Dorothy M Peteet

Dorothy M Peteet

  • (AST, EARTH BIOSPHERE STUDIES)
  • 212.678.5510
  • NASA GISS
  • 2880 Broadway
  • New York , NY 10025
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Dorothy M. Peteet is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University.  She directs the Paleoecology Division of the New Core Lab at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia and in collaboration with GISS climate modelers and LDEO geochemists is studying the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archives of lakes and wetlands (peatlands, salt marshes, tidal freshwater marshes, bogs, fens).  Documenting past vegetational change using pollen and spores, plant and animal macrofossils, loss-on-ignition, carbon, and charcoal in conjunction with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, her research provides local and regional records of vegetational and climate history and carbon sequestration. Peteet has performed GCM experiments to test hypotheses concerning LGM and abrupt climate change.  She is interested in climate sensitivity from past climate changes and ecological shifts with future climate change.  Droughts are of recent interest.

    Research Interests

    Paleoclimate

    Understanding of past shifts in climate, including abrupt events.  Research in eastern N. America,
    Siberia, Arctic and subarctic regions of Alaska, Easter Island, etc...and timing is from present back to last interglacial.  Droughts are of particular interest in the northeastern US.

    Paleoecology

    Understanding past vegetational change throughout areas of research and the response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change.  Pollen and plant macrofossil studies.  Ecosystem functions.

    Carbon sequestration

    Relationship of past vegetational change to past carbon storage in wetlands.

    Human impact

    Human impact and its effect on ecosystems...record in sediment cores reveals invasive species, erosion of watersheds, pollution, etc.

    Current Projects

    Alaskan paleoclimate and paleovegation records and their relationship to carbon storage

    Transect of peatland sites both N-S and E-W in Alaska documents the relationship of past climate and vegetational change to carbon sequestered in the peatlands.

    Timing of Deglaciation in Northeastern US

    Understanding timing of deglaciation in northeastern US and its relationship to Greenland ice cores, sea level rise, and ocean temperature shifts.

    Climate Sensitivity

    Differences in climate sensitivity of planet earth during different time intervals since last ice age.
    Feedbacks such as vegetational change very important.

    Abrupt climate shifts

    Understanding relationship of terrestrial abrupt climate shifts of the past and their effects on forest and wetland vegeational change in various regions of the globe.  Younger Dryas cooling and Medieval Warming are examples.

    Drought

    Past droughts in the northeastern US are visible through forest shifts in species composition and increases in fire frequency.  We document past drought frequency and intensity and the importance of future droughts for urban areas of the northeast.

    Positions/Employment

    1999 - Present

    Senior Research Scientist

    NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY
    1999 - Present

    Adjunct Professor

    Columbia University, New York, NY Teach undergraduate and graduate students, "Wetlands and Climate Change" class at Columbia, and direct Paleoecology Laboratory at LDEO

    1985 - 1999

    Research Scientist

    NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY
    1985 - 1999

    Adjunct Associate Research Scientist

    Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY
    1983 - 1985

    National Research Council Resident Research Associate

    National Research Council, NASA/GISS 2-yr postdoctorate

    Teaching Experience

    1999-present Teaching 4000 level course "Wetlands and Climate Change" at Columbia University
    1997- present  Developed and taught "Wetlands and Climate Change" at Columbia University in Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science
    Taught Paleoclimate undergraduate class at Columbia University
    Mentoring Ph.D, MS., undergraduate, and high school students

    Education

    • Ph.D., New York University, l983
    • MS., New York University, l979
    • BA, Botany, Duke University, l974

    Professional Societies

    Board of Directors, NYC Audubon Society, 2009 - 2014
    North American Pollen Database, 2009 - Present
    Panel Member
    Hudson River Environmental Society, 2004 - 2007
    Board of Directors
    NY Institute for Climate and Planets Summer Program, 1995 - Present
    Mentor for high school and college students
    National Academy Sciences Abrupt Climate Change: Science and Policy, 2000 - 2001
    Panel Member
    NSF/OPP Antarctic Glaciology , 1995 - Present
    Panel Member
    Board of Earth Science Division of UNESCO Intl. Global Climate Program Project entitled Global Younger Dryas?, 1990 - 1994
    Coordinator
    AMQUA Paleoclimatology, 1990 - 1994
    Councilor
    AGU Oceanography Committee, 1994 - 1998
    Panel Member
    NSF Ice Core Working Group, 1990 - 1992
    Panel Member
    US National Committee for International Union of Quaternary Research, 1992 - 1994
    Panel Member
    Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory Climate Center Committee, 1996 - 2010
    Panel Member
    AGU, 1990 - Present
    Member
    AMQUA, 1985 - Present
    Member
    Ecological Society of America, 2008 - Present
    Member
    American Assn. of Stratigraphic Palynologists, 1985 - Present
    member
    Torrey Botanical Club, 1985 - Present
    member
    Botanical Society of America, 2000 - Present

    Professional Service

    NYC Audubon Society, Hudson River Environmental Society, NSF Panelist, Journal Reviews, etc.

    Awards

    2006 New York City Research Initiative Achievement Award
    2004 NASA/GISS Special Act Award
    2003 NASA/GISS Special Act Award
    1999 NASA/GSFC Performance Award
    1992 NASA/GISS Peer Review Award
    l983-1985 National Research Council Award
    l982 Gladys Mateyco Biology Award for Excellence in Biology
    1980 Torrey Botanical Club Annette Hervey Award, Best Student Paper

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Dorothy M. Peteet is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University.  She directs the Paleoecology Division of the New Core Lab at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia and in collaboration with GISS climate modelers and LDEO geochemists is studying the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archives of lakes and wetlands (peatlands, salt marshes, tidal freshwater marshes, bogs, fens).  Documenting past vegetational change using pollen and spores, plant and animal macrofossils, loss-on-ignition, carbon, and charcoal in conjunction with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, her research provides local and regional records of vegetational and climate history and carbon sequestration. Peteet has performed GCM experiments to test hypotheses concerning LGM and abrupt climate change.  She is interested in climate sensitivity from past climate changes and ecological shifts with future climate change.  Droughts are of recent interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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