Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
I'm a professor of geoscience education at Wright State University, teaching geology and Earth system science to teachers. Previously, I was a research associate at the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College working on Starting Point, a website to help people teaching intro Earth science. Before that, I worked as a post-doc, studying pollen records from southeastern Minnesota and western Manitoba. From 2000-2001, I was a lecturer with the University of Maryland - European Division, teaching general biology, math, and computer science to U.S. military personnel in Turkey, Bosnia, and Bahrain. I got my Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, and worked as a graduate student and post-doc with the Limnologicial Research Center there.
Earth System Science
Earth system science is a multi-disciplinary field dealing with the origin and effects of all kinds of phenomena, from logging to meteor impacts, and ways that the dynamic components of the planet, such as the ocean and the biosphere, interact. I've taught a couple of versions of ESSEA's online Earth system science course, a face-to-face Earth Systems History workshop, and a ten-week undergraduate version that stresses research and writing skills. I'm hoping to develop an online version of the the Earth system history course that will build upon the ESSEA course.
My major research interest is paleoecology, the study of the relationships among organisms and between organisms and their environment in Earth's past. The time period I'm working with is the late Quaternary, the past couple of hundred thousand years, marked by a global climate that varied from conditions warmer than the present to an intense glaciation. I study microfossils: fossil pollen, diatoms, and charcoal fragments, from lake sediment.
One of my recent projects was a record from Pittsburg Basin, Illinois. This sediment has been almost continuously deposited for the past 140,000 years. The resulting record spans the last two interglacials, the intervening ice age and a bit of the ice age before that.
I just finished working on a pair of pollen records from Manitoba. My colleagues and I were trying to work out the relationship between fire frequency and vegetation in the aspen parkland in the central part of that province.
269 Brehm Labs , Department of Earth and Environmental Science
|This page was last updated on 20 March 2013|