Prospective Students

Thank you for your interest in the Earth Surface Systems Lab! We are always looking for motivated students and postdocs to join us. Selecting a graduate program, an adviser, and a research topic is an important — and difficult — decision. Completing a graduate degree is a marathon that requires commitment to and deep interest in a specific topic. To help you decide whether joining my lab at the Marine Science Center is right for you, I have included the following to help you in making your decision.

In general, students who join us can expect:

  • an engaging setting to learn about interdisciplinary and applied environmental science
  • to gain strong skills in one or more the following areas: geological field work, sedimentology, GIS, data analysis, and statistics
  • to conduct their own research project
  • to receive guidance on how to publish and present their work and make an impact

Graduate school provides you with an opportunity to learn a great deal about a specific subject. Perhaps more importantly, you will learn how to independently conceive of and manage a complicated project, and communicate its findings to others. The project management and communication skills you gain in graduate school will benefit you for the rest of your life.

As an adviser, I will help you develop and carry-out your own research project. We will work together to develop a project that is feasible and fascinating to you. I will help you to identify funding opportunities for your project. We will meet regularly to discuss your work. I will help guide you on how to present and publish your work. But I will not assign you a “ready-made” project because doing so would defeat the purpose of graduate school.

Research questions and project ideas could focus on, for example:

  • Sedimentary records of environmental change in coastal, lowland, or headwater environments
  • Sediment transport and storage across the land-sea interface
  • Contemporary, historical, or prehistoric human-environment interactions, and societal responses to extreme events
  • Syntheses of hydrological and/or climatological datasets

Collaborative projects with other Northeastern faculty, particularly those in the Departments of Marine & Environmental Sciences or Civil & Environmental Engineering, are encouraged, and could involve hydrological modeling, coastal/aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry, or tracing contaminants in water and sediment.

If you are interested in joining us, please email me with your CV a brief description of your research interests (no more than one page), how they align with the lab’s, and why you think graduate school at Northeastern University is the right fit for you. The deadlines for applications to graduate programs in the Department of Marine & Environmental Sciences and Civil & Environmental Engineering are in mid-December and you can find more information about the process by visiting the Graduate Studies website.