Potential projects/topics: Soils on Earth contain about 3x more carbon than is presently in the atmosphere. Climate change poses a threat to carbon stability in soils worldwide, but the mechanisms and soil properties that preserve soil-bound carbon under changing climates are not completely understood. In this project, a student will characterize the composition and carbon content of soils from a pristine floodplain in Oregon, USA that have formed over the backdrop of a warming climate from 7,000 years ago to the present. This compositional information, alongside information about the environment in which these soils formed (e.g., location within floodplain, local climate), will contribute to conceptual and numerical models for soil formation in this catchment that will ultimately build upon our understanding of carbon stability in floodplain soils.
Potential skills gained: Laboratory work, data analysis and visualization, scientific literacy, and oral/written science communication
Required qualifications: None
Direct mentor: Post-doctorate