AIRIE Mission Statement

To set an example for ethical practices,
To pursue excellence in science and technology,
To seek global applications for fundamental discoveries,
To advance the geosciences for the benefit of Earth and her inhabitants.

We will accomplish these goals by diligence and creativity, by engaging
other disciplines, embracing new ideas, and respecting diverse perspectives.
Re-Os Geochronology and Os Isotope Tracer Studies
Applied to Sulfides, Black Shales, and Hydrocarbons

Landmark Events--

Development of Re-Os isotope geochemistry was carried out among a small group of innovative and visionary USGS scientists. Unfortunately, in 1996, this group was let go during a massive reduction in force, citing "the limited utility of Re-Os". The AIRIE Program was born.

This small group re-established itself in an unused laboratory space in geosciences at Colorado State University, with agreement that there would be neither salary nor financial assistance from the university. We are grateful that the USGS agreed to make an indefinite loan of aging equipment to AIRIE-CSU – the same equipment on which we carried out our developmental work at the USGS. One proposal reviewer from the U.S. National Science foundation (NSF) compared us to the early Microsoft guys, who “worked out of a garage”.

The AIRIE Program doggedly pursued developmental work on applications of Re-Os isotope geochemistry to crustal processes– and the field is now a globally sought out branch of geoscience.

Re-Os isotope geochemistry has enlightened and informed our understanding of –
  • metallic ore-forming processes
  • metamorphism
  • plate tectonics and reconstructions
  • deep earth geochemistry
  • time lines for Earth history
  • biostratigraphy
  • petroleum and hydrocarbon sources and reservoirs
  • chemical processes in the oceans
  • mass extinctions and recovery of biota
  • diagenesis and lithification of sedimentary rocks
  • correlation of fauna across paleo-oceans
A NSF-funded multi-collector Triton mass spectrometer installed in 2005 enabled us to work samples with low very Re and Os concentrations. In 2014, industry-supported research provided us with funds for a second Triton, specifically designed to meet the increasing demand for Re-Os analyses of organic material from shales and oils