Wesleyan portrait of Suzanne  OConnell

Suzanne OConnell

Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science

1 Vine Street,

Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Exley Science Center, 431

Chair, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Professor, Integrative Sciences


BA Oberlin College
MS SUNY at Albany
PHD Columbia University

Suzanne OConnell

Climate change impacts everyone. I study Antarctic paleoclimate using marine sediment cores from IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program). This is to understand how Antarctica has changed in the past, information that will help researchers to understand and model future climate change.

Professor OConnell teaches geosciences with a strong emphasis on hands-on-research with undergraduates.  Her goal is to use research to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in the geosciences.  Her current research focuses on Antarctic climate change using sediment cores from the Weddell Sea, Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 113. She has authored or co-authored over 60 refereed publications and edited the JOIDES Journal as well as ODP Initial Reports and Scientific Results.  She spent one year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a National Science Foundation (NSF) Visiting Professorship for Women and has received over half a million dollars on grants from the National Science Foundation. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Women Geoscientists, the Union of Concerned Scientists and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.  She is also on the governing countil of the Geological Society of America and a recipient of the Association for Women Geoscientists Outstanding Educator Award, Wesleyan's Edgar Beckham Helping Hand Award and the McConaughy Writing Award.

In 2015, OConnell co-edited and co-authored the book "Women in the Geoscience: Practical, Positive, Practices Toward Parity" which echoed themes found in several of her journal articles including: Leaks in the pipeline: "Why Do Women Remain Curiously Absent from the Ranks of Academic?"

Dr. OConnell worked her way through Oberlin College obtaining undergraduate degrees in biology and geology. She earned a master's degree from the State University of New York at Albany in geology, mapping in Newfoundland. In 1986 she completed her PhD on submarine depositional systems from Columbia University.


Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tuesday 1:00-2:00 and Friday 11:00-11:55  in my office 431 Exley. Other times by appointment. Email is the best way to contact me.


Fall 2023
E&ES 497 - 01
Senior Seminar

E&ES 557 - 01
Research Discussion

Spring 2024
E&ES 195 - 01
Sophomore Field Course

E&ES 260 - 01
Oceans and Climate

E&ES 498 - 01
Senior Field Research Project