Research in the Petersen Group (SCIPP Lab) focuses on reconstructing past climate using geochemical tools, in particular, stable and clumped isotopes of carbonate fossils. We have ongoing projects focusing on reconstructing climate in the Cretaceous, Miocene, Pleistocene and other time periods, looking at how climate has changed on million-year down to sub-annual timescales. Check out our Research page for more details.

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 was recently renovated top-to-bottom and we moved in to the new space in March/April 2019.

Within the Stable Isotope Lab, the Petersen Group is primarily making clumped isotope measurements and water oxygen isotope measurements. We have two mass spectrometers operating: Old Blue, a Thermo MAT 253, where samples are prepared on a vacuum line (water samples), and Maisie, a Nu Perspective with NuCarb automated carbonate preparation device (clumped isotopes).

Interested in joining the Petersen Group?

We are currently recruiting new graduate students for enrollment in Fall 2022 and a new, full-time lab manager.

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. 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, but with greater emphasis on PhD applicants. FYI – this year, in an effort to consolidate the interview process, Sierra is planning to hold zoom calls with prospective students in Nov/Dec and not before.

Undergraduate: The SCIPP lab has traditionally had a number of undergraduates working in our lab (see People), recruited either directly or through the UROP program, working for either credit or pay. We have just welcomed four new UROP students for the 2021-2022 academic year, putting us at capacity for undergrads in the lab. The earliest we would be accepting new students would be for summer 2022 positions.

Lab Manager: Ashling, our wonderful lab manager, will soon be moving on to a new job, so we are recruiting her replacement. This is a full-time lab manager position, operating our 2 mass spectrometers, training students, maintaining a safe lab environment, and coordinating with lab managers from the other two groups that occupy the Stable Isotope Lab. Job posting can be found HERE. If you are interested, you can apply through the UM system and/or contact Dr. Petersen directly with your CV and cover letter. Interviews will occur on a rolling basis until the position is filled.