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Corey Lawrence

Research Geologist

Contact Info

Short Biography

I am a Research Geologist at the Geologic and Environmental Change Science Center in Denver, CO. The overarching objectives of my research are to (1) describe and quantify natural biogeochemical processes at the Earth's surface and (2) determine how these processes will respond to climate and/or landuse change. Many biogeochemical processes are often dominated by exchanges between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Over long timescales, the flux of matter and energy shapes both the physical structure and chemical composition of the Critical Zone and over shorter timescales, these features determine how the system responds to disturbances. Developing a mechanistic understanding of the processes controlling these fluxes is essential for predicting and managing the function of environmental resources and the sustainability of agricultural systems.



Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 2009   
B.S., Environmental Science & Policy, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 2002
B.S., Biology, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 2002

Professional Experience

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, 2009-2011
Postdoctoral Research Affiliate, U.S. Geological Survey, Moab, UT, 2009
Research Assistant, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 2004-2009
Research Assistant, The Ecosystems Centers, Woods Hole, MA, 2002-2004
Undergraduate Researcher, Toolik Lake LTER, Toolik Lake, AK, 2001
Research Assistant, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 2000
Research Intern, Atmospheric Science Research Center, Wilmington, NY, 1999


Schulz M., Stonestrom D., Lawrence C.R., Bullen T., Fitzpatrick J., Kyker-Snowman E., Manning J. and Mnich M. (2016) Structured Heterogeneity in a Marine Terrace Chronosequence: Upland Mottling. Vadose Zone J 15, 0–14.

Lawrence C.R., Harden J. W., Xu X., Schulz M. S. and Trumbore S. E. (2015) Long-term controls on soil organic carbon with depth and time: A case study from the Cowlitz River Chronosequence, WA USA. Geoderma 247-248, 73–87. [Link]

Lawrence, C.R., Harden, J.W., Maher, K., (2014). Modeling the influence of organic acids on soil weathering. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 139, 487–507. [Link]

Lawrence, C.R., R. L. Reynolds, M. E. Ketterer and J. C. Neff (2013). Aeolian controls of soil geochemistry and weathering fluxes in high-elevation ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 107 (2013): 27-46.

Ballantyne, A.P., Brahney, J., Fernandez, D., Lawrence, C.R., Saros, J., and Neff, J.C. (2011). Biogeochemical response of alpine lakes to a recent increase in dust deposition in the Southwestern, US. Biogeosciences, 8, 2689-2706. doi:10.5194/bg-8-2689-2011 [Link]

Lawrence, C. R., Neff, J. C., & Farmer, G. L. (2011). The accretion of aeolian dust in soils of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116(F2). doi:10.1029/2010JF001899

Lawrence, C.R., Painter, T.H., Landry, C.C., and Neff, J.C. (2010), Contemporary geochemical composition and flux of aeolian dust to the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, United States, J. Geophys. Res., 115, G03007, doi:10.1029/2009JG001077.

Lawrence, C.R., Neff, J.C. and Schimel, J.S. (2009) Does adding microbial mechanisms of decomposition improve soil organic matter models? A comparison of four models using data from a pulsed rewetting experiment. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 41: 1923-1934.

Lawrence, C.R. and Neff, J.C. (2009) The contemporary physical and chemical flux of aeolian dust: A synthesis of direct measurements of dust deposition. Chemical Geology 267: 46-63.

Neff, J.C., Ballantyne, A.P., Farmer, G.L., Mahowald, N., Conroy, J.L., Landry, C.C., Overpeck, J.T., Painter, T.H., Lawrence, C.R. and Reynolds, R.L. (2008) Increasing eolian dust deposition in the Western United States linked to human activity. Nature Geoscience, 1(3): 189-195.

Painter, T.H., Barrett, A.P., Landry, C.C., Neff, J.C., Cassidy, M.P., Lawrence, C.R., McBride, K.E. and Farmer, G.L. (2007) Impact of disturbed desert soils on duration of mountain snow cover. Geophysical Research Letters, 34(12).


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Geologic Processeserosion
Geologic Processesgeochemistry
Geologic Processessoil chemistry
Geologic Processeswater chemistry
Ecology and Environmentecosystems
Environmental Issueshuman impacts
Environmental Issuesland use change
Hydrologic Processeshydrology
Natural Resourcessoil resources
Techniques and Methodsfield methods
Techniques and Methodsisotopic analysis
Techniques and Methodsmathematical modeling

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Climate Variability & Change

Biogeochemistry of the Critical Zone

Image of Current Focus for Biogeochemistry of the Critical Zone

My current research is focused on understanding the controls on the long-term storage and stability of organic C in soils and the role of water flux in soil biogeochemical processes. Specifically, I am interested in how long timescale processes such as soil development influence soil C cycling and the nature of linkages between terrestrial and aquatic C cycling.  To address these research topics, I use an array of traditional biogeochemical measurments, isotopic tracers and mathmatical models. 


Google Scholar Profile

Contact Information

Corey Lawrence
W 6th Ave Kipling St
Lakewood, CO 80225
303-236-5349 - Fax
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