J a c k  D i b b
Research Scientist

I am a research assistant professor with the Glacier Research Group, which is part of the Institute for the Study of Earth Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire, Durham. My appointment includes an affiliation with the Department of Earth Sciences. (I am in the midst of the review process for promotion to research associate professor in both units.) This is a grant funded (soft money) position, so my primary responsibility is to keep myself and my program (graduate students and field campaigns) funded. I operate a radionuclide counting facility, but also rely on the ion chromatography laboratory in the Glacier Research Group for much of my research.

I have a general interest in biogeochemical cycles, especially how natural and anthropogenic radionuclide tracers can be used to understand transport within and between reservoirs. My major research foci are atmospheric chemistry and transport, and clarification of the relationships between the composition of glacial snow and ice and the air from which they fell. This enables a more rigorous interpretation of the glaciochemical records recovered from ice cores (the specialty of the Glacier Research Group).

I am the coordinator of a multi-institutional research program at Summit, Greenland that is making progress in both areas, and have also participated in two recent missions in the NASA Global Troposphere Experiment.

I have a BS from the University of Puget Sound, MS and PhD from the State University of New York at Binghamton (all in geology). My master's thesis research involved numerical modeling of contaminant transport in groundwater at a Super Fund site in Vestal, NY. For my dissertation, I used Be-7 as a natural tracer to examine the transport and deposition of fine particles in the Chesapeake Bay (I spent 3 years at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, MD, conducting this research).

My undergraduate education in geology impressed upon me the fact that most, if not all, of the growing number of environmental concerns were due to actions that were absurd from the point of view of even limited understanding of geological processes. I went on to graduate school hoping to learn more about the interface between earth processes and society, so I could advise against "bad" actions from a position of some authority. Along the way, I became more and more interested in geochemistry, which does include pollution aspects, but is also quite enthralling in terms of understanding natural cycles (against which any perturbations need to be considered).

In the coming year I will be returning to Greenland and really focusing on questions about nitrogen chemistry in the Arctic atmosphere and how this chemistry results in the dominance of nitrate in surface snow at most sites on the ice sheet. In the meantime, I will be analyzing and interpreting the results from our recent trip to South Pole, writing up the findings from the NASA mission conducted in spring of 1994, and working to start a program of air/snow exchange studies in West Antarctica.

At home in New Hampshire I am looking forward to some cross country skiing in the next few months and am anticipating the birth of our first cria (baby alpaca) in late July.

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