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Our Lab Group


Emmet Norris

PhD Student, 2020-Present

Emmet is interested in the interaction between processes on the earth’s surface, such as the transport and fate of mineral dust, and human society. He primarily uses isotopic source apportionment techniques to characterize the sources of natural and anthropogenically emitted PM and understand their effect on climate, air quality and biologically available nutrients. Motivated by previous work in human rights and artistic design, he seeks to use science as a vehicle for societal change.


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Austin Carter

PhD Student, 2020-Present

I am fascinated by glaciology and isotope geochemistry. During the austral summer of  2019, I traveled to the Allan Hills Blue Ice Area in East Antarctica to drill three ~150 m ice cores. We slept in tents camping on the remote blue ice for about 45 days drilling both the oldest ice ever measured (~2.7 million years old!) as well as ice spanning the last interglacial period. Analyzing this ice will provide insights on past Earth surface conditions and atmospheric transport. When I’m not reading about ice, you’ll find me either jamming to music, exploring the beach, or baking some indulgent dessert that I will regret later.


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Rain Blankenship

MS student, 2021-Present

Undergraduate Researcher, 2020-2021

Rain was born and raised in Southern California. He began his academic journey at Crafton Hills College before transferring to UCSD where he majors in Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Now a senior, Rain is interested in investigating the natural and anthropogenic influences on dust transport and deposition, and the effects of this dust on Earth’s ecosystems. In his free time, Rain likes listening to classic rock, hanging out with animals, and getting immersed in random history pages on Wikipedia.


Kiefer Forsch

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, 2021-Present

I grew up in Michigan, attended Oberlin College where I majored in Chemistry, and recently earned my PhD in Oceanography here at SIO. As a marine chemist, I am drawn to questions regarding the biogeochemical cycling of bioactive trace metals and their role as limiting nutrients for primary producers in the modern ocean. In my postdoctoral research, I use novel geochemical and microbial techniques to explore factors which affect the fate of glacial weathering inputs of bio-essential trace elements, like iron.



Sarah Aarons

Principal Investigator

Sarah Aarons was born in and raised in Alaska. She obtained her Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Michigan in 2016, and she then received a University of California Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Irvine, followed by the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago. Sarah joined the faculty at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD in 2019. Sarah’s research focuses on understanding and tracking earth surface processes in a variety of environments on both geologic timescales and throughout the modern. Some examples of research projects include tracing mineral dust sources in Antarctic ice during major climate transitions, probing the utility and application of newly developed isotope systems, and exploring the ecological significance of dust in a variety of environments. If you are interested in conducting research please feel free to contact me at:


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Linqing Huang

PhD Student, 2019-Present

Metal stable isotope signatures and geochemistry of glacial weathering
Effects of trace metals as micronutrients in planktonic ecosystems
Isotope systems as tracers of marine ecosystem change


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