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.
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.
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.