Sarah K. Fortner
Assistant Professor, Geology, Environmental Science
Phone: (937) 327-7328
Motivation: My mission is to promote the sustainability of earth resources for future generations. I actively engage in student-centered (non-lecture) classrooms and in transdisciplinary (biology-geology-chemistry) research on soil and water. Presently, I am creating Agricultural Sustainability curriculum through a national-level grant (NSF InTeGrate) that will be widely disseminated to other earth and environmental scientists. Additionally, I'm investigating agricultural soil-water sustainability with the Agroecosystem Critical Zone Research Cluster, OSU. My desire to sustain earth resources was inspired by investigating glacier snow and melt from polar, tropical, and temperate regions. The fragile nature of earth is evident in their magnificence, their remoteness, and their melt.
Teaching Interests: inquiry-based teaching, climate literacy, community engagement. My goal is to improve student and research understanding of critical biogeochemical interactions at the earth’s surface. Students in my classes are involved in K-12 outreach at COSI (science museum) and work on community environmental issues. This includes partnering with Lead Safe in Environmental Science Methods (ES 200). Please contact me if you have environmental problems that might be of interest to my students, I'm always looking to grow partnerships that connect students with job-like experiences.
Student Achievements 2012-2014:
- Lindsay Starr '14 is in Alaska (Su 013) conducted glaciology field research on the Juneau Icefield Research Program (see the JIRP blog) and has presented at the National GSA meeting.
- Wetland Biogeochemistry students (represented by Kim Couts and Beth Wilson) presented at the north central GSA meeting.
- Environmental Science 100 students (Global Climate Change) performed hands-on Climate Literacy activities at COSI in 2013
- Beth Wilson '14 has presented research on land use impacts on stream geochemistry at 2 National GSA meetings.
- Brandi Hamilton '14 presented her research on Taylor Valley Antarctic sediment leaching chemistry at the National GSA meeting
- Wetland Biogeochemistry (460) presented at the regional Geological Society of America Meeting May 2013. See their abstract.
- Wetland Biogeochemistry (460) & Geology of the Critical Zone (170) investigate local sustainability issues. (
- Postdoctoral Researcher, Carbon, Water, Climate Program, Adjunct, The Ohio State University (08/11)
- Ph.D., School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University (12/08)
- M.S., Geology, The Ohio State University (12/02)
- B.S., Geology and Geophysics, University of Wisconsin, Madison (12/99)
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., Munk, L.A. 2013, Diel stream geochemistry, Taylor Valley, Antarctica, Hydrological Processes 27(3):394-404.. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hyp.9255/abstract
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., Carey, A.E., Shipitalo, M.J., Welch, S.A., Welch, K.A., 2012 Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption within agricultural landscapes, the Ohio-Tennessee River Basin, USA. Biogeosciences. 9, 941–955. http://www.biogeosciences.net/9/941/2012/doi:10.5194/bg-9-941-2012
Fortner, S.K., Mark, B.G., McKenzie, J.M., Bury, J., Trierweiler, A., Baraer, M., Burns, P.J., and Munk, L. 2011. Elevated stream trace and minor element concentrations in the foreland of receding tropical glaciers. Applied Geochemistry 26(11): 1792-1801. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.06.003
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., and Olesik, J., Eolian deposition of trace elements onto Taylor Valley Antarctic glaciers. 2011. Applied Geochemistry 26(11): 1897-1904. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.06.013
Fortner, S.K., Lyons, W.B., Fountain, A.G., Welch, K.A., Kehrwald, N. M, 2009. Trace element and major ion concentrations and dynamics in glacier snow and melt: Eliot Glacier, Oregon Cascades. Hydrological Processes 23: 2987-2996.
Fortner, S.K., Fourth and fifth grade students learn about renewable and nonrenewable energy through inquiry, 2009. Journal of Geoscience Education 57(2): 121-127.
Fortner, S.K., Tranter, M., Fountain, A., Welch, K.A., and Lyons, W.B., 2005. The geochemistry of supraglacial streams of Canada Glacier, Taylor Valley (Antarctica) and their evolution into proglacial waters. Aquatic Geochemistry 11(4): 391-412.
McGill, S. F., Wells, S.G., Anderson, H. Kuzma, Fortner, S.K., and McGill, J.D., 2009. Slip rate of the Western Garlock fault, at Clark Wash, near Lone Tree Canyon, Mojave Desert, California. Geological Society of America Bulletin 3-4: 536-554.