I am a Senior Research Technician in charge of the operation and maintenance of the Geology Department’s equipment, including the Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) instrument and a departmental computer lab. In addition, I am setting up a geochemical laboratory designed to separate radiogenic isotopes for Sr and Nd analyses in a variety of geological materials, including rocks, soils and waters. This will be the first laboratory of its type in Vermont.
My research interests center on determining the geochemical and isotopic signatures of igneous rocks that form and evolve in different types of plate tectonic settings. For example, my work on Miocene volcanic rocks in NW Mexico allowed me to identify 3 magma pulses that are associated with a transition from subduction to rifting during the formation of the Gulf of California. The tools I used in this project include dating igneous rocks by the K-Ar method, major and trace element chemical analyses as well as 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd isotope data collection. More recently I have been working on the geochemical signature of Cretaceous and Tertiary plutonic rocks of southeast Alaska. For this project I analyzed radiogenic isotopes from samples of mid-crustal plutons and dikes (87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd and Pb) at facilities in the U.S. and Australia. Finally, I co-supervised two undergraduate students with their projects on volcanic rocks and thermal spring waters from Iceland after the geology expedition in the summer of 2004.
Thanks to the support of the A & S Dean’s office, the Geology Department computer laboratory has 22 iMacs operating with Mac OS X (snow leopard 10.5.8). This and our other research facilities are helping us to focus on a wide variety of analytical techniques in the geosciences and provide students with as many opportunities as possible.