Skip to main content

Geology alumni contribute to climate science

Augustana’s Department of Geology is proud to laud not one, not two, but three alumni climate scientists who have been selected as lead authors for state, federal and international climate assessments, climate modeling and research.

A nationally recognized research scientist and science communicator on the broad impacts of climate change, Dr. Jeremy Hoffman ’11 was recently named a lead author for a federal climate report, the Southeast Chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment.

In 2017, Dr. Hoffman led a community science heat-mapping project to record temperatures in neighborhoods across Richmond, Va., during a heat wave. The research, which showed discrepancies of up to 16 degrees Fahrenheit, prompted heat-mapping campaigns across the country. In 2020, he published a widely cited study of the disparity in extreme heat between formerly redlined and non-redlined neighborhoods.

Dr. Matthew Osman ’14, a researcher at the University of Arizona Climate Systems Center, led a U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study of how the position and intensity of the North Atlantic jet stream has changed during the past 1,250 years.

The findings, recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that the position of the jet stream could move outside the range of natural variability as early as 2060, unless greenhouse gas emissions are abated. This could create potentially drastic weather-related consequences on both sides of the Atlantic.

In addition, the Nov. 10, 2021, issue of Nature published Dr. Osman and colleagues' research that resulted in the first spatial reconstruction of climate changes since the Last Ice Age.

"Matt shared this research in a talk to our Udden Geology Club last March," said Susan Kornreich Wolf, Frxyell Museum associate curator. "Udden Club was the first time he had presented the research publicly. We heard it first!"

In 2007, Dr. Jean Bogner ’69 shared the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as coordinating lead author for the Waste Management chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report.

Dr. Bogner, research professor emerita at the University of Illinois Chicago, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has focused on landfill methane generation, emissions, soil oxidation processes, and commercial recovery in the last three decades of her career.

If you have news, send it to! We love hearing about the achievements of our alumni, students and faculty.