Ruth Heindel

Ruth Heindel

Postdoctoral Scholar


  • PhD: Dartmouth College, 2017
  • BS: Brown University, 2010

Contact Information


Polar regions, aeolian processes and geomorphology, phosphorus cycling

Research Interests

I study landscape change in cold regions using a wide range of scientific methods, including remote sensing, photogrammetry, lichenometry, and soil nutrient analysis. My interests include high-latitude and high-elevation aeolian processes and geomorphology, coupled biogeochemical cycles, biological soil crusts, and the impacts of climate change on polar and alpine regions.


Ruth is a postdoctoral research fellow working with the McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER and the Boulder Creak CZO. She recently finished her PhD at Dartmouth College, where she worked with Dr. Ross Virginia studying wind-driven soil erosion in Greenland and phosphorus cycling in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Before graduate school, Ruth worked as a middle and high school teacher, where she developed a passion for communicating science. In college, Ruth studied abroad at the University Centre in Svalbard, spent a summer as an REU student at Toolik Lake in Alaska, skied across the Juneau Icefield with the Juneau Icefield Research Program, and volunteered at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre.

For more information, check out:

Ruth's personal website

Ruth's Etsy site PolarPrints, where she sells prints and notecards of field sketches

Twitter: @RuthHeindel


  • Earl Lenker Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College Earth Sciences Faculty, 2017
  • Outstanding Department Teaching Assistant, Dartmouth College Earth Sciences Faculty, 2015
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher, Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, 2015
  • Geological Sciences Senior Award, Brown University Geological Sciences Department, 2010
Photo Gallery




Brahney, J., Wetherbee, G., Sexstone, G. A., Youngbull, C., Strong, P., Ruth Heindel 2020: A new sampler for the collection and retrieval of dry dust deposition. Aeolian Research, 45: 100600. DOI: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2020.100600

Ruth Heindel, Putman, A. L., Murphy, S. F., Repert, D. A., Eve-Lyn Hinckley 2020: Atmospheric dust deposition varies by season and elevation in the Colorado Front Range, USA. Journal of Geophysical Research—Earth Surface, 125(5): e2019JF005436. DOI: 10.1029/2019JF005436

Trout-Haney, J. V., Ruth Heindel, Virginia, R. A. 2020: Picocyanobacterial cells in near‐surface air above terrestrial and freshwater substrates in Greenland and Antarctica. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 12(3): 296-305. DOI: 10.1111/1758-2229.12832

Ruth Heindel, Lyons, W. B., Welch, S. A., Spickard, A. M., Virginia, R. A. 2018: Biogeochemical weathering of soil apatite grains in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Geoderma, 320: 136-145. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.01.027

Ruth Heindel, Governali, F. C., Spickard, A. M., Virginia, R. A. 2018: The role of biological soil crusts in nitrogen cycling and soil stabilization in Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland. Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-018-0267-8

Ruth Heindel, Spickard, A. M., Virginia, R. A. 2017: Landscape-scale soil phosphorus availability in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 29(3): 252-263. DOI: 10.1017/S0954102016000742

Ruth Heindel, Chipman, J. W., Virginia, R. A. 2015: The spatial distribution and ecological impacts of aeolian soil erosion in Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 105(5): 875-890. DOI: 10.1080/00045608.2015.1059176