Environmental Geophysics

Environmental Geophysics is the interdiciplinary field that investigates processes in Earth's systems using geophysical measurments. My research focuses on studying cryosphere and groundwater processes using non-invasive geophysical methods. The big-picture types of science questions that members of my group ask are:

  • How does water move through and get stored in alpine catchments?
  • What is the role of water in permafrost thaw and how does permafrost thaw contribute to carbon cycling?
  • How do hydrologic systems in the Arctic and boreal regions of Earth respond to climate change?

Often there are parameters within environmental systems that are difficult or impossible to measure using conventional means. Geophysical measurements enable subsurface imaging of many physical parameters without the need for drilling. Hydrogeophysics spans the fields of hydrology and geophysics where the science is necessarily interdisciplinary. We use geophysical methods that are best suited to measure the parameter of interest and therefore work in my lab may utilize one or more research instrument such as surface nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), ground penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and electromagnetics (EM) among others.

A brief review of near-surface geophysics methods and applications to invesitgating environmental processes within the top 100 m of the Earth's surface can be found in Reviews of Geophysics.

The Paul Heller Hydrogeophysics Material Properties Laboratory can provide people with training and access to laboratory grade geophysics instruments, specifically: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Electrical Resistivity (DC RES), with accompanying standard operating procedures to start students on the path of collecting valuable data. Instrument usage in the lab or requests for technician time judged to be ‘modest’ would incur no cost to the user. Measurement services conducted by lab technical staff for samples submitted to the lab will also be offered at no cost for modest requests. We are able to offer these services thanks to partial NSF support (#1829100). For more information, please see the link to the lab website below and contact Dr. Parsekian by email.

Prospective graduate students interested in joining the Environmental Geophysics Lab at UW should review posted openings here and contact me by email prior to submitting an application to describe the research project you would like to conduct.

The Parsekian Lab is committed to the University and Geology & Geophysics mission to increase diversity in science. We welcome diversity because we know that it enriches scholarly productivity and creativity. The Department of Geology and Geophysics strongly supports the University’s commitment and is devoted to building a graduate student population with diverse backgrounds, abilities, ethnicities and other distinctive characteristics in respectful, sensitive, and accepting ways.


Paul Heller Hydrogeophysical Material Properties Lab: https://www.uwyo.edu/geolgeophys/research/hydrogeophysics_lab.html
Triple C - Arctic Thaw Lake Basins: http://arcticlakedrainage.org/
Arctic Lake Ice Systems Science(ALISS): http://arcticlakeice.org/
Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE): http://above.nasa.gov/
GitHub: https://github.com/aparseki
G&G Faculty Listing: https://www.uwyo.edu/geolgeophys/people/faculty/andrew-parsekian.html