Dr. Karin Block

Assistant Professor (EAS) - City University of New York

Dr. Block received a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in 2006.  She went on to work as postdoctoral research scientist and later as associate research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University developing cyberinfrastructure for solid earth geochemistry and petrology.  She returned to CUNY in the role of Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the City College of New York in 2009.  Her research spans the disciplines of environmental and solid earth geochemistry, including: (1) the aggregation kinetics and structural changes resulting from interaction of clay minerals and soil microorganisms, (2) the petrogenesis of basalts in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, and (3) the impact of urban development on the mineralogy, geochemistry and distribution of sediments in coastal-rainforest systems in Puerto Rico. Dr. Block also collaborates on cyberinfrastructure development with colleagues at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University as Co-PI of the Integrated Earth Data Applications Facility and with Dr. Walt Snyder at Boise State in developing a framework for laboratory-, field-, and cyberinfrastructure-based teaching and learning. In partnership with the CCNY Grove School of Engineering she is Co-Program Director on two Department of Education grants geared toward increasing the number of Hispanic students obtaining STEM degrees, with emphasis in the earth sciences.


  • 2006 — Ph.D, Earth and Environmental Sciences, City University of New York
  • 2004 — M.Phil., Earth and Environmental Sciences, City University of New York
  • 1993 — A.B., Literature, Science and Arts, The University of Michigan

Research Interests
Geoinformatics data curation and database development, environmental geochemistry and geobiology, high temperature geochemistry


  • 2009-Present: Assistant Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at CCNY
  • 2010-Present: Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences,The Graduate School and University Center of CUNY
  • 2009-Present: Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Marine Geology and Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
  • 2008-2009: Associate Research Scientist, Marine Geology and Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
  • 2006-2009: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Marine Geology and Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
  • 2005-2006: NSF-MAGNET Dissertation Fellow, CUNY
  • 2000-2005: NSF-MAGNET Graduate Research Fellow, CUNY

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the American Geophysical Union
  • Member of the Geological Society of America
  • Member of the Geochemical Society
  • Member of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers
  • Member of the Geological Association of New Jersey


  • 2005 – CUNY Magnet Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2000-2004 – CUNY Magnet Graduate Fellowship
  • 2000-2006 – Sloan Scholar
  • 2000-2002 – AGEP Scholar
  • 2000 – Robert Marshak Award CCNY

Publications (Selected)

  • Block, K. A., Trusiak, A., Katz, A., Gottlieb, P., Alimova, A., Wei, H., Morales, J., Rice, W. J., Steiner, J. C. “Disassembly of Cystovirus 6 Envelope by Montmorillonite Clay”. submitted 8/1/13 to FEMS-Microbiology Ecology; In Review
  • Block, K. A., Steiner, J. C., Puffer, J. H., Jones, K., Goldstein, S. L., “Evolution of granophyres in the Palisades Sill, New York and New Jersey”; submitted to Lithos; In Revision.
  • Katz, A. , Xu, M., Steiner, J.C., Trusiak, A., Alimova, A., Gottlieb, P., *Block, K.A. “Influence of Cations on Aggregation Rates in Mg-Montmorillonite Clays” Clays and Clay Minerals, 61: 1-10. doi:10.1346.CCMN.2013.610101.
  • Puffer, J. H., Steiner, J.C., Block, K. A., Benimoff, A. (2010) The Timing, Layering, Comagmatic Basalt Flows, Granophyres, Trondhjemites, and Magma Source of the Palisades Intrusive System in New York State Geological Association Field Guide and Proceedings 2010 Annual Meeting
  • Puffer, J. H., Block K. A., Steiner, J. C., (2009) “Transmission of Flood Basalts through a Shallow Crustal Sill and the Correlation of Sill Layers with Extrusive Flows: The Palisades Intrusive System and the Basalts of the Newark Basin” J. Geology 117: 135-159 doi:10.1086/595663
  • Bandosz, T. J. and Block, K., (2006) “Effect of pyrolysis temperature and time on catalytic performance of sewage sludge/industrial sludge-based composite adsorbents”, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 67 (1-2), p. 77-85, doi: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2006.04.006
  • Bandosz, T., and Block, K. A., (2006) “Removal of Hydrogen Sulfide on Composite Sewage Sludge-Industrial Sludge-Based Components”, Industrial and Chemical Engineering Research, 45 (10), 3666 -3672 doi:10.1021/ie0514152 S0888-5885(05)01415-6
  • Bandosz, T., and Block, K., (2006) “Municipal Sludge-Industrial Sludge Composite Desulfurization Adsorbents: Synergy Enhancing the Catalytic Properties”, Environmental Science and Technology, 40 (10), 3378 -3383. doi: 10.1021/es052272d S0013-936X(05)02272-8
  • Alimova A., Block K. A., Rudolph E., Katz, A., Steiner, J. C., Gottlieb, Paul, Alfano, R. R., (2006), “Bacteria – Clay Interactions Investigated by Light Scattering and Phase Contrast Microscopy”, Optical Diagnostics and Sensing VI: Proceedings of the SPIE Conference – Photonics West
  • Nguyen-Thanh, D., Block, K., Bandosz, T., (2005), “Adsorption of Hydrogen Sulfide on Montmorillonites Modified with Iron”, Chemosphere (59) 343-353, doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2004.10.022