Shasha Zou is an Associate Professor of Climate and Space Science and Engineering. Her general research interest is about studying the dynamic interaction between the Sun’s extended atmosphere, i.e., solar wind, and the near-Earth space environment. In particular, she is interested in the physical processes of formation and evolution of ionospheric structures and their impact on technology, such as global navigation and communication satellite system (GNSS), during space weather disturbances using multi-instrument observations and numerical models. Numerical models often used include magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model of the global magnetosphere, and physics-based global ionosphere and thermosphere model.
Ricky Rood is a Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. His current research and teaching focus is on climate change and its repercussions in society. His research history includes numerical modeling of trace constituents and atmospheric dynamics. He was director of NASA’s Center for Computational Science at Goddard Space Flight Center. He is currently consulting with NOAA on the Next Generation Global Prediction System.
Professor Rood is an active member of the climate science community, working on strategic approaches to the climate-change problem solving. He writes blogs for Wunderground.com and Climatepolicy.org and he is a main contributor of The Climate Workspace project, glisaclimate.org, a site that supports an online community of people working to address climate change questions and problems.
Allison Steiner is a Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. Her research focus is on the relationship between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere to help understand the bigger question: how will the Earth respond to climate change? Her research integrates gas and particulate matter, including anthropogenic aerosols and natural aerosols such as pollen, into high-resolution models. She and her research group then compare these results with observations to develop a comprehensive understanding of regional scale climate and atmospheric chemistry.
His research makes use of rich information contained in the spectrally resolve observations (chiefly from space) to probe the climate system and gauge the performance of climate models. Topics of his ongoing projects include formulation and design of climate monitoring system based on accurate in-flight calibration system, spectrally resolved radiation budget and radiative feedbacks, detecting spectral signals of climate changes, and model evaluations using spectral data set. In the course of such studies, huge amount of data sets from observations or climate model simulations are fed into radiative transfer model to general spectral radiances at thousands of channels for each grid on the globe and for each time interval. To accurately and efficiently carry out such calculation is only possible with massive high performance computing and, as of today, such task is still computationally challenging.
Most of his research and teaching involves parallel computing of some form: design of scalable algorithms and data structures; applications to numerous scientific problems such as a large multidisciplinary team modeling space weather or a small interdisciplinary group doing imputation on datasets of social preferences; and performance analysis, both experimental and analytical. These projects have used a variety of computer architectures, ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of cores. He also works on algorithms for abstract fine-grain parallel computer models motivated by concerns such as time/number-of-processors/peak-power tradeoffs and the constraints imposed by the fact that computation is done in 2- or 3-dimensional space. Further, he develops serial algorithms for optimizing adaptive sampling problems such as adaptive clinical trials, algorithms for isotonic regression, and various other computer science problems.
Dr. Toth works on algorithm and code development for space and plasma physics simulations. He has a leading role in the development of the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) that can couple and execute about a dozen different space physics models modeling domains from the surface of the Sun to the upper atmosphere of the Earth. He is one of the main developers of the BATS-R-US code, a multi-physics and multi-application magnetohydrodynamics code using block-adaptive grids. He is collaborating with many colleagues and students using the SWMF and BATSRUS for a wide range of applications: solar corona, coronal mass ejections, magnetic storms, comets, moons (Titan, Enceladus), planetary magnetospheres (Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn), interaction of moons with their plasma environment (Titan, Enceladus), interaction of comets with the solar wind, outer heliosphere interaction with the inter-stellar material, etc. The SWMF is used by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) at NASA Goddard for research as well as real-time forecasting of space weather. Dr. Toth was also the software architect for the Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics (CRASH). This DoE funded center worked on modeling radiative shocks created by high energy lasers and the uncertainty quantification of the model results. He has designed and implemented of the Versatile Advection Code, a general purpose publicly available hydrodynamics and MHD code. VAC has been used by hundreds of researchers around the world to simulate various hydrodynamic and MHD problems.
His research interests focus on understanding the physical processes controlling energetic charged particle motion in planetary magnetospheres, including Earth. He writes and uses space plasma physics numerical models, especially kinetic modeling that resolves velocity space distributions but also large-scale magnetohydrodynamic models. Prof. Liemohn is especially interested in the nonlinear coupling within planetary magnetospheres during strong solar wind driving intervals (i.e., system-level feedback during space storms).
Christiane Jablonowski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and combines atmospheric science, applied mathematics, computational science and high-performance computing. Her research suggests new pathways to bridge the wide range of spatial scales between local, regional and global phenomena in climate models without the prohibitive computational costs of global high-resolution simulations. In particular, she advances variable-resolution and Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) techniques for future-generation weather and climate models that are built upon a cubed-sphere computational mesh. Variable-resolution meshes enable climate modelers to focus the computational resources on features or regions of interest, and thereby allow an assessment of the many multi-scale interactions between, for example, tropical cyclones and the general circulation of the atmosphere.
Dr. Jablonowski organizes summer schools, dynamical core model intercomparison projects, teaches tutorials on parallel computing and climate modeling, develops cyber-infrastructure tools for the climate sciences, and has co-edited and co-authored a book on numerical methods for atmospheric models.