Q: What are your current research interests?
I am interested in understanding how water and rock interact, and how this changes water chemistry and rock properties. This has led me to study soil formation and groundwater hydrogeochemistry as well as the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water resources.
Q: What do you want the public to know about your research?
Why is your topic important? Water sustains life and sustains all of human society and all ecosystems. We need to understand where water is located, what controls its chemistry, and how our actions affect it.
Q: What makes the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences unique and why come to Penn State and choose a major in EMS?
We are one of the smallest colleges at Penn State but we punch above our weight. Students that join our College work with international experts in a collegial environment.
Q: What types of research or hands-on learning are available within your department?
Geosciences allows all students to participate in research in the field and in the laboratory, using hands-on approaches. Penn State offers a suite of laboratories and analytical instrumentation that may be some of the best in the world for analyzing rocks and water.
Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I love to ski and kayak.
Q: Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I once tried out for the US Olympic Rowing team. I didn’t make it (that latter fact is not surprising).
Q: What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the students with whom I have worked. Their accomplishments range from teaching high school to running internationally regarded research programs in universities around the world. I am equally proud of all these achievements.
Q: If you could go back in time, what if anything would you do differently as a student?
I would learn more math.