[Evanston, IL] - Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences Yarrow Axford has been awarded the 2014 ISEN Early Career Investigator Award for Energy Research for her proposal to reconstruct arctic environmental change during a geologically recent period of warmth characterized by significantly higher temperatures than present day ("Rare Records of Last Interglacial Arctic Warmth from NW Greenland Lakes").
The award honors an early-career tenure-track faculty member working on research addressing significant unmet needs relating to energy production or use. Totaling $75,000 (overhead-free), the award will allow Axford to capitalize upon her team's recent discovery of ancient sediments preserved in a Greenland lake. Funds will be primarily directed toward graduate student support, and materials and supplies, allowing Axford and her team to conduct preliminary analyses of previously acquired samples and to determine the best sites for future sampling.
Ice core samples provide estimates of past conditions over the ice sheet, and Axford’s research will help test those ice-based reconstructions by providing independent temperature estimates from nearby lakes. Very few lakes from the glaciated Arctic have yielded Last Interglacial records because advancing glaciers scoured out most lake basins, removing any pre-glacial sediments, making this research particularly innovative. Ultimately, Axford anticipates her research will help inform projections of how future warming will impact the Arctic and thus global energy balance and sea level.
"There is so much concern about arctic climate change right now, and so much interest in understanding arctic climate feedbacks and the behavior of the Greenland Ice Sheet. But we have very few data reflecting how the Arctic and the ice sheet actually behaved the last time the Arctic was as warm as forecast for 2100," said Axford. "This award from ISEN will help take my research in a new direction, toward looking back 125,000 years to the Last Interglacial and developing rare records of climate conditions on Greenland at that time. I'm thrilled to have ISEN's support, and the opportunity to start exploring something new."
Axford came to Northwestern in 2010 from the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she was a research associate. Previously she was a Comer Science and Education Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Iceland's Earth Science Institute. She received her AB in Geology at Mount Holyoke College, MS in Geology at Utah State University and PhD in Geological Sciences at University of Colorado.
ISEN's inaugural 2012 Early Career Investigator Award went to Jiaxing Huang, Morris E. Fine Research Professor in Materials and Manufacturing in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science for his proposal "Particles of Crumpled Soft Sheets - Towards a New Paradigm of Ultrafine Particles." In January 2013, Keith Tyo, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science was awarded for his proposal “High Biofuel Conversion Yields through Degrading Byproduct Enzymes.”
Along with the ISEN Early Career Investigator Award, ISEN has semiannual calls for proposals to seed faculty research of innovative, high-risk/high-reward ideas in the areas of energy and sustainability, alongside concurrent equipment purchase/upgrade RFPs. ISEN also administers the NU-Argonne Early Career Investigator Award, jointly funded by Argonne.
|| To see a full list of all proposals funded by ISEN, please click here ||