Director, Center for the Study of Environmental Change
Program Director, Environmental Science Systems
, Environmental Studies
Rev. Richard M. McKeon, S.J., Scholar of the Year 2012
Louis D. De Gennaro, Undergraduate Mentor Award 2013
Joseph C. Georg Professorship 2018 - 2021
- Ph.D. (1990) University of Massachusetts at Amherst
- M.S. (1980) University of Tulsa
- B.A. (1978) Williams College
- BSC 110: Paleobiology of Dinosaurs
- ESS 121: Global Resources
- ESS 128: Global Ecosystems - Costa Rica
- ESS 129: Global Ecosystems - North America
- ESS 205: Physical Geology
- ESS 238: Earth-History and Inhabitants
- BIO 237: Ecology of the Galapagos
- ESS 320: Earth’s Surface
- BIO/ESS 348: Environmental Research - Iceland
- BIO/ESS 458: Global Climate Systems
Most importantly, I have passionate concern for the rapidly changing environment of our Earth. I encourage solidarity between environmental action groups and faith traditions in addressing these concerns.
The realization that modern climate change and habitat loss are already having a significant impact on ecology drives my research with Le Moyne students investigating changes in soil and forest structure and carbon cycle dynamics in both laboratory experiments and field research in such diverse locations as Iceland and Costa Rica. My lab includes analytical equipment for studying rock and soil compositions (Bruker D2 Phaser X-ray diffractometer, Leco Truspec CN analyzer and JEOL JSM-6510LV scanning electron microscope). For studies of carbon flux we have a Li-Cor 8100 soil CO2 chamber system.
Much of my professional work focuses on the paleogeography and paleoclimate of the Mesozoic world (probably a consequence of my childhood fascination with dinosaurs). My current research in this area examines the environmental conditions (climatic, atmospheric, etc.) as dinosaurs rose to ascendancy in the Late Triassic, the record and causes of extinctions for the early Mesozoic, and the global environmental processes responsible for mass extinctions in general. Primarily, this research is conducted through field studies (sedimentology and stratigraphy) of early Mesozoic formations in the Four Corners area and the Canadian Maritimes.
A secondary interest is in volcanology, particularly the recognition of volcanic processes through the study of volcanoclastic deposits. Most of my work in this area has been concentrated on the volcanoes of southern Italy (Etna, Stromboli and the Iblean Plateau of Sicily), where I have worked for some years with Dr. Sonia Calvari of the INGV in Catania, Sicily. I am also deeply interested in the effects on the climate and environment of large-scale volcanic eruptions, such as those of large igneous provinces.
Please see my personal webpage for a listing of 100+ publications, most of which are available on ResearchGate.
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