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Summer Praetorius, PhD

Summer is a Research Geologist in the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center. She received a PhD in Oceanography from Oregon State University in 2014. Since joining the USGS in 2016, she has been developing high-resolution paleoceanographic records from the North Pacific to better understand past climate dynamics in this region and interactions with the global climate system.

Summer Praetorius is a paleoceanographer who uses foraminiferal micropaleontology and other geochemical proxies to reconstruct changes in ocean properties in the past (circulation, temperature, and salinity). At the USGS, her work has focused largely on oceanographic changes in the North Pacific from the last Ice Age through the Holocene period. Her research interests include the dynamics of abrupt climate change, the history and climate impacts of the Missoula Floods, interactions between volcanism and climate in the past, ocean hypoxia, and coastal archaeological shell middens as paleoceanographic archives.

Professional Experience

  • 2016 - present, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

  • 2015-2016, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA

  • 2009-2012, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Oregon State University, OR

  • 2005-2008, Research Assistant, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Oceanography, Oregon State University, 2014



  • B.A., Geology, Portland State University, 2005

  • B.A., Anthropology, Portland State University, 2005

Science and Products