My research examines feedbacks in modern and ancient biogeochemical cycles, the resultant controls on atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, and the links to climate and paleoclimate. This work employs a combination of field based studies (oceanographic; hot springs; soils), laboratory microbiology and geochemistry experiments, mathematical modeling, and advanced stable isotope analytical techniques.
Current major individual research topics:
23805. Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry. PQ: CHEM 11100-11200-11300 or
equivalent; GEOS 13100-13200-13300 or consent of instructor. Stable isotopes of H, C,
O, N, and S are valuable tools for understanding the biological and geochemical
processes that have shaped the composition of Earth's atmosphere and oceans
throughout our planet's history. This course examines basic thermodynamic and
kinetic theory to describe the behavior of isotopes in chemical and biological
systems. We then examine the stable isotope systematics of localized environmental
processes, and see how local processes contribute to global isotopic signals that
are preserved in ice, sediment, rock, and fossils. Special emphasis is placed on the
global carbon cycle, the history of atmospheric oxygen levels, and paleoclimate.
A. Colman. Winter.
23900. Environmental Chemistry. (=ENST 23900) PQ: CHEM 11101-
11201 or equivalent, and prior calculus course. The focus of this course is the
fundamental science underlying issues of local and regional scale pollution. In
particular, the lifetimes of important pollutants in the air, water, and soils are
examined by considering the roles played by photochemistry, surface chemistry,
biological processes, and dispersal into the surrounding environment. Specific
topics include urban air quality, water quality, long-lived organic toxins, heavy
metals, and indoor air pollution. Control measures are also considered. D. Archer,
A. Colman. Autumn. L.