magnetic materials in recent (human-made) smelter dust to analyzing magnetic records of crystallization in a 2.7 billion-year-old magma chamber. We have active research projects in the areas listed here. Schedule a meeting to discuss options.
Bengal Fan Turbidites
How does material from Earth’s largest mountain chain build Earth’s largest undersea mudpile? And what does that tell us about erosion, climate, and tectonics? Read more
Windblown Dust & Soils
The materials in windblown dust and soils – both natural and manmade – are sensitive tracers of environmental processes. We are currently looking at the mineralogy and magnetic properties of dust in the Palouse of southeastern Washington.
Columbia Plateau Basalts
We are developing a portable, low-cost magnetometer to investigate the eruption history of lava flows on the Columbia Plateau. Read more
We have several projects starting that use digital methods to investigate geological problems, including 3D modeling of crystal shapes for education, simulating magnetic materials, and tracking Earth’s magnetic field through geological time.
Take a class
Earth History – Online Summer B 2020
Develop a deep time perspective on Earth’s environment by examining highlights of Earth’s 4.6-billion-year history, as well as the process of scientific discovery that leads us to understand it. Read more
Applied Environmental Physics Autumn 2020
We’re excited to offer a new course in environmental physics in Autumn quarter of 2020. Learn how Earth processes work and investigate analogue and computer models! Read more
Research Experience Autumn 2020
Investigate the geological and environmental history of a Tacoma site. Satisfies capstone requirements for Environmental Science. Read more
Meet people in the lab
Associate Professor / Principal Investigator
I am a geoscientist who uses magnets to look at Earth’s history. Read more
Former students – where are they now?
My latest blog posts.
In the spirit of the weblogs of old, I’m going to start posting a few useful things I’ve read. No theme, no big insights – just a log of what I’ve read. Helicopter Research I teach our introduction to research course in Environmental Science (a.k.a. “Environmental Research Seminar” or “Junior Seminar”), and usually incorporate a…
I’ll confess: I’m pretty bad at the whole asynchronous online teaching thing. Although my classes are nominally asynchronous – I don’t grade anything that we do during or as a result of synchronous online discussions – I have a lot of trouble figuring out how to make learning happen without a discussion, and I have…