ATM Faculty Presents at MATLAB® Workshop

Dr. Hanrahan recently attended the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB® workshop at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. At the workshop, she gave a talk titled Processing Data to Understand Climatology. In addition, Dr. Hanrahan participated in various working groups that developed a definition of computational thinking and identified best practices when using programming in the sciences. Physicists, chemists, biologists, and geoscientists from various colleges attended the workshop.

MATLAB workshop participants
MATLAB® workshop participants

ATM Seminar: Effects of Land-Use on Water Recycling in Brazil

Dr. Stephanie SperaDr. Stephanie Spera from Dartmouth College will present the first ATM seminar of the semester on Thursday, September 29, 2016 from 12:30-1:15 p.m. in ASAC 319. She will talk about the effects of land-use on water recycling in Brazil.

Historically, conservation-oriented research and policy in Brazil have focused on Amazon deforestation, but a majority of Brazil’s deforestation and agricultural expansion has occurred in the neighboring Cerrado biome, a biodiversity hotspot comprised of dry forests, woodland savannas, and grasslands. Resilience of rainfed agriculture in both biomes likely depends on water recycling in undisturbed Cerrado vegetation; yet little is known about how changes in land-use and land-cover affect regional climate feedbacks in the Cerrado. We’ve used remote sensing techniques to map land-use and land-cover change across the Cerrado from 2003 to 2013 and determine how these changes in land use have affected the regional water balance.

Dr. Spera earned her PhD in Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences in 2016 from Brown University. She’s currently a Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth, focusing on how agricultural expansion in Brazil will affect regional climate. Dr. Spera is interested in human-environment interactions: what drives our decisions to change land cover and land use, and what are the environmental consequences of these changes. To answer these questions, she uses remote sensing and spatial statistics methodologies.

ATM Students Present Summer Research

LSC students and faculty attended an undergraduate research colloquium at Plymouth State University on Saturday, July 23rd. Two ATM students, Alex Maynard and Allison Fitzpatrick, presented on their recent summer research projects. They discussed the development of a new climatology of incoming shortwave radiation in the Northeastern United States which can be used to evaluate trends in solar energy production. In addition to the LSC group, the colloquium was attended by students and faculty from Plymouth State University and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Dr. Shafer forecasted for a Mount Everest Expedition

For the past several weeks, Dr. Jay Shafer provided weather forecasts for a Mount Everest expedition. May is one of the most popular months to scale Everest before the peak is shrouded by rain, cold and clouds brought on by the monsoon in June. This was also a unique opportunity for several students to volunteer their time and hone their forecasting skills. Students also helped produce in-house model graphics and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) maps of Mount Everest’s topography and campsites. With the recent reports of several deaths on Mount Everest, Local 22 News meteorologist and Lyndon State Atmospheric Science alumnus Torrance Gaucher (’14) interviewed Dr. Shafer about how altitude and weather affects climbers.

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Atmospheric Science students rally for climate change action

Atmospheric Science students and faculty joined other college and high school students from around Vermont to bring attention to climate change at the 1st Annual Youth Rally for the Planet. Hundreds of students marched through the streets and convened on the Statehouse Lawn in Montpelier. They rallied to demand divestment from fossil fuels and investment in renewable energies.

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ATM students visit Montshire Museum

Students in two courses, Atmospheric Dynamics and Remote Sensing, visited the Montshire Museum of Science last week. The field trip allowed students to connect theoretical atmospheric concepts to real-world phenomena. They studied concepts such as the Coriolis force, relative vorticity, raindrop coalescence, and fog dynamics.

LSC faculty to participate in Lake Champlain climate change research

Dr. Janel Hanrahan, a faculty member in the Atmospheric Sciences Department at Lyndon State College, will participate in the recently funded five-year $20 million NSF EPSCoR project, led by University of Vermont. Dr. Hanrahan will work with a climate modeling team to dynamically downscale climate model projections over the Lake Champlain Basin. Specifically, the team will investigate the impacts of climate change on extreme weather events in the region. In addition to her own work on the project, Dr. Hanrahan will supervise several undergraduate students who will have the opportunity to conduct and present unique research.[easy-media med=”3846″]

Photo credit: Kristen Condit

Successful 41st Annual Northeastern Storm Conference

The 41st Annual Northeastern Storm Conference held in Saratoga Springs, NY March 4-6 was a resounding success. The conference had nearly 340 attendees, ranging from students and faculty, to personnel from the broadcast industry, research community, military (202 Weather Flight Massachusetts Air National Guard), government (NOAA’s National Weather Service), and the private sector.

New this year, all three keynote speakers were Lyndon State College alumni! The Friday evening Ice Breaker Speaker was Cindy Fitzgibbon ’95, who is the morning and midday meteorologist for WCVB StormTeam5 in Boston, MA. Saturday night’s Banquet Speaker was Dr. Matthew Lazzara ’91, Research Meteorologist/Associate Scientist at the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center, Space Science and Engineering Center housed at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Sunday’s Keynote Speaker was Rick Curtis ’83, Chief Meteorologist for the Southwest Airlines Operations Coordination Center.

The conference featured over fifty oral presentations. Sessions included the latest research and case studies focusing on winter weather, hydrometeorology, severe weather, numerical modeling and remote sensing, tropical/extratropical cyclones, and communications and societal impacts. In addition, nineteen posters were presented.

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VT State Colleges induct new Hall of Famers, including Jim Cantore

On the evening of March 9, 2016, the Vermont State Colleges congratulated its first alumni Hall of Fame class and raised over $107,000 for student scholarships. The event drew over 300 to Montpelier’s Capital Plaza Hotel, where Jim Cantore ’86 was the first Lyndon State graduate to receive this honor. Cantore has won renown for his live coverage — including Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont — for The Weather Channel. He returns to Lyndon annually to work with Atmospheric Sciences students. He established a scholarship fund in 2006 for ATM students with a broadcasting career concentration.

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