Participating Students - Brian Seok

Brian Seok
University of Colorado
Enrollment Year in BART: 2007

Atmospheric Mentor: Detlev Helmig
Biospheric Mentor: Mark Williams

 I am a graduate student at the University of Colorado in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences with interests in biosphere-atmosphere interactions and snow-atmosphere gas exchange in alpine ecosystems. I conduct trace gas flux experiments through the snowpack at the Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research site. My 3 big goals in life are: 1) to winter over South Pole, 2) to winter over North Pole, and 3) to be in National Geographic magazine.

Research Topic:

Oxidized carbon and nitrogen exchanges through the seasonal snowpack at the University of Michigan Biological Station and their contribution to the annual ecosystem gas exchange budget


Snow cover significantly affects microbial activity in the soil underneath by influencing both respiration and soil nitrification and denitrification processes. My research will investigate how seasonal snowpack influences the forest ecosystem carbon and nitrogen budgets at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS). Furthermore, this study will address how future changes in snowpack depth and duration, and in winter and springtime soil temperature and moisture, may alter soil biogeochemical processes and feedbacks on atmospheric composition and chemistry at the UMBS forest ecosystem. While a number of related studies have been done in alpine environments; this study will be the first to investigate gas fluxes through the snowpack at a low-elevation, deciduous forest environment. Also, this snowpack research will be a new addition to the type of scientific experiments done at UMBS. By interpretation of findings from UMBS and comparison with previous research from high-elevation environments, this study will provide improvements in our ability to assess effects and feedbacks of snow cover changes on regional and continental budgets of oxidized carbon and nitrogen