EAR-0516760<br/>Singer<br/><br/>This grant will, for two years, support half the salary of a laboratory technician who will manage the University of Wisconsin-Madison Rare Gas Geochronology Laboratory. The Department of Geology & Geophysics has made a long-term commitment of University funds to support the remainder of salary for this PhD-level Assistant Scientist staff position. Geochronology-the science of determining the ages of rocks and minerals-is essential to revealing many types of cause and effect relationships in earth history, as well as quantifying the tempo of geophysical, biological, environmental, volcanic, and tectonic processes. The PI's research employs the 40Ar/39Ar method of radioisotope geochronology to understand better the history of earth's magnetic field, evolution of potentially dangerous volcanoes, sedimentation in ancient shallow oceans and large lakes, and to calibrate other chronometers based on cosmogenic isotopes, including radiocarbon dating. Moreover, the PI pursues many projects in collaboration with other institutions, often involving students, which do not have 40Ar/39Ar dating facilities. The Assistant Scientist is responsible for: (1) day-to-day operation and oversight of laboratory activities, including scheduling analytical work and training students and outside users, (2) maintenance of ultra-high vacuum, mass spectrometer, laser, furnace, electronic, and computer systems, (3) preparation of rock and mineral samples, including training and oversight of graduate and undergraduate students, (4) irradiation and storage of radioactive and hazardous materials; the Assistant Scientist is the point of contact for the campus physical plant and safety offices, and (5) data managment, archiving, and report preparation. The Assistant Scientist is vital to all laboratory activities and will allow us to participate in the NSF-supported EARTHTIME network which aims to make precise geochronology accessible to the wider geosciences community (http://www.earth-time.org/).
Technician Support: Phase II for the University of Wisconsin Rare Gas Geochronology Laboratory