Nicholas Balascio

Assistant Professor

Office: McGlothlin-Street Hall 304
Email: [[nbalascio]]
Office Phone: 757 221 2880

Education
  • Postdoc, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • M.S., Northern Arizona University
  • B.S., Union College
Research Interests

Paleoclimatology, Global Climate Change, Arctic Environmental Change, Paleolimnology, Glacial Geology

My research interests are in paleoclimatology, the study of geologic archives to understand past variations in Earth's climate.  I am interested in understanding the natural variability of the climate system during the Quaternary Period and on how the magnitude and timing of past climate changes compare to modern observations.  My work focuses on the collection and analysis of terrestrial sedimentary records, primarily lake sediments, and I use a variety of sedimentological, biogeochemical, and mico-analytical techniques to interpret these records.  These data are used to generate high-resolution climate and environmental reconstructions, which address questions related to past climate variability as well as sea-level change, glacial history, and human-environment interactions.  The majority of my research has been conducted in the Arctic and has involved fieldwork in remote regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Norway.

Projects
  • High-resolution lake sediment reconstructions of High Arctic climate variability
  • Stable isotope analysis of leaf wax biomarkers to reconstruct past hydroclimate changes
  • Isolation of volcanic ash from sediments to advance applications of tephrochronology
  • Paleoenvironmental perspectives on human-environmental interactions around the North Atlantic region
Publications

Balascio, N.L., D'Andrea, W.J., Gjerde, M., Bakke, J. (in press) Hydroclimate variability of High Arctic Svalbard during the Holocene inferred from hydrogen isotopes of leaf waxes. Quaternary Science Reviews.

van der Bilt, W.G.M., D'Andrea, W.J., Bakke, J., Balascio, N.L., Werner, J.P., Gjerde, M., Bradley, R.S. (in press) Alkenone-based reconstructions reveal four-phase Holocene temperature evolution for High Arctic Svalbard. Quaternary Science Reviews.

Nielsen, P.R., Balascio, N.L., Dahl, S.O., Jansen, H.L., Støren, E.W.N., Bradley, R.S. (2016) A high-resolution 1200-year lacustrine record of glacier and climate fluctuations in Lofoten, northern Norway. The Holocene 26: 917-934.

Balascio, N.L., D’Andrea, W.J., Bradley, R.S. (2015) Glacier response to North Atlantic climate variability during the Holocene. Climate of the Past 11: 1587-1598.

Balascio, N.L., Francus, P., Bradley, R.S., et al., 2015, Investigating the use of scanning XRF to locate cryptotephra in minerogenic lacustrine sediment: Experimental results. In I.W. Croudace, R.G. Rothwell (eds.), Micro-XRF Studies of Sediment Cores, Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research 17. Springer, Netherlands, p. 305-324.

D’Anjou, R., Balascio, N.L., Bradley, R.S., 2014, Locating cryptotephra in lake sediments using fluid imaging technology. Journal of Paleolimnology 52: 257-264.

Sundqvist, H.S., Kaufman, D.S., McKay, N.P., Balascio, N.L., et al., 2014, Arctic Holocene proxy climate database – New approaches to assessing geochronological accuracy and encoding climate variables. Climate of the Past 10: 1605-1631.

Balascio, N.L., D’Andrea, W.J., Bradley, R.S., Perren, B.B., 2013, Biogeochemical evidence for hydrologic changes during the Holocene in a lake sediment record from southeast Greenland. The Holocene 23: 1428-1439.

D’Anjou, R.M., Bradley, R.S., Balascio, N.L., Finkelstein, D.B., 2012, Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway: new insights from biogeochemistry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109: 20332-20337.

D’Andrea, W.J., Vaillencourt, D.A., Balascio, N.L. Werner, A., Roof, S.R., Retelle, M., Bradley, R.S., 2012, Mild Little Ice Age and unprecedented recent warmth in an 1800 year lake sediment record from Svalbard. Geology 40: 1007-1010.

Balascio, N.L., Bradley, R.S., 2012, Evaluating Holocene climate change in northern Norway using sediment records from two contrasting lake systems. Journal of Paleolimnology 48: 259-273.

Aarnes, I., Bjune, A., Birks, H.H., Balascio, N.L., Bakke, J., Blaauw, M., 2012, Vegetation responses to rapid climatic changes during the last deglaciation 13 500 – 8000 years ago on southwest Andøya, arctic Norway. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 21: 17-35.

Balascio, N.L., Zhang, Z., Bradley, R.S., Perren, B., Dahl, S.O., Bakke, J., 2011, A multi-proxy approach to assessing isolation basin stratigraphy from the Lofoten Islands, Norway. Quaternary Research 75: 288-300.

Balascio, N.L., Wickler, S., Narmo, L.E., Bradley, R.S., 2011, Distal cryptotephra found in a Viking boathouse: the potential for tephrochronology in reconstructing the Iron Age in Norway. Journal of Archaeological Science 38: 934-941.

Balascio, N.L., Kaufman, D.S., Manley, W.F., 2005, Equilibrium-line altitudes during the last glacial maximum across the Brooks Range, Alaska. Journal of Quaternary Science 20: 821-838.

Balascio, N.L., Kaufman, D.S., Briner, J.P., Manley, W.F., 2005, Late Pleistocene glacial geology of the Okpilak-Kongakut Rivers region, northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 37: 416-424.