My research centers on improving our fundamental understanding about how the climate system works, with an emphasis on how features at the Earth`s surface influence atmospheric circulation and precipitation fields, and how these changes feed back to the surface and influence hydrology and vegetation. We use numerical models and analysis of observations to accomplish this goal. We are developing methodology for using regional models to study climate change, and building a coupled atmosphere/ocean/vegetation regional climate model. Current projects are
• northern African rainfall variations on all times scales, from intraseasonal to paleoclimate
• 21st c. prediction of South American climate and vegetation
• roles of the Great Plains and Caribbean jets in precipitation variability in North America, Mexico, and the Caribbean
• tropical storm and hurricane formation over the eastern Atlantic
• influence on the Amazon/Orinoco plume on climate and climate variability
South American climate
I teach courses in Climate Dynamics (EAS 305) and Atmospheric Dynamics (EAS 342) for upper-level undergraduates, and I'm writing a text book on climate dynamics.
My outreach activities fall into two categories. One is general public education on climate change, through presentations on global warming in the community and interactions with the press. Examples are panels to discuss "An Inconvenient Truth" at Cornell Cinema and various local churches and civic groups, guest on radio talk shows (e.g., on WXXI, the NPR affiliate in Rochester NY), and presentations at Cornell alumni functions. I was also a contributor to the National Geographic World Atlas, Eighth Edition, working on the climate maps and text.
I am also active in helping to increasing the representation of women and minorities in the earth sciences, both through mentoring and advising activities at Cornell and as an Adjunct professor at Jackson State University.