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Dr. Ray Jajjar

Assistant Professor/Presidential Fellow
Department of Physics, University of Michigan

January 24th, 3:30 PM

Thirkield Hall (Physics), room 103

 

Research Expericence for Undergraduates (REU) climate research

The climate system involves highly complex interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere; unraveling the mechanisms that control the Earth’s climate is one of the most intellectually challenging scientific problems of the day. Penn State has been running a 10-week summer research program in climate science for 5 years. We recruit a cohort of about 10 students each year, mostly rising juniors and seniors, from across the country and from a variety of majors. Students conduct independent research with one or more Penn State faculty members on topics including floods and droughts, regional and global climate change, storm surge, terrestrial and marine carbon cycling, tropical cyclones, weather and climate risk, atmospheric aerosols, paleoclimate reconstruction, and atmospheric waves and storm tracks. The research itself may involve fieldwork, laboratory experiments, numerical modeling, and data analysis. Students also gain experience in writing up research findings and presenting their work at a mini-symposium. Students receive a $5000 stipend, furnished housing, and reimbursement for travel to and from Penn State and a scientific conference. See http://micromet.psu.edu/reuclimate/ for more details.
Enormous efforts are underway to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, the largest and most productive estuary in the United States. Such efforts are only beginning to consider the potentially complicating effects of climate change. Here, I present a synthesis of research climate change impacts on the physics, chemistry, and ecology of this estuary. I will present evidence of historical changes in temperature, salinity, and tides that can be directly tied to anthropogenic climate change. I will discuss how such changes, as they continue into the future, will affect efforts to clean up the Bay and what society can do to minimize negative impacts on this important estuary.

 

Refreshments will be served at 3:30pm