You’ve found the SCIPP Lab!

Research in the SCIPP Lab (PI: Sierra Petersen) has traditionally focused on reconstructing past climate and ocean conditions across Earth history using geochemical tools such as stable and clumped isotopes of carbonate shell fossils (hence the acronym, SCIPP = Stable and Clumped Isotopes for Paleoclimate and Paleoceanography). We have ongoing projects focusing on reconstructing climate in the Cretaceous, Pliocene, and Pleistocene, looking at how climate has changed on million-year down to sub-annual timescales. More recently, we have been using the same isotopic tools to probe physiology of marine mollusks, past and present. We are considering adding another P (for Physiology) to the name! Check out our Research page for more details on all these projects.

The Petersen Group/SCIPP Lab operates out of the University of Michigan Stable Isotope Laboratory – a three-PI lab (PI’s Petersen, Lohmann, and Cole). Our lab space was recently renovated top-to-bottom and we moved in to the updated space in March/April 2019. The SCIPP lab group is in charge of two mass spectrometers: Old Blue, a Thermo MAT 253 attached to a Gasbench device for water oxygen isotope measurements, and Maisie, a Nu Perspective with NuCarb automated carbonate preparation device for clumped isotopes of carbonates.

Interested in joining the Petersen Group?

Graduate: Applications to UM Earth and Environmental Sciences Department graduate program (Masters and PhD) are typically due in January to begin the following fall semester. We will be recruiting new graduate students for enrollment Fall 2024. Contact Dr. Petersen if you are interested in applying. Please include your CV and unofficial transcript with your email. More info can be found here about the admissions process. The SCIPP group will consider excellent candidates for both the MS and PhD programs. FYI – Dr. Petersen tends to schedule zoom calls with interested students in the late fall (Nov/Dec) to keep these conversations fresh for when the applications come in in January. Reaching out before that is still fine.

Undergraduate: The SCIPP lab has traditionally had a number of undergraduates working in our lab (see People), recruited either directly by PI Petersen or through the UROP program, working for either credit or pay. We currently have 9 active undergraduates and are at capacity for the 2023-2024 academic year. We will next accept applicants for Fall 2024. If you are interested, you may contact Dr. Petersen. Please include your unofficial transcript, CV/resume (optional), and 1-2 UM faculty who you’ve taken classes with who can be contacted as references (ideally EARTH faculty).