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Andrew D. Jacobson : Faculty Experts

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Andrew D. Jacobson

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Director of Graduate Studies
Faculty Affiliate, Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy


Areas of Focus

  • Aqueous geochemistry
  • Carbon cycle
  • Climate change
  • Decarbonization
  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Paleoclimate


  • Biocalcification crises
  • Carbonate geochemistry
  • Chemical weathering
  • Deep-time ocean acidification events
  • Enhanced rock weathering
  • High-precision isotopic measurements
  • Ocean alkalinity enhancement
  • Paleoclimate reconstructions

Jacobson is an expert in low-temperature aqueous geochemistry and radiogenic isotope geochemistry. His laboratory specializes in the high-precision analysis of stable calcium and strontium isotope abundance variations by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Group members apply these measurements to diverse problems ranging from paleoclimate reconstructions to basalt weathering. Many projects have implications for emerging decarbonization technologies designed to mitigate the anthropogenic climate crisis, including ocean alkalinity enhancement, enhanced weathering, and carbon capture sequestration.

Jacobson has conducted field expeditions in locations throughout the world, including the Himalaya Mountains of northern Pakistan, the New Zealand Southern Alps, the North Slope of Alaska, the Canadian Archipelago, the Yucatan Peninsula, Greenland, and Iceland. Group members have sailed on cruises led by the International Ocean Discovery Program.


Jacobson earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and Earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1996; a master's degree in Earth sciences from Dartmouth College in 1999; and a Ph.D. in geological sciences from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2001. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology before joining the Northwestern faculty in 2004. Between 2011 and 2019, Jacobson directed the Environmental Sciences Program at Northwestern. In 2023, he became a Faculty Affiliate in the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy. Jacobson teaches an introductory course in physical geology and upper division courses in aqueous geochemistry and radiogenic isotope geochemistry. 

Jacobson received a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 2007 and the F. W. Clarke Medal from the Geochemical Society in 2008. He has been an associate editor for Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta for over a decade and currently is a co-chief editor for Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters.