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Julie Pett-Ridge

2004 - 2005 CSIP Fellow

Research Interest:
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

I am generally interested in the relationships between geochemistry, tectonics, climate, and ecosystems. The connections and feedbacks between these various “spheres” are often not well understood and yet are key to understanding of Earth surface processes. As a student in the program in Biogeochemistry and Environmental Change here at Cornell, I have enjoyed working extensively with people across a range of scientific departments.

As a senior in college, I investigated a technique for differentiating between natural and anthropogenic metals in river sediments. Early in my graduate career, I studied soil trace element chemistry along a Hawaiian chronosequence, from soils a few hundred years old to soils over 4 million years old. This study was part of a larger project quantifying the
importance of dust transported across the Pacific as a nutrient supply to Hawaiian ecosystems. Specifically, I examined the behavior and speciation of the naturally-occurring trace metal uranium over long-term soil development. Currently, my research focuses on the use of isotopic tracers to investigate weathering processes. I am investigating the use of uranium isotope disequilibra in combination with strontium isotope ratios as a tracer of the sources, rates, and hydrology of weathering.

I look forward to working in chemistry, earth science, or environmental science classrooms, as well as in general science classrooms with younger kids. I was a science teacher for three years before coming to grad school and have taught grades 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12, and a range of subjects. I have lots of ideas for student projects, including ideas I used previously in my teaching, but I also will enjoy developing new projects based on the specific interests and needs of teacher-partners.











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