Research


The Methods in Climate Reconstruction and Observation (MICRO) Laboratory at Franklin & Marshall College is interested in understanding environmental and climatic change in modern and geologic records.

The majority of our research focuses on the use of microfossils such as foraminifera, diatoms, and pollen as proxies for environmental change. We collaborate with scientists from many universities and research centers such as University of Pennsylvania, USGS, East Carolina University, The Earth Observatory of Singapore at Nanyang Technological University, The Academy of Natural Sciences, and F&M.

 

 

Ongoing Projects

Click on the descriptive links below for more information:

 

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Southeast PA

Reconstructing Holocene Environments
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Dr. Candace Grand Pre will be collaborating with Dr. Dorothy Merritts and Dr. Bob Walter to reconstruct changes in paleoclimate and paleoenvironment throughout the Holocene using several biological and chemical proxies. We will be collaborating with Dr. Chris Bernhardt (USGS) and Dr. Marina Potapova (Academy of Natural Sciences) to identify pollen and diatoms preserved in cores collected from southeast Pennsylvania. Click the earth for complete info!
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Lancaster County, PA

Monitoring Stream Health & Restoration
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Dr. Candace Grand Pre will be collaborating with Dr. Dorothy Merritts and Dr. Bob Walter to reconstruct changes in paleoclimate and paleoenvironment throughout the Holocene using several biological and chemical proxies. We will be collaborating with Dr. Chris Bernhardt (USGS) and Dr. Marina Potapova (Academy of Natural Sciences) to identify pollen and diatoms preserved in cores collected from southeast Pennsylvania. Click the earth for complete info!
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The United Kingdom

The history of climate and sea-level science
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A comparative study by Julia Fiala on sea level science. Click the globe for complete info!
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Galapagos Islands

Social & Environmental Implications of Tourism
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Conducted by Steve Clipman, this research examines the implications of the tourism boom in the Galapagos Islands. A complete publication will be released in May 2013. Click the earth for more info!
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Outer Banks, NC

Changes in geomorphology and ecology after hurricanes
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Hurricane Isabel made landfall on September 18th, 2003, depositing several large, 0.5 to 1 m thick overwash fans across the back-barrier marsh of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. For the next eight years, we have surveyed and collected samples across a transect to understand the changes in lithology, foraminiferal, and plant ecology that have occurred since initial overwash deposition.We are particularly interested in the conditions in which overwash sand is either preserved or removed from the marsh environment and how the ecology of the marsh responds. We are also interested in tracking the annual changes in foraminiferal assemblages as the environment shifts from being a barren overwash sand deposit to a vegetated marsh platform.The implications of this research are important to studies in paleotempestology, coastal geomorphology, and ecology. Click the earth for complete info!
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Indonesia

Using subsidence stratigraphy to identify paleoearthquakes
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On December 26th, 2004 a ~1,600 km segment of the Sunda megathrust ruptured, producing the 9.2 Mw Aceh-Andaman earthquake. This was the second largest earthquake in recorded history, generating a tsunami that devastated south and southeast Asia. There was no historical precedence for a >9 Mw earthquake along this portion of the Sunda Trench, where the 2004 earthquake ruptured.We are interested in collecting litho- bio- and chronostratigraphic data from the coastal plain of the Aceh Province of Sumatra to reveal rapid changes in relative sea level caused by coseismic subsidence during Holocene megathrust earthquakes. Click the earth for complete info!