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Erin Peck’s research aims to identify the dominant factors affecting sediment accumulation and carbon burial within Oregon’s salt marshes and to determine the resiliency of these habitats to sea-level rise and anthropogenic land-use change. Using the sediment cores she has collected for her research, Erin will communicate how Oregon salt marshes have recorded climate, tectonic and human changes through time to coastal communities through a series of interactive, immersive experiences at Oregon State University’s Marine Geology Repository.
Erin first became interested in societally relevant earth science while completing her B.A. in Environmental Science from Franklin & Marshall College. During her undergraduate degree, Erin used geochemical fingerprinting to identify sources of suspended sediment polluting a stream restoration site in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Erin continued into her doctorate program upon completion of her M.S. in the same program - Earth, Ocean, & Atmospheric Sciences - at Oregon State University in 2017. During her master’s, Erin produced some of the first measurements of salt marsh sediment accumulation and carbon burial rates for the Oregon coast.
Erin is positioning herself for a career that combines her commitment to societally relevant research and her passion for education. From a research standpoint, she is interested primarily in studying the sediment routing system through changing coastal geomorphology and sediment biogeochemistry. From a teaching standpoint, Erin seeks to develop and implement experience-based learning activities that enhance how students view, value and interact with their natural environment.