Originally from Portland, OR, I went to Beaverton High School. Then I earned a B.A. from Pomona College in Claremont, CA where I double-majored in Geology and Mathematics. After skiing for a year in Steamboat Springs, CO, and working at the coffee shop at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, I went to the University of Washington, Seattle to earn a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences. After finishing my PhD, I decided it was okay to move off the west coast and east of the Mississippi River and have been at Vanderbilt University since 2009.
Here at Vanderbilt, I’m an Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Science and a Principal Senior Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences. As an associate dean, I have oversight of the College Scholars Program, Honors Scholarships, Departmental Honors programs, serve as the Arts and Science liaison with Undergraduate Admissions, and counsel undergraduate students in a whole range of issues. I also have the pleasure of being the faculty head of Memorial House, which means my family and I live in an apartment in the house, where about 80 first-year students live. This is all part of the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons first-year living-learning environment. Additionally, I serve as a faculty VUceptor for first-year students.
My research is primarily in glacial geology, and I focus on the glacial history of Antarctica. I utilize a variety of geochronologic techniques, including exposure dating with cosmogenic nuclides (such as 10Be, 26Al, and 21Ne) and lichenometry, to study questions about the timing of glaciations and the rates at which geomorphic processes occur. My work involves a balance of field-based studies in alpine areas and Antarctica, laboratory analysis, and numerical modeling. Increasingly, I am using additional geochemical techniques such as Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) and U-Pb ages of detrital zircons in glacial tills to look at the provenance of tills and the flow patterns glaciers through time.