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Marchitto, Tom Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • As human activities continue to alter Earth’s climate, it becomes increasingly important to look to the past to better understand the future. I am a paleoceanographer, studying large-scale changes in ocean circulation and biogeochemistry that occur over timescales ranging from a few years to millions of years. Major variations in ocean circulation, from the surface to abyssal depths, have influenced climate via the transport and storage of heat. The oceans also exert control over atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas. Such changes are reflected in the physical and chemical properties of seawater, including temperature, salinity, carbonate chemistry, radiocarbon age, and the concentrations of various nutrients. I use the chemistry of marine calcifiers, mainly foraminifera, as recorders of these properties.

keywords

  • paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, past abrupt climate change, ocean circulation, ocean biogeochemistry, marine carbon cycle, trace and minor elements in biogenic calcium carbonates, biomineralization

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • ATOC 3070 - Introduction to Oceanography
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Explores Earth's dynamic oceans. Discusses the disciplines of oceanography including marine geology, chemistry, biology and physical oceanography with emphasis on global change. Specific topics may include: tectonics, currents, biogeochemical cycles, ecology and global warming. Recommended prerequisite: any 1000-level ATOC or GEOL course or ATOC major. Same as GEOL 3070.
  • GEOL 3070 - Introduction to Oceanography
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Explores Earth's dynamic oceans. Discusses the disciplines of oceanography including marine geology, chemistry, biology and physical oceanography with emphasis on global change. Specific topics may include: tectonics, currents, biogeochemical cycles, ecology and global warming. Recommended prerequisite: any 1000-level ATOC or GEOL course or ATOC major. Same as ATOC 3070.
  • GEOL 4270 - Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2021
    Examines the chemical, biological, geological and physical processes affecting (and affected by) the chemistry of the oceans. Topics include: chemical cycling in seawater; the marine carbon cycle and its long-term control on atmospheric CO2; the large-scale interdependence of nutrient distributions and biological productivity, chemical tracers of ocean circulation; the chemistry of marine sediments, including early diagenesis. Same as GEOL 5270. Recommended prerequisites: introductory chemistry, introductory geology, introductory oceanography.
  • GEOL 5270 - Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2021
    Examines the chemical, biological, geological and physical processes affecting (and affected by) the chemistry of the oceans. Topics include: chemical separation in seawater; the marine carbon cycle and its long-term control on atmospheric CO2; the large-scale interdependence of nutrient distributions and biological productivity, chemical tracers of ocean circulation; the chemistry of marine sediments, including early diagenesis. Recommended prerequisites: introductory chemistry, introductory geology, introductory oceanography. Same as GEOL 4270.
  • GEOL 5430 - Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2020
    Examines scientific tools, data, and theories related to the dramatically varied past climate of the Earth. Focus will be on marine records of climate change and ocean circulation, but ice cores and other continental archives will also be discussed. Course covers the Cenozoic Era (66 Ma to present), but with particular emphasis on the Quaternary ice age cycles. Recommended prerequisites: Introductory geology and introductory oceanography or atmospheric science.
  • GEOL 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Offers seminar studies in geological subjects of special current interest. Primarily for graduate students, as departmental staff and facilities permit. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours provided that topics vary.
  • GEOL 5705 - Seminar in Paleoclimate
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021
    Investigates major problems in the study and understanding of past climate variations as preserved in the geologic record. Course format is a seminar-style critical reading and discussion of journal articles in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. Topical focus varies from year to year. Prior coursework in geology, climate science, and/or paleoclimate is recommended.
  • GEOL 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Fall 2021
    May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours.

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