Stefanie A Brachfeld
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.
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
Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, 2007-present
Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, 2003-2007
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
§ indicates a student author
Ortiz, J., Nof, D., Polyak, L., St-Onge, G., §Lisé-Pronovost, L., Naidu, S., Darby, D., Brachfeld, S., Late Quaternary flow through the Bering Strait has been forced by Southern Ocean winds, Journal of Physical Oceanography, in press.
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
Christopher Connallon, B.S. in Geoscience student
Jason Darley, B.S. in Geoscience student
Diana Flores, B.S. in Geoscience student
Joseph Kowalski, M.A. in Environmental Studies student
Rachel Perez Darley, M.S. in Geoscience student
Ellen Ravitch, M.A. in Environmental Studies student
Brendan Reilly, M.S. in Geoscience student
Natalie Romanoff, M.S. in Geoscience student
Molly Rosing, M.S. in Geoscience student
Deepa Shah, 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
Juliana Pinzon, B.S. in Biology, 2008, now veterinarian, DVM
Douglas Sieradzki, M.S. in Geoscience, 2008
Luisa Bouhot, B.S. in Finance, 2009
Cathleen 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 Scientist at Woodard & Curran
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, Inc
- Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Laboatory
- Larsen Ice Shelf System Antarctica (LARISSA) research program
- Institute for Rock Magnetism
- Antarctic Drilling Program
- Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
- Montclair State University Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships
- Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists scholarships and grants
- American Association of Petroleum Geologists student research grants
- American Association of University Women scholarships and fellowships
- American Institute of Professional Geologists scholarships
- American Meteorological Society Scholarships and Fellowships
- Association for Women Geoscientists scholarships and grants
- Clay minerals society student research grants
- Environmental Protection Agency Graduate Fellowships
- Fulbright Fellowship Program
- Geological Society of American student research grants
- Hudson River Foundation graduate fellowship
- Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Schlanger Fellowship
- Keck Geology Consortium research grants for members of undereprresented groups
- Microscopy Society of America undergraduate research scholarships
- Mineralogical Society of America grants for student research in mineralogy and petrology
- Mineralogical Society of America student grant for research in crystallography
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration Graduate Student Research Fellowship Program
- National Association of Geoscience Teachers field camp scholarship
- National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program
- National Estuarine Research Reserve System
- National Physical Sciences Consortium graduate fellowships in science, math, and engineering
- National Science Foundation Doctoral Disseration Research Improvement Grants, Division of Social, Behavior and Economic Sciences
- National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Gradaute Students
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
- Additional information on the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
- MANY MORE federally-funded graduate internship and fellowships in STEM disciplines listed at science.gov
- NOAA Ernest Hollings Scholarship
- Rocky Mountain Research Association fellowships
- Sigma Xi student research grants
- SDE Graduate Women in Science Fellowship Program
- Society of Economic Geologists student research grants
- Society of Exploration Geophysicists scholarships
- Society of Wetland Scientists Student Grants
- Udall Foundation scholarships in public policy
- US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture fellowship program
- Geoscience Career Information at the American Geological Institute
- Jobs in geology listed at geology.com
- Jobs in geology at Earthworks.com
- Jobs in geology at the American Geological Institute
- Geology salaries at geology.com
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.