Roisin Langan, an intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), spent last summer improving the ability of climate models to predict the variability and extremes of precipitation. With guidance from her mentors, Richard Archibald and Kate Evans of ORNL’s Climate Change Science Institute, Langan analyzed data generated on the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s Titan supercomputer. Her project, titled “Stochastic Representation of Unresolved Processes in Climate Models,” garnered attention labwide, winning the best abstract award at ORNL’s Research Alliance in Math and Science (RAMS) banquet, a student poster session held August 8. Research in this field could result in more accurate warning systems for extreme events, such as flooding, droughts, and heat waves, and help stakeholders plan economic and humanitarian relief efforts.
“This experience helped me gain invaluable networking channels, experience, and instruction in effective scientific communication,” said Langan, a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Now an intern through ORNL’s Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis program, she hopes to enter a graduate program in computational science in fall 2014.—Jennifer Brouner
Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environmental Sciences Martin Keller, who leads a directorate supporting the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
UT-ORNL Governor’s Chairs Suresh Babu and Terry Hazen were elected AAAS Fellows as well.
The researchers will receive the highest honor bestowed by members of the AAAS on their peers. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.
Keller came to ORNL in 2006 from Diversa Corporation, where he held a series of research management positions. He was cited by his AAAS peers for “distinguished contributions to bioenergy science, and for dynamic and inspiring leadership of innovative partnerships to advance the development and deployment of clean energy technologies.”
Keller is the founding director of the BioEnergy Science Center at ORNL, one of the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Research Centers, and directed the laboratory’s Biosciences Division before leading the EES Directorate. He received his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Regensburg in Germany.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers are partnering with other Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories to improve the supercomputing applications that deliver breakthroughs in climate science.
Society of Environmental Journalists hear about supercomputing, tundra, and peat bogs
Oak Ridge National Laboratory climate scientists are doing their part to make sure environmental journalists have the latest knowledge to relay to readers. When nearly 300 members of the Society of Environmental Journalists convened in Chattanooga in October, ORNL researchers addressed them both at the annual meeting and in Oak Ridge, about an hour’s drive away, during tours of the lab.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 21, 2013—Jack D. Fellows, who oversaw a $110 billion federal science portfolio under two U.S. presidents and co-founded the U.S. Global Change Research Program integrating all federal Earth system science research programs, has been appointed director of the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Martin Keller and Jeff Nichols, leaders of the Energy & Environmental Sciences Directorate and the Computing & Computational Sciences Directorate respectively, announced Fellows’ appointment.
Global challenges require global solutions. That’s why the world’s two largest producers of biofuels—the United States and Brazil—are supporting research and scientific cooperation to address the challenges of climate change and meet energy demands with sources such as biomass that are more sustainable than fossil fuels.
Lab researchers instrumental in understanding causes, consequences of climate change
In 2013 and 2014 the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will issue reports detailing what the scientific community knows to date about global climate change. The first report, by Working Group I, will detail the current state of knowledge about the physical science basis of climate change. The second report, by Working Group II, will analyze impacts of and adaptation and vulnerability to climate change, and the third report, by Working Group III, will investigate mitigation. The fourth report will synthesize the findings in the Fifth Assessment Report, or AR5, to provide the scientific community’s consensus about the state of the planet. Researchers in the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory contributed instrumentally to three of the four reports.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Postdoctoral Association, in conjunction with ORNL Fellows, hosted its first ORNL Postdoc Research Symposium on July 18. Approximately, 350 postdoctoral and post-master’s researchers from across the lab had the opportunity to highlight their research and accomplishments, learn about the lab’s broad areas of research, and network within the ORNL community.
National lab’s visualization facility helps explore forest threats, including western wildfires
An exploratory visualization facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has provided researchers with the Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center and their partners a unique view of maps used for detecting and tracking unexpected forest change and disturbances.
Climate Change Science Institute team uses microbes to help host plants resist disease
Just like humans, plants get diseases. And those diseases can spread like wildfire through plant populations, decimating entire communities.
However, also like humans, plants can be inoculated against diseases. In an effort to secure our bioenergy resources, a team of researchers from the University of Washington, Stanford University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Fungal Biodiversity Centre (Netherlands) and the University of Idaho is studying the effects of microbes on potential bioenergy crops such as poplar trees.