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I lead the USGS Gas Hydrates Project, which is jointly funded by the Coastal-Marine Hazards and Resources Program and the Energy Resources Program. Project scientists in Woods Hole, Denver, Menlo Park, and Santa Cruz study natural methane hydrate. Hydrate is a potential energy resource, has synergies with global climate, and may play a role in some marine geohazards.
A Geonarrative based on USGS Fact Sheet 2017-3079
Highlighted Journal Articles, Data Releases, and Geonarratives
My primary research focus is on the interaction between methane hydrates (and methane seeps) on one hand and the ocean-atmosphere system on the other. I focus particularly on the US Atlantic and US Pacific margins, as well as Arctic Ocean margins (US Beaufort Sea and Svalbard). I also work on energy issues related to gas hydrates (including delineating their distribution in marine sediments; 2018 MATRIX seismic program on US Atlantic margin), the coexistence of permafrost (including subsea) and hydrates (Beaufort Sea), and reservoir properties of hydrate-bearing sediments. As a side specialty, I assist with programmatic environmental compliance for USGS marine acoustics surveys. During my career, I have also worked on marine heat flow data acquisition and analysis, other aspects of the hydrogeology of gas hydrate systems, and coastal zone hydrogeophysics (particularly tidal pumping, inductive EM data, and saline intrusion in surficial aquifers). My earliest work focused on numerical modeling of large scale tectonic processes and associated particle tracking, continental rifting, and marine analogs for continental tectonic processes.
2010-present: Chief, USGS Gas Hydrates Project
2006-present: Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey
2006-2019: Visiting Scientist, MIT, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
2003-2006: Program manager (faculty rotater), National Science Foundation, Ocean Sciences (MG&G and Ocean Drilling Program)
2000-2002: Coordinator, Georgia Tech Focused Research Program on Methane Hydrates
2000-2006: Associate Professor (tenured) of Geophysics, Georgia Tech
1994-2000: Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Georgia Tech
1992-1993: Postdoctoral Scholar and Postdoctoral Research, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 1992, Geophysics and Geology (with Marcia McNutt)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.S., 1986, Earth sciences (with Leigh Royden and Kip Hodges)
Member, Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee (UNOLS), 2015-2020 (ex officio: 2020 - present)
Chief Scientist, 8 research cruises (3 Arctic), 2010-2019
Member, Advisory Board, University of Tromso, Centre of Excellence for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) 2014-present
Strategic Plan Committee, Coastal & Marine Geology Program, USGS, 2014-2019
Arctic subgroup (appointed CMGP representative), Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST), OSTP, 2015-16
Mentor, Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT), 2013-2016
USGS Technical lead, NSF-USGS Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Marine Seismics, 2008-2012
Lead proponent, IODP Pre-Proposal 797, Late Pleistocene to contemporary climate change on the Alaskan Beaufort Margin (ABM)
Lead organizer, Catching climate change in progress, circum-Arctic Ocean drilling workshop, December 2011 (sponsored by US Science Support Program for IODP)
Organizer and convener, USGS-DOE Climate-Hydrates workshop, Boston, MA, March 2011
Originator and Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Natural Gas Hydrates, inaugural conference held June 2010.
Interagency Technical Coordinating Committee, DOE Methane Hydrates R&D Program, 2010-present
The Future of Natural Gas, MIT Energy Initiative, affiliated author (methane hydrates), 2008-2011
National Research Council, Scientific Ocean Drilling (SOD) review, presentation on Gas Hydrates and SOD, 2010
IODP Operations Task Force, 2008-2009
IODP Science Planning Committee (SPC), 2006-2009
Organizer, DOE-USGS Symposium/Meeting on Gas Hydrates and Climate Change (held at MIT), February 2008
National Science Foundation, Director's Award for Program Management, 2005 (Chixulub seismic program)
JOI/USSAC Distinguished Lecturer, Ocean Drilling Program, 1999-2000