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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Atmospheric Rivers : Science and Applications
Disciplines:  Earth Science, Environmental Science
Mentor:  Duane Waliser, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 393-4094
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are narrow, elongated, synoptic jets of water vapor that play important roles in the global water cycle, regional weather/hydrology and global climate. In terms of climate, ARs account for over 90% of the total poleward water vapor transport across mid-latitudes, yet only cover ~10% of the earths circumference. A typical AR may carry as much water as 715 Mississippi Rivers, and there are typically three to five ARs in each hemisphere at any given time. Enhanced precipitation may occur when the moisture-laden ARs hit major landmasses, penetrate inland, and interact with the topography. In the western US and other water-stressed areas, ARs produce beneficial rain and snow that form a crucial source of fresh wate, and can often break existing drought conditions. On the other hand, extreme precipitation associated with ARs can lead to floods and related damages. There are many outstanding challenges and questions needing to be addressed concerning ARs, such as prediction and predictability studies, in-depth weather/climate model evaluation, and regional/global impact studies.
Description:  This opportunity is build on our group's AR research from a science and/or applications point of view. This may involve combinations of analysis of global weather/climate models and satellite and other observations.
References:  Gimeno L., R. Nieto, M. Vázquez, and D. A. Lavers (2014), Atmospheric rivers: a mini-review, Front. Earth Sci., 2:2, doi:10.3389/feart.2014.00002.
Guan, B., N. P. Molotch, D. E. Waliser, E. J. Fetzer, and P. J. Neiman (2013), The 2010/2011 snow season in California's Sierra Nevada: Role of atmospheric rivers and modes of large-scale variability, Water Resour. Res., 49, 67316743, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20537.
Guan, B. and D. E. Waliser, (2015), Detection of Atmospheric Rivers: Evaluation and Application of an Algorithm for Global Studies, Journal of Geophysical Research, In Press/online.
Ralph, F. M., T. Coleman, P. J. Neiman, R. J. Zamora, and M. D. Dettinger (2013), Observed impacts of duration and seasonality of atmospheric-river landfalls on soil moisture and runoff in coastal northern California, J. Hydrometeor, 14, 443459, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-12-076.1.
Ralph, F. M., and M. D. Dettinger (2011), Storms, floods, and the science of atmospheric rivers, Eos Trans. AGU, 92, 265, doi:10.1029/2011EO320001.
Zhu, Y., and R. E. Newell (1998), A Proposed algorithm for moisture fluxes from atmospheric rivers, Mon. Wea. Rev., 126, 725735, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1998)126 0725:APAFMF 2.0.CO;2.
Student Requirements:  Undergraduate or graduate student in atmospheric science or closely related field. Programming expertise (e.g. matlab, python, idl).
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: No.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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