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November 6, 2019

ASCENT scholarships fund graduate students’ international research

Atmospheric science graduate students Kathryn Moore and Michael Cheeseman were awarded funding from the Assisting Students, Cultivating Excellence, Nurturing Talent (ASCENT) program to pursue research opportunities outside the United States. This department scholarship was established to enrich the graduate experience, often through international travel.

Moore, an M.S. student in Sonia Kreidenweis’s research group, will use her funding to participate in the Sea2Cloud field campaign in March and April along the Chatham Rise, east of New Zealand. While sailing aboard New Zealand’s R/V Tangaroa, she will study how ocean biogeochemistry drives changes in marine aerosol emissions, and in turn how differences in aerosol composition affect clouds in marine regions. 

“This campaign gives me a chance to work with a fantastic group of scientists from New Zealand, France and the U.S., to make one of the most complete sets of in situ measurements of surface ocean-aerosol-cloud interactions,” Moore said.

Moore is excited to collaborate with lead Principal Investigator Karine Sellegri of Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique at the University of Blaise Pascal – Clermont Ferrand, to understand how marine ice nucleating particle composition and number vary with ocean biogeochemical conditions.

“This fits in perfectly with my M.S./Ph.D. research at CSU, and this cruise will provide me with a novel dataset to analyze and incorporate into my research, as well as a chance to meet and collaborate with many excellent atmospheric chemists and oceanographers,” she said.

Ph.D. candidate Cheeseman, advised by Jeff Pierce, applied for an ASCENT scholarship to gain experience in international collaboration. He is interested in studying air pollution in regions of the world that face vastly different problems than the U.S., politically and environmentally. With collaborators from the Weizmann Institute, Cheeseman will use the award to deploy a network of air quality sensors in Israel.

“I hope to increase our understanding of the impacts of sandstorms on satellite measurements of aerosols in the Middle East and the resulting impact on human health in the region,” he said.

Photo at top: The Department of Atmospheric Science granted ASCENT scholarships to graduate students Kathryn Moore, left, and Michael Cheeseman to support their proposed international research projects.