I have spent the majority of my career working in the North and South American Cordilleras. I enjoy being able to compare my current work in Argentina (an active Cordilleran system) to my previous work in Montata, Utah, and Idaho (an ancient Cordilleran system). Although much of my research focuses on the basin record of geologic events, I think it is important to keep an eye on exposed basement and/or arc units to assess the reliability of the detrital record.
I recently started a new project in the Cordillera Blanca region of central Peru with an interdisciplinary group of scientists studying the varying impacts of climate change on high alpine ecosystems. Over 70% of the world's tropical glaciers are located in Peru, putting Peru on the frontlines of climate change. Rapid melt of the glaciers in the Peruvian Andes threatens the water resources for the majority of the country's 30 million people. My research in Peru has two different focuses. The first is studying the bedrock geochemistry of sulfide deposits that are currently being exposed for the first time due to deglaciation. Sulfides in the bedrock are dissolved into the streams leading to incredibly acidic water which may be dangerous to grazing animals and people who live in the mountain front and drink untreated water. I am also studying the tectonic/uplift history of the Cordillera Blanca using apatite fission track thermochronology.
I am studying early foreland basin deposits in order to determine timing of initial uplift of the Andes Mountains in central Argentina. I spend as much time as possible living and working in the high Andes of Mendoza and San Juan mapping and measuring section in the late Cretaceous to early Cenozoic stratigraphy.
Wind River Range, Wyoming
I am working with a number of colleagues from UA on the low-temperature history of the Wind River Range using a combination of apatite fission track and zircon He thermochronology.
Utah and Idaho
During my masters at Idaho State University I studied the Rodinian rift and Snowball Earth related deposits in northern Utah and Southwestern Idaho. Stratigraphy in the northern Wasatch Range has its challenges of steep loose terrain, and a complex structural history, but the story and views are spectacular.
I have spend many summers mapping in western Montana (near Butte, Dillon, Helena and Elliston) with an eye on the contact between the Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroup and the Cambrian Flathead Sandstone.
During my career I have used various combinations of detrital zircon Hf and U-Pb dating, apatite U-Pb and fission track geo-thermochronology, major and minor element geochemical analysis, sedimentary petrography, SEM and EDS microchemical analysis.