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Applied Geology and Geochemistry

Sara Kimmig

Sara Kimmig

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Sara Kimmig is a postdoctoral research associate in the Subsurface Science and Technology Group. She works in the multi-collector mass spectrometry laboratory housed in Building 331, as well as the Noble Gas laboratory housed in Building 3420. She has over 13 years of experience working in geochemistry laboratories specializing in non-CHONS stable and radiogenic isotope analyses. Since joining PNNL in 2018, her work has focused primarily on designing and developing analytical methods that will be ultimately used for characterization and remediation of environmental contaminants. Dr. Kimmig is also involved in contributing to the development of novel techniques for in-line monitoring and quality control of the vitrification process at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP). She has experience with a wide array of analytical instrumentation including MC-ICP-MS, Q-ICP-MS, ICP-OES, IC, TIMS, AAS, LIBS, and Noble Gas MS.

Dr. Kimmig earned her Ph.D. in geology, with a focus on isotope geochemistry, from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. During her graduate studies, she primarily focused on magnesium stable isotope fractionation in biogeochemical, paleoceanographic, and geological systems. While completing her dissertation, Dr. Kimmig worked at the University of Idaho (UI) and Washington State University (WSU) establishing a TIMS laboratory for the Kennedy LIFE Lab in the Fish and Wildlife Department at UI. Following her stint at UI and WSU, she moved on to the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute where she maintains a Research Associate position with the Division of Invertebrate Paleontology. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Dr. Kimmig’s main research focused on the biogeochemical cycling of calcium in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest as well as elemental mercury cycling and isotopic tracing.

Research Interests

  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Environmental remediation
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Carbonate geochemistry

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Geology, University of Saskatchewan, 2018
  • B.Sc., Environmental Geosciences (Honors), University of Michigan, 2008

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geochemical Society
  • European Association of Geochemistry
  • Geological Society of America
  • International Association of Sedimentologists
  • Association for Women Geoscientists

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2018 - PNNL QuickStarter, “Reposi-Trees: Tree bark as an archive of nuclear activity.”
  • 2018 - University of Saskatchewan Graduate Thesis Award / Governor General's Gold Medal
  • Award Nominee
  • 2015 - American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA)
  • 2014 - Geological Society of America (GSA) Graduate Student Research Grant

PNNL Publications


Selected Publications


  • Kimmig S. R., Holmden C. and Bélanger N. Biogeochemical cycling of Mg and its isotopes in a sugar maple forest in Québec. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 230, 60-82.


  • Kimmig S. R. and Holmden C. Multi-proxy geochemical evidence for primary aragonite precipitation in tropical-shelf ‘calcite sea' during the Hirnantian glaciation. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 206, 254-272.


  • Worsham S. R., Holmden C. and Qing H. Preliminary results of a magnesium isotope study of dolomite in Upper Ordovician strata, southeastern Saskatchewan, northern Williston Basin. In Summary of Investigations 2013, Sask. Geol. Survey, Sask. Ministry Econ., Misc. Rep. 2013-4.1, 1(A-9), 1–8.


  • Gunnell G. F., Worsham S. R., Seiffert E. R. and Simons E. L. Vampyravus orientalis Schlosser (Chiroptera) from the Early Oligocene (Rupelian), Fayum, Egypt – body mass, humeral morphology and affinities. Acta Chiropterologica 11(2), 271–278.

Subsurface Science & Technology