Lacustrine carbon cycle. My dissertation research focused on carbon stable isotopic behavior in several small carbonate-precipitating lakes in Minnesota. One publication, on δ13C of DIC, is available here, and another (again with coauthor Mark Shapley) is in prep.
manoomin.The manoomin project, or Nanda-gikendaasowin Naawij Gaa-izhiwebakin Manoomini-zaaga'iganiing (Studying What Happened out in the Rice Lakes) is a five-year NSF-EAR-OEDG-funded collaboration between Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Fond du Lac Reservation Resource Management, and the University of Minnesota. As research lead (and co-PI), I work with Native junior high, high school, and college students conducting field- and lab-based research on cores from wild rice lakes, and coordinate internships and other research activities for these students with other science mentors. Please visit the UMN manoomin page.
Bacon (Blaauw and Christen, submitted) is a Bayesian age-depth modeling software package that runs in R. It's been developed by Maarten Blaauw and Andrés Christen, and I am a user. You can get the software and some practicals here, and check out my AGU 2010 poster (30 MB .pdf) on using Bacon to evaluate the Steel Lake (MN; Wright et al 2004) pollen diagram with a high-resolution chronology. My results are preliminary, but the poster provides a primer on Bacon's capabilities.
Blaauw M, Christen JA. Flexible paleoclimate age-depth models using an autoregressive gamma process. Submitted to Bayesian Analysis
Wright, H.E., I. Stefanova, J. Tian, T.A. Brown, and F.S. Hu, 2004. A chronological framework for the Holocene vegetational history of central Minnesota: the Steel Lake pollen record. Quaternary Science Reviews 23, 611-626.
Urban Lake McCarrons, in a first-ring suburb of Saint Paul, MN, has a varved 20th-century sedimentary record and a fascinating history of responses to human impacts. One publication, focusing on the eutrophication and remediation history as recorded by the sediments, is available here. Another publication focused on the lake's biogeochemical history and carbon-oxygen covariance in authigenic carbonates, with coauthor Mark Shapley, is in prep.
GSA Limnogeology Division marks its 9th year in 2011. In 2010 I became its Vice-Chair, and look forward to helping to increase membership in the Division and promote its activities during and between GSA meetings.
Undergraduate research. I've advised or coadvised 70 undergrad students since 2010, including interns in the UMN UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program), manoomin project (see above), Keck Program, and NSF-REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates). I also have the opportunity each year to work with undergrad classes and faculty to collect cores and use lake sediments for labs for intro-level geology and climate change classes at UMN. Macalester, Carleton, and other institutions.
Smear slides have been a part of lithological core description in marine sedimentology for decades, but has been slow to catch on in the lacustrine community. Lake sediment researchers come from a wide range of disciplines (geology, ecology, geography, anthropology . . . ), and so many lack the knowledge and confidence to identify mineral sedimentary components, biological remains, or both. Lacustrine sedimentology is complex, because lakes have a tremendous variety of sedimentary components, but smear slides are powerful, and they're not that hard to learn. I love looking at smear slides and training other scientists to analyze them.
Coring lakes has become one of my main occupations. I didn't used to be an outdoor person, but field work - even in the winter - has changed all that. I'm lucky to have been taken as a "coring expert" to Chile, Colorado, the hills above Santa Barbara, western Alaska, the Yucatán, northwestern Wisconsin, Madison, Nevada, Mono Lake, South Dakota, Lake of the Woods, White Sands, Glacier National Park, Crater Lake, Tasmania, The Bahamas, and all over Minnesota.

Updated October 4, 2016