Stefanie A Brachfeld

Faculty/Staff Login:

Chairperson, Earth and Environmental Studies

Office:
Mallory Hall 252A
E-Mail:
Phone:
973 655-5129
Fax:
973 655-4072
Degree(s):
BS:University of Rochester
MS:California Institute of Technology
PhD:University of Minnesota
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Profile

Stefanie Brachfeld is Professor and Chair of Earth and Environmental Studies, and Graduate Program Coordinator for the Master of Science in Geoscience program. She is also an adjunct scientist at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Her teaching activities span Montclair State University’s General Education Program, Honors Program, and bachelors, masters, and doctoral level courses in Earth and Environmental Studies. These include Physical Marine Science, Honors Seminar in Science, Earth Systems Science, X-ray Microanalysis, Advanced Marine Geology, and Research Methods.

Dr. Brachfeld’s research program integrates Earth systems science, marine geology and geophysics, paleomagnetism, environmental change in Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean, planetary magnetism, geochemistry, and light and electron microscopy. She has participated in 10 marine geology and geophysics expeditions to Antarctica, the Arctic Ocean, and North Atlantic Ocean, several of which included Montclair State University undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Brachfeld’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ocean Drilling Program, and Antarctic Drilling Program.

Dr. Brachfeld is particularly interested in helping students and early career scientists locate level-appropriate research grant programs, and serves as a Resource Faculty Member for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Please see her links section for pointers to student scholarships, student research grants, graduate and postdoctoral research fellowships and websites listing job opportunities in geoscience.


EDUCATION
B.S. Geology, University of Rochester, NY 1990
M.S. Geology, California Institute of Technology, CA 1992
Ph.D., Geophysics, University of Minnesota, MN, 1999


APPOINTMENTS
Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, 9/13-
Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, 9/07-8/13
Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, 9/03-8/07
Research Associate, Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University, 2002-2003
Byrd Postdoctoral Fellow, Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University, 2001-2002
Postdoctoral scientist and adjunct instructor, Geology and Geophysics, University of Minnesota, 1999-2000


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
§ indicates a student author


Brachfeld, S., §Cuomo, D., §Tatsumi-Petrochilos, Bowles, J., Hammer, J., and §Shah, D., Contribution of Multidomain Titanomagnetite to the Intensity and Stability of Mars Crustal Magnetic Anomalies, Geophysical Research Letters, in review.

Rebesco, M., Domack, E., Zgur, F., Lavoie, C., Leventer, A., Brachfeld, S., Willmott, V., Halverson, G., Truffer, M., Scambos, T., Smith, J., Petit, E., Boundary Condition of Grounding Line Systems Beneath Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctica, Prior to Collapse, Science, in press.

Christ, A. J., §Talaia-Murray, M., §Elking, N., Domack, E.W., Leventer, A., Lavoie, C., Brachfeld, S., Yoon, K.C., Gilbert, R., Yeong, S.M., Petrushak, S., Wellner, J., and LARISSA Group, Late Holocene glacial advance and ice shelf grown in Barilari Bay, Graham Land, west Antarctic Peninsula, Geological Society of America Bulletin, in press.

Pierce, E., Hemming, S.R., Williams, T., van de Flierdt, T., Thomson, S.N., Reiners, P.W., Gehrels, G.E., Brachfeld, S. A., Goldstein, S.L., A comparison of detrital U-Pb zircon, 40Ar/39Ar hornblende, and 40Ar/39Ar biotite ages in marine sediments off East Antarctica: implications for the geology of subglacial terrains and provenance studies, Earth Science Reviews, accepted.

Brachfeld, S., §Pinzon, J., §Darley, J., Sagnotti, L., Kuhn, G., Florindo, F., Wilson, G., Ohneiser, C., Monien, D., Joseph, L., 2013. Iron oxide tracers of ice sheet extent and sediment provenance in the ANDRILL AND-1B drill core, Ross Sea, Antarctica, Global and Planetary Change, 110, 420–433.

Ortiz, J., Nof, D., Polyak, L., St-Onge, G., §Lisé-Pronovost, L., Naidu, S., Darby, D., Brachfeld, S., 2012. Late Quaternary flow through the Bering Strait has been forced by Southern Ocean winds, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 42 (11), pp. 2014-2029.

Wilson, G.S., Levy, R.H., Naish, T.R., Powell, R.D., Florindo, F., §Ohneiser, C., Sagnotti, L., Winter, D.M., Cody, R., Henrys, S., Ross, J., Krissek, L., Niessen, F., Pompillio, M., Scherer, R., Alloway, B.V., Barrett, P.J., Brachfeld, S., Browne, G., Carter, L., Cowan, E., Crampton, J., DeConto, R.M., Dunbar, G., Dunbar, N., Dunbar, R., von Eynatten, H., Gebhardt, C., Giorgetti, G., Graham, I., Hannah, M., Hansaraj, D., Harwood, D.M., Hinnov, L., Jarrard, R.D., Joseph, L., Kominz, M., Kuhn, G., Kyle, P., Läufer, A., McIntosh, W.C., McKay, R., Maffioli, P., Magens, D., Millan, C., §Monien, D., Morin, R., Paulsen, T., Persico, D., Pollard, D., Raine, J.I., §Riesselman, C., Sandroni, S., Schmitt, D., Sjunneskog, C., Strong, C.P., Talarico, F., Taviani, M., Villa, G., Vogel, S., Wilch, T., Williams, T., Wilson, T.J., Wise, S., 2012. Neogene tectonic and climatic evolution of the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica - Chronology of events from the AND-1B drill hole, Global and Planetary Change, 96-97, pp. 189-203.

Bowles, J.A., §Tatsumi-Petrochilos, L., Hammer, J.E., and Brachfeld S.A., 2012. Multi-component cubic oxide exsolution in synthetic basalts: temperature dependence and implications for magnetic properties, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 117, B03202,doi:10.1029/2011JB008867.

§Pierce, E., Williams, T., van der Flierdt, T., Hemming, S., Goldstein, S., Brachfeld, S., 2011. Characterizing the sediment provenance of East Antarctica's weak underbelly: the Aurora and Wilkes sub-glacial basins, Paleoceanography,v. 26(4), doi:10.1029/2011PA002127.

Bowles, J.A., Hammer, J.E., and Brachfeld, S., 2009. Magnetic and Petrologic Characterization of Synthetic Martian Basalts and Implications for the Surface Magnetization of Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets, 114, No. E10, E10003, 10.1029/2009JE003378.

Brachfeld, S., §Barletta, F., St-Onge, G., Darby, D.,Ortiz, J., 2009. Impact of diagenesis on the environmental magnetic record from a Holocene sedimentary sequence from the Chukchi-Alaskan margin, Arctic Ocean, Global and Planetary Change, 68, 100-114.

§Lisé-Pronovost, A., St-Onge, G., Brachfeld, S., Barletta, F., Darby, D., 2009. Paleomagnetic constraints on the Holocene stratigraphy of the Arctic Alaskan margin, Global and Planetary Change, 68, 85-99.

Bentley, M.J., Hodgson, D.A., Smith, J.A., O’Cofaigh, C., Domack, E.W., Larter, R.D., Roberts, S.J., Brachfeld, S., Leventer, A., Hjort, C., Hillenbrand, C-D., Evans, J., 2009. Mechanisms of Holocene palaeoenvironmental change in the Antarctic Peninsula region. The Holocene, 19(1), 51-69.

Cronin, T.M., Manley, P.L., Brachfeld, S., Manley, T.O., Willard, D.A., Guilbault, J.-P. , Rayburn, J.A., Thunell, R., Berke, M., 2008. Impacts of post-glacial lake drainage events and revised chronology of the Champlain Sea episode 13-9 ka. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 262(1-2), 46-60.

Brachfeld, S., 2006, High-field magnetic susceptibility (χHF) as a proxy of biogenic sedimentation along the Antarctic Peninsula, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 156, 274–282.

Brachfeld, S., Hammer, J., 2006, Rock-magnetic and remanence properties of synthetic Fe-rich basalts: Implications for Mars crustal anomalies, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 248, 599–617.


SELECTED RESEARCH GRANTS
Static and shock pressure treatment of synthetic Mars basalts: Implications for understanding the evolution of crustal magnetic anomalies, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Mars Fundamental Research Program.

Acquisition of a spinner magnetometer and ancillary paleomagnetic equipment at Montclair State University, National Science Foundation Earth Sciences Instrumentation and Facilities Program.

Enhancing Holocene Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf Geochronology using Geomagnetic Paleointensity Variations, National Science Foundations Antarctic Earth Sciences.

Collaborative Research in IPY: Abrupt Environmental Change in the Larsen Ice Shelf System, a Multidisciplinary Approach, Cryosphere & Oceans, Marine and Quaternary Geosciences, & Marine Ecosystems, National Science Foundation Antarctic Integrated System Science Program.

Acquisition of a Scanning Electron Microscope at Montclair State University, National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation, Earth Sciences Division.


SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS
College of Science and Mathematics Faculty Research Award, Montclair State University, 2011
Herman and Margaret Sokol Faculty Fellow, 2010
Elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 2007
Montclair State University Distinguished Scholar, 2006
National Science Foundation Early Career Award, 2004


CURRENT AND FORMER ADVISEES AND LAB MEMBERS
Jason Darley, B.A. in Geography student
Michael Maresch, M.S. in Geoscience student
Natalie Romanoff, M.S. in Geoscience student
David Sharpe, M.S. in Geoscience student

Joanna Carlsen, M.A. in Teaching, 2005, now Physician's Assistant
Michael Cacciapuoti, B.S. in Geoscience, 2006, now Earth Science educator in NJ
Gina Quiñones, M.A. in Environmental Studies 2006, now Environmental Scientist at ARCADIS
Juliana Pinzon, B.S. in Biology, 2008, now practicing Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in FL
Douglas Sieradzki, M.S. in Geoscience, 2008
Luisa Bouhot, B.S. in Finance, 2009
Cathleen (Dale) Doherty, M.S. in Geoscience, 2009, now PhD candidate at Columbia University
Kenneth Kacperowski Jr, M.S. in Geoscience, 2009, now Staff Geologist at MACTEC
David Cuomo, M.S. in Geoscience, 2010, now Geologist with the Louis Berger Group
Carl Natter, M.S. in Geoscience 2011, now Geologist at Tetra Tech
Brian Tate, M.A. 2011, now Field technician at Cardno ENTRIX
Tommy Clayton, B.S. in Geoscience, 2012, now Earth Science educator in NJ
Jesse Kolodin, M.S. in Geoscience 2012, now instructor at Montclair State University
Leah Thiel, M.A. in Environmental Studies, 2013, now Environmental Scientist at Matrix New World Engineering
Brendan Reilly, M.S. in Geoscience 2013, now Ph.D. student at Oregon State University
Deepa Shah, M.S. in Geoscience, 2013, now Interpretation Associate at Liberty Science Center
Christopher Connallon, B.S. in Geoscience 2013, now M.S. student in Geography at Michigan State University
Diana Flores, B.S. in Geoscience, 2013 now M.S. in Geoscience student at Montclair State University
Joseph Kowalski, M.A. in Environmental Studies, 2014
Rachel Perez Darley, M.S. in Geoscience, 2014
Molly Rosing, M.S. in Geoscience, 2014. Now Education/Outreach Coordinator at BASF
Kelly Searfoss, M.S. Geoscience, 2014. Now Science Educator in NJ
Elen Teo, M.S. in Sustainability Sciences. Now PhD Candidate at U.C. Santa Cruz

Links


Research Projects

Collaborative Research in IPY: Abrupt Environmental Change in the Larsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctic (LARISSA)

The goal of this collaborative project is to investigate the modern geology, glaciology, oceanography, and biology of the Larsen-B Ice Shelf system, and apply the modern system relationships to the interpretation of paleorecords (sediment cores and ice cores) of ice shelf behavior and stability. This project includes scientists and students from Montclair State University, Berkeley Geochronology Center at the University of California, Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, Colgate University, Duke University, Hamilton College, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, SCRIPPS Institute of Oceanography, Southern Illinois University, University of Alaska, University of Hawaii, University of Houston, and international collaborators from Ghent University, Belgium, the Korean Polar Research Institute, and Loughborough University, United Kingdom. Our first field season, cruise NBP10-01, took place during January-February 2010. Unusually thick sea ice prevented the Palmer from reaching the Larsen Ice Shelf system. We therefore shifted to back up plans. The Montclair State University group has focused its efforts on three of the back-up sites, Barilari Bay, Hugo Island Trough, and Jun Jaegyu Seamount. Barilari Bay and Hugo Island Trough provide an opportunity to examine the timing and rate of deglaciation across the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf. Barilari Bay is located immediately upwind of the Byrd Polar Research Center's ice core site on the Bruce Plateau, providing the opportunity to develop parallel records of atmospheric and oceanographic controls on Holocene events in the Antarctic, for example the early Holocene warmth that followed deglaciation, the middle Holocene climatic optimum, which is observed on both sides of the Peninsula, and examine whether or not a clear Little Ice Age signature exists in the Antarctica Peninsula region. Jun Jaegyu Seamount is a newly discovered seamount located in an area far from the nearest site of recent volcanic activity. MSU personnel examined the benthic organisms and geochemistry of basalts collected in a dredge samples. A second field season is planned for 2012, during which we will again attempt to access the Larsen-B embayment in order to study the long-term behavior of the Larsen Ice Shelf system and its evolution following the 2002 collapse. Please visit the LARISSA project website at http://www.hamilton.edu/expeditions/larissa.

Static and shock pressure treatment of synthetic Mars basalts: Implications for understanding the evolution of crustal magnetic anomalies

This project investigates the origin and subsequent modification of strongly magnetized regions on Mars via collaboration between Montclair State University, Harvard University, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Minnesota. This works builds on previous studies in which basalts were synthesized using experimental parameters that bracket the range of potential chemical compositions, oxygen fugacity, and cooling histories expected for Martian lavas. The mineralogy, mineral textures, magnetic recording assemblage, and remanence carrying properties of the run products were characterized. We found that oxygen fugacity dominated over cooling rate in controlling magnetic properties (Brachfeld and Hammer, 2006; Bowles et al., 2009). Samples synthesized at QFM buffer conditions and moderate to high cooling rates optimized TRM acquisition, displaying stable-single-domain behavior, TRM intensities up to 40-200 A/m, and possessing moderate to high Curie temperatures that imply stable magnetizations at burial depths of several 10s of km in the Martian crust. Three new lines of inquiry will be added: 1. Inclusion of a basalt composition observed by the Mars Spirit Rover at the Gusev Crater site that is consistent with global elemental abundance data provided by the Gamma Ray Spectrometer aboard the Mars Odyssey orbiter. 2. Inclusion of sulfur in the starting materials for dynamic cooling experiments to assess the partitioning of iron into ferrimagnetic oxide and sulfide minerals and subsequent effects on rock magnetic properties. 3. Application of static pressure and shock pressure treatments to these experimental run products to assess the modification of a primary TRM by impact events.

Enhancing Holocene Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf Geochronology using Geomagnetic Paleointensity Variations

The goal of this project is to measure geomagnetic inclination, declination, and intensity of remanence in the Shallow Drilling Program (SHALDRIL) Maxwell Bay sediment core. This record, collected from the South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, possess terrigenous silty-clay lithology and a calcite-based radiocarbon chronology, which is a rare combination for Antarctic margin sedimentary records. The Maxwell Bay site will be used to generate regional reference records of geomagnetic paleosecular variation (PSV) and relative paleointensity (RPI). These geomagnetic reference curves will be applied to tune and date other Holocene paleoclimate records in the Antarctic Peninsula region that lack suitable materials for dating.