Glacial outwash in tributary to the Mad River. The gravel-sand outwash here is preserved in a tributary to the Mad R. and appears to have an unusual origin. Other deposits suggest ice was still present in this valley during deposition of the outwash and therefore it may have been deposited below the ice. I have proposed, tentatively!, that hydraulic jacking of the ice mass, by drainage of small lakes impounded up the valley, may have produced a meltwater path below the ice and a depocenter for this outwash (see Dunn, R.K., Springston, G.E. and Wright, S., 2011, Quaternary geology of the central Winooski River Watershed with focus on glacial lake history of tributary valleys (Thatcher Brook and Mad River): in, West, D., ed., New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference Guidebook, chapter C3, p. 1-32.)

Research

Primary fields of research:

  • Geoarchaeology (mostly in Greece and elsewhere in the Mediterranean Basin, and recently on Easter Island in the South Pacific)
  • Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Geomorphology of Coastal and Delta-Alluvial Plains of the Holocene (Mediterranean and U.S.)
  • Glacial Geology of Vermont

My research in geoarchaeology began while I was still an undergraduate, working at the Archaeometry Lab at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  Immediately upon graduation I worked at the Shea Site in North Dakota and then moved to Kansas where as a graduate student I published a paper on the role of natural soil peds in ceramics from the U.S. Midwest [link].

I earned my M.Sc. under Dr. Salvatore Mazzulo, working on the northern Belize shelf. There we investigated the nature of coastal and shelf evolution with rising sea level and environmental change.  We were able to show that a former Mayan temple site, called Marco Gonzalez, had once been located on a beautiful island fronted by a sandy beach. With sea-level rise, mangroves had migrated into the area and eventually took over the shallow shelf setting around the island, isolating it from the open waters of the Belizean back reef setting.  That work was published in the Journal of Field Archaeology.

I received my Ph.D. working under Dr. J. Chris Kraft, Univ. of Delaware, for work on the Late Quaternary stratigraphic and geomorphic evolution of incised valleys (paleovalleys), which were inundated during late Pleistocene and Holocene rise of sea level. The paleovalleys, on the north coast of the Delaware Bay estuary, exhibit high preservation potential for transgressive sequences. In addition, successive rise and fall of sea level (over the late Quaternary) resulted in significant geomorphic change, with major redistribution of drainage occurring at times.

From Delaware I moved to Greece where I spent two years as the Geoarchaeology Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies, Wiener Laboratory. My work there focused on reconstruction, using litho- and bio-stratigraphic information from cores, of the Holocene evolution of the Plain of Marathon, where the 490 B.C.E. decisive battle took place between the Perians and the Athenians.

More to come…in progress!