Department of Geosciences Environmental Studies Laboratory : About

 

Jonathan T. Overpeck
Director
Ph.D. Brown University 1985

Office: 715 North Park Avenue (IoE)
Telephone Number: 1.520.622.9065
Facsimile Number: 1.520.792.8795

Office: Gould-Simpson Room 352
Telephone:
1.520.621.6144
Facsimile Number: 1.520.621.2672

E-mail Address: jto@u.arizona.edu

Mailing Address
1040 E. Fourth St.
Department of Geosciences
University of Arizona
Gould-Simpson Room 208
Tucson, AZ 85721-0077

Telephone Number
1.520.621.8025

Facsimile Number
1.520.621.2672

 

 

 

The goal of my work is to build an understanding of the earth system and society, both with respect to improved environmental decision support and in terms of ensuring that future generations do not inherit a world more degraded than ours.

First, I want to help understand how and why many parts of the earth system (e.g., the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, and lithosphere) vary. Tapping the paleoenvironmental record is key to understanding how variability on all time scales combines to give us what we see today. Moreover, an aggressive exploration of paleoclimatic, paleoecologic, and other "paleo" records provides insights needed to anticipate the full range of possible earth system behavior that might occur in the future.

I also believe that a thorough understanding of the earth system will only come from examining past variability the world over. We know, for example, that the Arctic, Atlantic, and tropical Pacific (ENSO) can have impacts thousands of kilometers away from their geographic cores. I have made it a goal to learn about these regions and their global linkages. Similarly, it is critical to unravel the patterns and causes of variability across spatial scales, from global on down to the scale of watersheds, ranches, and other scales critical for stakeholder decision making.

Looking back over my 25 years in the field, I consider myself lucky to have been able to conduct field programs all over the globe, both on land and at sea. This infusion of adventure has been a great motivator for me, my students, and colleagues. It has also netted some great samples for analysis back home. For this reason, I have also worked hard to foster a diversity of approaches and capabilities in the lab.

I have also been fortunate to work with some great modelers and to build the use of empirical and process-oriented models into my research program. Indeed, most students who have come through the lab have combined field, lab, and model work into their research programs.

Lastly, it has always been important to me to do the science that is needed by society, and to go the extra mile to communicate this science to stakeholders and the public in general. In this respect, the opportunity to work at the University of Arizona came at the right time for me. Not only does The University of Arizona have one of the best concentrations of environmental scientists (including those in paleosciences) on the planet, but it also is at the cutting edge of unraveling environment-society interactions. It has been both fun and an honor to be able to work at such a strong institution, and with such a great group of students and scholars.

Brief Biographical Statement

Committee Service

Convened Workshops and Symposia

Field Experience

Grant Awards

Honors

Publications

 

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Environmental Studies Laboratory, Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona
All contents © 2003 Arizona Board of Regents
Send comments or questions to Jonathan Overpeck, jto@email.arizona.edu

Earth image retreived from http://www.osei.noaa.gov/Events/Unique/ on 14 January 2003

Last updated September 9, 2008
Document located at http://www.geo.arizona.edu/dgesl/about/people/jonathanoverpeck/jonathanoverpeck.htm

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