Meet the Scientist: Suzanne Baldwin

October 24, 2019

Name: Suzanne L. Baldwin  
Institution: Syracuse University
Place Of Residence: Syracuse, New York


What kind of science do you do?
I am a geologist who uses thermochronology and petrology to investigate how planets have evolved. I am especially interested in understanding lithospheric plate boundary processes. I direct the Syracuse University Noble Gas Isotopic Research Laboratory (SUNGIRL) where noble gases are extracted from minerals to reveal their thermal histories.

What is the most interesting thing about your field of research?
The analytical techniques I use reveal the conditions (e.g., depth, temperature) in which minerals and rocks form, and their age (time). This approach can be applied to any planetary material. It is an exciting time for earth sciences as we now have the ability to unravel Earth's four dimensional evolution (3D in space plus time). With upcoming sample return missions more exciting discoveries await.

Why do you think your field of work is pertinent to the world of geochemistry?
My research investigates the chemistry of minerals and rocks, the essence of geochemistry.

What is one obstacle in your field of work that you wish you could overcome?
I wish that the accomplishments of my research group were not constrained by funding levels.

What is one crazy memory you have from working in your field of study?
Swimming to outcrops in Papua New Guinea to collect eclogites.

If you could discover one thing in the entire world, what would that be?
How to develop economically viable geothermal energy systems.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would that be and why?
Greta Thunberg- because she has successfully communicated to the world why we need urgent immediate action to address Earth's climate crisis.