Kirsten Menking

Earth Science and Geography, Science

Vassar College

Workshop Leader, Webinar Participant, Website Contributor

Website Content Contributions

Course Modules (4)

Unit 6: Hydrologic Balance and Climate Change part of Modeling Earth Systems
In this unit, students create a STELLA model of the Owens River chain of lakes in eastern California and then experiment with different climate change scenarios to simulate the Pleistocene history of lake filling ...

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Activities (11)

Modeling Earth's Energy Balance part of Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students use the STELLA box modeling software to determine Earth's temperature based on incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation. Starting with a simple black body model, ...

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Course (1)

Modeling Earth Systems part of Modeling Earth Systems
In this course, we develop the qualitative and quantitative tools for constructing, experimenting with, and interpreting dynamic models of different components of the Earth system. The integrated set of ten modules ...

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Essay (1)

Modeling the Earth part of Complex Systems:Workshop 2010:Participant Essays
Kirsten Menking, Vassar College The class in which my students acquire the most hands-on experience with complex systems is my senior seminar on numerical modeling, entitled Modeling the Earth. This course ...

Other Contribution (1)

Kirsten Menking: Using Modeling Earth Systems in Modeling the Earth at Vassar College part of Modeling Earth Systems
I used the Modeling Earth Systems materials in my senior seminar at Vassar College in the spring of 2016. I have taught a numerical modeling course for many years now, but this was the first time that the course focused entirely on the climate system. Fourteen students, drawing from the programs in Earth Science, Biology, and Environmental Studies, took the course. During that time, students learned the fundamentals of modeling in the context of exercises about Earth's radiative equilibrium with the sun, the role of life in moderating climate, the impact of changes in Earth's orbital cycles on the growth and decay of ice sheets, how climate change affects thermohaline circulation (and vice versa), and how human greenhouse gas emissions are altering global temperatures, among other topics.