Department of Geology

Jason Rech

Associate Professor

Ph.D. (2001) University of Arizona
131 Culler Hall

My research interests are primarily in paleoclimate studies and surficial processes in arid environments and using the modern analog to interpret the fossil record. I employ several methods to address research questions in these areas, including mapping, 14C dating, and stable isotopic techniques (13C, 18O, 34S, 87Sr/86Sr). I am currently working in northern Chile, Jordan and North America.

Possible thesis/dissertation topics:

  • Soils and geomorphology of the Atacama Desert, Chile.
  • Climate change and water resources in Jordan.

Current/recent student research projects:

  • Nasser AlQattan (M.S. 2014) Interpretation of oxygen isotopic values (18O) of North American Land Snails..
  • Gentry Catlett (M.S. 2014) Pluvial deposits in Mudawwara, Jordan and their implication for Mediterranean and Monsoonal precipitation in the Levant.
  • Sophie Lehmann (M.S. 2013) Climate and tectonic implications of a mid-Miocene landscape: examination of the Tarapaca Pediplain, Atacama Desert, Chile.
  • Joel Hecker (M.S. 2012) Climate change and water resources in southern Jordan
  • Terry Workman (M.S. 2012) Climate and culture change in Jordan
  • Craig Tully (M.S. 2010) Holocene mega-droughts in the Central Atacama Desert, Chile
  • Emily Winer (M.S. 2010) Interpretation and climatic significance of late Quaternary valley-fill deposits in Wadi Hasa, Jordan.

Selected publications:

Pigati, J.S., Rech, J.A., and Nekola, J.C. (2010) Radiocarbon dating of small terrestrial gastropods in North American, Quaternary Geochronology, 5:519-532.

Rech, J.A., Nekola, J.C., Pigati, J.S. (2012) Radiocarbon ages of terrestrial gastropods extend duration of ice-free conditions at the Two Creeks forest bed, Wisconsin, USA, Quaternary Research 77:289-292.

Rech, J.A., Pigati, J.S., Lehman, S.B., McGimspey, C.N., Grimley, D.A., Nekola, J.C (2011) Assessing open-system behavior of carbon-14 in terrestrial gastropod shells, Radiocarbon 53(2):325-335.

Pigati, J.S., Latorre, C., Rech, J.A., Betancourt, J.L., Martinez, K.E., Budhan, J.R. (2012) Accumulation of "impact markers" in desert wetlands and implications for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109:7208-7212.

Latorre, C.S., Calogero, M., Uglade, P.C., Gayo, E.M., Osorio, D, Salas-Egana, C., de Pol-Holz, R, Joly, D., Rech, J.A. (2013) Late Pleistocene human occupation of the hyperarid core in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile, Quaternary Science Reviews, 77:19-30.

Baker, A.M., Almendinger, R.W., Owen, L.A., Rech. J.A. (2013) Permanent deformation caused by coseismic rebound of subduction earthquakes in northern Chile, Nature Geosciences 6:492-496.

Pigati, J.S., Rech, J.A., Quade, J. Bright, J. (2014), Desert wetlands in the geologic record, Earth-Science Reviews 132:67-81

Selected Grants:

  • National Geographic Society 2012 (with J.S. Pigati, M. Al Kuisi and J. Levy)
    Climate Change and Water Resources in southern Jordan.
  • National Geographic Society 2009 - 2010 (with J.S. Pigati (PI), C. Latorre and J. Betancourt) Evidence of an extraterrestrial impact or the result of natural processes? Physical and chemical analysis of Late Pleistocene wetland deposits in the Americas.
  • National Science Foundation 2008 - 2011 (with R. Allmendinger & M. Pritchard)
    Collaborative research: Forearc cracks and the rupture segments of great earthquakes, N. Chile and S. Peru.
  • National Science Foundation 2006 - 2009 (with J. Pigati and J. Nekola)
    Collaborative Research: Radiocarbon dating North American terrestrial gastropod shells.
  • National Science Foundation 2006 - 2010 (with T. Jordan and B. Currie)
    Collaborative research: Miocene climate change west of the Central Andes: Cause or consequence of uplift?

Teaching Interests:

GLG 335 - Ice Age Earth
GLG 354 - Geomorphology
GLG 435/535 - Soils and Paleosols
GLG 436/536 - Paleoclimataology
Graduate seminars in soils and geomorphology

For complete descriptions of courses please click here.

Please click here to see Dr. Rech's curriculum vita.

For information on the Sedimentary Geology Research Group please click here.

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