My research interests are focused on the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and chronology of geologic systems that record the climate evolution and sea level history of the Arctic since the mid-Pliocene. Most of my research program is aimed at documenting the global context of paleoenvironmental change across “Beringia”, i.e., the Bering Land Bridge, stretching across the western Arctic from Alaska and the Yukon into NE Russia including the adjacent marginal seas. Starting 3 decades ago with fieldwork on the sea level history and glacial stratigraphy of vast Arctic coastal plains and coastal environments in comparison with regional alpine glaciation, I am now focused on the integration of records from marine and lacustrine systems.
Since 1991, my group has participated in nine field expeditions to remote regions of Arctic Russia and I was co-chief scientist in 2002 of an expedition on the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy, taking sediment cores from the Bering and Chukchi Seas. I am the US Chief Scientist of the El’gygytgyn Lake Scientific Drilling project, a $10M multinational field program leading to the first unprecedented recovery in 2009 of a 3.6 Myr record of paleoclimate from the terrestrial Arctic. This work involves collaborators in Germany, Russian and Austria but includes Rob DeConto, Steve Burns, Laurie Brown and Isla Castenada, here at home. At all levels we aim to blend proxy records with modeling efforts where possible. In collaboration with Steve Petsch, Brigham-Grette is also PI on a grant to develop sea ice proxies and records of paleoceanography across the Arctic-Pacific gateway.
Since 2005, I have collaborated with colleagues at Bates, Mt Holyoke, and Hampshire colleges along side Northern Illinois University with the effective implementation of an REU program on Svalbard tidewater glaciers and lake systems. At home, I maintain an interest in the late Pleistocene paleoclimatic history and drainage record of Glacial Lake Hitchcock and the Holocene evolution of the Connecticut River. Exploring ahead, I have future interests in IODP/ICDP drilling in the Bering Strait and at the margins of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
Recent Publications (Chronological by Topic)
Swann, G.E.A., Leng, M.L., Juschus, O., Melles, M., Brigham-Grette, J., Sloane, H.J., 2010. A combined oxygen and silicon diatom isotope record of rapid paleoenvironmental change in Lake El’gygytgyn, North East Siberia. Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (5-6), 774-786.
Brigham-Grette, J. Melles, M., Minyuk, P., Koeberl, C., 2010. The Thrill to Drill in the Chill. EARTH vol. 55 (7), 48-55 (also on the web, July 2010, at http://www.earthmagazine.org/earth/article/36b-7da-7-14)
Brigham-Grette, J. Melles, M., Minyuk, P., Koeberl, C., and Scientific party, 2009, Lake El’gygytgyn’s emerging IPY record of Pliocene to recent Arctic Change, PAGES News, v. 17(1), 19-21.
Brigham-Grette J., Martin Melles, Pavel Minyuk (Guest Editors), 2007, Arctic Record of the Last 250 ka from El'gygytgyn Crater J. of Paleolimnology 37(1) 1-162.
Bering Strait Region
Hill, J. C., Driscoll, N., Brigham-Grette, J, Donnelly J.P., Gayes, PT, Keigwin, L., 2007, New evidence for high discharge to the Chukchi shelf since the Last Glacial Maximum, Quaternary Research 68, 271-278.
Keigwin, L. D., Donnelly J.P., Cook M.E., Driscoll N.W., Brigham-Grette, J., 2006, Rapid sea-level rise and Holocene climate in the Chukchi Sea, Geology 34; no. 10; p. 861–864
Alley R.B., Andrews, J.T., Brigham-Grette, J., Clarke, G.K.C., Cuffey, K.M., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Funder, S., Marshall, S.J., Miller, G.H., Mitrovica, J.X., Muhs, D.R., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Polyak, L, White, J.W.C., 2010, History of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Paleoclimatic insights. Quaternary Science Reviews. 9, Issues 15-16, July 2010, Pages 1728-1756
Miller, G.H., Alley, R.B., Brigham-Grette, J., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Polyak, L., Serreze, M. and White, J.W.C., 2010, Arctic Amplification: can the past constrain the Future. Quaternary Science Reviews. 29, Issues 15-16, July 2010, Pages 1779-1790
Miller, G.H, Brigham-Grette, J., Anderson, L., Bauch, H., Douglas, M.A., Edwards, M.E., Elias, S., Finney, B., Funder, S., Herbert, T., Hinzman, L., Kaufman, D.K., MacDonald, G., Robock, A., Serreze, M., Smol, J., Spielhagen, R., Wolfe, A.P., Wolff, E., 2010: Temperature and Precipitation History of the Arctic. Quaternary Science Reviews 29, Issues 15-16, July 2010, Pages 1679-1715
Polyak, L., Alley, R.B, Andrews, J. T., Brigham-Grette, J., Cronin, T. D., Darby, D., Dyke, A., Fitzpatrick, J J., Funder, S., Holland, M., Jennings, A., Miller, G.H., O’Regan, M., Savelle, J., Serreze, St John, K., White, J. W.D., Wolff, E., 2010: History of Sea Ice in the Arctic. Quaternary Science Reviews, 29, Issues 15-16, July 2010, Pages 1757-1778
White, J.W.C., Alley, R.B., Brigham-Grette, J., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Jennings, A.E., Johnson, S.J., Miller, G.H., Neren, R.S., Polyak, L., 2010, Past Rates of Climate Change in the Arctic, Quaternary Science Reviews 29, Issues 15-16, July 2010, Pages 1716-1727
Brigham-Grette, J. Powell, R.D., Newman, L., and Kiefer, T. (editors), 2009, Change at the Poles: A Paleoscience perspective, PAGES News, v. 17(1), January 2009, 48 pgs. (includes editorial section)
Trusel, L., D., Cumpston, R. M., Powell, R. D., & Brigham-Grette, J., 2010, Modern Glacimarine Processes and Potential Future Behaviour of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen Polythermal Tidewater Glaciers, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. The Geological Society of London Special Publication: Fjord Depositional Systems and Archives. v. 344, 89-102. (lead authors are students from our 2005 REU program).