SES Faculty

My students and I work closely with others in the Past and Present Climate Change research area in the School of Earth & Sustainability, including professors Nick McKay, Scott AndersonCody Routson and Michael Erb. We collaborate with the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, and with many specialists in the US and internationally.


Darrell Kaufman
Darrell is a Regents’ Professor in the School of Earth and Sustainability. He has been researching the Quaternary geology and paleoclimatology of Alaska for over 30 years. He has a special interest in geochronology and in coordinating large collaborative science synthesis projects.

Brief CV
Google Scholar

Current Graduate Students

Ellie Broadman
Ellie is a PhD student in Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability. She is analyzing  oxygen isotopes in diatoms from lake sediments to reconstruct Holocene changes in hydrological conditions in both the Kenai lowlands and the northeastern Brooks Range. Ellie worked at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA after receiving her B.A. in Geography from UC Berkeley.


Joseph Thomas
Joseph, a PhD student in Earth and Environmental Sustainability is researching Holocene paleoclimate of Alaska, including varve thickness analysis from southern Alaska lakes and long-term permafrost carbon dynamics. Previous work includes reconstructing late-Pleistocene to Holocene northern Rocky Mountain hydroclimate using stable isotopes of lake sediments. He has an M.S. in Geology (Idaho State University, 2019) and a B.S. in Geology (Western Colorado University, 2017).


Emmy Wrobleski
Emmy is a MS student in Environmental Science and Policy, PaleoEnvironments emphasis. She is reconstructing lake level and environmental changes in the Kenai lowlands, Alaska through oxygen and carbon isotope analysis in marl deposits and macrofossil and grain size analysis. She received her BA in Geology from Mount Holyoke College in 2019.


Joshua Smith
Joshua is a MS student in Geology. He is researching techniques to reduce variability in amino acid racemization (AAR) geochronology and applying AAR geochronology to Quaternary marine sediments. He received his BS in Geosciences from the University of Arizona in 2019.



Leah Marshall
Leah is a MS student in Environmental Sciences and Policy, Paleoenvironments emphasis, and will be researching carbon accumulation in Alaskan permafrost. After receiving her BS in Geology and Environmental Science from William & Mary (2019), Leah worked through AmeriCorps at a National Historical Park in Vermont.


Laboratory Manager

Jordon Bright
Jordon received his PhD in Geosciences (University of Arizona) in 2017. He oversees the operation of the Quaternary geochronology and the sediments laboratories. His research expertise includes using ostracodes assemblages and geochemistry to reconstruct Quaternary paleoenvironmental changes in western North America.

Completed Graduate Students
(with their current positions)

Annie Wong, 2019, Timing and rate of Skilak River outwash plain aggradation based on evidence from Pothole Lake, south-central Alaska.

Rebecca Ellerbroek, 2018, Three-component hydrograph separation for the glaciated Lake Peters catchment, Arctic Alaska (Instructor, Northern Arizona University)

Chris Benson, 2018, 16,000 years of paleoenvironmental change from the Lake Peters- Schrader area, northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska (Intern, US Geological Survey, Moab, UT)

Douglas Steen, 2016, Late Quaternary paleomagnetism and environmental magnetism at Cascade and Shainin Lakes, north-central Brooks Range, Alaska (Environmental consulting, Houston, TX)

Paul Zander, 2015, Tephrochronology and paleoenvironmental change during the past 15,000 years at Whitshed Lakes, south-central Alaska (PhD student University Bern, Switzerland)

Taylor LaBrecque, 2014, Holocene glacier fluctuations inferred from proglacial-lacustrine sediment cores from Emerald Lake, Kachemak Bay, Alaska (Environmental consulting, Maine)

Brandon Boldt, 2013, A multi-proxy approach to reconstructing Holocene climate variability at Kurupa River valley, Arctic Alaska (Brewmeister, Denver, CO)

Anne Krawiec (Hamblin), 2013, Holocene tephrochronology and storminess inferred from two lakes on Adak Island, Alaska (Professional Development Coordinator, Center for Science Teaching and Learning, Northern Arizona University)

David Vaillencourt, 2013, Five-thousand years of hydroclimate variability on Adak Island, Alaska inferred from dD of n-alkanoic acids (Orion GMP Solutions, Organic chemistry, Colorado Springs, CO)

Chris Kassel, 2009, Lacustrine evidence from Mother Goose Lake of Holocene geothermal activity at Mount Chiginagak, Alaska Peninsula (Geologist, Arcadis Consultancy, Syracuse, NY)

Heidi Roop, 2009, Climate influence on varve sedimentation at Cascade Lake, Ahklun Mountains, southwestern Alaska (Professor, University of Minnesota)

Caleb Schiff, 2007, Late Holocene storm-trajectory changes inferred from the oxygen isotope composition of lake diatoms (Restaurant owner, Pizzicletta, Flagstaff, AZ)

Nicholas McKay, 2007, Late Holocene climate at Hallet and Greyling Lakes, central Chugach Range, south-central Alaska (Professor, Northern Arizona University)

Thomas Daigle, 2006, Late Holocene climate change at Goat Lake, Kenai Mountains, south-central Alaska (Consulting Geologist, Denver, CO)

Kasey Kathan, 2006, Late Holocene climate fluctuations at cascade Lake, northeastern Ahklun Mountains, southwestern Alaska (Vermont Dept of Environmental Conservation)

Janelle Sikorski, 2004, Little Ice Age glacier fluctuations and winter precipitation, Brooks Range, Alaska (Instructor, University Alaska, Anchorage, AK)

Christian deFontaine, 2004, Holocene tephrochronology, Cook Inlet, Alaska (Environmental Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey)

Nicholas Balascio, 2003, Late Wisconsin equilibrium-line altitudes, Brooks Range, Alaska (Professor, William & Mary College, Williamsburg, VA)

Jordon Bright, 2003, Oxygen isotopes and ostracodes in a 250,000-year-long core from, Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho (PhD student, University of Arizona)

Laura Levy, 2002, Late Holocene glacier fluctuations, Ahklun Mountains, SW Alaska (Professor, Humbolt State University, CA)

Gary O’Brien, 2002, Oxygen isotope composition of banded Quaternary travertine, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (Research Associate, Utah State University, Logan, UT)

Benjamin Laabs, 2001, Quaternary lake-level and tectonic geomorphology, Bear Lake Valley, Utah/Idaho (Professor, North Dakota State University, Fargo)

Yarrow Axford, 2000, Late Quaternary glacier fluctuations and vegetation change in the northwestern Ahklun Mountains, SW Alaska (Professor, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL)

Kathy Lemke, 2000, Holocene tephrochronology of the Homer area, Cook Inlet, Alaska (Lecturer, Puget Sound Community College, WA)

Jason Briner, 1999, Late Wisconsin glacial chronology of the western Ahklun Mountains, SW Alaska (Professor, University of Buffalo, New York)

Jeffrey Bigelow, 1998, Amino acid geochronology of the Lahontan basin, Nevada (Consultant, Parsons, Salt Lake City, UT)

David Bouchard, 1997, Quaternary Bear River paleohydrogeography reconstructed from the 87Sr/86Sr composition of lacustrine fossils

Amy Hochberg, 1996, Aminostratigraphy of Thatcher Basin, SE Idaho–Reassessment of Pleistocene lakes (Geology Instructor, Utah State University, Logan, UT)

Caleb Thompson, 1996, Pre-late Wisconsin glacial history of the Naknek River valley, SW Alaska (Database developer, MongoDB, New York)

Karen Stilwell (Miller), 1995, Late Quaternary glacial geology, shoreline morphology, and tephrochronology of the Iliamna/Naknek/Brooks Lake area, SW Alaska (President, M2 Resource Consulting)