Faculty Profile

Jeff Niemitz

Professor of Earth Sciences (1977)

Contact Information


Kaufman Building Room 142


His specialties are low-temperature geochemistry, hydrogeology, and paleoclimatology. His current research involves quality and quantity of groundwater resources on carbonate islands in the Bahamas, the effect of release of sediment and their included pollutants from 18th and 19th century mill dams in PA, and geochemical indicators of paleoclimate in ancient lake sediments in the eastern United States.


  • B.A., Williams College, 1972
  • Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1977

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

ERSC 204 Global Climate Change
Permission of Instructor Required.Part of the Global Climate Change Mosaic.

ERSC 331 Chemistry of Earth Systems
An introduction to the origin, distribution, and behavior of elements in the geochemical cycles and processes of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Topics include the chemistry of magma, hydrothermal fluids, weathering, fresh and ocean waters, sediment digenesis, hydrocarbons, and metamorphism. Includes radiometric dating and stable isotope applications. Lab will focus on sampling, instrumental analysis, and data interpretation of earth materials. Prerequisites: 141 and 142 and CHEM 131 or 141, or permission of instructor.

SUST 500 Sustainability Ind Study
Permission of Instructor Required.Part of the Global Climate Change Mosaic.In this Independent Research course, students enrolled in the Global Climate Change Mosaic will form an interdisciplinary research team that will conduct qualitative field research at the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima, Peru. The Independent Research will have three components: (i) preparation for field research during the fall 2014 semester; (ii) two weeks of field research at COP 20 in Lima in December 2014; and (iii) reflection on the field experience and writing of research papers during the first two months of the spring 2015 semester. Each student will select, with guidance from the instructors, a key issue in the UN climate change negotiations as a focus for her/his independent research project. Prior to the trip to COP 20, students will do library and online research about their selected issues, form research questions, create a plan for the field research, develop a protocol and interview instrument for conducting interviews at COP 20, and identify and contact potential interview subjects. Students will participate in workshops to build interview and video technology skills. Each student will be the team’s expert on her/his selected issue, and will brief the rest of the team about the issue prior to traveling to Lima. While at the conference in Lima, students will conduct and videotape interviews with conference delegates. In the spring, students will use their interviews, and library and online research from the fall, to write research papers. The Independent Research is structured as 1/2 credit in the fall semester and 1/2 credit in the spring semester.

ERSC 550 Independent Research