Ph.D. Student, National Science Foundation S-STEM Scholar
Ph.D. Oceanography, Texas A&M University, In Progress
B.A. Cum Laude Geology, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2011
My primary research focuses on Quaternary climate change. In particular, I am interested in the role ocean circulation plays in forcing abrupt climate change events of the last glacial-interglacial cycle. The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is responsible for a large northward interhemispheric heat exchange. Variability of this circulation is believed to have been responsible for large scale cooling events in the North Atlantic region that carry global climate implications. Using foraminiferal Mg/Ca and d18O, I am currently reconstructing subsurface temperature changes in the Southern Caribbean Sea and Cariaco Basin, which is believed to be a sensitive indicator of AMOC variability. I am currently working with Dr. Matthew Schmidt and Dr. Ping Chang on this project and it is funded by NSF.
I am also interested in understanding how changes in AMOC might have influenced West African Monsoon variability. It has been shown that collaspe of this monsoon system is often associated with stadial conditions in the North Atlantic. I hope to demonstrate that SST changes in the tropical Atlantic associated with a diminished AMOC during stadial conditions may have have weakened the strength of the southeast trade winds that drive the West African Monsoon system. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Schmidt and Dr. Naill Slowey.
Graduate Research Assistant, (2011-present)
Undergraduate Honors Thesis. Defended April, 2011
NSF-Svalbard REU 2010 Research fellow. Arctic field research, Svalbard, Norway
Research assistant to Dr. Thomas Marchitto. Univ. Colorado, (2009-2011)
Research assistant to Dr. Kevin Mahan. Univ. Colorado. (2008-2011)
Planned: R/V Meteor, Cruise M94, Colon Panama to Kingston Jamacia, March 13-26, 2013
Schmidt, M.W., Hertzberg, J.E., Them, T., Parker, A.O., Chang, P., Deglacial subsurface temperature change in the tropical North Atlantic linked to Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability, Abstract, AGU Fall Meeting, 2011, San Francisco California.
Parker, A.O., T.M. Marchitto, Reconstructing thermocline hydrography using planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca: Implications for paleo-ENSO during the Holocene. Abstract 948069, PP41B-1638, AGU Fall Meeting 2010, San Francisco California.
Parker, A.O., D.E. Ward, K.H. Mahan, Investigating an inverted metamorphic gradient in the Cheyenne Belt, southeastern Wyoming, with kinematic vorticity, thermobarometry and geochronology, Abstract 177338, Session 118 T124, GSA Annual Meeting 2010, Denver Colorado.
Awards and Recognition
NSF Scholarship for the Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology, Urbino Italy, 2012
2010 Univ. of Colorado “Marks” Award - Outstanding Geological Science Major
University of Colorado Dean's List
Eswing Award for Mineralogy, (2008)
Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Oceanography Lab. Fall 2011-Fall 2012
Learning Assistant: Intro to Physical Geology Lab. Spring 2010
Learning Assistant: Environmental Geology. Fall 2009
Geosciences Tutor: Department of Geology. 2009-2011
American Association for the Advancement of Science, (2011-present)
American Geophysical Union, (2008-present)
Geological Society of America (2008-present)
NOAA-trained All Season Weather Spotter (2009-present)