Bess G. Koffman

Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellow

My research is aimed at understanding past changes in Earth’s climate system. I am interested primarily in understanding how and why the atmospheric circulation has changed through time and the impacts these changes have had on terrestrial and marine environments. Mineral dust can be used to trace past wind patterns because its particle size distribution reflects distance to source and wind strength, and its geochemical and isotopic composition indicates its source, or provenance. My approach couples high-resolution archives of past environmental change, such as ice core records, with state-of-the-art analyses of dust particle size distribution, concentration, and composition. 

Personal Website
225 Fairchild Hall
HB 6105
Education: 
BA Carleton College
PhD University of Maine

Selected publications

WAIS Divide Project Members, 2015. Precise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age. Nature, doi: 10.1038/nature14401.

Koffman, B.G., Kreutz, K.J., Breton, D.J., Kane, E.J., Winski, D.A., Birkel, S.D, Kurbatov, A.V., and Handley, M.J., 2014. Centennial-scale variability of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind belt in the eastern Pacific over the past two millennia. Climate of the Past, 10, p. 1125-1144, 10.5194/cp-10-1125-2014.

Koffman, B.G., Handley, M.J., Osterberg, E.C, Wells, M.L., and Kreutz, K.J., 2014.  Dependence of ice-core relative trace-element concentration on acidification. Journal of Glaciology, 60, 219, doi: 10.3189/2014JoG13J137.

Koffman, B.G. and Kreutz, K.J., 2014. Evidence that local dust sources supply low-elevation Antarctic regions. Past Global Changes, 22(2), 76-77.

Koffman, B.G., Kreutz, K.J., Kurbatov, A.V., and Dunbar, N., 2013. Impact of known local and tropical volcanic eruptions of the past millennium on the WAIS Divide microparticle record. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, doi: 10.1002/grl.50822.

Kreutz, K.J. and Koffman, B.G., 2013. Ice Core Methods: Glaciochemistry. In Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, second edition (S.A. Elias, ed.), Elsevier Publishers, Amsterdam, p.326-333.

Breton, D.J., Koffman, B.G., Kurbatov, A.V., Kreutz, K.J., and Hamilton, G.S., 2012.  Quantifying signal dispersion in a hybrid ice core melting system.  Environmental Science and Technology 46(21), p. 11922-11928.

Macalady, J. L., Lyon, E.H., Koffman, B., Albertson, L.K., Meyer, K., Galdenzi, S. and Mariani, S, 2006. Dominant microbial populations in limestone-corroding stream biofilms, Frasassi cave system, Italy. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 72:8, p. 5596-5609.