Atmospheric science graduate students Jingyuan Li and Rung Panasawatwong will receive funding from the Assisting Students, Cultivating Excellence, Nurturing Talent (ASCENT) program to pursue research opportunities outside the United States. This department scholarship was established to enrich the graduate experience, often through international travel.
Li, a Ph.D. student in Professor Dave Thompson’s research group, will use her funding to travel to Bergen, Norway for two months this fall to work with Camille Li, an expert in large-scale atmospheric dynamics. She will investigate relationships between midlatitude circulation and surface temperature variability, especially in relation to extreme heat events.
“I believe working with Dr. Li’s group will greatly help and enhance my Ph.D. work,” Li said. “I will also be able to meet and discuss with many scientists at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen, two of the best climate institutes in the world.”
Ph.D. student Panasawatwong, advised by Professors Michael Bell and Kristen Rasmussen, applied for an ASCENT scholarship to develop skills as a field campaign researcher and extend her stay on a field study in Japan next summer. Panasawatwong will be part of the Yonaguni island team for the Prediction of Rainfall Extremes Campaign In the Pacific, or PRECIP.
“I will have the opportunity to learn the planning for aircraft field campaigns, such as planning for the flight route, coordinating during the flight, and dropsonde deployment,” Panasawatwong said.
Panasawatwong will launch weather balloons and collaborate with students and faculty from Taiwan and Japan. Her ASCENT grant enables her to work with Professor Hiroyuki Yamada of the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa. Concurrent with PRECIP, Yamada is leading a campaign using a G-II jet for aircraft sounding in tropical cyclones. Through this partnership, Panasawatwong will learn more about the unique characteristics of the East Asian monsoon from experts in the field.
“As a Thai government scholar, I also want to forge international collaboration between Thailand, Japan and Taiwan, and hopefully further the research collaboration in the future,” she said.
ASCENT grants are funded by donations to the program. Contributions may be made here.