Professional Orgs.



Katherine Beem Benedict

Research Scientist
Colorado State University
Department of Atmospheric Science



Ph.D. 2012. Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science. Dissertation Title: Observations of reactive nitrogen species in the atmosphere and nitrogen deposition in the Rocky Mountains. Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey L. Collett Jr.

M.S. 2008. Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science.  Thesis Title: Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur Deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park. Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey L. Collett Jr.

B.S. 2006. Susquehanna University, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences., Undergraduate Thesis Title: Measurements and dispersion modeling of sulfur dioxide concentrations in the vicinity of a coal-fired power plant. Research Advisor: Dr. Derek J. Straub


For my postdoc I worked with Cort Anastasio at the University of California-Davis from November 2012 to May 2014.  We measured the quantum yield of nitrite from nitrate photolysis in laboratory ice/snow.  Photolysis of nitrate is an important source of reactive nitrogen species like NOx and HONO and oxidants like hydroxyl radical and O3 in snow covered regions.  We were interested in better understanding the nitrite yield in ice at environmentally relevant wavelengths (>300nm) and the factors that may impact it.  

My graduate research focused on measuring and analyzing atmospheric reactive nitrogen as a means of understanding its sources and levels of deposition in Rocky Mountain and Grand Teton National Parks. We focused on quantifying both the inorganic contributions from dry and wet deposition as well as organic nitrogen in precipitation and aerosol. As part of this work I helped to organize a team of researchers and the measurements collecting field samples. 

 I also had the opportunity of participate in VOCALS-Rex on the C-130 in Arica, Chile.  During the field campaign I collected cloud water samples to complement the suite of other measurements made during the campaign on the C-130, other aircraft, the ground, and research vessels.

As an undergraduate I participated in two atmospheric science related research projects. In the summer of 2005, at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the DOE Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships, I compared particulate samplers in the PM10 and PM2.5 range at the Hanford Site in Richland, WA. For my undergraduate research project, during the summer of 2004, I worked with Dr. Derek Straub at Susquehanna University where were examined and modeled the dispersion of a sulfur dioxide plume downwind of the Sunbury Electric coal fired power plant in Selinsgrove, PA.

  • Alumni Award - In recognition of exemplary performance in the CSU Atmospheric Science Graduate Program (April 2012)
  •  Recognition for Outstanding Poster Presentation at the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Open Science Conference (October 2011)
  • David L. Dietrich Honorary Scholarship for exemplary performance in the study of air quality in the CSU Atmospheric Science Graduate Program (October 2010)
  • Honorable Mention for poster presentation at 5th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection, and Dew (July 2010) 

Professional Organizations


  • Invited workshop on Communication: Talking Environmental Science: May 9-11, 2011.  Hosted by the School of Global and Environmental Sustainability, the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, and the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes at Colorado State University.
  • 2011 ESWN Professional Development Workshop: Developing Your Research Identity.  June 6-8, 2011.


  • Presenter at Alliance for Climate Education Sacramento Area Workshop for High School Teachers: Climate Change in the Next Generation Classroom. August 2013.
  • Research Mentor for CMMAP Summer Undergraduate Research Program, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Summers of 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014.
  • AAAR CSU Student Chapter Vice President (2008-2009)
  • Graduate Student Council Representative for the Atmospheric Science Department (2007-2008)
  • Mentor for the Saturday Morning Engineering Club, a program to get 4th-6th grade girls interested in science and engineering (Fall 2007)


Gebhart, K.A., Malm, W.C., Rodriguez, M.A., Barna, M.G., Schichtel, B.A., Benedict, K.B., Collett Jr., J.L., Carrico, C.M., 2014. "Meteorological and Back Trajectory Modeling for the Rocky Mountain Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur Study II. Advances in Meteorology, vol. 2014, doi:10.1155/2014/414015

 Prenni, A.J., Levin, E.J.T., Benedict, K.B., Sullivan, A.P., Schurman, M.I., Gebhart, K.A., Day, D.E., Carrico, C.M., Schichtel, B.A., Collett Jr., J.L., Kreidenweis, S.M., 2014. Gas-phase reactive nitrogen near Grand Teton National Park: Impacts of transport, anthropogenic emissions, and biomass burning. Atmospheric Environment 89, 749-756.

 Malm, W.C., Schichtel, B.A., Barna, M.G., Gebhart, K.A., Rodriguez, M.A., Collett Jr., J.L., Carrico, C.M., Benedict, K.B., Prenni, A.J., Kreidenweis, S.M., 2013. Aerosol species concentrations and source apportionment of ammonia at Rocky Mountain National Park. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 63, 1245-1263.

Benedict, K.B., Chen, X., Sullivan, A.P., Li, Y., Day, D., Levin, E., Prenni, A., Kreidenweis, S.M., Schichtel, B., Collett Jr., J.L., 2013. The Spatial Distribution of Reactive Nitrogen Species and Nitrogen Deposition in Grand Teton National Park. . Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 18, 11,875-11,887.

Benedict, K.B., Kreidenweis, S.M., Schichtel, B., Malm, W.C., Collett Jr., J.L., accepted. A Nitrogen Deposition Budget for Rocky Mountain National Park. Ecological Applications 23, 1156-1169.

Benedict, K.B., Day, D., Schwandner, F.M., Kreidenweis, S.M., Schichtel, B., Malm, W.C., Collett Jr., J.L. 2013. Transport of atmospheric reactive nitrogen species in Rocky Mountain National Park and across Colorado. Atmospheric Environment 64, 66-76.   

Heald, C.L., Collett, J.L., Lee, T., Benedict, K.B., Schwandner, F.M., Li, Y., Clarisse, L.,  Hurtmans, D.R.,  Van Damme, M. , Clerbaux, C., Coheur, P.-F., and Pye, H.O.T., 2012. Atmospheric ammonia and particulate inorganic nitrogen over the United States. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics., 12, 10295-10312, doi:10.5194/acp-12-10295-2012. 

Day, D., Chen, D., Gebhart, K., Carrico, K., Schwander, F., Benedict, K.B., Schichtel, B., Collett Jr., J.L., 2012. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Ammonia and other Inorganic Aerosol Species on the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Northern Colorado, USA. Atmospheric Environment 61, 490-498.

Saide, P.E., Spak, S.N., Carmichael, G.R., Mena-Carrasco, M.A., Howell, S., Leon, D.C., Snider, J.R., Bandy, A.R., Collett, J.L., Benedict, K.B., de Szoeke, S.P., Hawkins, L.N., Allen, G., Crawford I., Crosier, J., and Springston, S.R., 2012. Evaluating WRF-Chem aerosol indirect effects in Southeast Pacific marine stratocumulus during VOCALS-REx, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 3045-3064, doi:10.5194/acp-12-3045-2012.

Benedict, K.B., Lee, T, Collett Jr., J.L., 2012. Cloud water composition over the Southeastern Pacific Ocean during the VOCALS Region Experiment.  Atmospheric Environment 46, 104-114, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.10.029.

Yang, M., Huebert, B.J., Blomquist, B.W., Howell, S.G., Shank, L.M., McNaughton, C.S., Clarke, A.D., Hawkins, L.N., Russell, L.M., Covert, D.S., Coffman, D.J., Bates, T.S., Quinn, P.K., Zagorac, N., Bandy, A.R., de Szoeke, S.P., Zuidema, P.D., Tucker, S.C., Brewer, W.A., Benedict, K.B., and Collett, J.L., 2011. Atmospheric sulfur cycling in the southeastern Pacific – longitudinal distribution, vertical profile, and diel variability observed during VOCALS-REx, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 5079-5097, doi:10.5194/acp-11-5079-2011.

Beem, K. B., Raja, S., Schwandner, F. M., Taylor, C., Lee, T., Sullivan, A. P., Carrico, C. M., McMeeking, G. R., Day, D., Levin, E., Hand, J., Kreidenweis, S. M., Schichtel, B., Malm, W. C., and Collett, Jr., J. L., 2010. Deposition of reactive nitrogen during the Rocky Mountain Airborne Nitrogen and Sulfur (RoMANS) study. Environmental Pollution 158, 862-872, doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2009.09.023.