atmospheric science, fine arts, and faith

If you do research, what’s it about, and why should people care about it?

My research right now is about effects of the solar cycle on Earth’s atmosphere. We know there’s an 11 year or so long cycle in the power put out by the sun. Solar radiation is important in a lot of processes in the atmosphere, but the change in radiation during the 11 year cycle is pretty small, so for some processes the change matters and for some it doesn’t. Nailing down how much this change matters for various phenomena could improve seasonal weather forecasts and climate models.

What’s a common myth about your field?

When I say I do atmospheric science, most people think I work on either weather or climate change. My current work is on neither of those! The field is really broad, and there’s so much we’re still working to understand about what happens in the atmosphere/ocean and why.

What do you do outside of your academic work? 

I love going to dance performances, watching baseball, and riding roller coasters. I read a lot of young adult books. I’m a member of my church’s choir and altar guild. I also teach math outside of the university, mostly working with middle schoolers, which I love.