Joe Koch

MSc (Freiburg), PhD (SFU)
Joe Koch
Surrey Office: Fir Building, 243
Richmond Office: R2215
Langley Office: L1315


I am an instructor in the Department of Geography at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, British Columbia. Before coming to Kwantlen, I was an associate professor at Brandon University (Geography) between 2012 and 2015 and have taught first to fourth year courses as visiting assistant professor and sessional lecturer since fall 2006 at Simon Fraser University (Geography, Earth Sciences), The College of Wooster (Geology), and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Geography, Environmental Protection Technology). I completed my Ph.D. in the Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University in the spring 2006 semester. Throughout my time in research and teaching I have maintained a strong commitment to sharing information with the general public by giving over 100 presentations and writing nine articles for newspapers and magazines. I was involved in Melting Mountains, an outreach project involving the David Suzuki Foundation. Between 2006 and 2011 I worked as a staff geologist on the M/V Polar Star along the West Coast of South America, in Antarctica, and in the North Atlantic, where I lectured on climate change and general geology topics, and guided passengers on zodiac and land trips to visit the remote landscapes. I am heading back to Antarctica on the M/V Ortelius in January 2016.


Courses taught

  • GEOG1110 Introduction to Atmospheric Science
  • GEOG1120 Introduction to Earth Science
  • GEOG2320 Geomorphology
  • GEOG2330 Hydrology
  • GEOG2340 Biogeography
  • GEOG3330 Natural Hazards
  • GEOG4320 Advanced Geomorphology
  • GEOG4350 Climate Change
  • EPT1216 Introduction to Geography

Areas of Interest

My research focuses on the effects of Holocene climate change on alpine environments, specifically glaciers and treelines, in the western Cordillera of the Americas, specifically British Columbia, the Yukon, Washington State, Alaska, and Chilean and Argentine Patagonia. Another interest is the study of natural hazards, such as debris flows in the Yukon and British Columbia.


Scholarly Work

  • Solomina, O., Bradley, R., Jomelli, V., Kaufman, D., Koch, J., Masiokas, M., Nesje, A., Nicolussi, K., Owen, L., Wanner, H., Wiles, G., in review. Glacier fluctuations in the last 2000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews. Submitted May 23, 2015.
  • Koch, J., 2015. Little Ice Age and recent glacier advances in the Cordillera Darwin, Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia Serie Ciencias Naturales, 43: 127-136.
  • Koch, J., Clague, J.J., and Osborn, J., 2014. Alpine glaciers and permanent ice and snow patches in western Canada approach their smallest sizes since the mid-Holocene, consistent with global trends. The Holocene, 24: 1639-1648.
  • Jensen, B.J.L., Pyne-O’Donnell, S., Plunkett, G., Froese, D.G., Hughes, P.D.M., Sigle, M., McConnell, J.R., Amesbury, M.J., Blackwell, P.G., van den Bogaard, C., Buck, C.E., Charman, D.J., Clague, J.J., Hall, V.A., Koch, J., Mackay, H., Mallon, G., McColl, L., and Pilcher, J.R., 2014. Transatlantic distribution of the Alaskan White River Ash. Geology, 42: 875-878.
  • Koch, J., Clague, J.J., and Blais-Stevens, A., 2014. Debris flow chronology and potential hazard along the Alaska Highway in southwest Yukon Territory. Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, 20: 25-43.
  • Osborn, G., Menounos, B., Ryane, C., Riedel, J., Clague, J.J., Koch, J., Clark, D., Scott, K., and Davis, P.T., 2012. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacier fluctuations on Mount Baker, Washington. Quaternary Science Reviews, 49: 33-51.
  • Koch, J., 2011. Holocene glacier fluctuations. In Singh, V.P., Singh, P., and Haritashya, U.K. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice, and Glaciers. Springer, Heidelberg, pp. 525-529.
  • Koch, J., and Clague, J.J., 2011. Extensive glaciers in northwest North America during Medieval time. Climatic Change, 107: 593-613.
  • Clague, J.J., Koch, J., and Geertsema, M., 2010. Expansion of outlet glaciers of the Juneau Icefield in northwest British Columbia during the past two millennia. The Holocene, 20: 447-461.
  • Clague, J.J., Menounos, B., Osborn, G., Luckman, B.H., and Koch, J., 2009. Nomenclature and resolution in Holocene glacial chronologies. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28: 2231-2238.
  • Koch, J., 2009. Improving age estimates for late Holocene glacial landforms using dendrochronology – some examples from Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia. Quaternary Geochronology, 4: 130-139.
  • Koch, J., Menounos, B.P., and Clague, J.J., 2009. Glacier change in Garibaldi Provincial Park, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia, since the Little Ice Age. Global and Planetary Change, 66: 161-178.
  • Koch, J., Clague, J.J., and Osborn, G., 2007. Glacier fluctuations during the last millennium in Garibaldi Provincial Park, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 44: 1215-1233.
  • Koch, J., Osborn, G., and Clague, J.J., 2007. Pre-Little Ice Age glacier fluctuations in Garibaldi Provincial Park, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia. The Holocene, 17: 1069-1078.
  • Kilian, R., Schneider, C., Koch, J., Fesq-Martin, M., Biester, H., Casassa, G., Arévalo, M., Wendt, G., Baeza, O., and Behrmann, J., 2007. Paleoecological constraints on Late Glacial and Holocene ice retreat in the Southern Andes (53° S). Global and Planetary Change, 59: 49-66.
  • Osborn, G.D., Menounos, B.P., Koch, J., Clague, J.J., and Vallis, V., 2007. Multi-proxy record of Holocene glacial history: Spearhead and Fitzsimmons Ranges, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26: 479-493.
  • Koch, J., and Clague, J.J., 2006. Are insolation and sunspot activity the primary drivers of Holocene glacier fluctuations? PAGES Newsletter, 14(3): 20-21.
  • Koch, J., and Kilian, R., 2005. Little Ice Age glacier fluctuations at Gran Campo Nevado, southernmost Chile. The Holocene, 15: 20-28.
  • Menounos, B., Koch, J., Osborn, G., Clague, J.J., and Mazzucchi, D., 2005. Reply to comments by Kovanen and Begét on ‘Early Holocene glacier advance, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia, Canada’. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24: 1527-1528.
  • Koch, J., 2004. Review of ‘Geology of the Garibaldi Lake Region, Garibaldi Provincial Park’. Geoscience Canada, 31: 192.
  • Koch, J., Menounos, B.P., Clague, J.J., and Osborn, G.D., 2004. Environmental change in Garibaldi Provincial Park, southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia. Geoscience Canada, 31: 127-135.
  • Menounos, B., Koch, J., Osborn, G., Clague, J.J., and Mazzucchi, D., 2004. Evidence for early Holocene glacier advance, Coast Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews, 23: 1543-1550.
  • Koch, J., and Kilian, R., 2003. Dendroecological potential of common tree species along a transect across the southernmost Andes, Chile (53° S). Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia Serie Ciencias Naturales, 30: 123-132.