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Thomas A. Douglas
Research Chemist

Link to Selected Publications

Phone: 907-361-9555

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Spring melt in the Imnavait watershed

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Safety check above the Jarvis Creek watershed, Alaska Range

          Dr. Douglas is a Senior Scientist  with the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in the Fairbanks, Alaska Office. He works in the Biogeochemical Sciences Branch within the fields of geochemistry, hydrogeology, and environmental characterization. The overarching goal of his research is to use chemical tracers and a variety of field surveying measurements to investigate environmental processes at a range of environmental temperatures and spatial scales. Current projects include:

  • Using biogeochemical tracers, remote sensing, ground surface measurements, and geophysics to quantify permafrost geomorphologic and hydrogeologic characteristics to track and predict and the response of permafrost to climate warming and disturbance.

  • Linking snow and sea ice chemistry with atmospheric contaminants.

  • Quantifying the retention of explosives and trace metals in soils.

  • Using stable isotopes of snow, wet precipitation, surface water, and ground water to investigate hydrogeochemical processes in watersheds.     

Much of this work supports the CRREL technical areas Biogeochemical Processes in Earth Materials and Environmental Fate and Transport Geochemistry which are part of ERDC's Environmental Quality and Installations business area. 

Areas of Specialization

  • Climate science: The biogeochemical and hydrologic responses of permafrost to climate warming and disturbance.

  • Hydrogeology: spatiotemporal changes in watershed geochemistry; biogeochemical signatures in snow melt; permafrost biogeochemical signatures in watersheds.

  • Snow and sea ice chemistry: trace contaminants in the Arctic; the deposition and fate of mercury in the cryosphere; the chemical composition of snow and sea ice; major element loading to snow packs; stable isotope chemistry of snow.

  • Geochemistry: interactions between explosives and soil and mineral particles; bedrock sources of major ions in surface and ground waters; mineral weathering and soil formation; relating bedrock geology and land use to water quality using GIS methods; stable isotopes in precipitation and surface waters.

Packing everything tight to prepare for an oncoming storm during snow surveys near Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska

Current Projects

  • Measuring permafrost characteristics and dynamics at sites across Alaska

  • Using geochemical tracers to track the state of permafrost in watersheds

  • Climatic, hydrogeologic, and thermal modeling of the response of Interior Alaska permafrost to climate warming

  • The stable isotopic composition of snow in the Alaskan Arctic

  • Sources and fate of mercury in the atmosphere, snow, and sea ice of the Arctic

  • Soil and water-quality monitoring on U.S. Army lands in Alaska

  • Understanding the depositional environment of features exposed in the CRREL Permafrost Tunnel   in Fox, Alaska


Other Professional Information

Link to Selected Publications

Google Scholar Page

Contact Information

Phone: 907-361-9555 (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Fax: 907-361-5142

CRREL Alaska Projects Office
PO Box 35170
Fort Wainwright, Alaska, USA 99703-0170

Updated: 20 February 2019

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