Humans are in the midst of performing an experiment of unprecendented scope as we alter our environment in a multitude of ways. Ideally, we would like to be able to anticipate the changes we may cause (rather than just observing them as they happen). To do so, I'm trying to better understand how chemical species cycle through the environment.
At the moment, I'm most interested in the carbon cycle. To better understand the sources and sinks of carbon released to the atmosphere, we measure atmospheric oxygen in samples of whole air. To constrain the contemporary carbon cycle we collect samples directly from the atmosphere. To constrain the carbon cycle in the recent past, we collect the samples of air from the snowpack (firn) in Antarctica and Greenland. With help from many collaborators, I build equipment to collect these samples and facilitate their analysis. When necessary, I travel to the field to collect samples. When the analyses are complete, I use simple models to interpret the biogeochemical significance of these data.
For more details of my work, please consult my publications or send me an e-mail.