Ruth K. Varner

Ruth Varner headshot photo

Director, Leitzel Center
Professor, Earth Sciences 
Director, Earth Systems Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space


Ruth Varner is a Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences. She received a B.S. in Geology from Hartwick College in 1991, an M.S. in Hydrology (1993, UNH) and a Ph.D. in Geochemical Systems (2000, UNH). In recognition of her excellence in research and mentoring, Ruth was awarded the Elizabeth Sulzman Award from the Biogeosciences section of the American Geophysical Union in 2015. At UNH, Ruth was also the recipient of UNH’s Faculty Excellence award for the 2016 Outstanding Associate Professor and has also received the Class of 1940 Professorship for 2016-2018.

As the Director of the Leitzel Center, Ruth leads and collaborates on proposals to both federal and private foundations, as well as develops and participates in professional development for K-12 teachers in the areas of STEM and NGSS. She currently directs the NSF funded GEOPATHS program CLOSES-GAP. She also served as the Director of the Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduates program, an NSF funded REU site. She integrates her mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students with her research in trace gas biogeochemistry. Her current focus is on carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions in terrestrial ecosystems, with a focus on the measurement of trace gas emissions from agricultural and wetland ecosystems with funded projects from NASA, DOE and NSF.