Professor of Earth Science
- Office: Ely Hall
- Phone: 437-5545
- Box: 59
- Email: email@example.com
A.B., Geology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, 1990.
Ph.D., Earth Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1995.
Kirsten Menking conducts research on past climate change, on landscape evolution due to climatic and tectonic processes, and on the impacts of urbanization on streams. For her dissertation she took part in a U.S. Geological Survey Project to study sediments from Owens Lake in eastern California where she reconstructed cycles of glaciation and lake level change over the last 800,000 years. More recently she has worked on the climate record contained within Lake Estancia in central New Mexico and on the late glacial and Holocene history of southeastern New York. The latter work has taken her to lakes in the Shawangunk Mts. and to Lozier Pond, a small lake from which the Hyde Park mastodon was unearthed in 2000. With colleagues in Geography, Biology, Chemistry, and Urban Studies, she also carries out investigations on road salt and nutrient contamination of streams in Dutchess County, New York.
After obtaining her Ph.D., Kirsten worked as a visiting assistant professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where she co-authored an environmental Geology textbook with colleagues Dorothy Merritts and Andrew DeWet, currently in revision for a second edition to be published in 2014. Kirsten joined the faculty at Vassar in the fall of 1997. She teaches courses in introductory environmental geoscience (Earth, Environment, and Humanity), introductory environmental science (Essentials of Environmental Science), surface processes and the evolution of landforms (Geomorphology), groundwater flow and contamination (Water), deformation of rocks (Structural Geology), and Earth's history of climatic change (Paleoclimatology). She has also taught a number of fieldtrip courses through the Environmental Studies program, taking students on excursions to the Pacific Northwest, Bahamas, and Louisiana to study a range of environmental phenomena and problems. In teaching, she enjoys relating the material to students' everyday experiences and using hands-on experiments to illustrate Earth and environmental science principles.
- Menking, K.M., Peteet, D.M., and Anderson, R.Y., 2012, Late-glacial and Holocene vegetation and climate variability, including major droughts, in the Sky Lakes region of southeastern New York State, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 353-355, p. 45-59.
- Cunningham, M.A., Menking, K.M., Gillikin, D.P., Smith, K.C., Freimuth, C., Belli, S.L., Pregnall, A.M., Schlessman, M.A., and Batur, P., 2010, Influence of non-impervious area on longitudinal recovery of an urban stream, Physical Geography, v. 30, doi: 10.2747/0272-36188.8.131.529.
- Cunningham, M.A., O’Reilly, C.M., Menking, K.M., Gillikin, D.P., Smith, K.C.*, Foley, C.M.*, Belli, S.L., Pregnall, A.M., Schlessman, M.A., and Batur, P., 2009, The Suburban Stream Syndrome: Evaluating Land Use and Stream Impairments in the Suburbs, Physical Geography, v. 30, p. 269-284.
- Menking, K.M., Schneiderman, J.S., Nester, P.L., Bedient, K.D.*, Collins, B.C.*, and Feingold, B.J.*, 2008, Lithology and stratigraphy of core LP2A from the Hyde Park mastodon site, southeastern New York, Palaeontographica Americana, v. 61, p. 143-150.
- Menking, K., and Stewart, M.E., 2007, Using Mobile Mapping to Determine Rates of Meander Migration in an Undergraduate Geomorphology Course, Journalof Geoscience Education, v. 55, p. 147-151.
- Menking, K.M., 2006, Creation of a Computer Modeling Course for Undergraduate Earth Science Students, Journal of Geoscience Education, v.54, p. 464-470.
- Menking, K.M., Anderson, R.Y., Shafike, N.G., Syed, K.H., and Allen, B.D., 2004, Wetter or colder during the Last Glacial Maximum? Revisiting the pluvial lake question in southwestern North America. Quaternary Research, v. 62, p. 280-288.
- Menking, K.M., Syed, K.H., Anderson, R.Y., Shafike, N.G., and Arnold, J.G., 2003, Model estimates of runoff in the closed, semiarid Estancia basin, central New Mexico, USA, Hydrological Sciences Journal, v. 48, p. 953-970.
- Menking, K.M., and Anderson, R.Y., 2003, Contributions of La Niña and El Niño to middle Holocene drought and late Holocene moisture in the American Southwest, Geology, v. 31, p. 937-940.
- Anderson, R.Y., Allen, B.D., and Menking, K.M., 2002, Geomorphic expression of abrupt climate change in southwestern North America at the glacial termination, Quaternary Research, v. 57, p. 371-381.
- Menking, K.M., Anderson, R.Y., Brunsell, N.A., Allen, B.D., Ellwein, A.L., Loveland, T.A., and Hostetler, S.W., 2000, Evaporation from groundwater discharge playas, Estancia Basin, central New Mexico, Global and Planetary Change, v. 25, p. 133-147.
- Menking, K.M., 2000, A record of climate change from Owens Lake sediment, in Schneiderman, J.S. (ed.), The Earth Around Us: Maintaining a Livable Planet, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, p. 322-335.
- Menking, K.M., Bischoff, J.L., Fitzpatrick, J.A., Burdette, J.W., and Rye, R.O., 1997, Climatic/Hydrologic oscillations since 155,000 yr B.P. at Owens Lake, California, reflected in abundance and stable isotope composition of sediment carbonate, Quaternary Research 48, p. 58-68.
- Menking, K.M., 1997, Climatic signal contained in clay mineralogy and grain size variations in the Owens Lake core, eastern California, Geological Society of America Special Paper 317, p. 25-36.
- Bischoff, J.L., Menking, K.M., Fitts, J.P., and Fitzpatrick, J.A., 1997. Climatic Oscillations 10,000-155,000 yr B.P. at Owens Lake California Reflected in Glacial Rock Flour Abundance and Lake Salinity in Core OL-92. Quaternary Research, v. 48, p. 313-325.
- Anderson, R.S. and Menking, K.M., 1994. The Quaternary marine terraces of Santa Cruz, California: evidence for coseismic uplift on two faults. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v.106, p.649-664.
Books and book chapters:
- Merritts, D.J., Menking, K.M., and DeWet, A.P., 2014, Environmental Geology: An Earth System Science Approach, 2nd Edition, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
- Menking, K.M., 2000, A Record of Climate Change from Owens Lake Sediments, in Schneiderman, J.S., ed., The Earth Around Us: Maintaining a Livable Planet. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, p. 322-335.
- Menking, K.M., 2000, chapter summaries and thought questions, in Earth Issues Reader, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 132 p.
- Merritts, D.J., DeWet, A.P., and Menking, K.M., 1998, Environmental Geology: An Earth System Science Approach, New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 452 p.