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September 24, 2020

Department welcomes new Assistant Professor Maria Rugenstein

Don’t ask Maria Rugenstein about the weather. The new assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science likely hasn’t checked the forecast, and she’s more concerned with how the climate will change in the coming decades to centuries.

“Whether or not it rains or snows today — so what, next week will be different,” Rugenstein said. “I care about decadal and basin-wide averages, even though I’m aware that nobody experiences this in their backyard.”

Rugenstein is interested in large-scale interactions of the atmosphere and ocean. How does the ocean influence the atmosphere, and how does it store and redistribute heat? Understanding these things will improve our ability to predict how the climate will change under certain conditions.

“The ocean can be a heat source or sink but also shapes sea surface temperatures, which modulate the atmospheric feedbacks,” Rugenstein said. “For example, how does the ocean influence clouds, and how do the clouds influence large-scale ocean circulation?”

Read the full Source article, “Department of Atmospheric Science welcomes climate scientist Maria Rugenstein.”

Photo at top: Maria Rugenstein and her husband, Jeremy, and daughter, Frida, recently went on their first hike since moving to the U.S. – in Wyoming, due to the wildfires in Colorado.