Grants in Progress and Recent Grants

David Bish

Grants In Progress:
  • Understanding Amorphous and Poorly Ordered Analogs of Martian Global Soil; D. Bish, PI; NASA 2015-2016

Simon Brassell

Grants In Progress:
  • Picardal, F.W., Brassell, S.C. and Mastalerz, M. Collaborative Research: Biogenic Methanogenesis and Biodegradation of Organic Matter in Coals NSF; 8/2014-7/2016

James Brophy

Recent Grants Received:
  • REE-SiO2 systematics for distinguishing a fractional crystallization versus crustal melting origin for intra-oceanic silicic melts: acombined experimental and field investigation; Brophy, J PI; NSF

Bruce Douglas

Recent Grants Received:
  • Enhancing Learning of Science Categories Through Guidance of Psychological Models of Classification Douglas, B. PI NSF 2015-2018.
  • Collaborative Research: Geodesy curriculum for the 21st century – innovative science for addressing societally critical issues. Douglas, B. PI NSF 2013-2016.

Doug Edmonds

Grants in Progress:
  • Modeling the size and shape of deltaic sand bodies. ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, D. Edmonds PI. 2014-2016.
  • Collaborative Research: Sustainability of Deltaic Coastlines - The Trillion Dollar Problem.National Science Foundation, D. Edmonds, PI plus 7 other collaborators. 2015-2019.
  • Coastal SEES Collaborative Research: Sustainability of Deltaic Coasts - The Trillion Dollar Problem. National Science Foundation D. Edmonds, PI. 2014-2018.
  • A theoretical and field-based study on the origin and shape of fluvial levees. American Chemical Society. D. Edmonds, PI, 2014-2018.
  • FESD Type I: A Delta Dynamics Collaboratory. University of Texas at Austin. D. Edmonds, PI, 2012-2017.

Erika Elswick

Recent Grants Received:
  • Infrastructure upgrade, curation and data basing of Indiana University Collections; PIs Scheiber (Anthro), Polly, Johnson and Elswick.

Michael Hamburger

Recent Grants Awarded:
  • NSF Collaborative Research: Structure and Dynamics of the North American Craton - An EarthScope Swath from the Ozarks to the Grenville Front (Gary Pavlis, PI), Collaborative project with University of Illinois, Purdue University, and Illinois and Indiana state geological surveys.
  • NSF Subduction Zone Coupling and Strain Partitioning in the Philippine Plate Boundary Zone (Kaj Johnson, co-PI).
  • USGS Development of a Globally Applicable Model for Near Real-time Prediction of Seismically Induced Landslides (Collaboration with David Wald, US Geological Survey).
  • USGS Microseismicity in the Ste. Genevieve, Wabash Valley and Rough Creek seismic zones using EarthScope FlexArray data: Implications for earthquake hazards (Collaborative research between Indiana University, Purdue University, and University of Kentucky).

Ed Herrmann

Grants in Progress:
  • Rockhouse Hollow rock shelter field work.; Herrmann, E.W. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 2014-2018.

Claudia Johnson

Grants In Progress:
  • Individual Research Award, Institute for Advanced Study; Johnson, C.C., Institute for Advanced Study. 2014-2016.

Kaj Johnson

Grants In Progress:
  • Beyond elastic rebound: extracting permanent strain from interseismic deformation; Johnson, K. PI, National Science Foundation 2015-2017

Chusi Li

Grants In Progress:
  • Intraplate metallogeny of China Chinese Academy of Science C. Li, Co-Investigator. 2013-2017.
  • NSF: Assessing the role of crustal S contamination in the generation of PGE mineralization in the Stillwater Complex, Montana: A multiple S and Re-Os isotopic study (with EM Ripley) 2013-2016.
  • Fluid composition constraints on the genesis of Fe-Ti oxide ore deposits in the Emeishan Large Igneous Province, SW China NSF of China C. Li Co-I 2015-2018.

Jackson Njau

Grants in Progress:
  • ORACEAF:The origins of the Acheulean in East Africa Njau, J. PI Delegation of the European Commission. 2012-2016.

Gary Pavlis

Grants In Progress:
  • High resolution imaging of the mantle of North America with 3D wavefield imaging, National Science Foundation Earthscope Program, 2014-2017

This project will utilize a unique technology developed at Indiana University called Plane Wave Migration. This technology is a form of scattered wave imaging that builds on concepts developed over the last 30 years for oil and gas exploration with the seismic reflection. Plane wave migration has produced the highest resolution images of the upper mantle of North America ever achieved by direct imaging of data from the USArray component of the Earthscope ( The USArray data collection effort is finishing and this project aims to produce the best high resolution images possible of the entire upper mantle of North America. This will be used to address three main science issues. (1) the geometry of the Farallon Plate which now underlies nearly all of North America; (2) are dipping interfaces we are imaging markers for mantle flow; and (3) what new insights do these new images provide on the 410 and 660 discontinuities and the region called the transition zone that lies between them.

  • Three-dimensional Seismic Array at the Homestake Mine, National Science Foundation INPIRE Program, 2013- 2016.

This is an experimental program to deploy a state-of-the-art, three-dimensional seismic array in the Homestake Mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Homestake Mine has been converted to an underground laboratory for scientific research that has made this experiment possible. Deployment is planned to begin in fall 2014 with operation of the experiment spanning the 2015 calendar year. The project is supported by the NSF’s INSPIRE program which aims to fund cutting edge project that cross multiple disciplines. This project is of interest to geophysics and the physics community doing research in gravity waves. The geophysical interest is fundamental data on seismic wave propagation in an anisotropic medium with known properties. The physics community is interested in this experiment to provide baseline data for a future gravity wave experiment in an underground site where the detector can be isolated from surface mass movements that have compromised the current facilities ( This is a collaborative project led by the University of Minnesota. We at Indiana University are collaborators along with the California Institute of Technology.

David Polly

Grants In Progress:
  • National Science Foundation Research Grant EAR-1338298. 2013-2017. ELT Collaborative Research: Bayesian Paleoclimate Proxies – Transforming the Vertebrate Fossil Record. P.D. Polly (PI), K. M. Johnson, S. C. Brassell, and A. Schimmelmann (co-PIs), J. J. Head (Collaborative PI, U. Nebraska).

This project transforms the vertebrate fossil record into a statistical paleoenvironmental proxy to study climate driven Earth-life transitions during the Miocene. We develop a probabilistic proxy that links functional anatomical traits in mammals and reptiles to temperature, precipitation, and vegetation cover. Our trait-based approach is taxon-free, which allows us to extend our method through time to the mid-continental Miocene of North America. The Miocene is a crucial interval for inferring paleoclimate because it included episodes of global climate change and floral transitions at estimated maximum pCO2 levels similar to those forecast for the next century. Regional-scale Miocene climates are poorly-known compared to global patterns, and previous proxy-based studies at regional scales have produced conflicting paleoenvironmental estimates. Our approach uses a Bayesian framework that allows us to explicitly test our new vertebrate proxies against independent pedogenic and paleobotanical evidence, and applies statistical probabilities to different paleoclimate estimates. Furthermore, it allows us to build fauna-wide ensemble forecasts that combine the predictive strengths of ectotherms (reptiles), which are linked to climate directly through their physiology and indirectly through their ecological interactions, and endotherms (mammals), which are buffered from temperature, but which often have dietary specializations for specific vegetation types.

Our objectives are:

  • 1) assemble a database of functional traits from Miocene vertebrate fossils at the local assemblage and biocenosis scale in the central Great Plains based on the extensive fossil collections of the Nebraska State Museum and biomolecular proxy data from select fossil localities
  • 2) develop Bayesian probabilistic climate spaces from sampled traits in modern faunas;
  • 3) use the trait-climate spaces to estimate Miocene paleoenvironment and test for consilience between vertebrate estimates and independent proxies;
  • 4) use the trait-based proxy results to test competing hypotheses of mid-continental floral composition and to determine the extent of coupling between global climate change and local environments during episodes of warming and cooling.

Lisa Pratt

Recent Grants Received:
  • Shallow-Borehole Array for Measuring Greenland Emission of Trace Gases as an Analogue for Methane on Mars (GETGAMM).

Ed Ripley

Grants In Progress:
  • NSF: Geochemical and mineralogical constraints on the genesis of country rock-hosted massive sulfide mineralization associated with mafic rock-related Cu-Ni-PGE deposits. E.M. Ripley PI 2015-2018.
  • NSF: Assessing the role of crustal S contamination in the generation of PGE mineralization in the Stillwater Complex, Montana: A multiple S and Re-Os isotopic study. 2013-2016.
  • USGS: Cu and Re/Os isotopic Systematics of Ni-Cu-GPE Sulfide Mineralization in the Duluth Complex, the Tamarack deposit and the Eagle deposit, Mid-continent Rift System, Minnesota and Michigan. 2014-2016.
  • Stillwater Mining Company: Research on the genesis of PGE mineralization in the Stillwater Complex, Montana. 2013-2017.

Peter Sauer

Grants Submitted:
  • Hydrogen stable isotope ratios of amino acids: Method development and a test of basic principles; Sauer, P PI. NSF 2013-2013

Juergen Schieber

Grants In Progress:
  • Shale Gas: Geochemical and Physical Constraints on Genesis, Storage, and Producibility. Department of Energy 2014-2016.
  • MAHLI - Mars HandLens Imager for the Mars Science Laboratory; Co-I with Ken Edgett of Malin Space Science Systems; NASA; 2015-2016.
  • Cooperative Agreement between IU and StatOil for Shale Research support. StatOil 2014-2016.
  • Cooperative agreement between IU and ConocoPhillips for Shale research support Schieber, J. PI. ConocoPhillips 2013-2016
  • Cooperative agreement between IU and Shell International E&P for Shale Research support Schieber, J. PI Shell International Exploration Production, Inc. 2014-2017

Arndt Schimmelmann

Grants In Progress:
  • Shale gas: Geochemical and physical constraints on genesis, storage, and producibility. U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Grant No. DE-FG02-11ER16246, 2011–2016. PIs:Schimmelmann A, Mastalerz M, Schieber J.
  • ELT Collaborative Research: Bayesian Paleoclimate Proxies – Transforming the Vertebrate Fossil Record. National Science Foundation Research Grant EAR-1338298. P.D. Polly (PI), K. M. Johnson, S. C. Brassell, and A. Schimmelmann (co-PIs), J. J. Head (Collaborative PI, U. Nebraska) 2013-2017.

Laura Wayslenki

Grants In Progress:
  • Investigating the role of methanogens in the Great Oxidation Event using Ni isotopes. NASA 2015-2016.
  • Assessing the role of methanogens in driving Earth oxygenation using Ni isotopes. National Science Foundation. 2014-2016.
  • NSF Chemical Oceanography Systematics of zinc isotopes in the oceans: assessing the roles of speciation and surfaces. (Co-investigators Ariel D. Anbar, Arizona State University and Thomas Spiro, University of Washington).
  • NASA Exobiology Assessing nickel isotope fractionation during abiotic processes.
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation Acquisition of a multi-collector ICP-MS for Indiana University. (Co-investigators Lisa Pratt and Ed Ripley, Indiana University)

Brian Yanites

Grants In Progress:
  • Collaborative Research: Quantifying Paleotopography and Paleoclimate to Test Geodynamic Models in the Peruvian Andes. National Science Foundation 2016-2019 (co-PI).
  • Quantifying Rock Strength from River Channel Morphology DoD-ARO 2015-2018. (PI).
  • Linking erosional and climatic processes in regions of active mountain building. National Science Foundation 2013-2016 (PI). No-cost extension through 2017.
  • Idaho EPSCOR MILES: Quantifying the history of sediment supply to Fernan Lake. Science-I 2015-2016
  • Mass wasting in planetary environments: implications for seismicity NASA (co-PI)

Chen Zhu

Recent Grants:
  • A New Approach to Experimental Determination of Coupled Silicate Dissolution- Precipitation Reaction Rates at Ambient Conditions with SI Isotope Spikes; Zhu, C PI, NSF.