Kim Cobb

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Kim Cobb
Kim Cobb

1974 (age 44–45)
Alma materYale University
OccupationClimate scientist
Known forPaleoclimatology, Oceanography, Geochemistry

Kim Cobb (born 1974) is an American climate scientist. She is a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Georgia Power Faculty Scholar. She is particularly interested in oceanography, geochemistry and paleoclimate modelling.

Early life and education[edit]

Kim Cobb was born in 1974 in Madison, Virginia, US. She grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.[1] She became interested in oceanography after attending a summer school at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts. She studied biology and geology at Yale University, where she became increasingly aware of the anthropogenic causes of climate change. She moved off her original pre-med track and applied for a summer program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, graduating in 1996.[2] Cobb completed her PhD in oceanography at Scripps in 2002, hunting El Niño events in a sediment core from Santa Barbara. She spent two years as a post doc at Caltech before joining Georgia Tech as an assistant professor in 2004. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications in major journals.[3] She became a full professor in 2015 and supervises several PhD and MSc students.[4]


Kim Cobb's group seeks to understand global climate change and identify the natural and anthropogenic causes. Cobb's research has taken her on several oceanographic voyages around the tropical Pacific and caving expeditions of the rainforests of Borneo. She focusses on corals and cave stalagmites, particularly those from the last few centuries. Her group generates high-resolution records of the samples it collects, monitoring climate variability, creating models, and characterising variability in the Pacific and Borneo. She and her team collected ancient coral fragments from the islands of Kiribati and Palmyra, aged them with uranium–thorium dating and then used the oxygen isotope ratio cycle to measure the intensity of El Niño events over the last 7,000 years.[5] Cobb is on the editorial board of Geophysical Review Letters.[6]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In 2007, she won the NSF CAREER award and the Georgia Tech Education Partnership Award[7]
  • In 2008, Cobb was recognised as one of the nation's top young scientists, winning the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)[8]
  • In 2009, Cobb received a Kavli 'Frontiers of Science' Fellowship[citation needed]
  • Cobb was an invited guest at the White House Workplace Flexibility Policies Event in 2011[9]

Policy and public engagement[edit]

Cobb sits on the American Association of Advancement of Science Climate Science Panel, the international CLIVAR Pacific Panel and the international PAGES-CLIVAR intersection panel.[10] She is on the advisory council for the AAAS Leshner Institute for Public Engagement.[11]

Cobb is an advocate for outreach with communities, and regularly lectures to schools, colleges and other public groups, on climate science. She has been involved with policy and is the writer of several public interest articles on climate change, trying to inspire other climate scientists to speak up in international debate.[12] She has appeared on Showtime's documentary "Years of Living Dangerously".[citation needed] On Real Scientists, Cobb makes her case for studying the paleoclimate: "The instrumental record of climate is far too short to identify some of the most important changes in climate under greenhouse forcing. Paleoclimate data is coming to the rescue, looking at past droughts, extreme events, and sea level change".[2] Cobb gave a presentation at the March for Science in Atlanta, Georgia, in April 2017.[13][14]


At Georgia Tech, she is an ADVANCE Professor for "Institutional Diversity", part of the National Science Foundation's efforts to increase representation and advancement of women in science and engineering. [15]


  1. ^ Cobb. "Dr Kim Cobb - Gender Summit". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Upulie (February 7, 2016). "Coral Time Keeping with Kim Cobb". Real Scientists.
  3. ^ "Kim M. Cobb". ResearchGate. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  4. ^ Cobb Lab People, 2017
  5. ^ Christopher Pala (December 9, 2016), Corals tie stronger El Niños to climate change
  6. ^ "Editorial Board". Geophysical Research Letters. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  7. ^ Kim Cobb and K. Salome receive Georgia Tech's Education Partnership Award, Georgia Institute of Technology, February 22, 2007, archived from the original on September 15, 2017 Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "Two Georgia Tech Faculty Honored by the White House". Georgia Institute of Technology. December 19, 2008.
  9. ^ "The White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility - Workplace Flexibility 2010". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Pacific Region Panel - About Us". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science, American Association for the ADvancement of Science, September 5, 2017
  12. ^ "Kim Cobb's view". RealClimate. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  13. ^ "Ep 7: Kim Cobb and the March for Science". Evidence Squared. April 10, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Collin Maessen Media (December 22, 2016), Stand up for Science Rally - Kim Cobb, retrieved August 17, 2017
  15. ^ Jeffrey Mervis (April 26, 2017), NSF’s uphill road to making prestigious early career award more diverse