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

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011
A listing of important dates to remember for spring 2011. Both Undergraduates, and Graduates, can mark their calendars.
Friday, Mar 4, 2011
An open house for sophomores and freshmen to meet with faculty and student majors to discuss Geosciences. Pizza and refreshments offered.
Thursday, Mar 3, 2011
Just a reminder that Senior Thesis Funding for juniors starts on Monday, March 7th (and what a great day that is).
Thursday, Feb 24, 2011
First-year Graduate Student, Kyle Samperton, is participating in an NSF-funded Geochronology workshop at UCLA for the week. The focus is on understanding all aspects pertaining to secondary ion mass spectrometry, also known by its acronym SIMS.
Thursday, Feb 10, 2011
Franklyn Bosworth Van Houten 1914-2010 Memorial read to Princeton University faculty on February 7, 2011, Nassau Hall, by Tullis Onstott.