Geochronology Training

An important mission of our lab is to provide training in geochronology data acquisition and interpretation to those outside our immediate research group at CU. We accomplish this through several major avenues.

First, we routinely welcome visitors to the CU TRaIL, including undergraduates, graduate students, and senior scientists. Our visitors gain experience mineral preparation and are exposed to the steps associated with (U-Th)/He analysis.

Second, we played a key role in establishing the AGeS (Awards for Geochronology Student research) Program. Flowers is the co-founder, co-director, and lead-PI of this initiative. AGeS is aimed at broadening access to geochronology data and expertise by offering graduate students up to $10k to visit geochronology labs for a week or more to acquire data and be mentored by geochronologists on a project of joint interest. Currently, the AGeS lab network includes 73 senior scientists associated with 43 labs distributed across the U.S. AGeS1 was initially implemented within the framework of the NSF EarthScope program. AGeS2 is now funded by cross-programmatic NSF support. Jim Metcalf was a co-PI on AGeS1 and will lead the AGeS2 awardee cohort activities.

Third, our group has co-organized several short courses on geochronology and thermochronology to promote broader understanding of these techniques. These include:

  •  “EarthScope Institute: Geochronology and the Earth Sciences.” 2-day GSA short course in Vancouver, Canada, October 2014. Co-organized with Ramon Arrowsmith (ASU), Jim Metcalf (CU-Boulder), Tammy Rittenour (USU), and Blair Schoene (Princeton).
  •  “An Introduction to Low-Temperature Thermochronology.” 1.25-day short course at the African Earth Observatory Network, Port Elizabeth, South Africa August 2013. Attended by 19 diverse African graduate students and postdocs. Co-organized by Flowers and PhD student Jess Stanley
  •  “An Introduction to the Theory and Methods of (U-Th)/He Thermochronology.” 1-day GSA short course at the CU TRaIL October 2013. Co-organized by Flowers and Metcalf.

Jim Metcalf explaining thermal history modeling of (U-Th)/He data at our 2013 (U-Th)/He thermochronology short course at the CU TRaIL.