Arctic Ecosystem Research


My Arctic research began at Toolik Lake, Alaska (now an LTER site) under the DOE-R4D program award to San Diego State University to study and model the effects of disturbance on Arctic tundra vegetation and soils.

In the mid 1980’s, I conducted research on soil carbon cycling and carbon dioxide flux on the north slops of Alaska.  I was pulled south to Antarctica for several years before reestablishing an Arctic agenda when I became Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College.


Screen shot 2016-09-09 at 9.38.06 AM

Former graduate student, Julia Bradley-Cook studying soils near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

In 2009 we began studying organic matter cycling in tundra soils near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.  My recent graduate student and IGERT fellow, Julia Bradley-Cook, completed a dissertation that investigated the temperature sensitivity of organic matter as a function of vegetation type in this Arctic region.

Screen shot 2016-09-09 at 12.18.29 PM

Ruth Heindel measuring soil strength near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland



Currently, I have two additional graduate students working in Greenland:  Ruth Heindel is studying the evolution of soil deflation patches, while Rebecca Finger recently began a project focusing on how changes in growing season length and snow melt timing effect various aspects of ecosystem functioning.

As part of the NSF-funded JSEP program, Dartmouth has a number of graduate fellows (including Ruth and Rebecca) that study various aspects of the Arctic, while also developing their skills as educators in the polar sciences.