When Dust Settles

June 2 ” When the Dust Settles: Importance to life through time”. Presented by Sarah Aciego, Asst. Prof., Univ. of Michigan

Dust travels the global winds & weather systems – and it matters to all of us. Winner of a Packard Fellowship Award, Sarah Aciego, will present research from Wyoming & beyond which shows that the global transport & deposition of dust can have profound impact on biological systems – today and deep into the past. Dr. Aciego has traveled the globe to document this impact.

Dust has recently been recognized as a nutrient source capable of fertilizing oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. Thus, temporal changes in (1) locations of dust source areas and (2) the transport pathways that bring particles from source to depositional environment have implications for understanding global climate, weather, and ecosystem evolution. Here I will present three case studies, examining the modern, ice core, and geologic record of dust sources and deposition through the use of physical and chemical characterization of the dust, including the radiogenic isotopes: Sr, Nd and Hf.