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Kate Maher

Kate Maher
Title:Assistant Professor
Primary Affiliation:Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences
Office Location:Green Earth Sci.  221
Research Group:Environmental Isotope Geochemistry
Research Lab:ICPMS/TIMS Shared Facility
Phone:650-725-0927
E-mail:kmaher@stanford.edu

Research

Chemical reactions between fluids and minerals create the environments that are uniquely characteristic of Earth’s surface.  For example, chemical weathering reactions support the growth of soils and organisms and regulate the flow of elements to the oceans. The rates of these reactions also control the release and storage of natural and human-derived contaminants.  Over geologic timescales, mineral-fluid reactions have helped to maintain a mostly habitable planet. Over human timescales, these reactions will regulate our ability to use Earth’s resources, such as soils, waters, and minerals.

My research focuses on the rates of reactions in different environments using a combination of geochemical tools, including isotope geochemistry, geochemical and hydrologic modeling, and geochronology in order to address the following themes: (1) defining the controls on mineral-fluid reactions rates in the environment (2) finding new approaches to use mineral-fluid reactions to safely store carbon dioxide in the subsurface; and (3) development of isotopic approaches to study mineral-fluid reactions in the environments of Earth’s past.  To support these research themes, I have constructed a new mass spectrometer and clean lab facility capable of high precision geochemical and isotopic measurements.

Teaching

My teaching focuses on introducing students to the questions and major challenges in low temperature and environmental geochemistry, and the application of isotope geochemistry to environmental and geologic problems. In order to introduce incoming students to Earth surface processes, materials and geochemistry, I am also teaching a freshman seminar on forensic geoscience. At the graduate level, I offer classes on isotope geochemistry and modeling of environmental transformations and mass transport processes.

Professional Activities

2012:

Allan V. Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research

GCEP (Global Climate and Energy Project) Distinguished Lecturer

Advisory Committee for Molecular Environmental and Interface Science (MEIS), SSRL/SLAC

Invited Abstracts: Goldschmidt Conference, Montreal, Canada

2011:

Invited Participant: "Design of Global Environmental Gradient Experiments using International CZO (Critical Zone Observatory) Networks", University of Delaware, Delaware

Invited Lectures: Yale University, UC Berkeley, GCEP Research Symposium, Stanford University

Invited Abstracts: Goldschmidt Conference, Prague, Czech Republic; American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA

2010:

Keynote Speaker, Goldschmidt Conference, Knoxville, TN

Co-instructor of 2-day short course on reactive transport modeling using The Geochemist’s Workbench® with Craig Bethke, Stanford, CA

Invited Lectures: California Institute of Technology, UCLA, Boston University, Rice University

Invited Abstracts: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA; Geological Society of America Conference, Denver, CO

2009: 

Associate Editor, American Journal of Science (appointed through 2013)

Co-editor: “Combined ecological and geologic perspectives in ecosystem studies”, Chemical Geology (Special Volume)

Invited Participant: “Critical Zone II: Biological Aspects of Weathering”, Washington, DC

Participant, DUSEL (Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory) Experimental Coordination Workshop, Lead, SD

Member, DUSEL Experimental Design Team (THMCB)

Symposium Chair, Goldschmidt Conference: “Bridging the gap between theory and the field in critical zone processes”

Invited Lectures: Duke University, UC Davis, U. of Delaware,

Invited Abstracts: American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA 

 

Education

  • 2005, Ph.D Earth and Planetary Sciences, U.C. Berkeley
  • 2001, M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering (Fluid Mechanics/Hydrology), U.C. Berkeley
  • 1999, B.S. Environmental Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College

Professional Experience

  • 2007 - Present, Assistant Professor Stanford University
  • 2007, Visiting Professor, Hydrogeology Colorado College
  • 2005 - 2007, Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow U.S. Geological Survey

Honors & Awards

  • 2013, NSF CAREER Award
  • 2012, Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP ) Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2012, Allan V. Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research, Stanford University
  • 2008 - 2011, Terman Fellow, Stanford University
  • 2002 - 2005, SEGRF Scholar, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • 2000 - 2001, ARCS Foundation Scholar, U.C. Berkeley

University Service

  • 2013–2015 | Member, Selection Committee for the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships (SIGF) in Environment, Energy and Sustainability. 
  • 2012-present | Organizer, School of Earth Sciences Distinguished Lecture Program Committee
  • 2010–present | Advisor for the GES Undergraduate Major and Minor, GES Department
  • 2010–present | Member, SHRIMP-RG Advisory Committee, School of Earth Sciences
  • 2010–present | Member, Geochronology Steering Committee, School of Earth Sciences
  • 2009-present | Instructor/Presenter, Bay Area Geoscapes Teacher Education Program 
  • 2009–present | Member, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Advisory Board
  • 2009–2012 | Member, Undergraduate Field Program Committee, GES Department
  • 2009–2012 | Member, STREAM (Stanford Training, Research & Mentoring) Advisory Board, School of Earth Sciences
  • 2009–2012 | Organizer, GES Department Seminar Program
  • 2008–present | Director, Stanford ICPMS/TIMS Facility, School of Earth Sciences
  • 2008–present | Member, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, GES Department
  • 2008 | Member, Search Committee, Geochronology, Petrology, Geodynamics position, GES Department   

Professional Activities

  • 2013 | Keynote Speaker, Goldschmidt Conference, Florence, Italy
  • 2013 | Theme Organizer (Climate, Weathering and Tectonics) and Session Chair, Goldschmidt Conference, Florence, Italy
  • 2012-present | Member, Stanford Center for Carbon Storage, Stanford University
  • 2012 | Member, Advisory Committee for Molecular Environmental and Interface Science (MEIS), SSRL/SLAC
  • 2012 | Invited Lectures: Exxon-Mobil, DuPont, Schlumberger and General Electric, University of Oregon, Symposium on “Opportunities with Synchrotron Radiation at the Mesoscale” LCLS/SSRL Users' Meeting and Workshop, Stanford University, CA
  • 2012 | Invited Abstracts: Goldschmidt Conference, Montreal, Canada; American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
  • 2011 | Invited Participant: ICDP/Oman Drilling Workshop
  • 2011 | Invited Lectures: Yale University, UC Berkeley, GCEP Research Symposium
  • 2011 | Invited Abstracts: Goldschmidt Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
  • 2011 | Invited Participant: "Design of Global Environmental Gradient Experiments using International CZO (Critical Zone Observatory) Networks", University of Delaware, Delaware
  • 2010 | Keynote Speaker, Goldschmidt Conference, Knoxville, TN
  • 2010 | Co-instructor of 2-day short course on reactive transport modeling using The Geochemist’s Workbench® with Craig Bethke, Stanford, CA
  • 2010 | Invited Lectures: California Institute of Technology, UCLA, Boston University, Rice University
  • 2010 | Invited Abstracts: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA; Geological Society of America Conference, Denver, CO
  • 2009-present | Associate Editor, American Journal of Science (appointed through 2015)
  • 2009 | Co-editor: “Combined ecological and geologic perspectives in ecosystem studies”, Chemical Geology (Special Volume)
  • 2009 | Invited Participant: “Critical Zone II: Biological Aspects of Weathering”, Washington, DC
  • 2009 | Participant, DUSEL (Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory) Experimental Coordination Workshop, Lead, SD
  • 2009 | Member, DUSEL Experimental Design Team (THMCB)
  • 2009 | Symposium Chair, Goldschmidt Conference: “Bridging the gap between theory and the field in critical zone processes”
  • 2009 | Invited Lectures: Duke University, UC Davis, U. of Delaware
  • 2009 | Invited Abstracts: American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
  • 2008 | Symposium Chair, Goldschmidt Conference: “Chemical and isotopic tracers of sediment-pore fluid interactions”, Cologne, Germany 
  • 2008 |  Symposium Chair, Goldschmidt Conference: “Isotopic and geochemical insights into the rates and mechanisms of erosion and weathering”, Cologne, Germany
  • 2008 |  Invited Lectures: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • 2008 |  Invited Abstracts: Geological Society of America Fall Meeting, Houston, TX
  • 2007 |  Symposium Chair, AGU Fall Meeting: “Controls on geochemical and biogeochemical processes in the critical zone”, San Francisco, CA
  • 2007 |  Invited Lectures: Yale University, ETH Zurich, Geological Society of Washington D.C., U.S. Geological Survey, Reston VA               

Courses Taught

  • 2013 (Spring) | GES 39N Forensic Geoscience [Enrolled 11]
  • 2013 (Spring) | GES 199 Honors Program [Enrolled 1]
  • 2013 (Spring) | GES 399 Advanced Projects [Enrolled 1]
  • 2013 (Spring) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 6]
  • 2013 (Winter) | GES 199 Honors Program [Enrolled 1]
  • 2013 (Winter) | GES 276 Earth's Weathering Engine [Enrolled 3]
  • 2013 (Winter) | GES 292 Directed Reading [Enrolled 2]
  • 2013 (Winter) | GES 299 Field Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2013 (Winter) | GES 399 Advanced Projects [Enrolled 1]
  • 2013 (Winter) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 6]
  • 2012 (Fall) | GES 199 Honors Program [Enrolled 1]
  • 2012 (Fall) | GES 276 Earth's Weathering Engine [Enrolled 3]
  • 2012 (Fall) | GES 292 Directed Reading [Enrolled 2]
  • 2012 (Fall) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 7]
  • 2012 (Spring) | GES 290 Department Seminar [Enrolled 10]
  • 2012 (Spring) | GES 292 Directed Reading [Enrolled 3]
  • 2012 (Spring) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 7]
  • 2012 (Winter) | GES 299 Field Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2012 (Winter) | GES 292 Directed Reading with Faculty [Enrolled 2]
  • 2012 (Winter) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 7]
  • 2012 (Winter) | GES 199 Honors Program Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2011 (Fall) | GES 163/263 Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry [Enrolled 15]
  • 2011 (Fall) | GES 192 Undergraduate Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2011 (Fall) | GES 199 Honors Program Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2011 (Fall) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 4]
  • 2011 (Fall) | GES 163/263 Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry [Enrolled 15]
  • 2011 (Smr) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 2]
  • 2011 (Spring) | GES 290 Departmental Seminar in GES (w/ Mao) [Enrolled 7]
  • 2011 (Spring) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 4]
  • 2011 (Spring) | GES 292 Directed Reading with Faculty [Enrolled 1]
  • 2011 (Winter) | GES 192 Undergraduate Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2011 (Winter) | GES 273 Non-traditional Stable Isotopes [Enrolled 9]
  • 2011 (Winter) | GES 290 Departmental Seminar in GES (w/ Mao) [Enrolled 5]
  • 2011 (Winter) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 3]
  • 2010 (Fall) | GES 39N Forensic Geoscience: Stanford CSI [Enrolled 11]
  • 2010 (Fall) | GES 192 Undergraduate Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2010 (Fall) | GES 224 Modeling Transport and Transformation in the Environment (w/ Bethke) [Enrolled 11]
  • 2010 (Fall) | GES 290 Departmental Seminar in GES (w/ Mao) [Enrolled 2]
  • 2010 (Fall) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 5]
  • 2010 (Summer) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2010 (Spring) | GES 39N Forensic Geoscience: CSI Stanford [Enrolled 12]
  • 2010 (Spring) | GES 290 Departmental Seminar in GES (w/ Mao) [Enrolled 1]
  • 2010 (Spring) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2010 (Winter) | GES 173/273 Mass Spectrometry [Enrolled 8]
  • 2010 (Winter) | GES 290 Departmental Seminar in GES (w/ Mao) [Enrolled 6]
  • 2010 (Winter) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 1]
  • 2009 (Fall) | GES 163/263 Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry [Enrolled 8]
  • 2009 (Fall) | GES 290 Departmental Seminar in GES (w/ Mao) [Enrolled 1]
  • 2009 (Fall) | GES 400 Graduate Research [Enrolled 2]
  • 2009 (Spring) | GES 39N Forensic Geoscience: Stanford CSI [Enrolled 12]
  • 2008 (Winter) | GES 173/273 Isotope Geochemistry Seminar: Uranium Isotope Systematics [Enrolled 7]
  • 2008 (Fall) | GES 163/263 Introduction to Isotope Geochemistry [Enrolled 17]

Publications

  • 2013 * | Weiss, D.J., Bullen, T., Harris, C.H. and Maher, K.  A Teaching Exercise to Introduce Stable Isotope Fractionation of Metals into Geochemistry Courses, Journal of Chemical Education, 90, 1014–1017.
  • 2013 * | Maher K., Bargar J. R., Brown Jr. G. E. Environmental speciation of the actinides. Inorganic Chemistry, 52 (7), 3510–3532.
  • 2012 * | DePaolo D. J., Lee V., Christensen J. N. and Maher K. Uranium comminution ages: Sediment transport and deposition time scales. Comptes Rendus Geoscience. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crte.2012.10.014.
  • 2012* | Oster J. L., Ibarra D. E., Harris C. and Maher, K.  Influence of eolian deposition and rainfall on the U-isotopic composition of soil water and soil minerals, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta., 88, 146-166. 
  • 2011* | Maher K. The role of fluid residence time and topographic scales in determining chemical fluxes from landscapes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 312, 48-58 
  • 2011*  | Yoo K., Weinman B., Mudd S. M., Hurst M. D., Attal M., Maher K., Evolution of hillslope soils: The geomorphic theater and the geochemical play. Applied Geochemistry, 26, S149-153.
  • 2010 * | Dosseto A., Hesse P., Maher K., Fryirs K. and Turner S.P. Climatic control of continental erosion via climate induced vegetation shift. Geology, 38(5), 395–398.
  • 2010 * | Fantle M. S., Maher K., DePaolo D. J. Isotopic Approaches for Quantifying the Rates of Marine Burial Diagenesis. Reviews in Geophysics, 48, RG3002.
  • 2010 * | Maher K. The dependence of chemical weathering rates on fluid residence time. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 294, 101-110.
  • 2009 * | White A. F., Schulz M. S., Stonestrom D. A., Vivit D. V., Fitzpatrick J., Bullen T., Maher K. and Blum A.E. (2009) Chemical Weathering of a Marine Terrace Chronosequence, Santa Cruz, California II: Controls on Solute Fluxes and Comparisons of Long-term and Contemporary Mineral Weathering rates. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 2769-2803.
  • 2009 * | Maher K., Steefel C. I, Stonestrom D. A. and White A.F. (2009) The Role of Secondary Minerals and Reaction Affinity in Regulating Weathering Rates at the Santa Cruz Marine Terrace Chronosequence. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 2804-2831.
  • 2009 * | Singer D. M., Maher K., and Brown, G.E. Jr. (2009) Uranyl-chlorite sorption/desorption: Evaluation of different U(VI) sequestration processes. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 73, 5989-6007.
  • 2009 * | Steefel C.I. and Maher. K. (2009) Fluid-rock interaction: A reactive transport approach. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 70: 485-532, DOI: 10.2138/rmg.2009.70.11.
  • 2007 * | Maher K., Wooden J.W., Paces J.B., Miller, D. M., (2007). 230Th/U dating of surficial deposits using the ion microprobe (SHRIMP-RG): a microstratigraphic perspective. Quaternary International, 66 (1), 15-28.
  • 2007 * | Conrad, M. E., DePaolo, D. J., Maher, K., Gee, G. W., Ward, A. L. (2007). Field evidence for strong chemical separation of contaminants in the Hanford vadose zone, Vadose Zone Journal, 6(4), 1031-1041.
  • 2006 * | DePaolo, D. J., Maher K., Christensen J. N, McManus, J.R. (2006) Sediment transport time measured with U-series isotopes: results from ODP North Atlantic Drift Site 984. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 248 (1-2), 379-395.
  • 2006 * | Maher K., Christensen J. N, DePaolo D. J., (2006) U-Sr isotopic speedometer: Flow and chemical weathering rates in aquifers. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70 (17), 4417-4435.
  • 2006 * | Maher K., Steefel C. I., and DePaolo D. J. (2006) The mineral dissolution rate conundrum: insights from reactive transport modeling of U isotopes and pore fluid chemistry. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70(2), 337-363.
  • 2006 * | Singleton M.J., Maher K., DePaolo D.J., Conrad M.E., and Dresel P.E. (2006). Regional flow and recharge of the unconfined aquifer at Hanford, WA from groundwater isotopic compositions. Journal of Hydrology 321, 39-58.
  • 2004 * | Maher K., DePaolo D. J., and Lin J. C. F. (2004) Rates of silicate dissolution in deep-sea sediment: In situ measurement using 234U/238U of pore fluids. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 68(22), 4629-4648.
  • 2004 * | Christensen J. N., Dresel P. E., Conrad M. E., Maher K., and DePaolo D. J. (2004) Identifying the sources of subsurface contamination at the Hanford Site in Washington using high-precision uranium isotopic measurements. Environmental Science and Technology 38(12), 3330-3337.
  • 2004 * | DePaolo D. J., Conrad M. E., Maher K., and Gee G. W. (2004) Evaporation effects on oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in deep vadose zone pore fluids at Hanford, Washington: Implications for recharge and horizontal fluid movement. Vadose Zone Journal 3, 220-232.
  • 2003 * | Maher K., DePaolo D. J., Conrad M. E., and Serne R. J. (2003) Vadose zone infiltration rate at Hanford, Washington, inferred from Sr isotope measurements. Water Resources Research 39(8), 1029-1043.

Advisee Publications

    2012 * | Oster, J. L., Ibarra, D. E., Harris, C. and Maher, K. Influence of eolian deposition and rainfall on the U-isotopic composition of soil water and soil minerals, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 

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