In the Environmental geochemistry group, we focus our studies on the Earth's "Critical Zone", which is the zone where rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact and shape the Earth's surface. This research is particularly exciting because the Critical Zone is heavily utilized by humans (for food and water) and also extremely impacted by humans (through climate change, pollution, etc.). We use multiple geochemical techniques to explore the processes that regulate the biogeochemistry of aqueous, atmospheric, and solid phases of our planet and track matter and energy through the water and carbon and other element cycles. Analyses of stable isotope composition can reveal impacts of biogeochemical cycling and environmental conditions. Radioisotope analyses provide the timescales of these processes. When these analyses are coupled with bulk chemical compositions, chemical speciation, and numerical modeling, insight into past and present system behaviors can be developed.
Environmental geochemical studies in the Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences at the University of the Pacific are fundamentally interdisciplinary and are carried out by faculty with interest in geobiology, environmental chemistry, freshwater and marine hydrology, and petrology. We seek undergraduate students with interests in the intersection of geology, biology and chemistry, and who enjoy both field and laboratory research!
For more information on research opportunities in Environmental geochemistry at Pacific, please contact Dr. Laura Rademacher.
Recent Student Members:
Recent Student Publications
Teague, K.E., L.K. Rademacher, J.M. Lang, and K.L. Faul (2013) Relationship between microbial communities and metal mobility in urban watersheds, Eastern San Francisco Bay Area, CA, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 45, No. 7, p.592.
McDaniel, G.R., L.K. Rademacher, K.L. Faul, M. Brunell, K.C. Burmeister (2011) The impact of microbial communities on water quality in an acid mine drainage impacted watershed. Eos Trans. AGU, Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract H43J-1369.
McLaughlin, W.N., C.J. Brown, L.K. Rademacher (2009) Sources of water quality impairments in the Lincoln Creek watershed, Lewis County Washington, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, 41:7, p.667.