PCCRC Graduate Fellows

George Omiat is a 2015 PCCRC Graduate Student Fellow in the Department of Agricultural Economics working with Professor Jerry Shively on issues related to climate change and food security. He focuses on understanding the role of rainfall shocks on agricultural supply and price volatility; using satellite remote sensed data from the NASA MODIS sensor along with spatial econometric techniques to better understand the role of environmental change in child growth outcomes; and examining the ways in which climate and rainfall influence health outcomes in children.

Nick Smith is a 2013 PCCRC Graduate Student Fellow and a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow working with Professor Jeff Dukes in the Department of Biological Sciences. Smith studies the interaction between plant physiology, ecology, and climate change. He uses a combination of experimental and modeling techniques to try and predict how plants will respond and feedback to future climate change.

Olivia Salmon is a 2013 PCCRC fellow and a second-year member of the Shepson research group. Her focus is on monitoring the surface-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in forested and urban environments. She has mapped methane (CH4) leaks at the street level in the city of Indianapolis. She has also conducted airborne experiments to quantify total city methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from Indianapolis. In addition to urban CH4 and CO2 measurements, Olivia also looks at net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in forested environments.

Casey Beel is a 2012 PCCRC Graduate Fellow working with Professor Nat Lifton in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, and collaborators from the University of Colorado and the University of Buffalo. Casey’s research is focused on using in situ cosmogenic 14C inventories in recently exposed bedrock surfaces to provide temporal constraints on the duration of ice-covered and ice-free conditions throughout the Holocene in eastern Baffin Island and western Greenland.

Wendell Walters joined the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences in the fall of 2012 as a PCCRC Graduate Fellow, working with Professor Greg Michalski. In the past year, Wendell has analyzed the stable isotopes of ice core nitrate to determine changes in global nitrogen cycling and shifts in oxidation chemistry in response to natural and anthropogenic climate change. He plans to use the funding to explore isotope effects in gas phase reaction in order to help climate modelers incorporate isotope effects in the atmosphere into the next generation of climate models.

Ruoyu Wang is a 2011 PCCRC Fellow in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. He works with Professor Keith Cherkauer, with Professor Laura Bowling from the Department of Agronomy serving as co-adviser. His research involves exploring the ability of an existing hydrology and crop growth model (SWAT2009) to simulate yield variability for traditional crops in the Midwestern US with respect to observed climate and soil moisture variability.

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