Four atmospheric science graduate students received scholarships this year from a department fund established to enrich the graduate experience. Jingyuan Li, Rung Panasawatwong, Kathryn Moore and Michael Cheeseman all are applying their Assisting Students, Cultivating Excellence, Nurturing Talent (ASCENT) awards to international research opportunities.
Li, a Ph.D. student in Professor David Thompson’s research group, used her funding to travel to Bergen, Norway, for two months this fall to work in large-scale atmospheric dynamics at the University of Bergen Geophysical Institute and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, two of the top climate institutes in the world. She investigated relationships between midlatitude circulation and surface temperature variability, especially in relation to extreme heat events.
“My experience has been great – meeting new people, sharing ideas, presenting my work and getting exposed to the research being done in Bergen,” Li said. “This will be greatly beneficial in my Ph.D. research.”
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.
Moore, an M.S. student in Sonia Kreidenweis’ research group, will use her funding to participate in the Sea2Cloud field campaign in March and April along the Chatham Rise, east of New Zealand. While sailing aboard New Zealand’s R/V Tangaroa, she will study how ocean biogeochemistry drives changes in marine aerosol emissions, and in turn how differences in aerosol composition affect clouds in marine regions.
“This fits in perfectly with my M.S./Ph.D. research at CSU, and this cruise will provide me with a novel dataset to analyze and incorporate into my research, as well as a chance to meet and collaborate with many excellent atmospheric chemists and oceanographers,” she said.
Ph.D. candidate Cheeseman, advised by Jeff Pierce, applied for an ASCENT scholarship to gain experience in international collaboration. He is interested in studying air pollution in regions of the world that face different problems than the U.S., politically and environmentally. With collaborators from the Weizmann Institute, Cheeseman will use the award to deploy a network of air quality sensors in Israel.
“I hope to increase our understanding of the impacts of sandstorms on satellite measurements of aerosols in the Middle East, and the resulting impact on human health in the region,” he said.
ASCENT grants are funded by donations to the program. Contributions may be made here.