Meet the Staff

Richard Norris holding model of a whale fossil of Norrisanima miocaena
Richard Norris

Dr. Richard Norris

Head Curator

My research deals with the diversification of life, "rules" that govern macroevolution, and the evolutionary dynamics of open ocean plankton. I also have an extensive research program on climate and evolution during periods of past warm climates.                                                                             

I am particularly interested in: (1) the processes that initiate large-scale evolutionary trends, (2) the role of environmental change in structuring the biogeography and diversity of species, and (3) the mode of species formation and extinction in the open ocean as a contrast with much more intensively studied terrestrial systems. I also work on the climate and evolutionary dynamics of periods of "extreme climate", such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, The Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary, and the Cretaceous Climatic Optimum, as well as the impact of climate variability on modern ecosystems and human society. These studies are focused on reconstruction of surface temperatures, deep ocean circulation, and terrestrial climate/disturbance proxies.

I was an undergraduate in Earth Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, obtained a Master's of Science degree at University of Arizona, Tucson, and my Ph.D. at Harvard University in geology. In between these academic programs I worked on the Condor Recovery Project for the State of California and as director of the NRS Granite Mountain Reserve for the University of California. Following graduate training, I was a research scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts until I became a professor at UCSD in 2002. As a child, I lived in Hawaii and Chile. Today, I have field research interests in the geology, paleontology, and natural history of California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. I have also been a proponent and co-chief scientist for numerous oceanographic cruises of the Ocean Drilling Program and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

Selected Publications 
1. Norris, R. D., and de Vargas, C., 2000, Evolution all at sea: Nature 405, 4 May 2000, 23-24.
2. Norris, R.D., Evolving shapes: ecological evolution in planktic foraminifera: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Reports on Research 1, 17-19, 1992.
3. Norris, R.D., So you thought extinction was forever? Oceanus 35, (4) 96-99, 1993. 
4. Norris, R.D, Records of the Apocalypse: ODP drills the K/T Boundary. p. 9, ODP's Greatest Hits,  Kappel, E. and Farrell, J. (eds.), Joint Oceanographic Institutions. 1997.
5. Norris, R.D., 1997, High Resolution environmental and biotic changes at the K-T boundary.  McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology, 1997.
6. Norris, R.D., and the Leg 171B Science Party. Critical Boundaries in Earth's history-and the K-T boundary. JOIDES Journal 23 (1): 1-3. 1997.


Jeff Gee

Dr. Jeffrey Gee

Professor of Geophysics in the Geosciences Research Division

Jeff Gee serves as the deputy director for research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and is a professor of geophysics in Scripps’ Geosciences Research Division.

Gee’s research focuses on the use of magnetic data, both remotely sensed magnetic anomaly data and the magnetization of rock samples, to understand a variety of geological problems. He uses the magnetic record in geological samples to study topics ranging from the formation of new crust at oceanic spreading centers to the processes of melt redistribution and cooling in large magma chambers.

Gee is particularly interested in using marine magnetic anomaly data and complementary data from seafloor samples to document past fluctuations in geomagnetic intensity. Such records of variations of the geomagnetic field, both in direction and intensity, can potentially provide important constraints on the geodynamic and thermal history of the earth. Gee is also interested in characterizing geomagnetic field behavior in the more distant past through sampling older rocks from a variety of terrestrial settings.

Gee received his undergraduate degrees from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.and his Ph.D. from Scripps. He worked for three years as a postdoctoral fellow and researcher at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory before returning to Scripps. 

Gee has served as Director of the Geosciences Research Division and Head of Scripps Earth Section.

Selected Publications 
1. Schoolmeesters, N, Cheadle MJ, John BE, Reiners PW, Gee J, Grimes CB.  2012. The cooling history and the depth of detachment faulting at the Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 13
2. Bowles, JA, Gee JS, Burgess K, Cooper RF.  2011. Timing of magnetite formation in basaltic glass: Insightsf from synthetic analogs and relevance for geomagnetic paleointensity analyses. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 12
3. Mitra, R, Tauxe L, Gee JS.  2011. Detecting uniaxial single domain grains with a modified IRM technique. Geophysical Journal International.
4. Koppers, AAP, Gowen MD, Colwell LE, Gee JS, Lonsdale PF, Mahoney JJ, Duncan RA.  2011. New Ar-40/Ar-39 age progression for the Louisville hot spot trail and implications for the inter-hot spot motion. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 12
5. Gee, JS, Yu YJ, Bowles J.  2010. Paleointensity estimated from ignimbrites: An evaluation of the Bishop Tuff. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 11
6. Gee, JS, Tauxe L, Constable C. 2008. AMSSpin: A LabVIEW program for measuring the anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility with the Kappabridge KLY-4S. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 9                                                  


Alex Hangsterfer

Geological Collections Manager

Alex received her BA from Roger Williams University in Environmental Chemistry and Biology, with a minor in Philosophy. Alex interned and worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before coming to Scripps in 2005 to pursue a graduate degree. She received her Masters from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, with a focus on methane hydrate biogeochemistry. She was hired on in June 2009 to happily manage the Geological Collections. Besides overseeing the geological collections, filling sample requests, managing the collections databases and managing collections website, she is now also an x-ray technician, operating both the Avaatech XRF core scanner and support multi-disciplinary research projects with students, post-docs, and researchers from academic and governmental institutions across the world. Alex engages in numerous outreach activities each year that include lab tours, in-person & virtual classroom talks, work with Birch Aquarium, San Diego Youth Science and more. She is passionate about communicating science in an understandable way that will draw in the next generation of scientists and excite the general public about the research being done at Scripps. 

Selected Publications 
1.Reynolds, L. C., Simms, A. R., Rockwell, T. K., Yokoyama, Y., Miyairi, Y., & Hangsterfer, A. (2022). Sedimentary response of a structural estuary to Holocene coseismic subsidence. GSA Bulletin, 134(7–8), 2037–2050.

2.Addison, J. A., Finney, B. P., Jaeger, J. M., Stoner, J. S., Norris, R. D., and Hangsterfer, A., submitted, Integrating satellite observations and modern climate measurements with the recent sedimentary record: an example from Southeast Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans. doi:10.1029/2012JC008738.

3. Livsey, D., Simms, A. R., Hangsterfer, A., Nisbet, R. A., & DeWitt, R. (2016). Drought modulated by North Atlantic Sea surface temperatures for the last 3,000 years along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Quaternary Science Reviews, 135, 54–64.

4. Kingsley, C., Bhattacharya, A., Hangsterfer, A., Carilli, J., & Field, D. B. (2016). Using X-Ray Fluorescence Technique to Quantify Metal Concentration in Coral Cores from Belize. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 2016, PP43D-01.

5. Ramdeen, S., Hangsterfer, A., & Stanley, V. L. (2017). The importance of community building for establishing data management and curation practices for physical samples. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 2017, IN43A-0069.

6. Hangsterfer, A., Driscoll, N., & Kastner, M. (2008). Constraining Gas Hydrate Occurrence in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Slope: Fine Scale Analysis of Grain-Size in Hydrate-Bearing Sediments. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Gas Hydrates.