PhD Candidate, Caltech
“The best geologists are the ones who’ve seen the most rocks.”
My research employs a rare combination of detailed fieldwork, practical paleomagnetism, and igneous/metamorphic petrology. My field areas are primarily in the Pacific Northwest, Antarctica, and the Arctic.
Mafic Terranes of Interior/Arctic Alaska
Interior and Arctic Alaska contains voluminous mafic/ultramafic bodies, all of which are understudied. My research focuses on the origin, geochemistry, and tectonic significance of these rocks, which may be key to understanding the assembly of much of Alaska.
The Eruption Timescales of the Columbia River Basalts
Here I employ an unorthodox use of paleomagnetic measurements in order to constrain the lifetime of CRB dikes that feed individual flood basalt eruptions. Preliminary results suggest that flows of 500-1000 km3 can be erupted in just a few months.
S-Type granitoids of the Canadian Shield
This project makes use of a unique exposure in NW Ontario. Here the Ghost Lake Batholith (an S-Type granite) and the sedimentary units that it is derived from are both exposed. Furthermore, there is a clear contact aureole in the metasediments, with migmatites near the batholith contact that then progress to chlorite-grade sediments far from the contact.
This provides a unique opportunity to study the origin of S-Type granites, and to determine how well S-Type granites preserve the sedimentary units that they are derived from. My work is focused on the geochemistry and isotopic characteristics of both the metasediments and granites, as a function of metamorphic grade.
The Geomagnetic Field over Antarctica
The long-term behavior of the geomagnetic field is fairly well-constrained throughout much of the globe, especially in the recent geologic past. This is not the case at high latitudes, where a lack of data has seriously hindered our understanding of the field there. This research focuses on building a large dataset of paleomagnetic measurements from the Antarctic Peninsula in order to constrain the long-term behavior of the geomagnetic field there.
Baffin Island Flood Basalt Volcanism
The flood basalts of Padloping and Durban Islands, Baffin are famous among noble gas geochemists for their extremely high 3He/4He ratios. However, they are extremely understudied paleomagnetically. In this project, I am gathering paleo-directional data from lava flows as well as paleointensity data from fresh volcanic glass. Preliminary data suggests that the entire 1km section of flood basalt was emplaced in <300 kyr.
Alteration of the CRBs: Most CRB flows appear to be deuterically altered, though this has been difficult to identify using the geochemistry of the flows. In this project, I use a unique combination of petrology, geochemistry, and paleomagnetism to show which flows are altered, and which ones are not. Furthermore, this alteration may explain discrepancies between Ar/Ar ages from CRB flows and U-Pb zircon ages from interbedded ashes.
Rotation of the Oregon Coast Ranges: This project focuses on the paleomagnetism of the Eocene Tyee formation. Preliminary data suggests that it did not rotate more than ~15 degrees. This is contrary to previous data from the 1960s and 70s which suggested ~70 degrees of rotation.
Goat Rocks Volcanic Complex: This project focuses on secular variation and polarity transitions preserved in the Goat Rocks Volcanic Complex, an extinct (?) Cascade volcano in Washington.
Eastern Oregon Deformation: In this project, I employ a combination of thermochronology and paleomagnetism to constrain the timing of normal and strike-slip faulting in Eastern Oregon. My data suggests that Basin & Range extension reached Oregon by ~10.5 Ma.
I generally never pass up an opportunity for fieldwork. A collection of field photos can be found here, mostly from the last couple years.
Whitehorse, YT to Deadhorse, AK
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike
Trail name ‘Icarus’
Georgia to Maine, May-August 2015
2187.5 miles, 108 days, 7 hours
I had no reason to start, no reason to continue, and no reason to finish.