Earth Systems and Climate Change

About This Cluster

The Earth Systems and Climate Change group investigates the interactions within and between Earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere and biosphere. Earth’s climate systems include regularly-repeating cycles, positive and negative feedbacks, and abrupt events-processes that affect Earth’s surface temperature, the chemistry of the atmosphere and ocean, soil moisture, and the size and stability of ice sheets. These, in turn, affect society through sea level rise and fall, the frequency and intensity of storms, flooding resulting from storm surge and surface runoff, the type and extent of vegetation occupying coastal regions and continental interiors and their ability to remove and store CO2 from the atmosphere, and changes in the geographic range of flora, fauna, pathogens and invasive species. Our faculty and students advance understanding of Earth’s processes and their temporal cycles from the ground, air, ocean, and space using geologic archives, Earth orbiting satellites, and computer models.

Participating Faculty

Clement Alo profile photo

Clement Alo

Chairperson, Earth and Environmental Studies

Stefanie Brachfeld profile photo

Stefanie Brachfeld

Acting Vice Provost for Research, Office of Research

Mark Chopping profile photo

Mark Chopping

Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies

Sandra Passchier profile photo

Sandra Passchier

Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies

Jorge Lorenzo Trueba profile photo

Jorge Lorenzo Trueba

Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies

Meiyin Wu profile photo

Meiyin Wu

Professor, Biology

Research Grants
  • Brachfeld, S. (PI). “Collaborative research: Deglacial ice dynamics in the Weddell Sea embayment using sediment provenance,” National Science Foundation, 2014-2017.
  • Chopping, M. (PI). “Changes in Shrub Abundance in Arctic Tundra from the Satellite High Resolution Record for the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment and Impacts on Albedo,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2015-2016.
  • Li, X. (PI) with co-PIs S. Brachfeld, Y. Deng, S. Passchier, and D. Sarkar. “MRI: Acquisition of an Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry (ICP MS) for elemental concentration and speciation analysis at Montclair State University.” National Science Foundation, 2015-2017.
  • Lorenzo-Trueba, J., (PI). “Managing for biodiversity and blue carbon in the face of sea-level rise and barrier-island migration,” National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration – NJ Sea Grant Consortium, 2016-2017.
  • Passchier, S., (PI). “Expedition 347 Baltic Sea Onshore Science Party,” NSF-ODP Subaward, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, 2014-2016.
  • Passchier, S. (PI). “Understanding ice dynamics, meltwater discharge and paleocirculation in the Baltic Sea Paleoenvironment through laser particle size and XRF analysis,” National Science Foundation, 2014-2016.
  • Passchier, S., (PI) “The Stratigraphic Expression of the Onset of Glaciation in Eocene-Oligocene Successions on the Antarctic Continental Margin”, 2013-2017.
Faculty and Student Publications

* indicates a Montclair State University student author or program alumnus

  • Chopping, M.J. Remote Sensing in Environmental Management (2016) An Integrated Approach to Environmental Management, 397-422.
  • *Hansen, M.A. and Passchier, S., (2016) Oceanic circulation changes during early Pliocene marine ice-sheet instability in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica. Geo-Mar Lett., doi:10.1007/s00367-016-0489-8.
  • Alo, C.A., Anagnostou, E.N. A sensitivity study of the impact of dynamic vegetation on simulated future climate change over Southern Europe and the Mediterranean (2016) International Journal of Climatology, in press.
  • Chopping, M., *Duchesne, R., North, M. Assessing remotely-sensed aboveground biomass estimates in the Sierra National Forest (2014) International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), art. no. 6946606, pp. 1041-1044.
  • Christ, A.J., Talaia-Murray, M., Elking, N., Domack, E.W., Leventer, A., Lavoie, C., Brachfeld, S., Yoo, K.-C., Gilbert, R., Jeong, S.-M., Petrushak, S., Wellner, J., Balco, G., Late Holocene glacial advance and ice shelf growth in Barilari Bay, Graham Land, West Antarctic Peninsula (2015) Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 127 (1-2), pp. 297-315.
  • *Duchesne, R.R., Chopping, M.J., Tape, K.D. Capability of the CANAPI algorithm to derive shrub structural parameters from satellite imagery in the Alaskan Arctic (2016) Polar Record, 52 (2), pp. 124-133.
  • *Hansen, M.A., Passchier, S., Khim, B.-K., Song, B., Williams, T. Threshold behavior of a marine-based sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in response to early Pliocene ocean warming (2015) Paleoceanography, 30 (6), pp. 789-801.
  • Hodson, T.O., Powell, R.D., Brachfeld, S.A., Tulaczyk, S., Scherer, R.P. Physical processes in Subglacial Lake Whillans, West Antarctica: Inferences from sediment cores (2016) Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 444, pp. 56-63.
  • Iacoviello, F., Giorgetti, G., Turbanti Memmi, I., Passchier, S., 2014. Early Miocene Antarctic glacial history: new insights from heavy mineral analysis from ANDRILL AND 2A drill core sediments. International Journal of Earth Sciences, DOI 10.1007/s00531-014-1117-3.
  • *Oteng F. M, C. A. Alo, and S. M. Yidana (2014), Evaluation of groundwater recharge estimates in a partially metamorphosed sedimentary basin in a tropical environment: application of natural tracers, The Scientific World Journal, Vol. 2014, Article ID 419508, 8 pages. doi: 10.1155/2014/419508
  • Passchier, S., *Ciarletta, D., *Miriagos, T., Bijl, P., Bohaty, S., 2016. An Antarctic stratigraphic record of step-wise ice growth through the Eocene-Oligocene Transition. Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 128, doi: 10.1130/B31482.1.
  • Rebesco, M., Domack, E., Zgur, F., Lavoie, C., Leventer, A., Brachfeld, S., Willmott, V., Halverson, G., Truffer, M., Scambos, T., Smith, J., Pettit, E. Boundary condition of grounding lines prior to collapse, Larsen-B Ice Shelf, Antarctica (2014) Science, 345 (6202), pp. 1354-1358.
  • *Reilly, B.R., *Natter, C., and Brachfeld, S.A., 2016. Holocene glacial activity in Barilari Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula, tracked by magnetic mineral assemblages: Linking ice, ocean, and atmosphere, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 17, doi:10.1002/2016GC006627.
  • Rogers, L.J., Moore, L.J., Goldstein, E.B., Hein, C.J., Lorenzo-Trueba, J., Ashton, A.D. Anthropogenic controls on overwash deposition: Evidence and consequences (2015) Journal of Geophysical Research F: Earth Surface, 120 (12), pp. 2609-2624.
  • St. John, K., Passchier, S., Tantillo, B., Darby, D., Kearns, L., 2015. Microfeatures of Modern Sea Ice-Rafted Sediment and Implications for Paleo-Sea Ice Reconstructions. Annals of Glaciology 56 (69), doi: 10.3189/2015AoG69A586.
  • Wang, Z., Schaaf, C.B., Strahler, A.H., Chopping, M.J., Román, M.O., Shuai, Y., Woodcock, C.E., Hollinger, D.Y., Fitzjarrald, D.R. Evaluation of MODIS albedo product (MCD43A) over grassland, agriculture and forest surface types during dormant and snow-covered periods (2014) Remote Sensing of Environment, 140, pp. 60-77.