Helen Cox

Helen Cox
Professor / Sustainability, Climate Change, Atmosphere, Remote Sensing Systems
(818) 677-3512
Office location:
Sierra Hall, Room 130-K



  • PhD, 1998, Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MS, 1995, Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MS, 1979, Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • MA, 1983, Physics, Oxford University, Oxford, England
  • BA, 1978, Physics, Oxford University, Oxford, England

Courses Taught

Geography 101: Intro to Physical Geography
Geography 103: Weather
Geography 311/L: The Atmosphere
Geography 360: Intro to Spatial Statistics
Geography 407/L: Remote Sensing
Geography 416: Global Warming
Geography 460/L: Spatial Analysis
Geography 690D: Graduate Seminar in Remote Sensing
Geography 630E: Human Impact on the Environment

Sustainability Courses:

Selected Publications and Presentations

Cox, Helen M. “A Sustainability Initiative to Quantify Carbon Sequestration by Campus Trees”, Journal of Geography, 111:5, 173-183, 2012.

Cox, Helen M., “What are we doing about climate change?”, Human Geography, 3, 2, 1- 20, 2010.

Cox, H.M, “Studying Climate Change: A New Tool Mixes Weather Data and GIS”, (GeoWorld, 22, 9, 24-27, 2009)

Yong, A., S.E. Hough, M.J. Abrams, H. M. Cox, C.J. Wills and G.W. Simila, “Site Characterization Using Integrated Imaging Analysis Methods on Satellite Data of the Islamabad, Pakistan, Region”, (Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 98, 6, 2679–2693, 2008. doi: 0.1785/0120080930).

Cox, H. M.,“Current Issues in Global Warming and Mitigation Efforts: Focus on California”, (APCG Yearbook, 69, 115 – 132, 2007)

Steele, H. M., A. Eldering, J. D. Lumpe, “Simulations of the accuracy in retrieving aerosol effective radius, composition and loading from high-resolution spectral transmission measurements”, (Applied Optics, 45, 9, 2014-2027, 2006)

Steele, H. M., J. D. Lumpe, and R. M. Bevilacqua, "The climatology of the polar aerosol from the POAM instruments" (Physical Geography, 26, 1, pp1-22, Jan-Feb 2005)

Polyakov. A. V., Yu. M. Timofeyev, D. V. Ionov, Ya. A. Virolainen, H. M. Steele and M. J. Newchurch, “Retrieval of ozone and nitrogen dioxide concentrations from SAGE III measurements using a new algorithm”, ( J. Geophys. Res., 110, No. 6, doi: 2004JD005060, 2005)

Virolainen, Ya A., Yu. M. Timofeyev, A. V. Polyakov, H. M. Steele, K. Drdla, and M. J. Newchurch, “Simulation of polar stratospheric clouds: 1. Microphysical characteristics”, (Atmos. Oceanic Opt., 18, 3, 243-247, 2005)

Virolainen, Ya A., Yu. M. Timofeyev, A. V. Polyakov, H. M. Steele, K. Drdla, and M. J. Newchurch, “Simulation of polar stratospheric clouds: 2. Spectral aerosol extinction coefficient and PSC remote sensing possibilities”, (Atmos. Oceanic Opt., 18, 7, 526-530, 2005)

Eldering, A., B. H. Kahn, F. P. Mills, F.W. Irion, H. M. Steele and M. R. Gunson, "Vertical profiles of aerosol volume from high-spectral-resolution infrared transmission measurements: Results", J. Geophys. Res., 109,D20201, doi:10.1029/2004JD004623, 2004.

Timofeyev, Yu. M., A. V. Polyakov, H. M. Steele and M. J. Newchurch, “Optimal eigenanalysis for the treatment of aerosols in the retrieval of atmospheric composition from transmission measurements.” Applied Optics, 42, 15, 2635-2646, 2003.

Steele, H. M., A. Eldering, B. Sen, G. C. Toon, F. P. Mills and B. H. Kahn, "Retrieval of stratospheric aerosol size and composition information from solar infrared transmission spectra", Applied Optics,42, 12, 2140-2154, 2003.

Steele, H. M., J. D. Lumpe, R. M. Bevilacqua, K. W. Hoppel and R. P. Turco, "The role of temperature history in polar stratospheric cloud sightings." (J. Geophys. Res., 107, AAC2-1 – AAC2-15, 2002)

Eldering, A., F.W. Irion, A. Y. Chang, M. R. Gunson, F. P. Mills and H. M. Steele, "Vertical profiles of aerosol volume from high-spectral-resolution infrared transmission measurements. I. Methodology", Applied Optics, 40, 18, 3082-3091, 2001.

Steele, H. M., J. Lumpe, R. P. Turco, R. Bevilacqua, and S. T. Massie,
"Retrieval of aerosol surface area and volume densities from extinction measurements: Application to POAM II and SAGE II", J. Geophys. Res., 9325-9336, 1999.

Steele, H. M., K. Drdla, R. P. Turco, J. D. Lumpe, R. M. Bevilacqua, "Tracking polar stratospheric cloud development with POAM II and a microphysical model", Geophys. Res. Lett., 26,287-290, 1999

Cox, Helen M, Kimberle Kelly, and Laura Yetter. “Using Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technology for Climate Change”, Journal of Geoscience Education, 3, (forthcoming), 2014.

Cox, Helen M., K. Kelly and L. Yetter. “Student Activities in Climate Change using NASA Satellite Data, CSU Geospatial Review (Spring 2014).

Research and Interests

  • For the past five years Dr. Cox has served as the Director of the Institute for Sustainability at CSUN.  In this capacity she develops and promotes educational and research programs related to sustainability; coordinates and assists in the implementation of greening efforts for the campus including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; and participates in campus planning for sustainability. She was responsible for leading the development of the campus 10-year sustainability plan which establishes goals, objectives and action items in ten different focus areas across the university. Dr. Cox was a leader in the development of the Sustainability minor program and teaches in that program.

    Dr. Cox’s research has focused on the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole, and on issues related to climate change.  She has studied the interaction of aerosol particles with sunlight, an important component in controlling the radiation budget of the earth, and one that has received much attention for its role in “global dimming”.  Dr. Cox has presented and authored papers on the retrieval of atmospheric data from satellite experiments, aerosols, stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, remote sensing, carbon sequestration, the use of GIS in sustainability studies, and energy resources.  She enjoys educating students in important environmental issues such as air and water pollution, acid rain, ozone depletion, climate change and resource use and management.  She has a keen interest in the environment and enjoys following scientific developments in understanding climate change, and in viewing the public and political response to this change.  She teaches courses related to the atmosphere, climate change, alternative energy resources, sustainability, remote sensing, and the environment.