Oceanography

Oceanography in the Department includes ocean circulation and dynamics, air-sea interaction, chemical tracers and cycles, interactions with marine life, and the sedimentary record of past oceans and climates at timescales ranging from years to millions of years.

Paleoclimate

Paleoclimate scientists attempt to understand fundamental aspects of the Earth's Climate System by using natural recorders of past climate change together with climate models to identify regional, hemispheric or inter-hemispheric climate patterns, and to provide the baseline for ongoing and future climate change

Biogeoscience

Members of the new Biogeoscience group investigate living systems as fundamental components of the Earth System and possibly other planetary systems through the integrated study of biology, geochemistry, and geology.

Kevin L. Griffin
Personal Information
Kevin
L.
Griffin
Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Biology and Paleo Environment
Contact Information
6 Marine Biology
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8371

Fax: 

(845) 365-8150

Fields of interest: 

Plant respiration; global carbon cycle; forest ecology

After more than 150 million years of isolation the podocarps that dominate the forests of the west coast of the south island of New Zealand have remarkably slow growth rates by comparison to most other forest tree species. The question is, why? In New York, the aging eastern deciduous forests continue to rapidly accumulate carbon. Could this be the result of the high levels of atmospheric N deposition this area receives? When plants are grown in elevated CO2 photosynthesis is stimulated initially but often this enhancement does not last and given time, a strong acclimation to the new growth environment can occur. Is there a reason why some plants acclimate to CO2 and others do not? Plant respiration is often thought of as the processes by which plants loose carbon during the night. How then can we estimate the contribution of respiration to the carbon balance of arctic plants which never experience night during the growing season? Plant cells from leaves of plants grown in elevated CO2 tend to have twice the number of mitochondria and chloroplast as cells from plants grown in ambient CO2. Is there a link between this structural observation and physiological function?

These are a few examples of the type of research questions my lab is currently working on. The objective of this research is to explain processes in plant and ecosystem ecology in terms of the physiological, biochemical and biophysical processes involved. Ultimately we hope to increase our understanding of both the role of the Earth's vegetation in the global carbon cycle and the interactions between the carbon cycle and the Earth's climate system.

Some of my projects include:

  • Environmental Controls on Tree Growth: A Comparison between the Cascade Brook Watershed of Black Rock Forest, NY and a Native New Zealand Forest.
  • Effects of developmental changes on the physiological processes that regulate photosynthetic responses to climate change.
  • Land-Water Interactions at the Catchment Scale: Linking Biogeochemistry and Hydrology.
Education
Ph.D.
Duke
1994
M.E.S.
Yale
1987
Bachelor of Arts
Whittier
1985
Selected Publications:
Leaf respiration is differentially affected by leaf vs. stand-level night-time warming, Griffin, K. L.; Turnbull, M.; Murthy, R.; Lin, G. H.; Adams, J.; Farnsworth, B.; Mahato, T.; Bazin, G.; Potasnak, M.; Berry, J. A. Global Change Biology May, Volume: 8, Issue: 5 p.: 479-485 (2002)
Canopy position affects the temperature response of leaf respiration in Populus deltoides, Griffin, K. L.; Turnbull, M.; Murthy, R. New Phytologist Jun, Volume: 154, Issue: 3 p.: 609-619 (2002)
Leaf dark respiration as a function of canopy position in Nothofagus fusca trees grown at ambient and elevatedCO(2) partial pressures for 5 years, Griffin, K. L.; Tissue, D. T.; Turnbull, M. H.; Schuster, W.; Whitehead, D. Functional Ecology Aug, Volume: 15, Issue: 4 p.: 497-505 (2001)
Peter M. Eisenberger
Personal Information
Peter
M.
Eisenberger
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Biology and Paleo Environment
Contact Information
110 Geoscience
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8550

Fax: 

(845) 365-8150
Education
Ph.D.
Harvard
1967
Bachelor of Science
Princeton
1963
Natalie T. Boelman
Personal Information
Natalie
T.
Boelman
Lamont Associate Research Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Biology and Paleo Environment
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Contact Information
6A Marine Biology
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8480

Fax: 

(845) 365-8150

The main goals of my research are to better understand:

  • the ways in which the composition, physical structure, and phenology of Arctic vegetation are changing in response to climate change

  •  how these changes impact resident and migratory animals and in turn how animals mediate climate-induced change in the region 

  • how near and remote-sensing techniques can be used to study dynamics in ecological form and function

 

Education
Ph.D. in Earth & Environmental Sciences
Columbia University
09/2004
M.A. in Earth & Environmental Sciences
Columbia University
06/2001
Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography
McGill University
1999
Victoria Diaz-Bonilla (former Senior Thesis student, DEES)
Elizabeth Tupper (former Senior Thesis student, Barnard College)
Adam Formica (current Senior Thesis student, DEES)
Lacey-Harris-Coble (current Senior Thesis student, E3B)
Case Prager (current PhD Student, E3B)
Jess Gersony (current Senior Thesis student, E3B)
Rebecca Gibson (current Senior Thesis student, E3B)
Selected Publications:
NDVI as a predictor of canopy arthropod biomass in the Alaskan arctic tundra, Sweet, S.; Asmus, A.; Rich, M.E.; Gough, L.; Wingfield, J.C.; Boelman, N.T. Ecological Applications (2015)
Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends the annual period of maximum tundra greenness and increases modeled net CO2 uptake, Sweet, S.; Griffin, K.L.; Steltzer, H.; Gough, L.; Boelman, N.T. Global Change Biology (2015)
Tall deciduous shrubs offset delayed start of growing season through rapid leaf development in the Alaskan arctic tundra, Sweet, S. K.; Gough, L.; Griffin, K. L.; Boelman, N. T. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 09/2014, Volume: 46, Issue: 3 p.: 16 (2014) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-46.3.682
Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra, Boelman, N.T., L.;Gough, J.C.,Wingfield; S., Goetz, A. Asmus; H.E., Chmura; J.S., Krause; J.H., Perez; S.K., Sweet; K.C., Guay Global Change Biology (2014)
Maximum photosynthetic electron transport decreases down slope in a small Arctic watershed, Griffin, K.L.; D.J. Epstein; Boelman, N.T. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Volume: 45, Issue: 1 p.: 10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-45.1.39
Arctic arthropod assemblages in habitats of differing shrub dominance, Rich, M.E.; L. Gough; Boelman, N.T. Ecography, Volume: 36 (2013) 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.00078.x
Urban heat island effect in New York City promotes growth in Northern red oak seedlings, Searle, S.Y.; M. H. Turnbull; Boelman, N.T.; William S.F. Schuster; Dan Yakir; and K.L. Griffin. Tree Physiology, Volume: 32, Issue: 4 p.: 11 (2012) 10.1093/treephys/tps027
Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?, Boelman, N.T., Gough, L., McLaren, J.R., Greaves, H. Environmental Research Letters, Volume: 6 (2011)
Understanding burn severity sensing in Arctic tundra: Exploring vegetation indices, sub-optimal assessment timing and the impact of increasing pixel size, Boelman, N.T., Rocha, A.V. and Shaver, G.R. International Journal of Remote Sensing, Volume: iFirst p.: 1-24 (2011)
Multi-trophic invasion resistance in Hawaii: Bioacoustics, field surveys, and airborne remote sensing, Boelman, N. T.; Asner, G. P.; Hart, P. J.; Martin, R. E. Ecological Applications Dec, Volume: 17, Issue: 8 p.: 2137-2144 (2007)
Inter-annual variability of NDVI in response to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge and tussock tundra, Boelman, N. T.; Stieglitz, M.; Griffin, K. L.; Shaver, G. R. Oecologia May, Volume: 143, Issue: 4 p.: 588-597 (2005) DOI 10.1007/s00442-005-0012-9
Photosynthesis and reflectance indices for rainforest species in ecosystems undergoing progression and retrogression along a soil fertility chronosequence in New Zealand, Whitehead, D.; Boelman, N. T.; Turnbull, M. H.; Griffin, K. L.; Tissue, D. T.; Barbour, M. M.; Hunt, J. E.; Richardson, S. J.; Peltzer, D. A. Oecologia Jun, Volume: 144, Issue: 2 p.: 233-244 (2005) DOI 10.1007/s00442-005-0068-6
Response of NDVI, biomass, and ecosystem gas exchange to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge tundra, Boelman, N. T.; Stieglitz, M.; Rueth, H. M.; Sommerkorn, M.; Griffin, K. L.; Shaver, G. R.; Gamon, J. A. Oecologia May, Volume: 135, Issue: 3 p.: 414-421 (2003) DOI 10.1007/s00442-003-1198-3
Taro Takahashi
Personal Information
Taro
Takahashi
Ewing Lamont Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Geochemistry
Adjunct Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Contact Information
101Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8537

Fax: 

(845) 365-8155

Fields of interest: 

CO2 cycling through oceans and atmosphere; industrial CO2 accumulation.

My main research is aimed at understanding the fate of industrial CO2 released in the air. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by nearly 30% in the 1990s and it is anticipated that it will double the pre industrial level by the middle of the 21st century. This could cause a global warming and changes in climate, which may extensively impact upon the global community. The observed increase in this "greenhouse" gas in the air is half of that which is expected from the full released amount. Thus, this suggests that about one-half the industrial CO2 released is being absorbed by the global oceans and land plants. However, the relative importance of these two CO2 sinks is not understood. Furthermore, the uptake capacity of these CO2 sinks conceivably could be reduced as more CO2 accumulates in the air.

My research group measures CO2 and related quantities in the world oceans, from the Arctic to Antarctic regions, to learn how fast atmospheric CO2 is transferred into the different areas of the oceans. Seasonal and annual changes are being documented. These measurements provide basic information on how CO2 is cycled through the oceans and atmosphere and how these cycles are affected in response to industrial CO2 being accumulated at ever-increasing rates. I hope that my study will lead to a better understanding and hence to a reliable prediction of the oceans capacity to absorb industrial CO2.

Education
Ph.D.
Columbia
1957
B. Eng.
U Tokyo
1953

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