Sarah K. Fortner
Assistant Professor, Geology, Environmental Science
Biogeochemical Interests: land use (especially agricultural & urban) effects on climate change and nutrient cycling, silicate weathering, nutrient & trace element cycling, watershed hydrogeochemical response, eolian deposition, glacial snow and melt chemistry.
Teaching Interests: inquiry-based teaching, climate literacy, service-learning. My goal is to gain insight into critical biogeochemical interactions at the earth’s surface. This includes examining both pristine locations and regions heavily influenced by humans. Humans modify natural landscapes to support population growth. We apply fertilizers to meet food needs, burn fuels to supply energy, and reroute waters to supply cities and farmlands. These modifications have greatly altered natural biogeochemical cycles. Students interested in exploring how our presence alters the earth, especially in issues of climate change and/or pollution, are welcome to meet with me. Small-scale investigations are key to understanding important biogeochemical processes. Local and regional studies reveal processes that have global implications.
- Postdoctoral Researcher, Adjunct, The Ohio State University (08/11)
- Ph.D., School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University (12/08)
- M.S., Geology, The Ohio State University (12/02)
- B.S., Geology and Geophysics, University of Wisconsin, Madison (12/99)
Student Achievements 2012-2013:
- Brandi Hamilton, Lindsay Starr, Beth Wilson & Geology 460 (Wetland Biogeochemistry) will present at Wittenberg's Celebration of Learning on Friday April 12th!
- Environmental Science 100 students (Global Climate Change) will perform hands-on Climate Literacy activities at COSI on Saturday April 6th!
- Beth Wilson '14 is working to understand how agricultural and urban landuse affect water quality and respond to climate. She is the recipient of a Wittenberg Student Development Project & Travel Award. See her abstract from a National Geology meeting last November.
- Lindsay Starr '14 has been awarded a Wittenberg Student Development Project Award for her research on nutrient cycling in Beaver Creek.
- Wetland Biogeochemistry (460) will present at the regional Geological Society of America Meeting May 2013. See their abstract.
- Wetland Biogeochemistry (460) & Geology of the Critical Zone (170) investigate nutrient removal in a near-campus wetland. See their blog and the rationale for researching low-cost wetlands.
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., Munk, L.A. 2013, Diel stream geochemistry, Taylor Valley, Antarctica, Hydrological Processes 27(3):394-404.. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hyp.9255/abstract
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., Carey, A.E., Shipitalo, M.J., Welch, S.A., Welch, K.A., 2012 Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption within agricultural landscapes, the Ohio-Tennessee River Basin, USA. Biogeosciences. 9, 941–955. http://www.biogeosciences.net/9/941/2012/doi:10.5194/bg-9-941-2012
Fortner, S.K., Mark, B.G., McKenzie, J.M., Bury, J., Trierweiler, A., Baraer, M., Burns, P.J., and Munk, L. 2011. Elevated stream trace and minor element concentrations in the foreland of receding tropical glaciers. Applied Geochemistry 26(11): 1792-1801. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.06.003
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., and Olesik, J., Eolian deposition of trace elements onto Taylor Valley Antarctic glaciers. 2011. Applied Geochemistry 26(11): 1897-1904. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.06.013
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., Fountain, A.G., Welch, K.A., Kehrwald, N. M, 2009. Trace element and major ion concentrations and dynamics in glacier snow and melt: Eliot Glacier, Oregon Cascades. Hydrological Processes 23: 2987-2996.
Fortner, S.K., Fourth and fifth grade students learn about renewable and nonrenewable energy through inquiry, 2009. Journal of Geoscience Education 57(2): 121-127.
Fortner, S.K., Tranter, M., Fountain, A., Welch, K.A., and Lyons, W.B., 2005. The geochemistry of supraglacial streams of Canada Glacier, Taylor Valley (Antarctica) and their evolution into proglacial waters. Aquatic Geochemistry 11(4): 391-412.
McGill, S. F., Wells, S.G., Anderson, H. Kuzma, Fortner, S.K., and McGill, J.D., 2009. Slip rate of the Western Garlock fault, at Clark Wash, near Lone Tree Canyon, Mojave Desert, California. Geological Society of America Bulletin 3-4: 536-554.