Faculty Spotlight

Professor John A. Higgins

Title: Associate Professor of Geosciences

Research Areas:

Professor John Higgins' primary research interest is the evolution of the carbon cycle and the global climate system over Earth history.  One focus has been on processes that control the chemical composition of seawater, and how those processes have changed on geologic timescales.  Another is how on the chemistry of carbonate sediments is affected by processes that occur post-deposition.  These include early diagenetic recrystallization, dolomitization and hydrothermal alteration.  The tools Prof. Higgins has employed to study these include numerical models of chemical and isotopic biogeochemical cycles, as well as analysis of traditional stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon, and new isotope systems such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Higgins Research Laboratory

John A. Higgns, Associate Professor of Geosciences


Upcoming Semester - SPRING 2021

GEO 360 / ENV 356 - Geochemistry of the Human Environment
Humans have profoundly altered the chemistry of Earth's air, water, and soil. This course explores these changes with an emphasis on the analytical techniques used to measure the human impact. Topics include the accumulation of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) in Earth's atmosphere and the contamination of drinking water at the tap and in the ground. Students will get hands on training in mass spectrometry and spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of air, water, and soil and will participate in an outreach project aimed at providing chemical analyses of urban tap waters to residents of Trenton, NJ.

Past Semesters

GEO 203 - Fundamentals of the solid Earth
GEO 360 / ENV 356 Geochemistry of the Human Environment Class
GEO 362 / ENV 362  Earth History
GEO 534 - Geological Constraints on the Global Carbon Cycle



In The News



More recent articles

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011
From all of us at the Department of Geosciences, we an extended a warm welcome to the Class of 2013.
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011
A friendly reminder of the Retirement Celebration on Saturday. In-house registration will be from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Guyot Great Hall. In order to attend the functions, you must stop by and check-in. If you are only attending cocktails and dinner in the evening, there will be registration at Prospect.
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011
Retired Geosciences Professor, W. Jason Morgan, has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, along with eight other Princeton faculty members. In winning this award, Morgan joins the ranks of one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011
"Geosciences and architecture, two of the University’s smaller departments, also attracted larger crowds than usual this spring." Excerpts from: Dec, Jonathan. "History department sees drop in sophomore concentrators." Daily Princetonian 27 Apr 2011: n. pag. Web. 27 Apr 2011.
Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011
This campus favorite features spectacular action-packed films on a range of mountain and adventure sports, including rock climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, mountain biking, extreme skiing and explorations of the natural world.