Sarah Jane White

Sarah Jane White is a Research Chemist with the USGS Geology, Energy & Minerals (GEM) Science Center in Reston, VA.


Sarah Jane studies the biogeochemical cycling of metals that are critical in emerging energy technologies but whose environmental behavior and impacts remain largely unknown. She is interested in metal transport and speciation in natural ecosystems, and its intersection with contaminant fate & transport, industrial ecology, and human health. Since joining the USGS in 2017, her focus has been on the cycling of indium, gallium, and germanium during the mining and processing of zinc ores (of which they are a byproduct), with a goal of understanding the full life cycle of these elements from ore formation, through mining and processing, to their subsequent behavior and potential health impacts when released to the environment.


  • Ph.D. Environmental Chemistry, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, MIT, 2012
  • B.A. Chemistry, Princeton University, 2002

Professional Work Experience:

  • 2017-present: Research Chemist, US Geological Survey
  • 2013-2020: Visiting Associate Research Scholar, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University
  • 2014-2017: Visiting Lecturer, Program in Environmental Studies, Princeton University
  • 2015-2017: Research Associate, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, MIT
  • 2013-2016: Research Associate, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • 2012-2013: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • 2005-2012: Graduate Research Assistant, Civil & Environmental Engineering, MIT
  • 2003-2005: Research Technician, Department of Molecular and Microbiology, Tufts University
  • 2001-2002: Undergraduate Research Assistant, Departments of Geosciences and Chemistry, Princeton University