News - 2019 - 2019

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, Oct 15, 2019
The Department of Geosciences and Princeton University congratulates Dr. Danielle Priscilla Santiago Ramos on successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis: "Potassium Cycling in Seawater and Teleosts: Insights from Stable Potassium Isotopes (41K/39K)" on Thursday, October 10, 2019.
Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019
by The Department of Geosciences
The Department of Geosciences at Princeton University announces competition for the 2020-2021 Harry Hess Fellows Program.
Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019
The Department of Geosciences and Princeton University congratulates Dr. Rajkrishna Dutta on successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis: "High-Pressure Studies of Oxides and Fluorides: Analogs for Ultra-High Pressure Behavior of Planetary Silicates" on Monday, September 30, 2019.
Wednesday, Oct 2, 2019
Gabriel Vecchi, professor of geosciences and the Princeton Environmental Institute, presents “Climatic Influences on Tropical Cyclones and Their Severity.” He discusses how natural and human-made factors have combined to change the activity and impacts of tropical cyclones, among the deadliest and costliest natural hazards on our planet. He draws...
Monday, Sep 30, 2019
The Department of Geosciences and Princeton University congratulates Dr. Scott Angus Maclennan on successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis: "Temporal Constraints on Archean Crustal Geodynamics and Neoproterozoic Glaciation" on Friday, September 27, 2019.