George Mason University News has done a profile of COLA, climate dynamics, and predictability: “Climate Prediction Accuracy on the Rise, As Is The Sea Level”.
18 Nov 2014: George Mason University sponsors kid-friendly mineral show in collaboration with the Northern Virginia Mineral Club (NVMC).
- 20 plus Dealers selling Minerals, Fossils, Crystals, Gems, Jewelry, Carvings, Meteorites & more!
- Also, Demonstrations, Exhibits, Door Prizes & Kid’s Activities including Kid’s Mini-mines & Fossil Dig.
- Silent Auction on Sunday afternoon.
Cub Scout and Webelos teaching area – to include tours of the GMU Geology labs – earn their Geology Cub Scout belt loop, or Webeloes Geology Pin and STEM award. ” Sunday is Scout Day” thou Scouts are welcomed both days – they are encouraged to come on Sunday when it is less crowded.
In Fall 2014, Dr. Kathy Pegion, who completed a PhD in Climate Dynamics with a dissertation on “Potential Predictability of Tropical Intraseasonal Variability…” in 2007, has joined the AOES faculty as an assistant professor of Climate Dynamics. Dr. Pegion rejoins the department after working as a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a joint institute of NOAA and University of Colorado.
Dr. Pegion remembers that “One thing that I loved as a graduate student is the dynamic and collaborative environment amongst Climate Dynamics faculty” and hopes that “current students will benefit as much as I did from such a great environment.” She remarks that, “The biggest differences since I graduated are how much the program has grown and that the program is now located on campus, both of which I see as positive changes.”
Dr. Pegion’s research is aimed at aspects of the climate system that may be predictable on timescales of 2-weeks to a few years. This includes extending predictions of El Nino and La Nina to longer lead times using information from precursors. Other research of Dr. Pegion is aimed at understanding predictability at weeks 2-4 and improving predictions. This research includes work with the American Multi-model Ensemble project, a collaboration among several national laboratories and universities to improve climate prediction.
Dr. Pegion earned a BS in Meteorology and Computer Science, and an MS in Meteorology, from Florida State University. She is interested in how scientific results are utilized by experts in other fields. “The biggest challenges are that the kinds of climate information that are most relevant to people and decision makers are often the most difficult to predict (e.g. local, regional, extremes). How can we provide useful information even in low predictability situations?”
In an unprecedented collaboration involving research labs in several nations, AOES scientists are helping the Government of India accelerate progress in predicting the south Asian monsoon.
The monsoon is a seasonal shift of the climate that brings a tremendous amount of rain to India and surrounding countries in south Asia. That rainfall is essential to the livelihood, even survival, of hundreds of millions of people, and prediction of the Indian monsoon rainfall is critical for planning and risk mitigation across the sub-continent. Even a 10% departure from the anticipated normal rainfall can mean economic ruin or loss of life.
The Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences launched a major initiative in 2013, called the National Monsoon Mission, in which it enlisted the collaboration of research groups in Indian government labs, universities and labs and universities in the U.S. and other countries. The Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) in AOES is one of those U.S. labs making critical contributions to monsoon prediction capability. Under the overall direction of Prof. Jim Kinter, the project involves Profs. Paul Dirmeyer, Bohua Huang and Ed Schneider, each directing one aspect of the project, and three post-doctoral scientists: Drs. Rodrigo Bombardi, Subhadeep Halder and Chul-Su Shin, as well as several Ph.D. students in the Climate Dynamics program.
The three-year project is expected to radically improve the practice of monsoon prediction based on computer models of Earth's climate and directly impact the well-being of over a billion people.
Image credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_India#mediaviewer/File:Poomparai_village.jpg; Shukla and Kinter (2014, Clim. Dyn.), Fig. 17, summer rainfall anomaly from "pacemaker" experiment.
The State Council for Higher Education in Virginia has just approved the establishment of a Bachelors of Science in Atmospheric Sciences. This degree program will replace the Concentration in Atmospheric Science within the BS in Earth Science, starting with the Spring Semester of 2015.
Drawing on the expertise of the faculty of the Climate Dynamics PhD program, and the move of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies to the George Mason College of Science, the new undergraduate offering will provide students with an introduction into the science of weather and climate, and prepare them for careers in a world where the “rules of weather” will be undergoing rapid change.
The Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences invites applications for two (2) full-time tenure-track faculty positions at the Assistant Professor level to begin fall 2014.
We are looking for those who focus on the variability and predictability of climate at intraseasonal, seasonal, interannual and/or decadal time scales. This will include understanding the mechanisms of underlying phenomena at these time scales such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation; El Niño and the Southern Oscillation; the Arctic, Antarctic, and North Atlantic Oscillations; Atlantic Multidecadal and Pacific Decadal Variability; or other phenomena of ocean-atmosphere-land variability within this range of time scales and interactions among these phenomena. Key aspects of interest include research that contributes to improved predictions, which contributes to operational forecasting, and the evolution of predictability in a changing climate.
The positions will be co-funded by the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) under a research grant from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. COLA now resides in the newly-formed Mason Institute of Global Environment and Society on the Fairfax campus, which has been created to foster interactions and collaborations among the faculty, staff and students who study the variability and predictability of climate and its impacts on global society and ecosystems. These positions will offer opportunities for interdisciplinary education and research with colleagues studying meteorology, oceanography, hydrology, ecology, geology, economics, communication, and policy analysis. There will be an opportunity to teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in AOES, as well as other departments.
More information is available on the Mason Job Postings page.
COLA Moves to George Mason University Fairfax Campus
We are pleased to announce that the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) has moved to George Mason University’s Main Campus in Fairfax, Virginia, in July 2013. COLA staff are now collocated with Climate Dynamics faculty and students and the AOES Department in Research Hall (building shown in image). COLA computational resources are also on main campus. COLA is an important national center for climate research which has had a long association with the Climate Dynamics PhD Program and the AOES Department. The move to campus will strengthen these ties and enrich climate-related education at George Mason. COLA in turn benefits from close cooperation with students and faculty in AOES and the rest of George Mason University.
Jim Kinter, Director, COLA
Barry A. Klinger, Graduate Coordinator, AOES
Jagadish Shukla, Director, Climate Dynamics Program
Paul S. Schopf, Chair, AOES
The goal of COLA research is to explore, establish and quantify the predictability and prediction of intra-seasonal to inter-decadal variability of the present and future climate through the use of state-of-the-art dynamical coupled Earth system models, and the development of new techniques for analysis of observations and model data. Some of the key topics of COLA research include:
- Seasonal Predictability and Prediction
- El Niño and the Southern Oscillation: Predictability, Prediction and Global Impacts
- Climate Mean State and Decadal Variability and Prediction
- Tropical Atlantic and Indian Oceans
- Land Surface and Climate
Dr. Jagadish Shukla, Professor and Director of the Climate Dynamics Program at George Mason University, was awarded the Padma Shriaward by the President of India on April 4, 2012 at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Presiden’ts house, in New Delhi. The prestigious award is conferred in recognition of Shukla’s “exceptional and distinguished service in the field of Science and Engineering.” The Padma Shri is awarded to recognize distinguished contributions in various spheres of activity including the Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Medicine, Social Service and Public Life. We congratulate Dr. Shukla on this high honor.
Dr. Robert Hazen, AOES Faculty member and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Sciences, received this year’s “Outstanding Faculty Award“. The awards, given by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), “are the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. These awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research, and public service.”
Dr. Hazen has conducted innovative research into “mineral evolution” and the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere. Besides his geological research, Dr. Hazen has wide-ranging interests in science education, art, and music. His course UNIV 301 Great Ideas Science, reflects the broad scope of his interests. He wrote, with Mason professor James Tefil, the best selling Science Matters: Achieving Science Literacy, and other books. He also had a 40-year career as a professional trumpeter.
Dr. Hazen received his S.B. and M.S. in geology from MIT and his Ph.D. from Harvard. In addition to his Mason affiliation, he is a staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, DC.
In April 2011, Dr. Rick Diecchio, Professor of Geology in AOES, was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA). GSA describes the Fellowship as “an honor bestowed on the best of our profession,” and cites Dr. Diecchio’s Fellowship “in recognition of his outstanding 30-year career of teaching and scholarship, demonstrating a commitment to geology education while engaged in program development and administration.”
GSA, founded in 1888, is dedicated to the advancement of the geosciences and has a global membership of more than 24,000 scientists, students, and teachers.