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Laureen WagonerNanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology IGERT
University of California, Davis
Participating in the IGERT program has been an enriching process. Interacting with students in chemistry, physics, materials science, and engineering has definitely broadened my understanding of science in general as an interdisciplinary process. I enjoy learning about other scientific fields but, up to now, have never been able to interact outside of a narrow disciplinary focus. I hope to take advantage of the research rotations to pursue the geophysical and geochemical implications of my research, to gain experience in other research labs, and to meet and exchange ideas with others working in the same and similar fields.
My research focus is the composition and conditions of environmental stability of ultra-fine-grained (pedogenic) iron oxide/oxyhydroxide minerals in soils and sediments from the Loess Plateau region of central China. I'm interested in the relationships between ancient climate and resultant soil properties such as temperature and moisture content, and how these parameters interact with the stability fields of common oxide minerals. I'm particularly interested in the soil/sediment conditions conducive to crystallization and the potential for organisms to enhance the aggregation of amorphous oxides. I'm also interested in how the magnetic properties of hydrated, mixed phase, or poorly crystalline oxides differ from the properties, e.g. susceptibility, of pure single-domain oxides. My third emphasis is on the application of non-stoichiometric hematite to the change in magnetic susceptibility at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary in China and its potential correlation with a profound change in regional atmospheric circulation at this time.
B.S., Geology, Humboldt State University, 1987
M.S., Geology, Washington State University, 1992
M.Sc., Quaternary Science, University of London, 2000
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