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Announcements

May 17, 2019

Congratulations to our graduates!

Fall 2018 Graduates

Ellie Casas M.S. Adviser: Michael Bell
Ting-Yu Cha M.S. Adviser: Michael Bell
Michael Cheeseman M.S. Adviser: Scott Denning
Sean Freeman M.S. Adviser: Sue van den Heever
Greg Herman Ph.D. Adviser: Russ Schumacher
Stacey Hitchcock Ph.D. Adviser: Russ Schumacher
Kyle Nardi M.S. Adviser: Elizabeth Barnes
Kate O’Dell M.S. Adviser: Jeff Pierce
Emily Ramnarine M.S. Adviser: Jeff Pierce
Zitely Tzompa Ph.D. Adviser: Emily Fischer

Spring 2019 Graduates

Zach Bruick M.S. Adviser: Kristen Rasmussen
Kyle Chudler M.S. Adviser: Steve Rutledge
Luke Davis M.S. Adviser: Dave Thompson
Marie McGraw Ph.D. Adviser: Elizabeth Barnes
Michael Natoli M.S. Adviser: Eric Maloney
Rob Nelson Ph.D. Adviser: Chris Kummerow
Erik Nielsen Ph.D. Adviser: Russ Schumacher
Samantha Wills Ph.D. Adviser: Dave Thompson

Summer 2019 Graduates

Ryan Riesenberg M.S. Adviser: Kristen Rasmussen
Ben Toms M.S. Adviser: Sue van den Heever
Kai-Chih Tseng Ph.D. Advisers: Elizabeth Barnes and Eric Maloney

Photo: Fall 2018 and Spring and Summer 2019 graduates who walked in commencement ceremonies Friday, May 17. From left to right, Marie McGraw, Samantha Wills, Ryan Riesenberg, Erik Nielsen, Zach Bruick, Kai-Chih Tseng and Michael Natoli. Photo by Sarah Tisdale

May 15, 2019

CSU meteorologists have a field day at Rockies weather and science event

Coors Field hosted a different type of action April 24. Before watching Major League Baseball, the crowd spectated science experiments, meteorology demonstrations, rocket launches and fireworks at the Colorado Rockies’ 10th annual Weather and Science Day. Twelve-thousand students from schools all over Colorado and parts of Wyoming, along with their teachers and parents, attended the event designed to interest kids in science, engineering and math.

“Events like these are what sparks excitement and imagination in kids’ minds, and hopefully encourages them to pursue a career in a scientific field when they are older,” said Noah Newman, who coordinated Colorado State University’s involvement in the event.

Newman, who coordinates outreach for the Colorado Climate Center, and several graduate students from the Department of Atmospheric Science explained and demonstrated how they take weather observations using various instruments, including a drone. The drone was popular with the students, who waved to its camera as drone operator Sean Freeman flew it in front of the crowd. The audience viewed the drone’s infrared perspective on the stadium’s giant screen, while Jennie Bukowski described how the department uses drones to study weather and severe storms.

Read the full Source article, “CSU meteorologists have a field day at Rockies Weather and Science event.”

May 10, 2019

Jakob Lindaas named SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellow

CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) has selected Ph.D. student Jakob Lindaas as one of 20 early career academics to be a Sustainability Leadership Fellow for the 2019-20 academic year. Lindaas is advised by Associate Professor Emily Fischer.

SoGES recognizes that CSU’s future Ph.D.s and postdoctoral researchers are a primary informational resource for the complex decisions that will determine our environmental future. Over the course of the year, fellows will receive training to become leaders, learning to effectively communicate science to the media, policy makers and the public. They also will learn how to build successful careers that incorporate meaningful engagement and an interdisciplinary approach to research.

This year’s Sustainability Leadership Fellows represent 18 departments and six colleges. Postdoctoral fellow Kelsey Bilsback also was chosen as a Sustainability Leadership Fellow for next academic year.

Lindaas said he was thrilled to be named a leadership fellow and excited to get to know the diverse group of sustainability scholars from many disciplines and schools at CSU.

“I’m hoping to learn more about how to foster innovative, interdisciplinary research to solve environmental problems and how scientists can better communicate what they know with the public as well as policy makers,” he said.

For more information about the fellowship, you can read the Source article, “School of Global Environmental Sustainability announces 2019-20 Sustainability Leadership Fellows.”

May 9, 2019

Kelsey Bilsback selected for ACCESS, SoGES Sustainability Leadership program

Postdoctoral fellow Kelsey Bilsback, advised by Jeff Pierce, has been chosen to attend the highly competitive Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium for Emerging Senior Scientists (ACCESS), which selects 25 of the top early career scientists every other year. She also has been named a SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellow for 2019-20.

ACCESS XV includes the Gordon Research Conference in Atmospheric Chemistry and will take place July 25-28 at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Bilsback will have the opportunity to meet and present her work to representatives of the principal federal government agencies that fund atmospheric chemistry research. The meetings are intended to forge future professional relationships, with the atmospheric science community benefiting by becoming more aware of innovations in atmospheric chemistry through interactions with and presentations by ACCESS participants.

ACCESS participants are selected by a committee based in part on the significance and achievement of the applicant’s thesis or postdoctoral research. Around 100 candidates apply from prestigious institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Professors Jeff Pierce and Emily Fischer both attended ACCESS as postdoctoral fellows.

The CSU School of Global Environmental Sustainability’s leadership program provides training for fellows to effectively communicate science to the media, policy makers and the public. The fellowship aims to help early career scientists working on sustainability issues reach a broader audience and have greater impact. Bilsback studies the effects of anthropogenic air pollution on health and climate.

“Given that mitigating anthropogenic air pollution is largely driven by individual choices and government policies, I think the impact of my research now and in the future will be tied to my ability to communicate with the general public effectively,” she said.

May 8, 2019

Erin Dougherty accepted to Advanced Climate Dynamics program

Erin Dougherty, advised by Assistant Professor Kristen Rasmussen, has been admitted to the Advanced Climate Dynamics Courses Summer School, which will take place at Yosemite Field Station in Yosemite National Park Sept. 22 through Oct. 4. The goal of the program is to offer empirical and dynamical training within climate science with a focus on understanding the basic principles and dynamics relating to and defining the climate of the Anthropocene.

Dougherty applied to the program because she was interested in the immersive experience and opportunity to learn about anthropogenic climate change from experts around the world.

“Given my Ph.D. research on floods in a future climate, I hope to gain a broader perspective of how my research relates to anthropogenic climate change, and witness this first-hand during the fieldwork component,” Dougherty said. “I think this will be an enriching experience to learn how humans are affecting the planet and gain a better scientific understanding of such a complex and important topic.”

May 6, 2019

Kate O’Dell accepted to aerosol school in Brazil, AMS Summer Policy Colloquium

Kate O’Dell has a busy summer ahead of her. She has been accepted to and awarded funding for an aerosol program in Brazil and also the American Meteorological Society’s Summer Policy Colloquium.

The Sao Paulo School of Advanced Science on Atmospheric Aerosols will take place July 22 through Aug. 2 at the University of Sao Paulo. The school’s main objective is to promote the gathering of atmospheric aerosol researchers with the best young researchers from around the world. The program is highly competitive, with 100 participants accepted out of 500 applications received from 67 countries. SPSAS scholars will acquire state-of-the-art scientific knowledge through theoretical classes, practical experimental activities, poster sessions and visits to research institutions.

O’Dell applied to the aerosol school for the opportunity to learn about a broad range of atmospheric aerosol-related topics from international colleges and leading experts in the field.

“I’m excited about this in-depth learning opportunity, and especially excited to gain hands-on experience with several aerosol measurement technologies through field trips and measurement projects in Sao Paulo,” O’Dell said.

O’Dell’s air quality research led her to apply for the AMS Summer Policy Colloquium, to be held June 2-11 in Washington, D.C. The colloquium is a 10-day immersion in the policy process and timely weather and climate-related topics. Graduate students will have the opportunity to meet policy makers and decision makers from Capitol Hill, federal agencies, academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

O’Dell said air quality in the U.S. has significantly improved thanks to effective policy, but there’s more work to do.

“A great way to continue improving our air quality is by maintaining a strong connection between scientists and policy makers,” she said. “At the colloquium, I hope to do my part by learning more about how the policy process works and by connecting with the people who make those legislative/regulatory decisions.”

May 4, 2019

ATS experts shed light on record-breaking storm season in South Indian Ocean

Unusual tropical cyclone activity in the South Indian Ocean that is causing loss of human life and devastation has caught the attention of CSU’s Tropical Meteorology Project, which has been issuing seasonal hurricane forecasts in the Atlantic longer than any other organization.

At the end of April, Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall as the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed in Mozambique. Kenneth struck northern Mozambique hot on the heels of Tropical Cyclone Idai, which ravaged southeast Africa mid-March, killing more than 1,000 people. As this South Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season sets records, CSU’s Tropical Meteorology Project leaders offer some perspective on what is making it so unusual.

“Idai was extremely devastating from a loss-of-life perspective,” said researcher Phil Klotzbach, lead author of CSU’s Atlantic seasonal hurricane forecast. “Idai was a Category 2 hurricane when it made landfall, and it produced tremendous flooding as well as a very high storm surge. This devastating cyclone was responsible for more than 1,000 fatalities. This is the second most fatalities on record for a South Indian Ocean cyclone.”

Read the full Source story, “CSU tropical meteorology experts shed light on record-breaking storm season in South Indian Ocean.”

April 26, 2019

Atmospheric scientists find clues to climate change in the dust

Clouds tell us what type of weather to expect, and wield a great deal of influence over our climate. They can enhance warming by trapping heat or cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back into space. Atmospheric scientists are studying another influencer with outsized effect: dust.

Dust can transform clouds, thereby altering the climate. With global temperatures rising and glaciers receding, the Arctic has been getting a lot dustier lately.

“As the Arctic climate changes, and the land/ocean surface properties change, impacts of particle emissions on cloud properties need to be considered as part of the story,” explained Paul DeMott, one of the Colorado State University atmospheric scientists who recently participated in an international study of glacially sourced dust and its impact on cloud formation. Their findings were published in Nature Geoscience on March 25.

Read the full Source article, “Atmospheric scientists find clues to climate change in the dust.”

Photo at top: Jun Uetake, left, and Yutaka Tobo install sampling lines for data collection at a research station in Svalbard, Norway.

April 25, 2019

Stepping up PROGRESS: Mentorship key to retaining undergraduate women in STEM

It can be challenging to envision yourself succeeding in a career when you can’t relate to others in that field. Sometimes connecting with another person with whom you identify can make the difference between continuing course or changing direction.

Many women in STEM fields have encountered this dearth of relatable role models. A program cofounded by CSU atmospheric science professor Emily Fischer endeavors to foster these important connections and bolster gender diversity in STEM.

PROGRESS, or PROmoting Geoscience Research, Education and Success, has demonstrated that mentorship is key to the retention of underrepresented groups in the geosciences.

“PROGRESS enhances the mentoring support of undergraduate women, and this strengthens their scientific identify, and this increases their interest in the earth sciences,” said Fischer, who is principal investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded project.

Read the full Source article, “Stepping up PROGRESS.”

April 24, 2019

Professional development workshop on private sector careers May 1

Professor Sue van den Heever and Melissa Burt will host a professional development workshop on careers in the private sector 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in ATS 101. Featured panelists are Chris Alston, sales engineer with ClimaCell; Rachel Hatteberg, software engineer with Aeris, LLC; Gavin McMeeking, principal scientist with Handix Scientific; and Sara Tucker, research scientist with Ball Aerospace.

This is the third workshop in a series of three. The first workshop, held in May 2018, focused on academic careers. The second, on April 9, highlighted government labs and other agencies.

All are welcome at the panel discussion. There will be time for questions from the audience. Refreshments will follow the panel, so students can talk to the panelists one-on-one.

April 22, 2019

Air quality expert Jason Reed to speak at next FORTCAST event

Learn about air quality forecasting and consulting careers at FORTCAST’s next What’s Brewing in Weather & Climate talk. Jason Reed, principal scientist and certified consulting meteorologist with SLR Consulting in Fort Collins, will describe his consulting career and discuss the technical and professional challenges specific to air quality applications. Reed has worked in air quality for 20 years with a focus on air quality modeling for permitting and environmental impact analyses.

Discussion will begin 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, upstairs at Tap & Handle. CSU students, bring your ID for $2 off drafts.

Contact amsfortcast@gmail.com with questions.

April 19, 2019

Ben Trabing and Kai-Chih Tseng receive department honors for student research

Ben Trabing and Kai-Chih Tseng were honored this afternoon for outstanding student publications. Trabing, advised by Associate Professor Michael Bell, received the Riehl Memorial Award for his paper, “Impacts of Radiation and Upper Tropospheric Temperatures on Tropical Cyclone Structure and Intensity,” based on his M.S. research. Tseng, advised by Professor Eric Maloney and Associate Professor Elizabeth Barnes, received the Alumni Award for an outstanding paper based on Ph.D. research for “The Consistency of MJO Teleconnection Patterns: An Explanation Using Linear Rossby Wave Theory.”

Herbert Riehl, Jr. was in attendance for presentation of the Herbert Riehl Memorial Award that honors his father, who founded the Department of Atmospheric Science. Trabing and Tseng each gave brief technical presentations on their research following announcement of their awards.

“Ben is one of the hardest workers I know,” said Bell, who also received the Riehl Award as an M.S. student. He recounted how Dr. Bill Gray asked him a challenging question following his presentation and encouraged others to do the same for Trabing.

Maloney praised Tseng’s work ethic and creativity. He said Tseng is prolific, with three publications in his name already and a fourth in the works.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better student,” Maloney said.

Herbert Riehl, Jr. and Riehl Award winners Kai-Chih Tseng and Michael Bell

Riehl Award winner Ben Trabing, left, with Herbert Riehl, Jr., center, and his adviser, Michael Bell, a past Riehl Award recipient.

Kai-Chih Tseng and his advisers, Elizabeth Barnes and Eric Maloney

Alumni Award winner Kai-Chih Tseng, center, with his advisers, Elizabeth Barnes and Eric Maloney.

April 18, 2019

Prof. Ravishankara elected a Foreign Member of UK’s Royal Society

Colorado State University Distinguished Professor A.R. Ravishankara, professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Atmospheric Science, has been named a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, the independent scientific academy of the United Kingdom.

This year, the Royal Society elected 51 scientists, 10 Foreign Members and one Honorary Fellow to its ranks, in recognition of “exceptional contributions to science.”

Ravishankara is a widely respected expert in the study of ozone, air quality and climate change. Some of his recent research and policy-related work has focused on reducing atmospheric pollution from developing countries, including India, whose cities are among the most polluted in the world.

Read the full Source article, “Ravishankara elected a Foreign Member of UK’s Royal Society.”

April 17, 2019

Jennie Bukowski accepted to AMS Summer Policy Colloquium

Jennie Bukowski has been awarded funding to attend the American Meteorological Society’s Summer Policy Colloquium in Washington, D.C., June 2-11. The colloquium is a 10-day immersion in the policy process and timely weather and climate-related topics. Graduate students selected through a highly competitive process have the opportunity to meet policy makers and decision makers from Capitol Hill, federal agencies, academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Bukowski applied to the program to learn how atmospheric scientists can take part in the policy process.

“In an era of political polarization, now more than ever we need scientists to stand up, advocate for research, and support evidence-based decision making,” she said. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to witness firsthand how scientists can make a difference in policy and science communication, and to share that knowledge with other interested students at CSU.”

Bukowski’s adviser, Professor Sue van den Heever, was proud of her student’s distinction.

“Jennie is a most deserving candidate in all areas related to science and policy, and I am delighted that she has been accepted to this colloquium.”

April 16, 2019

Erin Dougherty earns 3rd place research presentation award at Hydrology Days

Erin Dougherty placed third for her research presentation at Hydrology Days, an annual American Geophysical Union conference at CSU that brings together students, faculty, staff and scientists from a wide range of water-related disciplines. Dougherty presented her Ph.D. research on “Flood-Producing Storms in a Current and Future Climate Using High-Resolution Convection-Permitting Simulations in the United States.”

“Presenting this atmospheric science-focused research to a room full of hydrologists and civil engineers was a worthwhile experience, and even led to some interdisciplinary collaborations,” Dougherty said. “It was particularly gratifying to receive the award because it showed me the broader importance of my work in relation to a wide range of water-related issues.”

In addition to a cash award, her research will be featured in an upcoming issue of Colorado Water, a publication produced by the Colorado Water Center that highlights water research and activities at CSU and throughout Colorado.

Dougherty, who is also a School of Global Environmental Sustainability Leadership Fellow, recently discussed related subject matter in a blog post, “How Science Can Help a Crumbling Water Infrastructure in the U.S.

April 15, 2019

Jamin Rader chosen for DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

Jamin Rader, who will join Elizabeth Barnes’ research group in Fall 2019, has been awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. DOE CSGF students receive full tuition and fees plus an annual stipend and academic allowance, renewable for up to four years, to apply to Ph.D. study in computational science or engineering. Less than 5 percent of applicants are chosen for the fellowship each year. Rader is the third ATS student to receive the DOE CSGF.

In addition to required courses in engineering, computer science and applied mathematics, DOE CSG fellows also must complete a three-month research practicum at one of 21 DOE sites. The practicum is intended to broaden the fellow’s experience outside their main thesis area, expose them to alternative methods or tools, and allow them to apply their skills to new problems in computational science.

“I am excited to use this [fellowship] to learn about machine learning and apply it to real-world problems related to, but separate from, my graduate studies – and then, of course, take this new skill and apply it to my studies at CSU,” Rader said.

Rader also received a one-year AMS Graduate Fellowship, which he had to decline in order to use the DOE fellowship.

You can find more information on the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship here.

April 10, 2019

Kirsten Mayer awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Kirsten Mayer, advised by Elizabeth Barnes, has been selected to receive a three-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

“I am very honored to have been selected to receive the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship,” Mayer said. “This funding provides me the flexibility to pursue new and exciting research that I am particularly passionate about.”

Mayer will use the funding to further study the MJO-QBO relationship in regard to sub-seasonal to seasonal prediction.

“I plan to use this opportunity to expand my knowledge of new methods, such as machine learning, to better our understanding of the atmosphere.”

April 8, 2019

Researchers working to prevent sexual harassment in scientific field settings

Scientists involved in a field campaign are away from their normal routines, offices and universities, including the support mechanisms available if sexual harassment or other inappropriate behaviors occur. Three Colorado State University researchers are examining the prevalence of sexual harassment in field-based research as part of a National Science Foundation-supported study.

The CSU team, which includes Emily Fischer, Kristen Rasmussen and Brittany Bloodhart, are also studying what psychological indicators might lead people to engage in – or intervene in – a harassment situation.

Part of their work is documenting how people respond when the issue of sexual harassment is openly discussed, and expectations for professional behavior are clearly set by team leadership. The goal: creating a policy and culture of collegiality and respect across field teams.

Their efforts are supported by nearly $300,000 from the National Science Foundation, awarded last year. The group used two recent CSU-led field campaigns as test cases and proving grounds for their project.

Read the full Source article, “Researchers working to prevent sexual harassment in scientific field settings.”

Photo at top: Brittany Bloodhart, Emily Fischer and Kristen Rasmussen received a National Science Foundation grant to study the prevalence of sexual harassment in field campaign settings. Photo by Bill Cotton

April 4, 2019

ATS researchers predict slightly below-average 2019 Atlantic hurricane season

Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting a slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2019, citing the relatively high likelihood of a weak El Niño as a primary factor.

Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are currently slightly below their long-term average values and are consequently considered an inhibiting factor for 2019 Atlantic hurricane activity as well.

A weak El Niño has recently developed in the tropical Pacific. CSU anticipates that these weak El Niño conditions are likely to persist through the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form.

The tropical Atlantic is slightly cooler than normal right now. Colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic provide less fuel for tropical cyclone formation and intensification. They are also associated with a more stable atmosphere as well as drier air, both of which suppress organized thunderstorm activity necessary for hurricane development.

Read the full Source story, “Researchers predicting slightly below-average 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.”

April 3, 2019

Inspiring young scientists: Atmos hosts 108 second-graders

There was a little extra excitement at Atmos on Friday. In addition to hosting five prospective graduate students, the department welcomed 108 second-graders from Altitude Elementary in Aurora. Young minds delighted in scientific discovery as the children rotated through several stations designed to teach them about precipitation, air pollution, and weather and climate.

Noah Newman, outreach coordinator for the Colorado Climate Center, discussed the water cycle with the students and reviewed what they knew about the atmosphere and how it protects us. They finished the station with a hands-on demonstration on how meteorologists measure three forms of precipitation: rain, hail and snow.

“All of the students did really well with answering the questions I posed to the classes, and they had many good questions and comments of their own,” Newman said. “Overall, it was a really fun day.”

Volunteers from Fort Collins Atmospheric Scientists, or FORTCAST, agreed that interacting with the young guests was fun. FORTCAST, a local chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), is composed of mostly graduate students from the Department of Atmospheric Science. FORTCAST presents hands-on science at events like those held by CSU’s Little Shop of Physics and at their own event, Weatherfest, in the summer.

FORTCAST volunteers Sean Freeman, Jennie Bukowski and Kyle Chudler ran several interactive demonstrations that enthralled the schoolkids. Bukowski exhibited how clouds form in the atmosphere using water, a plastic bottle, a bike pump and smoke particles from a match, creating a cloud in a bottle for the students to examine up close. The children answered questions about the importance of clouds and rain and were thrilled to test the particle counter themselves.

Chudler showed the group how different colors either reflect or absorb heat, as evidenced by sheets of white and black paper under a heat lamp, so the students could feel the difference for themselves. He then displayed an image of the Earth and asked the students which areas would absorb heat and which would reflect it. They were able to extrapolate that receding ice means less reflective surface area as it becomes darker, heat-absorbing ocean, thereby warming the planet.

Chudler wowed them when he demonstrated air pressure by placing a heated can in ice water. The children’s eyes and mouths opened wide in awe as an aluminum soda can instantly crumpled when a vacuum formed inside.

Inquisitive kids flocked to Freeman’s table to check out a drone, its camera, and an iPad displaying the camera’s view in real time. Students waved and mugged for the camera as Freeman explained how he and other atmospheric scientists use drones for research, flying them into clouds and storms to collect data. The children were able to view footage taken by the drone in flight.

At another station, research scientist Katie Benedict taught the students about air pollution. They learned about particles in the atmosphere and how our noses and lungs filter those particles and protect our bodies. Benedict explained how increased aerosol in the atmosphere affects our visibility as light is scattered. The class compared filters and images from normal, hazy and smoky days that illustrated this phenomenon. Research scientists Arsineh Hecobian and Amy Sullivan also led demonstrations of smells from volatile organic compounds and the use of chromatography to separate a mixture of chemicals, in this case water-soluble marker colors.

The visit culminated in a weather balloon launch and drone flight. Despite the dreary weather, the youngsters exclaimed in enthusiasm as the balloon was released, and more than 100 little faces watched intently as it drifted higher into the clouds until it was out of sight.

For the grand finale, drone pilot Sean Freeman gave a much-anticipated flight demo of the drone’s maneuvering capability and snapped a few aerial shots of the enrapt second-graders. The kids cheered as the drone settled back onto the ground. After a unified “thank you” on their teachers’ cue, the second-graders boarded their buses, likely taking with them lessons they won’t soon forget.

Department Head Jeff Collett, who coordinated the visit, echoed the thoughts of one student who, just before departing, was overheard telling her teacher that it had been the “best day ever!”

Students crowd around to mug for drone camera Jennie Bukowski demonstrates presence of invisible particles in air Kids test difference in temperature based on color Kids marvel at can crushed by escaping air pressure Students look to sky following balloon launch

March 26, 2019

Professional development workshop on national lab and government jobs April 9

Professor Sue van den Heever and Melissa Burt will host a professional development workshop on working for government labs and other agencies 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in ATS 101. Featured panelists are Aparna Bamzai-Dodson, deputy director of the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center with the U.S. Geological Survey; Ethan Greene, director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center; Nezette Rydell, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service Boulder; and Jonathan Vigh, a project scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

This is the second workshop in a series of three. The first workshop, held in May 2018, focused on academic careers. The third, scheduled for May 1, will highlight private sector careers.

All are welcome at the panel discussion. There will be time for questions from the audience. Refreshments will follow the panel, so students can talk to the panelists one-on-one.

March 19, 2019

Teen Science Café takes a look at Earth from space

Learn how scientists monitor Earth’s atmosphere and environment using satellites at April’s Teen Science Café. Matt Rogers from the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere will talk about the principles of light, how light interacts with the environment, and how that can be used to measure our world from orbit.

When: 5-7 p.m., with the presentation starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10
Where: Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, 144 S. Mason St., Fort Collins
Presenter: Matt Rogers from the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

RSVP to the April 10 Teen Science Café here.

April 10 Teen Science Café flier

The Front Range Teen Science Café is part of a larger national network of science cafés for teens. ESMEI’S Teen Science Café brings scientists and teens together for a conversation about science in a local coffee shop. A primary goal of the café is for teens to increase their understanding of the nature of science and to develop a realistic perception of scientists and the lives they lead, which they sometimes do not get in school.

March 18, 2019

Kristen Rasmussen to speak about RELAMPAGO at March 26 FORTCAST event

Assistant Professor Kristen Rasmussen will talk about chasing and studying some of the strongest storms on Earth at FORTCAST’s What’s Brewing in Weather & Climate talk Tuesday, March 26. Rasmussen will share her experience with the RELAMPAGO field campaign in November in Argentina, where she led a research team of graduate students.

Discussion will begin 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, upstairs at Tap & Handle. CSU students, bring your ID for $2 off drafts.

Contact amsfortcast@gmail.com with questions.

Photo above: The RELAMPAGO Advanced Study Institute team, with Kristen Rasmussen standing in front on the right.

February 20, 2019

Next FORTCAST event to discuss Colorado Snow Survey

Brian Domonkos
Brian Domonkos is supervisor of the Colorado Snow Survey, overseeing snow monitoring operations in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and southern Wyoming.

Learn more about our precious Colorado snowpack at FORTCAST’s next What’s Brewing in Weather & Climate talk. The discussion topic will be the Colorado Snow Survey, which provides mountain snowpack data and streamflow forecasts for the western United States. Its applications include water supply management, flood control, climate modeling, recreation and conservation planning.

Karl Wetlaufer and Brian Domonkos from the National Resources Conservation Service Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program will provide an overview of the organization and its services. The NRCS is responsible for all in-situ mountain snowpack and precipitation monitoring across 13 Western states with the automated SNOTEL and manual snow course networks. These data are used for forecasting spring and summer volumetric water supply as well as many other uses ranging from avalanche forecasting to recreational planning.

As Colorado Snow Survey Supervisor, Domonkos oversees snow monitoring operations in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and southern Wyoming. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering and a citation in meteorology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Wetlaufer is a hydrologist and the assistant supervisor for the Colorado Data Collection Office of the USDA-NRCS Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program. Born and raised in southwest Colorado, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees while studying snow science and snow hydrology at Montana State University.

An interactive discussion and questions are encouraged. Discussion will begin 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, upstairs at Tap & Handle. CSU students, bring your ID for $2 off drafts.

Contact amsfortcast@gmail.com with questions.

Photo at top: Karl Wetlaufer is a hydrologist and the assistant supervisor for the Colorado Data Collection Office of the USDA-NRCS Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program.

February 18, 2019

Entomologists will talk bugs at March Teen Science Café

What’s it like working in the world of arthropods and Colorado insects? Bring your entomology questions to March’s Teen Science Café. CSU entomology graduate students Erika Peirce and Melissa Schreiner will answer questions about insects, jobs, college, social media, travel, beekeeping, macrophotography and insect collecting.

When: 5-7 p.m., with the presentation starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 13.
Where: Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, 144 S. Mason St., Fort Collins
Presenters: CSU entomology graduate students Erika Peirce and Melissa Schreiner

RSVP to the March 13 Teen Science Café here.

March 13 Teen Science Café flier

The Front Range Teen Science Café is part of a larger national network of science cafés for teens. ESMEI’S Teen Science Café brings scientists and teens together for a conversation about science in a local coffee shop. A primary goal of the café is for teens to increase their understanding of the nature of science and to develop a realistic perception of scientists and the lives they lead, which they sometimes do not get in school.

Photo at top: Entomologists Erika Peirce and Melissa Schreiner

February 14, 2019

Ben Toms earns 2 AMS outstanding presentation awards

Ph.D. student Ben Toms was chosen for two outstanding presentation awards at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting in January in Phoenix. Toms was honored for work completed during his M.S. studies, under the supervision of Professor Sue van den Heever. The Climate Variability and Change Program Committee selected Toms’ presentation, “Quantifying the Dependence of the Global Response to the Madden–Julian Oscillation on the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation,” for an Outstanding Student Presentation Award.

“We had a large number of very good student presentations this year, and we commend you on the work you have done,” committee members Rob Korty and Walt Robinson said in his notification letter.

Toms’ presentation was about quantifying the global “signature” of the Madden-Julian Oscillation within the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

“I have greatly enjoyed working with my collaborators on this project, (Professors) Libby Barnes, Eric Maloney, and Sue van den Heever,” Toms said. “We used a statistical technique to show that the global teleconnections of the Madden-Julian Oscillation depend on the phase of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, a tropical stratospheric oscillation. This suggests that the state of the tropical stratosphere is important for understanding the connections between the MJO and the extratropics.”

Toms also won an Outstanding Oral Presentation award at the 18th Conference on Artificial and Computational Intelligence and its Applications to the Environmental Sciences for his talk, “Climate Science, Deep Learning, and Pattern Discovery: The Madden−Julian Oscillation as a Test Case.”

For this project Toms worked with Karthik Kashinath and Prabhat of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Da Yang of the University of California, Davis to show that deep learning, a form of machine learning, can learn for itself the variables and spatial patterns important for characterizing multiscale geophysical phenomena such as the MJO. You can read a pre-print of the paper here.

February 1, 2019

Prof. Denning answers questions about weird winter weather phenomena

Editor’s note: Extreme cold weather can produce unusual phenomena, from so-called sea smoke to slushy ocean waves. As atmospheric scientist Scott Denning explains, these striking events are caused mainly by the behavior of water at very cold temperatures.

Why do lake and ocean waters appear to steam during cold snaps?

There are three phases, or states, of water: solid ice, liquid water and gaseous water vapor. Even in extremely cold weather, liquid water can’t be colder than the freezing point – about 32 degrees Fahrenheit – so the surface of the ocean is much warmer than the air above it.

A lot of water evaporates from the warmer ocean into the colder dry air above. As soon as this invisible gas rises even just a little bit above the relatively warm water, it hits air that is much colder and can’t hold much vapor, so the vapor condenses into microscopic droplets of liquid water in the air.

Some people call the wispy clouds caused by condensation just above the winter ocean or lakes “sea smoke.” That’s a better term than steam. Real steam is very hot water vapor – that is, water in its gas phase, which is invisible.

Read the full article, “Steaming lakes and thundersnow: 4 questions answered about weird winter weather,” from The Conversation.

Photo at top: “Sea smoke” on Lake Michigan at 39th Street Harbor in Chicago, Jan. 30, 2019. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

January 30, 2019

Will Lassman and Jakob Lindaas receive Outstanding Student Paper Awards

Two Ph.D. students were chosen for Outstanding Student Paper Awards from the American Meteorological Society’s 21st Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry. Will Lassman, co-advised by Jeff Collett and Jeff Pierce, was rewarded for presenting his paper, “Methods of Estimating Deposition Using Atmospheric Concentration Measurements: Using Synthetic Observations Downwind of a CAFO to Quantify Ammonia Deposition.” Jakob Lindaas, advised by Emily Fischer, won for presenting his paper, “What Controls the Ratio of Primary Reduced and Oxidized Forms of Gas Phase Reactive Nitrogen in Young Wildfire Smoke?”

Lassman presented results from a study investigating novel measurement platforms for estimating ammonia dry deposition downwind of animal feedlots. He collaborated with Professors Jeff Pierce and Jeff Collett, as well as Professor Jay Ham (soil and crop science) and Azer Yalin (mechanical engineering) to demonstrate a method for estimating the fraction of total ammonia that dry deposits near a source by comparing the dilution of ammonia to that of methane, using Large Eddy Simulation to represent a turbulent atmosphere near the earth’s surface. They also demonstrate how to apply this technique by mounting the sensors on a UAV, or drone.

Lindaas presented preliminary results from his first analyses of WE-CAN campaign data. He is focused on understanding how much ammonia is in wildfire smoke, what happens to it, and how it interacts with other chemistry in wildfire smoke.

“Since the data were so recently collected, I tried to focus on what patterns we have already observed and what kinds of questions they lead to, which I’ve already started to explore,” Lindaas said. “It’s fun to try to tell a story, even/especially when you don’t know how it ends.”

Photos at top: Will Lassman (left) and Jakob Lindaas

January 28, 2019

Paleontologist will discuss fossil discovery and how they inform us about the future

Fifty-million-year-old fossils recovered by Paleontology Field School undergraduate students in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin include the first confirmed primates and oldest-known horses – plus crocodiles and exotic mammals unlike anything alive today. How can we learn from this subtropical past to understand the potential impacts of climate change?

Prof. Kim Nichols from CSU’s Department of Anthropology will discuss primate paleontology and CSU undergraduate fossil research at the next Teen Science Café.

When: 5-7 p.m., with the presentation starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Where: Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, 144 S. Mason St., Fort Collins
Presenter: Kim Nichols from CSU’s Department of Anthropology

RSVP to the Feb. 13 Teen Science Café here.

Feb. 13 Teen Science Café flier

The Front Range Teen Science Café is part of a larger national network of science cafés for teens. ESMEI’S Teen Science Café brings scientists and teens together for a conversation about science in a local coffee shop. A primary goal of the café is for teens to increase their understanding of the nature of science and to develop a realistic perception of scientists and the lives they lead, which they sometimes do not get in school.

Photo at top: Paleontologist Kim Nichols works in the field. Photo by Paul Knowles

January 24, 2019

Kathryn Moore wins Outstanding Student Presentation Award

M.S. student Kathryn Moore, advised by Sonia Kreidenweis and Paul DeMott, was selected for an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting in December. AGU chooses the top five percent of student participants for this award to recognize quality research and presentation skills in the geophysical sciences.

Moore was chosen for presentation of her poster “Marine Ice Nucleating Particles over the Southern Ocean,” which focused on early results from ice nucleation and aerosol measurements from the Southern Ocean CAPRICORN-2 and SOCRATES campaigns that she participated in January through March 2018.

“Participating in OSPA was fun because it encouraged you to present to and have discussions with scientists outside your field, who often provided very different perspectives on your research,” Moore said.

January 9, 2019

Grad students gain field research experience in Advanced Study Institute program

As a Colorado State University Ph.D. student in atmospheric science, Alexandra Naegele spends most of her days in front of a computer, using models to study clouds, precipitation and atmospheric energy.

For three weeks in November, Naegele left that familiar setting for something wildly different. She was one of 16 graduate students across the U.S. who participated in an intensive, international scientific field campaign in Argentina, observing that region’s famous severe thunderstorms.

Naegele was joined by fellow CSU graduate student Jeremiah Otero Piersante and peers from other institutions in the National Science Foundation-supported International Research Experience for Students Advanced Study Institute: Field Studies of Convection in Argentina. The program was a student-focused, intensive crash course in atmospheric science field work and research held in conjunction with a $30 million, NSF-supported field campaign co-led by CSU faculty.

The overall field campaign, RELAMPAGO, wrapped in December and was the largest land-based atmospheric sciences field study ever conducted outside the United States. RELAMPAGO brought together the expertise of several universities and agencies to discover why thunderstorms in subtropical South America are among the most extreme in the world, regularly producing golf ball or grapefruit-sized hail.

Read the full Source story, “Students learn from the pros during Argentina storm-sampling campaign.”

Photo above: The RELAMPAGO Advanced Study Institute team.

January 8, 2019

AMS 2020 meeting will feature Wayne Schubert Symposium

The American Meteorological Society will again recognize Professor Emeritus Wayne Schubert at its Centennial Meeting in 2020 by holding a symposium in his honor. AMS named symposia acknowledge the contributions of the most distinguished members of the field.

AMS previously commended Schubert with the 2016 Jule G. Charney Medal, one of the organization’s top awards. After 45 years with CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science, Schubert has retired from teaching but continues to conduct research.

The AMS Annual Meeting is the world’s largest yearly gathering for the weather, water and climate community. The 2020 AMS Annual Meeting will be its 100th. It is scheduled Jan. 12-16 in Boston.

January 3, 2019

Prof. Maloney leads study on how global warming will affect MJO

Every month or two, a massive pulse of clouds, rainfall and wind moves eastward around the Earth near the equator, providing the tropics their famous thunderstorms.

This band of recurring weather, first described by scientists in 1971, is called the Madden-Julian Oscillation. It has profound effects on weather in distant places, including the United States. Atmospheric scientists have long studied how the Madden-Julian Oscillation modulates extreme weather events across the globe, from hurricanes to floods to droughts.

As human activities cause the Earth’s temperature to increase, reliable, well-studied weather patterns like the Madden-Julian Oscillation will change too, say researchers at Colorado State University.

Eric Maloney, professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science, has led a new study published in Nature Climate Change that attributes future changes in the behavior of the Madden-Julian Oscillation to anthropogenic global warming. Maloney and co-authors used data from six existing climate models to synthesize current views of such changes projected for the years 2080-2100.

Read the full Source article, “Reliable tropical weather pattern to change in a warming climate.”

Graphic at top: Current climate is represented in (a), and a warmer climate in (b). As the climate warms, the mean vertical gradient in water vapor (blue) increases. Tropospheric temperature (orange shading) will also increase more than the lower atmosphere. Credit: Eric Maloney/Colorado State University

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