Rick Keil
Rick Keil ~ Citizens' Scientist

Dr. Richard Keil is Professor of Chemical Oceanography in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. His research focuses on the preservation and degradation of organic compounds. Current funded research projects include:
  • Oxygen exposure time: using sedimentation rate and sediment oxygen content to determine how long buried organic matter was exposed to oxygen before its preservation
  • Protein geochemistry: evaluating the products of protein decomposition in water and sediment to better understand the processes that preserve records of life in sediments
  • Sediment trapping: investigating how oxygen saturation of water affects organic matter associated with sinking particles
  • Terrestrial tracers: linking organic matter found in marine systems to a land-based source
  • SoundCitizen: a student-run citizen science program infusing citizen action into the science of pollution in marine systems
"Giving information away is really critical for my school, our discipline and oceanography in general. If you keep it for yourself then the benefit is so limited."
His field work takes him to the nearby waters of Puget Sound as well as distant field sites off the coasts of New Zealand and South America. On campus Rick is extensively involved in his undergraduate and graduate students' research work and career development.

Rick is Principal Investigator (PI) for COSEE Ocean Learning Communities (OLC), co-PIs Kathy Sider of the Seattle Aquarium, Dr. Phil Bell of the College of Education at UW, Dr. Fritz Stahr of the Ocean Inquiry Project, and Dr. Carrie Tzou of the UW-Bothell Education Program. COSEE OLC's mission to link ocean scientists, formal and informal educators, learning scientists, citizens, organizations and marine volunteers has resulted in several vibrant and productive collaborations.

COSEE OLC header
COSEE OLC has given Rick the opportunity to combine his research interests with his goal of "giving information away" through collaborations involving citizens, middle and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, non-profits and governmental offices, thereby successfully bringing his research to a broader audience.

Photographs and images for Ricks's pages provided by COSEE OLC, Rick Keil, and the SEW-G production team. Clicking on some slideshow images will open closeups.