UNM Los Alamos Seed Award

Bringing Climate Research to UNM Los Alamos: Development and Infrastructure Improvement for the Environmental Science Program

Project Investigator: Donald Davis

Project Summary

UNM Los Alamos (UNMLA) is developing a new Environmental Science (ES) program with emphasis on earth systems science and climate change that will include hands-on field experiences and research opportunities for our undergraduate students. The environmental course offerings will include American Meteorological Society based courses and will emphasize an integrated thematic instructional model that carries our environmental theme into cross curricular core subject classes. With this proposal, we will initiate a new, enhanced program of studies with a flagship research component centered on climate change and its impact on our regional water resources. For this project, we will investigate local microscale and mesoscale climate fluctuations focusing on annual precipitation studies and models using proxy data primarily derived from tree ring analyses. We will study the periodicity and severity of highly localized drought/wet cycles and will make projections on the future availability of local water resources and the periodicity of heightened fire threat conditions. A key component of this request is for a suite of modern instrumentation necessary to achieve high-quality research work and to increase UNMLA’s capacity to provide research experiences for our students.

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