Science Building, Room E210
I study the geochemical kinetics of environmentally-relevant mineral-water interfaces using synchrotron x-ray techniques and atomic force microscopy. The minerals I study (barite, calcite) can be used as hosts for contaminant remediation by co-precipitating radioactive contaminants (90Sr, Ra) into their crystal structures. Major questions I addressed include the mechanism of binding, effect on crystal growth rate and extent of incorporation of the contaminants. I utilize surface x-ray diffraction to study the structure and reactivity of terraces between the steps and atomic force microscopy to study the dynamics of steps and adsorbed sites along a step (kink sites). Traditionally these studies are conducted near room temperature, however my research focuses on extending these techniques to elevated temperatures and pressures that more closely mimic conditions under which environmental processes such as carbon sequestration and contaminant remediation occur.
My goal in teaching is to ensure students are confident in their foundational knowledge of earth science, which includes the ability to understand science written by leading researchers in the field of focus for each class. As an undergraduate and graduate student, the courses I best retained information from were those which used an active learning approach, rather than classes which relied on more traditional lecture style techniques. As such, I incorporate active learning activities and discussion of publications into my courses.