Karen Kohfeld



  • BSc, Geology/Biology, Brown University
  • MA and MPhil, Geology, Columbia University
  • PhD, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University


Dr. Kohfeld is interested in understanding natural variability and biogeochemical linkages within the ocean and climate system, in order to better assess earth system responses to anthropogenic perturbations. Her research focuses on natural and anthropogenic changes in the ocean carbon cycle, the influence of climate and land surface conditions on atmospheric dust, and assessing and adapting to extreme weather conditions in British Columbia.

Projects related to this research have involved:

  • Changes in physical and biological ocean conditions over the last 140,000 years
  • Modeling the fate of anthropogenic CO2 that is injected in the deep ocean
  • Frequency, intensity, and impacts of extreme weather events in British Columbia
  • Climate-induced changes in extreme winds and their effects on the Dust Bowl
  • Air quality impacts of climate change in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia
  • Changes in marine productivity in the North Pacific Ocean over the last 140,000 years

Many of these projects involve the development of environmental databases, computational data mining, analysis and manipulation of existing data, and collaboration with geologists, marine biologists, sedimentologists, geochemists, and ocean, atmosphere, and biogeochemical modelers.

Example publications include:

Dr. Kohfeld teaches Earth Systems and Global Change in Environmental Management (REM 631) (The REM course formerly known as River Basin Analysis, Planning, and Management), and Global Change (REM 100).


Future courses may be subject to change.