Scientific Cloud Observations
The Department of Energy has awarded Lewis & Clark a $255,194 grant in support of Assistant Professor of Jessica Kleiss’ research project, “Macro-physical Properties of Shallow Cumulus from Integrated ARM Observations.” Dr. Kleiss will have overall responsibility for the collaborative project, which also involves Dr. Charles Long from CU-Boulder and Drs. Laura Riihimaki and Evgueni Kassianov from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Supported by the Atmospheric System Research Program, this two-year project will focus on the development of new data products for shallow cumulus clouds from existing atmospheric observations. Specifically, the team will use visible images of the entire sky dome along with Lidar and radar point measurements to describe geometrical properties of shallow cumulus clouds such as the cloud base height, cloud aspect ratio, and cloud chord length.
The metrics of these difficult-to-observe clouds will be used to inform and improve atmospheric models at spatial scales smaller than the resolution of global climate models. In addition to managing the project, Dr. Kleiss will oversee the computation and evaluation of the new data products, and mentor undergraduates and a postdoctoral researcher housed at L&C; her collaborators will implement and evaluate the new data products and collaborate with the modeling efforts. More about Dr. Kleiss’ research program is available here.