Skip to Content

School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment


Earth Systems

Studies of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that integrate to affect dynamics of the Earth, with a view to understanding both forces driving changes to the Earth and ways to mitigate or adapt to such changes. This includes studies of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and anthrosphere (including, eg, economics). Faculty are actively involved in interdisciplinary research across two or more of these spheres.

Earth Systems Faculty

David Barbeau

David Barbeau

Associate Professor, SEOE. Clastic sedimentology, tectonics and sedimentation, basin analysis, thermochronology, sediment provenance, and tectonics of the southern Andes and Antarctica.

Carol Boggs

Carol Boggs

We focus on evolutionary, functional and behavioral ecology, with applications to conservation and environmental issues. The major question is how environmental change and variation affect life history traits, population structure and dynamics, and species interactions over ecological and evolutionary time. Environments vary on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Additionally, both the abiotic and biotic components of the environment may vary, for example in cases of species' invasions.

L. Allan James

L. Allan James

Fluvial geomorphology, Erosion and sedimentation, Water resources, Flood hydrology and Quaternary science.

Venkat Lakshmi

Venkat Lakshmi

Global Water Resources and Monitoring of Hydrological Extremes; Improving spatial resolution of radiometer derived soil moisture; Optimal integration of models, point observations and satellite remote sensing data; Feedbacks: Land-Atmosphere Relationships using Satellite Remote Sensing

Susan Lang

Susan Lang

Assistant Professor, SEOE. Aqueous biogeochemistry; water-rock-microbe interactions, particularly in hydrothermal and subsurface systems; stable (13C, 15N, 34S) and radiocarbon (14C) isotopes of organic molecules; serpentinization as a source of energy for microbes and the abiotic synthesis of organic molecules; past, present, and future cycling of carbon and nitrogen through the environment.

Dwayne Porter

Dwayne Porter

Dr. Porter’s research interests include exploring and expanding the increasingly important roles that technology and technological innovations play in monitoring, assessing, modeling and managing our coastal environmental resources and associated environmental and public health issues. Dr. Porter focuses on the use of the tools of Geographic Information Sciences (GISciences) to develop and apply spatial models to study the impacts of anthropogenic and physiographic influences to coastal resources. Dr. Porter has directed /directs several federally-funded multi-disciplinary projects focusing on land use and land cover patterns and how changes in land-use activities impact estuarine health and associated human health concerns.

Jennifer R. Pournelle

Jennifer R. Pournelle

Millennial-scale urban sustainability and complex societies, studied through: landscape archaeology, anthropological archaeology, archaeology of the Middle East, cultural ecology, historical ecology, as they relate to wetland environments. Interpreting and relating air photography and satellite imagery to other paleoenvironmental data, toward reconstructing past landscapes.

Ryan Rykaczewski

Ryan Rykaczewski

Fisheries Oceanography; Observation of long-term changes in ocean biogeochemistry and climate; Large-scale changes in oceanic and atmospheric properties of the North Pacific; Remote forcing of coastal conditions; Ocean acidification and deoxygenation; Size-structured interactions in ocean ecosystems.

Scott White

Scott White

Most of the Earth's surface is hidden underwater, from the deep seafloor to wetland environments. Revealing the patterns and processes in these marine environments is the overarching theme of Scott's research group in marine geology and geophysics.

Alicia Wilson

Alicia Wilson

My research is in the field of hydrogeology, from the role of groundwater in coastal ecohydrology to the origin and evolution of porewaters in large sedimentary basins. A particular focus right now is submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), which discharges nutrients and other solutes to coastal systems ranging from tidal creeks to the continental shelf.