Radiocarbon Collaborative Partners

The Radiocarbon Collaborative assists researchers will all levels project execution as needed, from experimental design to manuscript preparation. It serves all projects large and small, from a single archeological artifact to global-scale assessments of carbon stocks. 

We are currently partnering with researchers from the Forest Service, Colorado State University, Michigan Technological University and Berry College to assist with evaluation of peat carbon stocks, peat ecosystems transition drivers, and fire frequency intervals.

Radiocarbon Collaborative


Radiocarbon abundance measurements have been used to gain unique insight into a wide variety of scientific questions across a diversity of scientific disciplines. Even though scientists have been conducting radiocarbon analyses for nearly 70 years, new users often struggle with the nuances of interpreting complex data. Students and researchers can also struggle to obtain radiocarbon data, due to the expense associated with sample pretreatment and measurement.

Paula Zermeño

Paula is the manager of the Carbon, Water, and Soils Lab (CWS) and has over 20 years of expertise in preparation of environmental samples for radiocarbon dating. Paula serves as a vital part of the Radiocarbon Collaborative, providing expert laboratory analyses as well as serving in the role of mentor to students and technicians. Outside of work Paula enjoys dreaming about next winter’s snow management.

Chris Swanston

Chris has served as the director of NIACS for the past ten years and played an active role in most of the Institute’s projects, including directing the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub. He also studies forest soil carbon dynamics as a research ecologist for the Northern Research Station. He holds a PhD in forest science from Oregon State University. Chris enjoys a range of activities, including collecting mugs, trail running, snowshoe running, bicycling, and fishing. Chris does not like cooked vegetables or mushrooms, because they’re gross.

Kate Heckman

Kate Heckman studies soil biogeochemistry and terrestrial C cycling at a variety of scales, with a special emphasis on organo-mineral interactions. Kate also serves as lead of the Radiocarbon Collaborative, an outreach effort that supports radiocarbon use in earth system sciences and the Forest Service Heritage program. Outside of work, Kate enjoys cooking, home remodeling, traveling, and learning about her new home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.