PI: Ed Brook (Professor)
My research uses geochemistry to understand earth history. Our group focuses primarily on the history of the atmospheric greenhouse gases and links to climate change, with occasionally forays in to dating glacial deposits and studying extraterrestrial dust in ice. We work on deep ice core projects with colleagues around the world, and on novel records from ablation zones on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Our group builds analytical equipment for ice core analysis (and works hard to keep it running).
Christo Buizert (Assistant Professor)
My work aims to reconstruct and understand past climate change and atmospheric composition, using deep ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. I combine numerical modeling, data analysis, ice core measurements and field work to achieve those goals. My work includes reconstructing Greenland climate, investigating inter-hemispheric climate coupling, ice core time scales and dating, and firn processes.
Mike Kalk (Lab Manager)
Mike began working as the lab technician in 2008 after finishing a masters degree in geology. His primary responsibilities include measuring trace gases from ice cores using gas chromatography, data management, assisting students and post-docs with technical aspects of research, method development, curating ice cores, maintaining lab facilities, and assisting with daily operations of the lab. He occasionally assists with fieldwork. When he is not working Mike enjoys spending time with his family and running with his Australian shepherd, Ned, on the local trails.
Andy Menking, Postdoc
I am a paleoclimatologist and stable isotope geochemist. My research is in climate, biogeochemistry, and the use of stable isotopes as tracers. I am interested in abrupt climate change, glacial-interglacial climate cycles, carbon and nitrogen cycling, and pretty much anything related to ice cores. I am also interested in other stable isotope applications like watershed hydrology. I enjoy teaching, advising, outreach, and collaborating on cool research projects.
Here is a nerdy confession – I truly enjoy troubleshooting and tinkering with lab equipment. I mean, is there anything more satisfying than a well-made capillary fitting or a leak-free vacuum line? Yes, of course there is… but hey, it is good to take pride and satisfaction in your work! Feel free to reach out to me at James dot Menking at oregonstate dot edu.
Kathleen Wendt, Postdoc
I am a paleoclimatologist and geochronologist. My current research looks at periods during the last glaciation when atmospheric CO2 concentrations changed abruptly. To do this, I extract ancient atmosphere from tiny bubbles that are trapped in ice from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). I’m working to investigate these abrupt changes in detail, down to decadal timescales. Before arriving at the OSU Ice Core Lab, I did my PhD at the University of Innsbruck where I reconstructed past water table elevations near Death Valley National Park. I’ve also spent time studying uranium isotopes in groundwater and uranium-series disequilibrium dating techniques. When not in the lab, you’ll find me on a hike, pretending to be good at yoga, or crawling through a cave.
Jon Edwards, Graduate Student
Using ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica, my work focuses on how ancient air becomes trapped during firnification processes. We call the total amount of air measured in an ice core the total air content and often think of it as a paleo-barometer, and therefore an
indicator of past ice-sheet elevation. Additionally, understanding how the firn transitions to glacial ice is important for interpreting ice core gas records. Cores that I have worked on for total air content include, WAIS Divide, GISP2, NEEM, TUNU, SPice, Siple Dome and Taylor Dome.
In addition to measuring the total amount of air that gets trapped, I also measure CH4 for the purpose of calculating the inter-polar difference in concentrations between Greenlandand Antarctica over Greenland Stadial and Interstadial cycles. We can use this calculation to infer latitudinal source distribution changes.In addition to ice core research I am deeply interested in education, and how societal pressures, whether economic, geographic or cultural, can influence learning outcomes and academic success in college.
Jenna Epifanio, Graduate Student
I am a PhD student in the OSU ice core lab and am interested in paleoclimate research. I am currently working on the methane record in the South Pole ice core. Before joining the ice core lab at OSU I obtained a B.S. at the United States Naval Academy where I studied oceanography with a concentration in marine geology. Other interests include biking, hiking, and anything outdoors.
Benjamin Young, Graduate Student
Hi all, I’m a new graduate student in the OSU Ice Core Lab studying the past biogeochemical dynamics of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By measuring the isotopic ratios and geographic distribution of atmospheric methane trapped in ice cores, we can constrain the causes of past abrupt changes in concentration and climate. The goal is to use this improved understanding as a predictor for how Earth’s climate system might respond to current warming, especially because many modern methane reservoirs are considered unstable. Before moving to Oregon, I obtained a B.S. in Environmental Science at the University of Rochester, where I studied modern methane dynamics in freshwater lakes and coastal regions. In my free time, I enjoy backpacking, skiing, rock climbing, and woodworking.
Kaden Martin, Graduate Student
Hello! I’m a PhD student in the OSU Ice Core Lab. My research will investigate the modes of abrupt climate change during the Earth’s past by examining the variations of atmospheric gases in a Greenland ice core. This work will produce a high-resolution record of methane and isotopic nitrogen from the GISP2 ice core. By developing an improved record of methane and isotopic nitrogen, the data can be used to accurately identify and discover new climate responses to Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Before joining the OSU Ice Core Lab, I completed my B.S. degrees in Applied Physics and Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. At UCI, I investigated how the variability of a biogenic sulfur compound in a South Pole ice core related to modes of climate variability.
Olivia Williams, Graduate Student
I’m a PhD student in the OSU ice core lab studying past melting events. By looking at the concentrations of water-soluble elements in ice, we can determine when liquid water was present and thus determine when melting occurred. This record will help us understand what causes melting and what extent of melting we may see in the future. Before I came to OSU, I got my B.A. in Earth & Environmental Science and English at Boston University, where I studied silica cycling in coastal salt marshes. Outside the lab, I enjoy tabletop games, baking, and creative writing.
Julia Marks Peterson, Graduate Student
Hello! I am a PhD student in the ice core lab and am interested in using ice cores to learn about past climate. My research is focused on better constraining variations in carbon dioxide concentrations within ice cores to improve our understanding of its behavior on shorter timescales. Before joining the lab, I completed a master’s in teaching and taught middle school science in Seattle. Before teaching, I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in oceanography and political science. I am passionate about making science accessible to the public and love doing community outreach!
Emily Rice, Undergraduate researcher
Hello! I am an undergrad student at OSU majoring in Earth Science with a Climate Science focus. In the Ice Core Lab, I am studying past concentrations of nitrous oxide, an important greenhouse gas. I am working with a new ice core from Allan Hills, Antarctica to establish a nitrous oxide record for the second-to-last ice age and subsequent deglaciation. This research will contribute to our understanding of how nitrous oxide emissions vary as the climate changes. Outside of the lab, my hobbies include rock climbing, American Ninja Warrior training, playing the guitar, and creative writing.
Sebastian Miller, Undergraduate researcher
I am an Undergraduate currently studying climate science here at OSU. In the Ice Core Lab I work with a CFA machine that stands for “Continuous Flow Analysis.” This piece of equipment has the potential to analyze data from ice cores much faster than typical methods. It can turn a 3 month job into a 3 day job. Right now the focus of the CFA is looking at methane concentrations within ice cores, but the idea is to expand upon that. If you find me outside of the lab or classroom it might be on the shoulder of a scenic highway fighting a headwind on my road bike.
Nicole Bintliff, Researcher
Hello! I am a recently graduated student from OSU working in the OSU Ice Core Lab. My research includes identifying and analyzing micrometeorites found within meltwater from the Taylor Glacier, local gutter sediment, and ocean seafloor sediment samples to find this extraterrestrial matter. I completed my undergraduate degree at OSU in the Earth Science program with a specialization in Climate Science. In my free time I enjoy getting outside by star gazing, surfing, skating, or visiting new coffee shops.