Ruth K. Varner
Joint Appointment Dept. of Earth Sciences
Ph.D. University of New Hampshire
Ruth Varner is an Associate Professor in the Earth Systems Research Center of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, and in the Department of Earth Sciences. She is also the Director of the Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education at the University of New Hampshire.
She received a Bachelor's degree in Geology from Hartwick College in 1991, a Master's Degree in Hydrology in 1993 (UNH) and a Ph.D. in Geochemical Systems in 2000 (UNH).
Her research experience at UNH began with developing a gas chromatography/cryo-focusing technique to quantify methyl bromide in ambient air samples. This work led to the discovery of soil as a significant biological sink of atmospheric methyl bromide. This research also led to the discovery of freshwater wetlands as a source of methyl bromide and methyl chloride to the atmosphere. Her work at UNH also includes carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide exchange using autochamber technology in terrestrial ecosystems: boreal (BOREAS, NASA), temperate and tropical forests (LBA, NASA). Currently, her research focus is on the measurement of trace gas emissions from agricultural and wetland ecosystems with funded projects from the USDA, USGS and NSF. Ruth is also the Director of the Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduates program, an NSF funded REU site.
Ruth has taught the following Earth Sciences courses: Watershed Hydrology, Techniques in Environmental Science, Aqueous Geochemistry and Chemical Fate and Transport.