Melinda C. Higley
PhD, Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2018
MS, Geology, University of Toledo, Ohio, 2009
BS, Environmental Geology, Calvin College, 2007
Hometown: Saginaw, Michigan
Dr. Higley worked as a wetland geologist for the Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, from 2009 to 2014. She completed her PhD at the University of Illinois in 2018, then served briefly in the geologic mapping group at the Ohio Geological Survey. She joined the GEO department at Calvin in 2019.
Dr. Higley studies the history of the global water cycle and climate changes. She works on reconstructing ancient environments with an emphasis on the hydrologic and atmospheric conditions of the Holocene and late Pleistocene.
Research and scholarship
2019 to present:
Geologic mapping of Lake Michigan coastal sediments (undergraduate projects)
Geologic mapping of the Calvin University campus (undergraduate projects))
Graduate research topics:
Hydroclimate in the central tropical Pacific during the last two millennia
Recent hydroclimate climate variability on Kiritimati Island (central tropical Pacific)
Chronology and characteristics of aeolian sediments on Kiritimati Island (central tropical Pacific)
Landscape and environmental change during the Pleistocene/Holocene transition in northwest Ohio
Chronology and stratigraphy of a Pleistocene glacial lake in northwest Ohio
Schmitt, S., Conroy, J. L., Flynn, T. M., Sanford, R. A., Higley, M. C., Mingfei, C., Fouke, B. W. 2019. Salinity, microbe, and carbonate mineral relationships in brackish and hypersaline lake sediments: a case study from the tropical Pacific coral atoll of Kiritimati. The Depositional Rec, 5(2), p. 212– 229. doi:10.1002/dep2.71
Higley, M. C., Conroy, J. L. 2019. The hydrological response of surface water on Kiritimati Island, Kiribati to recent climate variability. Hydrological Processes, 33(16), p. 2227– 2239. doi:10.1002/hyp.13465
Higley, M. C., Conroy, J. L., Schmitt, S. 2018. Last millennium meridional shifts in hydroclimate in the central tropical Pacific. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 33(4), p. 354–366. doi:10.1002/2017PA003233
Fisher, T. G., Krantz, D. E., Castenda, M. R., Loope, W. L., Jol, H. M., Goble, R., Higley, M. C., DeWald, S., and Hanson, P. R. 2014. Coastal Geology and Recent origins for Sand Point, Lake Superior, in Fisher, T. G., and Hansen, E. C., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes, Special Paper 508: Boulder, Geological Society of America, p. 85–110.
Higley, M. C., Fisher, T. G., Jol, H. M., Lepper, K., and Martin-Hayden, J. M. 2014. Stratigraphic and chronologic analysis of the Warren Beach, northwest Ohio, USA, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 51(8), p. 737–749. doi:10.1139/cjes-2014-0047
Campbell, M.C., Fisher, T.G., Goble, R.J. 2011. Terrestrial sensitivity to abrupt cooling recorded by aeolian activity in northwest Ohio, USA, Quaternary Research, 75(3), p. 411-416. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2011.01.009
Recent conference abstracts:
Higley, M.C., Conroy, J.L. 2018. Sediment characteristics and chronology of aeolian sediments on a tropical Pacific coral atoll. Geological Society of America Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Higley, M.C., Conroy, J.L. 2017. Hydrological response of lakes on Kiritimati Island, Kiribati to recent climate variability. Geological Society of America North-Central Meeting, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Higley, M.C., Conroy, J.L., Schmitt, S. 2017. Last millennium meridional shifts in hydroclimate in the central tropical Pacific. PAGES Open Science Meeting, Zaragoza, Spain. [Invited]
Higley, M.C., Conroy, J.L., Schmitt, S. 2017. Medieval aridity in the central tropical Pacific. PAGES Young Scientists Meeting, Morillo de Tou, Spain. [Invited]
Higley, M.C., Conroy, J.L., Schmitt, S. 2016. Medieval aridity in the central tropical Pacific. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.
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