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Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Earth, Air, & Water

Frank Rack


Associate Professor


Ph.D., 1992, Texas A&M University


Marine geology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Paleoclimatology, Land-atmosphere interactions


Contact Information


126 Bessey Hall
402-472-4785
frack2@unl.edu

I'm the ANDRILL Executive Director, with primary responsibility for the overall management of the ANDRILL Science Management Office at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), including strategic planning, project development, research, education and outreach, and administrative oversight of the U.S. ANDRILL (ANtarctic geologic DRILLing) Program (see http://andrill.org).

I'm also an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at UNL, with research interests in the physical, geotechnical and acoustic properties of marine sediments. I've sailed on eight Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) expeditions (each over two months long) and have studied drill cores from the Arctic to the Antarctic margin. The primary focus of my research is to understand the evolution of Earth systems through the Cenozoic, with emphasis on high latitude regions in the Arctic and Antarctic. My dissertation explored the evolution of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current system since the late Oligocene using core data.

I served as the Director, Ocean Drilling Programs at Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) from October 2003 through August of 2006, where I was responsible for the overall leadership and day-to-day management of the U.S. systems integration contract from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) for the global operation of a scientific ocean drilling vessel and related activities as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). In addition, I managed the phase-out activities of the previous program, the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), which included the stewardship of data, samples, and other legacies of both ODP and the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP). Together, these programs represent over 35 years of scientific drilling expeditions by the international community to understand Earth processes and the evolution of our planet.

I served as Assistant Director, Ocean Drilling Programs and Associate Director of the U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) at JOI from 1998 to 2003, supporting the participation of U.S. scientists in ODP, coordinating community planning, and developing coherent scientific research strategies for ocean drilling and marine geoscience.

I've also been responsible for the management and oversight of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory, as well as other industry contracts relating to field studies aimed at characterizing marine methane hydrates, which are deposits of frozen methane that are found in marine sediments along continental margins and beneath permafrost deposits in polar regions.


Selected Publications



  • Chen, Q., Rack, F. and Balcom, B., 2006, Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging methods for core analysis, in New Techniques in Sediment Core Analysis (edited by Rothwell, G., (ed.)), Geological Society of London, London, 193-207.

  • Freifeld, B.M., Kneafsey, T.J., and Rack, F.R., 2006, On-site geologic core analysis using a portable X-ray computed tomographic system, in New Techniques in Sediment Core Analysis (edited by Rothwell, G., (ed.)), Geological Society of London, London, 165-178.

  • Ribes, A.C., Rack, F.R., Tsintzouras, G., Damaskinos, S., and Dixon, A.E., 2006, Applications of confocal macroscope-microscope luminescence imaging to sediment cores, in New Techniques in Sediment Core Analysis (edited by Rothwell, G., (ed.)), Geological Society of London, London, 141-150.

  • Rothwell, R.G. and Rack, F.R., 2006, New techniques in sediment core analysis: an introduction, in New Techniques in Sediment Core Analysis (edited by Rothwell, G., (ed.)), Geological Society of London, London, 1-29.