Major Advisor: Dr. Sharon Zhong
Thesis Title: “The Evaluation of NARCCAP Regional Climate Models Using the North American Regional Reanalysis ”
Synopsis of Graduate Research: During my tenure at MSU, my Master’s thesis research focused on the evaluation of various regional climate models (RCMs). Model output from 5 RCMs from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) and re-analysis data from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) for surface-air temperature and daily accumulated precipitation were re-gridded, using bi-linear interpolation, and compared for the contiguous United States and the Great Lakes Region. The results showed that the Rain-Shadow Effect, especially in the Pacific NW along the Cascades, proved difficult for all of the RCMs most likely due to poor terrain resolution, terrain smoothing, spatial interpolation and/or inadequate parameterization schemes. Results also showed all of the RCMs to under-predict precipitation in the SE from November to March and the central US from April to October suggesting the models do not simulate the cool season influx of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean in the SE or the large amount of precipitable water available within the atmosphere resulting from available soil moisture and the evapotranspiration of crops in the central US during the growing season.
After departing MSU, I accepted a position at Kent State University where I am currently teaching sections of Physical Geography Lab while working on my PhD in Geography under the advisement of Dr. Scott Sheridan. My dissertation research will focus on the climatology and/or perceptions of various natural hazards across the contiguous United States and will hopefully utilize GIS as an effective tool for analyzing and displaying the results of my research. I am also currently teaching online geography courses for the Colorado Community College System as an adjunct virtual instructor.