Dr. Claire Griffin is a postdoc in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. Her research addresses the fate of terrestrial materials, such as organic matter and nutrients, in aquatic and estuarine environments. As an undergraduate at Clark University (2010), she had the opportunity to travel to northeast Siberia as part of the Polaris Project (2009). Her interest in Arctic river chemistry was solidified by this experience, and she began graduate studies at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute to continue pursuing this research. Her PhD (2016) focused on using satellite imagery from the past thirty years to estimate colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in major Arctic rivers across Alaska, Canada, and Russia. Since completing her degree, she has moved to Minnesota to pursue remote sensing of lake CDOM in northern temperate lakes. More broadly, she continues to pursue research on how different biomarkers – ranging from optical measurements of fluorescence to lignin concentrations to C and N isotopes – can be used to trace the sources and transformation of terrestrially-derived material in lakes, rivers, and the coastal ocean. Particularly in the Arctic, where surface waters abound and the carbon cycle teeters on the precipice of climate-driven change, improving our understanding of systems on a watershed scale could prove essential.
Claire joined ESWN midway through graduate school, and deeply appreciates the support system provided by the network. The discussions and advice shared through ESWN have become valuable resources as she navigates the early stages of a career in academia and science more generally. In part owing to ESWN, Claire is working to become an advocate for women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
Claire is also an avid reader, and has instigated the ESWN book club, which you should participate in! Her recent favorite science books include Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (an ESWN member!) and The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf.