Category: Ethan Baxter

Nora Sullivan set to defend dissertation Friday at 10 am in CAS B36

June 26th, 2014 in 2014, Ethan Baxter, Faculty, Graduate students, June-14, Talks

Earth & Environment PhD candidate Nora Sullivan will be defending her PhD dissertation this Friday June 27th at 10 am in CAS B36.

Her dissertation is titled “Advances in Sm-Nd geochronology: applications to early earth garnet, hydrothermal carbonate, and high temperature metamorphic systems.”

Sullivan is a PhD candidate in Earth Science with research interests in high-temperature isotope geochemistry; she is advised by Associate Professor Ethan Baxter.

All are welcome to attend the defense.

Two guest speakers to give talks Thursday as part of Special Solid Earth Seminar

May 7th, 2014 in 2014, Department Seminars, Ethan Baxter, Faculty, May-14

Associate Professor Ethan Baxter will be hosting two guest lectures tomorrow, Thursday May 8th, as part of a Special Solid Earth Seminar.

The first lecture will be held at 10:00 am in CAS 141C. It will feature Dr. Lenka Baratoux of the IRD in Toulouse, France. Dr. Baratoux’s talk is titled “Tectono-metamorphic evolution of the West-African granite-greenstone terrains during the Eburnean orogeny (~2.2-2.0 Ga).”

The second lecture will be held at 1:00 pm in CAS 141C. It will feature Prof. David Baratoux of the Université de Toulouse, France. Prof. Baratoux’s talk is titled “The formation and evolution of the Martian crust.”

All are welcome to attend!

Grad Student Katie Eccles awarded GSA Research Grant

April 15th, 2014 in 2014, April-14, Awards, Ethan Baxter, Faculty, Graduate students

Earth & Environment Graduate Student Katie Eccles has been awarded a Geological Society of America Research Grant of $2500.

With this funding, Katie will study detritral garnet geochronology of modern alluvium from the Southern Appalachians as part of her PhD research.

Congratulation to Katie!

Katie Eccles is advised by Associate Professor Ethan Baxter. To learn more about Baxter’s work, visit his website.



Ethan Baxter guest edits, publishes two articles in current edition of Elements

January 14th, 2014 in 2014, 2014, Ethan Baxter, Faculty, January-14, Publications

Department of Earth and Environment Associate Professor Ethan Baxter recently served as a guest editor for Elements magazine.

Along with other guest editors Mark J. Caddick and Jay J. Ague, Baxter participated in editing Volume 9 number 6,  ”Garnet: Common Mineral, Uncommonly Useful,” of Elements. 

In addition to his role as guest editor, Baxter also published two separate articles in the magazine. Baxter was lead author on the title article, “Garnet: Common Mineral, Uncommonly Useful,” and lead author on “Garnet Geochronology: Timekeeper of Tectonometamorphic Processes.”

To learn more about Associate Professor Baxter’s other publications, see his recent publications.


Friday December 13th AGU Talk Schedule for Faculty, Researchers, and Students

December 12th, 2013 in 2013, Alan Strahler, December-13, Ethan Baxter, Events, Faculty, Graduate students, Lucy Hutyra, Mark Friedl, Researchers, Talks, Trips

Below is a list of scheduled talks being held on Friday December 13th 2013 by Department of Earth and Environment Faculty, Researchers, and students at the AGU Fall Meeting.




8:00 am to 10:00 am

at 3008 (Moscone West)

A51I. A51I. Measurements, Modeling, and Evaluation of Emissions VII

  • Conor Gately; Lucy Hutyra; Ian Sue Wing. A new gridded on-road CO2 emissions inventory for the United States, 1980-2011. A51I-06. (9:35 – 10:00)

at 3003 (Moscone West)

  • Lucy Hutyra; Steve M. Raciti; Allison L. Dunn; Conor Gately; Ian Sue Wing; Curtis Woodcock; Pontus Olofsson; Mark A. Friedl. Impacts of urbanization on the carbon cycle (Invited). GC51E-02. (8:20 – 8:40)

8:00 am to 12:20 pm

at Hall A-C (Moscone South)

B51C. B51C. Ecosystem Structure: Remote Sensing Observations and Modelling of Its Influence on Radiation Regimes and Gas Exchanges II Posters

  • Zhan Li; Alan H. Strahler, Crystal Schaff, et al. Separating Leaves from Trunks and Branches with Dual-Wavelength Terrestrial Lidar Scanning: Improving Canopy Structure Characterization in 3-D Space. B51C-0289.
  • Alan H. Strahler; Xiaoyuan Yang; Zhan Li; Crystal Schaaf; et al. Retrieving Leaf Area Index and Foliage Profiles Through Voxelized 3-D Forest Reconstruction Using Terrestrial Full-Waveform and Dual-Wavelength Echidna® Lidars. B51C-0290.

B51G. B51G. Phenology as Both Forcing and Response: Integrating Measurements and Models Across Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems I Posters [SWIRL_CM]

  • Toni Viskari; Michael Dietze; Ankur R. DesaiModel-data assimilation of multiple phenological observations to constrain and forecast leaf area. B51G-0381.

S51A. S51A. Seismology Contributions: Signal Processing, Networks and Instrumentation II Posters

  • Bruce C. Beaudoin; Kasey Aderhold; Katyliz Anderson; Mary Pfeifer; Tim Parker; Pnina E. Miller; George W. Slad; Angela Reusch. Direct burial and vault emplacement data quality comparison at Dotson Ranch, New Mexico. S51A-2329.

S51C. S51C. Oceanic Strike-Slip Faulting: Transforms to Intraplate I Posters

  • Kasey Aderhold; Rachel E. Abercrombie; Michael S. Antolik. Seismic slip of oceanic strike-slip earthquakes. S51C-2388.

V51B. V51B. Garnet: Common Mineral, Uncommonly Useful I Posters (cosponsored by MSA)

  • Nora Sullivan; Claire Ostwald; Xu Chu; Ethan F. Baxter; Jay J. Ague; James O. Eckert. High temperature garnet growth in New England: regional temperature-time trends revealed. V51B-2654.
  • Kathryn A. Eccles; Ethan F. Baxter; Stephen J. Mojzsis; Horst Marschall; Michael L. Williams; Michael J. Jercinovic. Neoarchean metamorphism recorded in high-precision Sm-Nd isotope systematics of garnets from the Jack Hills (Western Australia). V51B-2655.


10:20 am – 12:20 pm

at 2006 (Moscone West)

B52C. B52C. New Mechanisms, Feedbacks, and Approaches for Improving Predictions of the Global Carbon Cycle in Earth System Models II [SWIRL_CU]

  • Adrien Finzi; Allison L. Gill (BIOLOGY). The carbon cost of nutrient uptake: global patterns and use in regional to global scale models of terrestrial productivity. B52C-01. (10:20 – 10:35)


1:40 pm – 3:40 pm

at 2004 (Moscone West)

B53G. B53G. Remote Sensing of Vegetation for Monitoring Ecosystem Functioning III

  • Mark A. Friedl; Joshua P. Gray; Eli K. Melaas; Andrew D. Richardson; Amey Bailey; John O’KeefeUsing Time Series of Landsat, MODIS, and Ground Measurements to Characterize and Quantify the Sensitivity of Temperate Forest Phenology to Climate Change (Invited). B53G-01. (1:40 – 1:55)

at 301 (Moscone South)

V53D. V53D. Garnet: Common Mineral, Uncommonly Useful II (cosponsored by MSA)

  • Ethan F. Baxter; Erik E. SchererThe success and complementarity of Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf garnet geochronology. V53D-08. (3:25-3:40)


8th Annual RoBOT Program Final Gathering Held Wednesday Night

December 6th, 2013 in 2013, December-13, Ethan Baxter, Events, Faculty, Presentations, Undergraduate

The final gathering of the 8th Annual Rocks Beneath Our Toes (RoBOT) Program was held Wednesday night.

The brain child of Department of Earth and Environment Professor Ethan Baxter, the RoBOT Program brings together local area high school students and BU undergraduates in an effort to learn more about the geology of the area. The students collect and analyze local rock samples and then display their findings at the end of the semester.

This years program was organized by Prof. Baxter and graduate student and Teaching Fellow Emily Stewart. The first step in the program is the collection of rock samples. This took place back in October when Professor Baxter and 13 of his ES 222 Mineralogy students took 20 Acton-Boxborough Regional High School students out on a rock collecting field trip.

Then, two weeks ago, the students came back together to analyze their findings:

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

The students used the Department’s polarized light microscopes to get a closer look at their samples.



Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Then, Dr. Joel Sparks helped the students run the X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) system lab.


The culmination of the program took place Wednesday night as the 20 high school students returned to campus and were given special tours of our lab facilities:

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

First the students, donning special clean suits, toured our clean lab facilities where Department personnel and students prepare samples for analysis.


Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Then, Dr. Denise Honn led the students through a tour of the Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) lab.

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Finally, Dr. Tom Ireland took the students through a tour of the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) facilities.


After the tours, the High School students were treated to a presentation of the Mineralogy students’ semester long research on their collected rock samples:

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Dean Sapiro joined in as well. Here, her and a student discuss the results of the program.


Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

Photo provided by Ethan Baxter.

The final results of the High School students’ and the Mineralogy students’ hard work are now on display in the halls of the Department, on the first floor of the Stone Science Building.

Ethan Baxter gives invited lectures at UNH and VT

November 12th, 2013 in 2013, Ethan Baxter, Faculty, November-13, Talks, Trips

Professor Ethan Baxter gave a talk last Thursday at the University of New Hampshire as part of UNH’s Department of Earth Sciences Brown Bag Seminar. Prof. Baxter’s talk was titled “Linking garnet to water: The Chronology of Dehydration.”

This coming Friday Prof. Baxter will be in Virginia giving a talk to Virginia Tech’s Geosciences department. His talk is titled “Making a Long Story Shot: Evidence for Brief Pules of Metamorphism.”

To learn more about Prof. Baxter’s research visit his research website.

Prof. Ethan Baxter leads RoBOT program field trip.

October 24th, 2013 in 2013, Ethan Baxter, Faculty, October-13, Trips, Undergraduate

This past Saturday, Professor Ethan Baxter led a group of Boston University undergraduates and area high schoolers on a field trip to take samples of local rocks as part of the the Department of Earth and Environment’s “Rocks Beneath Our Toes” (RoBOT) Program.

Twelve  of Dr. Baxter’s ES222 Mineralogy students along with 20 Acton-Boxborough high school students explored several sample sites in the Acton-Boxborough community, collecting rock samples for later analysis. The Mineralogy students carried on into the afternoon collecting samples from sites in New Hampshire, the last of which were outcrops on Dean Virginia Sapiro’s property.

Dr. Baxter and his students will use petrographic microscopes to analyze thin sections from the collected samples over the coming weeks; while RoBOT high school participants perform background research on the geography and underlying geology of the sample locations.  Later this fall, the students will reunite at BU to discuss their findings and analyze the rock samples. The participants will then display their findings in a poster session.

For more information on the RoBOT program, check out Prof. Baxter’s flyer.

For more information about upcoming events at the Department of Earth and Environment see our calendar or check out our recent news.

See pictures from the trip:

Professor Baxter and students explore the unique story that each rock holds about its geologic past.

Professor Baxter and students explore the unique story that each rock holds about its geologic past.


Students explore a rock outcrop to find samples for analysis.

Students explore a rock outcrop to find samples for analysis.

Students and Faculty gather for a group shot in front of a rock formation.

Students and Faculty gather for a group shot in front of a rock formation.

Prof. Baxter Heads RoBOT Outreach Program

October 18th, 2012 in 2012, Ethan Baxter, Faculty, Undergraduate

robot10Students look at sedimentary rocks from the age of the dinosaurs in Central Massachusetts

On October 13th, Undergraduates enrolled in ES222 “Mineralogy” were joined by Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) students as part of the 7th annual RoBOT “Rocks Beneath Or Toes” Outreach Program run by Prof. Ethan Baxter each Fall. Together, students sampled rocks and sediments from several sites in the Concord-Carlisle area and Massachusetts. The field trip was the first of three RoBOT events this semester, the next two of which will bring CCHS students together with BU students to analyze those samples in our mineralogy and geochemistry labs at BU. Click for more information on the RoBOT Outreach Program…

Students look at calc-silicate minerals in a old lime quarry in Chelmsford, MA
The entire group standing on the CCHS pitcher’s mound (which was sampled for analysis)