312 Beneski Building
PO Box: AC# 2238
David S. Jones
Assistant Professor of Geology
Departmental affiliation: GeologyAmherst College
Courses in Spring 2011
Courses in Fall 2012
Courses in Fall 2015
I am a geologist with broad interests in Earth history. I use stratigraphy and geochemistry to address questions about the co-evolution of life and Earth's surface environments in deep time. Most of the rocks I study are carbonates, and I focus on early Paleozoic and Neoproterozoic time. I'm especially interested in 1) the end-Ordovician mass extinction and Ordovician/Silurian icehouse, 2) carbon and sulfur cycling in deep time, and 3) the origin and geochemistry of dolomite.
My field work has recently focused on sedimentary rocks in the Great Basin (Nevada, Utah) and modern playa lake deposits in California (Deep Springs Lake). Past field work has included the Canadian Arctic, Mongolia, Italy, Atlantic Canada, and the Rocky Mountains.
I maintain a geochemistry laboratory with equipment for processing geological samples for a wide variety of geochemical analyses, including stable isotopes of carbon and sulfur and major and trace element geochemistry. In Summer 2014 my lab acquired a new mass spectrometer for analysis of carbon isotope ratios in carbon dioxide and methane.
I have been at Amherst College since 2011, where I have the privilege of working with extremely talented undergraduates in the classroom, in the field, and in the laboratory. I involve students in my scholarship in order to train the next generation of geoscience researchers, and to provide our students with opportunities for critical thought and construction of knowledge.