Teaching & Outreach

Lake coring field trip, Baffin Island, May 2007 Students show off a sediment core that we collected at a lake near Clyde River

Teaching and advising

The best part of my job is to teach and advise students on their research. It is incredibly rewarding to play even a small role in guiding the next generation of scientists on their journey.

I am honored to work with an incredible team. All of my graduate students present their research at conferences and most lead or co-author peer-reviewed publications. All students who have graduated from my lab have continued to Earth and Environmental Science jobs or graduate degree programs (check out the team page for details, feel free to contact any team member to learn more!). Some examples of my team members' success include:

Significant Postdoctoral Scholar Accomplishments
Michaela Fendrock:
2022: NSF Office of Polar Programs Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Significant Graduate Student Accomplishments
Hannah Holtzman:
2022: Geological Society of America Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division, Arthur D. Howard Award for Outstanding Master's Student Research Proposal
Devon Gorbey:
2022: American Geophysical Union Voices for Science advocate
2022: Ecological Society of America Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award
2022: American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium
2021: Geological Society of America Student Research Outstanding Mention
Kurt Lindberg:
2021: Geological Society of America Award for Geochronology Student Research
Allison Cluett:
2021: NSF Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
2018: US Science Support Program Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship
2017: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Significant Undergraduate Student Accomplishments
Maya Prabhakar:
2019: UB Honors College Student Research Grant
2019: Rochester Academy of Sciences Student Research Grant
Kayla Hollister:
2018: Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Research Grant
Nathan Marshall:
2017: Rochester Academy of Sciences Student Research Grant

I am committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on my research team and in my department. I employ strategies that have increased recruitment and doubled retention of students from underrepresented groups in STEM: 1. Emphasizing purpose (Thoman et al., 2015), 2. Providing opportunities to interact with role models (Hernandez et al., 2018; Stokes et al., 2015), and 3. Discussing issues of diversity and racism in STEM (Dutt, 2020), and working to overcome these issues.

To that end, I have served as chair of the UB Geology committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In Fall 2020, we collected data and set departmental goals, and then subsequently started working towards those goals. I also serve on the UB Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Faculty Advisory Committee.

As an adviser, I meet with each of my students weekly one-on-one. A key skill that we focus on is developing a daily writing practice, which not only improves our scientific writing prowess, but also increases our proposal and publication productivity.

I devote weekly group meetings to professional development: we discuss topics including cutting-edge research; mentoring networks; developing a daily writing practice; CVs and job applications; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Carbon Reduction Challenge

In Spring 2019, 2020, and 2021 I taught the Carbon Reduction Challenge, in collaboration with Ryan McPherson, UB's Chief Sustainability Officer, inspired by a program developed by Drs. Kim Cobb and Beril Toktay at Georgia Tech. In this class, student teams partner with local businesses in the Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable to quantify their carbon footprint and propose strategies for carbon emissions reduction. In three semesters, students and partner businesses implemented strategies that will reduce carbon emissions by >2,000,000 pounds each year for the foreseeable future, equivalent to taking 200 cars off the road!
Watch a video about the class.
Read a press release about the 2019 class or the 2020 class.

Courses I have taught:
Climate Change (GLY 102)
Introduction to Geochemistry (GLY 308)
Surface Processes and Hydrology (GLY 312)
Quaternary Dating and Paleoclimate (GLY 453/553)
Forensic Stable Isotopes (GLY 417/517)
Carbon Reduction Challenge (GLY479/579)

Some more info here about current students and alumns of my research team.



Public talks I've given about my research:

“What can tundra preserved beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet tell us about sea-level rise?”, Science in the Pub, Buffalo, NY, September 2021

"Launch of UB's Climate Action Plan: 10 in 10", Panelist, Buffalo, NY, April 2020

"Climate Impacts and Climate Action in Western New York", Case Library Conversations, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, NY, February 2020

"Creating a Pathway to Climate Neutrality in NY: The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act", Buffalo, NY, October 2019 www.youtube.com/watch?v=WexH3DSh0ao&feature=youtu.be

"Building Sustainable Solutions", Panelist, UB Women in STEM Summit, Buffalo, NY, April 2018

"In the Kingdom of Ice, The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette" Discussion leader with Dr. Jason Briner, One For the Books, Skaneateles Library Association, Skaneateles, NY, October 2017

“Chasing climate change in the Arctic and in Western New York” with Dr. Jason Briner, Buffalo Audubon Society Annual Meeting, North Java, NY, May 2017

“I can see clearly now: Using isotopes to quantify precipitation seasonality” Central New York Association of Professional Geologists, Syracuse, NY, January 2017

"From Northampton to Greenland to China: Oh! The places you'll go with a Smith Geology degree!" Smith College Department of Geological Sciences, December 2012

"Climate change: Old questions, New thoughts" with Sujit Datta and Atreyee Bhattacharya (PhD students at Harvard University), Harvard University Science in the News Seminar Series, Cambridge, MA, May 2012

"Climate change from a geologist's perspective" with Dr. Jessica Whiteside, Rocio Caballero-Gill, Danielle Grogan, and Alexandrina Tzanova (all of Brown University's Dept. of Geological Sciences); Science by the Pint, hosted by Harvard University's Science in the News, Boston, MA, February 2011

"There and Back Again: Journeys to the Arctic", with Dr. Jason Briner, UB Green climate talk series, Buffalo, NY, October 2007

"Hot Times in the Arctic", Centers for Nature Education at Baltimore Woods, Marcellus, NY, August 2007