Associate Professor Christine Chiu is featured in a User Executive Committee member profile on the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility website. Read the article, “UEC profile: Christine Chiu’s path to better cloud observations.”
Eos features study led by Jack Kodros on health impacts of burning solid fuels
This week’s edition of AGU publication Eos featured a study led by Ph.D. candidate Jack Kodros on the health impacts of burning solid fuels. Associate Professor Jeff Pierce as well as several other researchers from CSU’s Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering contributed to the study.
In the absence of reliable access to electricity and clean cooking technology, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population burns solid fuels for cooking and home heating. Smoke particles produced by these fires are harmful to human health. While previous studies have estimated mortality from either household or ambient air pollution separately, Kodros’ study quantifies the combined effects of both. It targets gaps in knowledge that, once overcome, could lead to more accurate mortality estimates.
“The main goal of this study was to highlight specific data sources that contribute the most uncertainty to estimates of premature mortality. These data sources include statistics on how people die in different countries, the relationships between death and air pollution, and air pollution concentrations. We provide an estimate of which of these data sources should be the focus of future research in order to most improve our understanding of the global health impact of exposure to particulate matter,” Kodros explained.
Ultimately, it is important to communicate accurate estimates of premature mortality due to air pollution to policy makers, Kodros said.
Read the Eos article, “Solid-Fuel Use Puts Human Health at Risk.”
Photo at top: Creative Commons image
Elizabeth Barnes receives National Science Foundation CAREER award
Assistant Professor Elizabeth (Libby) Barnes has been selected for a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the NSF’s most prestigious grants in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.
“I’m incredibly excited,” Barnes said in response to the announcement. “The CAREER offers five years of funding to explore both passions of mine: science and education.”
Integrating education and research is central to the program’s goal. With CAREER, the NSF boosts promising and talented junior faculty toward lifelong leadership and scientific advances in their fields. The awards are granted annually, and the selection process is one of the most competitive within the NSF.
Barnes will use her grant to study causal connections between the Arctic and mid-latitudes.
“I’m particularly excited because I am being funded to work on applying exciting statistical techniques to address questions of causality in climate science – that is – ‘who caused who?’ Or, which came first, the chicken or the egg? I’m specifically going to be studying the links between the tropics-midlatitudes-Arctic and how they communicate with each other and who communicates first.”
Barnes’ project also will create an online database for scientists to utilize and expand.
“I get to bring my love for data science/analysis to the broader community by designing and implementing an online resource for atmospheric sciences that explains and shows examples of mathematical and statistical tools for analyzing data. My hope is that by the end of this award it will function something like Wikipedia, so scientists across the globe can add to it and use it as a resource.”
The Department of Atmospheric Science is well-represented among recipients of this distinction. Other recent CAREER award recipients from the department include Associate Professor Russ Schumacher, Associate Professor Michael Bell and former Associate Professor Thomas Birner.
Next Teen Science Café: The Teal Housewives of Colorado
How do ducks fly all the way to Colorado from South America and still find time to sit on eggs for a month? Why would they even bother coming up to the mountains when they could stay in the balmy tropics? Casey Setash from CSU’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology will answer these questions and more at the next Teen Science Café on March 21. She will discuss the cinnamon teal and the ways it makes the most of its time in Colorado.
When: 5-7 p.m., with the presentation starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 21
Where: Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, 144 S. Mason St., Fort Collins
Presenter: Casey Setash from CSU’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
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, Everyday Joe’s Coffee House. 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.
Zitely Tzompa selected as inaugural Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellow
Ph.D. candidate Zitely Tzompa has been chosen to be among the first Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellows. The fellowship, recently created by State Representatives Chris Hansen and Bob Rankin, is an eight-week summer internship for STEM majors, where they will conduct policy research and learn more about STEM policies through seminars and industry site visits.
Public policy makers consult and collaborate with STEM experts for knowledge and advice in navigating the complex challenges of energy, water, public health and transportation. Fellows will observe this interaction and present their own capstone public policy projects, after undergoing a policy “boot camp” that will teach them about the policy-making process and the skills they’ll need to be a part of it.
Tzompa looks forward to gaining firsthand experience of how scientists can contribute to policy making.
“The best part of the fellowship is that I will have the opportunity to design, write and present my own policy proposal to legislators, industry figures and university representatives.”
Fellowship participants were sought from Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Denver, Metropolitan State and the Colorado School of Mines. Each school was allowed to place three fellows, and the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering was assigned one of the spots. Two applications were selected at the college level and submitted to Hansen and Rankin. Tzompa and another Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering applicant then interviewed with the representatives at the Colorado State Capitol Building, and Hansen and Rankin made the final selection.
“The competition was fierce, but we were very impressed by what you could bring to the program,” read Tzompa’s notification from a member of Hansen’s staff.
The program, which runs May 21 through July 13, will be based mainly at the capitol building and will include field trips, seminars, workshops and social events. Fellows will receive a stipend.
Tzompa eagerly anticipates the impact the fellowship will enable her to make.
“This is an exciting time to be a scientist, and I look forward to contributing to both the scientific understanding and the environmental policy related to air quality.”
SOURCE: Distant tropical storms have ripple effects on weather close to home
The famously intense tropical rainstorms along the Earth’s equator occur thousands of miles from the United States. But atmospheric scientists know that, like ripples in a pond, tropical weather creates powerful waves in the atmosphere that travel all the way to North America and have major impacts on weather in the U.S.
These far-flung, interconnected weather processes are crucial to making better, longer-term weather predictions than are currently possible. Colorado State University atmospheric scientists, led by professors Libby Barnes and Eric Maloney, are hard at work to address these longer-term forecasting challenges.
In a new paper in npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, the CSU researchers describe a breakthrough in making accurate predictions of weather weeks ahead. They’ve created an empirical model fed by careful analysis of 37 years of historical weather data. Their model centers on the relationship between two well-known global weather patterns: the Madden-Julian Oscillation and the quasi-biennial oscillation.
According to the study, led by former graduate researcher Bryan Mundhenk, the model, using both these phenomena, allows skillful prediction of the behavior of major rain storms, called atmospheric rivers, three and up to five weeks in advance.
Read more about this research on the NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research website.
Image at top: Atmospheric river off California, February 2014. Credit: Still from an animation by NOAA Climate.gov
Kristen Rasmussen chosen for AMS Early Career Leadership Academy
Assistant Professor Kristen Rasmussen has been selected as one of 35 finalists to participate in the first class of the American Meteorological Society’s Early Career Leadership Academy (ECLA). The academy is intended for high-level performers and is structured around opportunities to improve professional skills, discover leadership potential, and build a strong cohort community of early career professionals in weather, water and climate (WWC) science enterprise.
“I am thrilled to be selected as one of 35 participants in the 2018 AMS Early Career Leadership Academy to enhance my development and leadership skills as an early career scientist and professor, and to help build a growing network of early career leaders,” Rasmussen said in response to her acceptance in the academy.
According to the ECLA Web page, the academy will bring together a select group of early career individuals, in particular, women and underrepresented minorities, for an immersion experience in leadership, such as creative problem-solving; conflict resolution; building trust and enhancing communication skills. ECLA is a professional development experience built around emerging trends in weather, water and climate science enterprise that will shape the future of professions. Topics that will be covered include workplace issues, technology, crisis management, building trust, business acumen for geoscientists, job market volatility and key societal trends.
Rasmussen looks forward to the skills and network she’ll gain from the academy.
“I hope to improve my professional skills, discover my leadership potential, and help build a strong community of early career professionals.”
Kai-Chih Tseng interview: Global rainfall pattern could extend predictions by 3 weeks
Earth’s atmosphere is chaotic, making it difficult for forecasters to predict weather more than 10-13 days in advance. However, research has increasingly shown that large-scale patterns of variability and relationships between states of the atmosphere in two faraway locations, called “teleconnections,” can help extend prediction skill beyond this limit.
“Few researchers have applied this mechanism to weather prediction,” said Kai-Chih Tseng, atmospheric science graduate student at Colorado State University (CSU). “Especially from two weeks to three months, which has been known as a ‘prediction desert’ in the past.”
A new study led by Tseng says that teleconnections with certain phases of a recurring tropical rainfall pattern could extend predictions up to 20-25 days in advance. The study is co-authored by Assistant Professor Libby Barnes and Professor Eric Maloney, both in CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science.
The authors’ findings provide guidance on which tropical conditions might lead to improved forecasts beyond our current capability – and more time to prepare for extreme events.
Read the full NOAA Climate Program Office article.
Graphic at top: Upper Atmosphere Graphic of Madden-Julian Oscillation The surface and upper-atmosphere structure of the MJO when the enhanced convective phase (thunderstorm cloud) is over the Indian Ocean and the suppressed convective phase is over the west-central Pacific Ocean. Source: Climate.gov
Cogent Geoscience: An interview with Emily Fischer
“Teams, not individuals, drive science forward.” – Prof. Emily Fischer
Fischer was among the women interviewed by Cogent Geoscience in honor of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Feb. 11. Read the full interview here.
Peter Marinescu, Minnie Park receive AMS presentation awards
Peter Marinescu, advised by Sue van den Heever and Sonia Kreidenweis, and Minnie Park, advised by Sue van den Heever, were selected as winners of the Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Symposium student presentation competition at the 2018 AMS Annual Meeting in Austin. Peter was chosen for his presentation, “Comparing the Aerosol Impacts on Deep Convective Updraft Characteristics in Two Cloud-Resolving Models,” and Minnie was honored for her presentation, “Dependence of Aerosol Transport on Meteorological and Surface Properties within Tropical Sea Breeze Convection.”
Learn about wildlife in our neighborhoods at the next Teen Science Café
How do cameras and collars help us track urban wildlife? Christopher Schell from CSU’s Department of Biology will discuss coyotes and other species, how they are studied, and how they adapt to anthropogenic landscapes at the next Teen Science Café on Feb. 14.
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, Everyday Joe’s Coffee House. 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.
When: 5-7 p.m., with the presentation starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14
Where: Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, 144 S. Mason St., Fort Collins
Presenter: Christopher Schell from CSU’s Department of Biology
SOURCE: Prof. A.R. Ravishankara receives U.N. Scientific Leadership award
This past autumn A.R. Ravishankara, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, received an international Scientific Leadership award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the agency that coordinates the U.N.’s environmental activities.
The award recognized Ravishankara’s lifelong work studying and finding solutions to climate change and ozone layer depletion. The honor was presented at a ceremony in Montreal on the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that phased out ozone-harming chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.
Read the full SOURCE article, “Professor A.R. Ravishankara receives U.N. Scientific Leadership award”
Stacey Hitchcock awarded 3rd place for poster at AMS meeting
Stacey Hitchcock, advised by Russ Schumacher, was awarded third place for her poster “Impacts of Low-Level Stability on MCS Propagation” at the 2018 AMS Annual Meeting in Austin. Hitchcock presented her poster at the PECAN Symposium.
Hitchcock’s letter from the symposium co-conveners, informing her of the honor, stated:
“The judges and other attendees were all impressed with the depth and quality of your research and presentation. Great job! We look forward to seeing more results from your work as you continue your PECAN research.”
Photo at top: Stacey Hitchcock speaks at the 2018 AMS Annual Meeting.
Sue van den Heever, Melissa Burt receive awards at AMS Annual Meeting
Prof. Sue van den Heever and Melissa Burt received American Meteorological Society awards at the organization’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, January 8-12. Van den Heever was honored as the 2018 recipient of the Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award, and Melissa Burt was given the Commission on Professional Affairs Award for Early Career Achievement.
One person is chosen annually for the highly competitive Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award. A nomination letter and three supporting letters were required for consideration, with at least one of the supporting letters from a former student. As stated on the AMS web page listing the 2018 award winners, van den Heever was honored “for enduring passion for teaching and mentoring, for engaging students both inside and outside the classroom, and for unrelenting dedication to training future scientists.”
Burt is a research scientist with Prof. David Randall and the Education and Diversity Manager for the Department of Atmospheric Science and the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. She coordinates ESMEI’s (Earth System Modeling and Education Institute) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and the Front Range Teen Science Café programs. She earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from CSU in 2016.
According to the selection panel, Burt’s “work across a variety of AMS boards and committees, as a manager for education and diversity at CMMAP, and administration of an REU program, are just small parts of her already-large-and-growing involvement in our field. She has accomplished all of these things even while completing her doctorate at a top university, which clearly demonstrates, as one of the supporting letters said, ‘Dr. Burt really integrates all the aspects of excellence’ — research, mentoring, education, and service.”
Photo at top: Prof. Sue van den Heever, center, is pictured with some of her students.
Retired colonel will discuss weather and the Air Force at FORTCAST talk
Lt. Colonel Bill Darling will discuss U.S. Air Force Combat Weather at the first FORTCAST What’s Brewing in Weather and Climate talk of 2018. Darling will talk about the history and structure of USAF Combat Weather, the role of Special Operations Weather Technicians (SOWTs), and some of the missions with which he has been involved.
Darling retired from the Air Force in 2010 after 31 years of service, most recently as commander of the 208th Combat Weather Team. During his military career, Darling deployed as the combatant commander to contingency operations in 22 countries, supporting Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Southern Watch, the Global War on Terrorism, Joint Task Force Katrina, Crisis Action Team and Operation Cope Thunder.
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