Research

Most research in AOES falls into one of two broad categories:

Climate Dynamics Research
Geological Research
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Lightning Talks: 3 minute presentations about research by scientists from AOES and other George Mason departments.

Climate Dynamics Research

The central focus of AOES research in atmospheric science and physical oceanography is climate dynamics. Research activity emphasizes modeling and diagnosis of large-scale behavior of the climate system on seasonal to decadal timescales.

Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA)

COLA is a research center dedicated to understanding climate fluctuations on seasonal, interannual, and decadal scales, with special emphasis on the interactions between Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces. Most of the AOES faculty, staff, and students who do research in Climate Dynamics are affiliated with COLA.   The COLA web pages include a description of  COLA Research.

Areas of Research

Model hurricane track densities, from Manganello et al. (2013, J. of Climate')

Model hurricane track densities, from Manganello et al. (2013, J. of Climate)

Individual faculty home pages include more detailed descriptions of each faculty member’s research. AOES scientists conduct research in several areas of atmospheric and oceanic science, including the following:

Predictability:  Seasonal-to-decadal variations in large-scale ocean and land properties, and their interaction with the atmosphere, as a key to predicting time-average climate variables; climate response to forcing from  anthropogenic and natural sources

Seamless Weather and Climate Forecasting: Ultra-high resolution modeling such as Project Athena;  Super-Parameterization of atmospheric convection; mid-latitude atmospheric dynamics; South Asian Monsoon variability.

Physical Oceanography: Climate-related general circulation of the ocean and air-sea interaction.

Comprehensive Atmospheric Modeling Program (CAMP): Atmospheric modeling from urban to mesoscale length scales for natural hazards and pollution dispersion.

Remote Sensing of Atmosphere and Ocean

Geological Research

Uhen research: whale fossil, Peruvian desert

Uhen research: whale fossil, Peruvian desert

Geology faculty in the AOES Department have expertise in a wide range of areas, including stratigraphy, geomorphology, coastal processes, mineralogy, igneous petrology, structural geology, tectonics, geologic mapping, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, and paleoclimatology. Active research projects by tenure-track and tenured faculty include studies in stratigraphy, coastal geomorphology, invertebrate paleontology, and structural geology.

Dr. Rick Diecchio’s research focuses on Appalachian stratigraphy and tectonics, and the Eocene history of Virginia. Examples of these research topics includes geologic mapping of the Monterey SE, VA Quad and the Circleville, WV, lower Silurian stratigraphic correlations in the subsurface of West Virginia, proximal and distal effects related to the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, and middle Ordovician stratigraphy in Highland County, VA and Pendleton County, WV.

Dr. Linda Hinnov’s research focuses mainly on the analysis of geological data pertaining to the Earth’s paleoclimate system. Ongoing projects include study of Holocene-Quaternary coupled atmosphere-ocean oscillations, climate noise evolution, data assimilation for paleoclimate models, Late Paleozoic icehouse dust dynamics, and Milankovitch cycles through geologic time. Other areas of interest include geophysical problems relating to the Earth’s tides and tidal history, paleorotation, and the evolution of Earth’s astronomical parameters.

Dr. Randolph McBride’s research focuses on coastal depositional systems along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts, with an emphasis on late Quaternary coastal, shelf, and estuarine geology; coastal geomorphology and processes; and coastal oceanography. Dr. McBride has conducted field research in the Mississippi River Delta and Chenier Plains, the Mississippi-Alabama-Florida barrier island coast, on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf, the Outer Banks of Virginia-North Carolina, the barrier islands along the Delmarva Peninsula, and the Chesapeake Bay. His graduate students focus on barrier island systems along the US Atlantic coast.

Dr. Mark D. Uhen’s research focuses on the origin and evolution of marine mammals, and in particular, cetaceans (whales and dolphins). Conceptual aspects of his work include: major evolutionary transitions, functional morphology, use of stratigraphic data in phylogenetic analysis, diversification and its relationship to global climate change.

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