Climate Change News (CCN)- Winter 2013

Climate Change News (CCN) is a quarterly newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date on PCC activities and to help create an integrated, interdisciplinary community of students, faculty and researchers working on issues related to climate.

Winter Welcome

Mural by Ray Troll on display in the Fisheries Science Building Lobby

Join the PCC community for our annual Winter Welcome Reception in the Lobby and Auditorium of the Fishery Sciences Building on January 23, 2013. Get reconnected with the PCC community and upcoming activities--meet this years' PCC board, graduate fellowship recipients, and new climate faculty and comment on the upcoming PCC/academic program review (GCeCS and minor). Please register your intent to join us here:

Thank you to recent contributors to the PCC Discretionary and Graduate Education Funds...your contributions help make events like our winter welcome possible and enable us to dream of an endowed fund for graduate programming.

PCC at Fall 2012 AGU

The geosciences community met in San Francisco in December 2012 for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Along with 20,000 other scientists, almost 300 presentations were either presented or co-authored by University of Washington faculty, staff and students. Of those, over 200 were related to observing, understanding, and predicting, the earthʼs climate system, with over 100 presented by University of Washington scientists. Presentations covered diverse topics from understanding the effects of climate change on local water availability both here and in Africa, comparison of satellite observations of atmosphere temperature to models, observations of warming of the deep ocean over the last 30 years, observed changes in the speed of the glaciers that reach the ocean in Greenland. Also discussed were new methods for inferring past temperatures from ice-cores from Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets, and from organic molecules in lake sediments in the tropics. Observations of and improving the representation of clouds in models was the subject of numerous talks, as was the changing climate in the Arctic. The depth and breadth of research in climate and climate change science that is being done at the University of Washington is a bit overwhelming, but looking over the list of presentations at the AGU meeting reminds us that there are people in adjacent offices and in buildings across campus that are connected by their common interest to help humanity to deal with the changes that this century will bring.

-LuAnne Thompson, PCC Director

Annual Theme for 2013: Climate and Ocean Change

This year PCC activities focus on the physical and chemical changes in the ocean that have been observed and attributed to natural and anthropogenic climate change as well as the ecological responses to those changes. We'll be hosting or assisting with activities on or related to this theme in 2013.

PCC Summer Institute Sept. 11 to Sept. 13, 2013 on "Response of Marine Ecosystems to climate forcing: causes and consequences" Joint with IGERT, accepted as a FHL Centennial Symposium. Check the PCC Summer Institute Event Page for updates as they become available.
Public Lecture: The PCC will also be co-hosting the Walker Ames Scholar/public lecture by Dr. Peter Brewer, an ocean chemist from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) this spring.
Fall 2013 Seminar: Look for a fall 2013 seminar series on Climate and Ocean Change.
Outreach Opportunities: Interested in advising or contributing to outreach and education activities related to Climate and Ocean Change? There are several projects in the works that could use your input. Contact the PCC office for information (

iPOC Seminar Series: "Topics on Ocean Change"

Ken Caldeira (Carnegie Institution, Stanford University) is speaking on "Ocean acidification: long-term perspectives and near-term action" on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 3:30 in FSH 102 to kick-off the student organized IGERT on Ocean Change seminar series (SMEA 550).

Throughout the quarter seminars will be held on Mondays from 3:30-4:30pm, in the main auditorium of the Fishery Sciences Building (FSH 102). All are invited to join the iPOC students in this series of invited speakers exploring the topic of ocean change from diverse perspectives. The complete list of speakers can be found here, and the seminars are posted to the PCC's climate event calendar.

Graduate Student ONLY Seminars - Winter Quarter

This seminar series (GSS) is organized by graduate students for graduate students (only) and provides a relaxed environment where grad students give 25-35 min presentations on their research followed by 20 minutes of questions/discussion on the topic. It's a great opportunity to see what is going on in climate research with your fellow students down the hall or across campus. It is also a great chance to show off some of your own research and receive feedback. Presentations should be geared toward a general scientific audience (of graduate students) with ample background information so everyone can follow.

Location: ATG room 610
Time: 5pm (note the new time!)

Jan 16: Stu Evans (Atmos): "We all swoon for monsoons"
Jan 30: Andy Pickering (Ocean): "Internal Waves: What are they and what do they have to do with climate?"
Feb 13: Seth Bushinsky (Ocean): Title TBA
Feb 27: Nick Siler (ESS/Atmos): Title TBA
Mar 13: Leah Johnson (Ocean): Title TBA

Contact Spruce ( if you are interested in giving a talk.

Opportunities: NASA/UWHS and IGERT Graduate Fellowships available-apply now

As we near the end of our NASA/UWHS Climate Science funding, we are looking to roundout the course materials with a series of short videos that capture scientists and their research and explore concepts from the curriculum.

If you are interested in developing your science communication skills through the creation of video, and may be interested in doing a capstone project for the GCeCS, partial RA support is available to work with the team that created the UWHS/NASA climate science curriculum. We've got one team forming, led by Bryce Harrop (ATMOS); Bryce has experience developing Utube videos for the Atmospheric Science outreach group. The videos for the NASA/UWHS project will be based on current research by UW scientists, and associated with the content of ATMS 211. The videos will include student interviews, live demonstrations, and concept narratives, and we will be looking for a grad student in Communications to collaborate.

Contact Miriam in the PCC office for more information ( Applications will be reviewed, and graduate student selected before the end of February.

IGERT Program on Ocean Change (iPOC) strives to train graduate students to use integrative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-scale approaches to investigate problems of ocean change. Trainees will collaborate to explore ocean conditions, biological and ecological responses to changing ocean conditions, their impacts on human institutions and welfare, and opportunities to build resilience in this social-ecological system.

Six to eight traineeships are now available for AY 2013-14; the application deadline is Feb. 15, 2013. Fellowships cover eight quarters of graduate study plus opportunities to apply for funds to help support research at home and abroad. See flyer for additional detail.

Overview of the 2012 Graduate Climate Conference

The 6th Graduate Climate Conference (October 26-28) was an unqualified success. Eighty-three graduate students from North America and overseas, including 33 from the UW, made it to Pack Forest to present their cutting-edge research on climate and climate change. Non-UW participants represented 37 academic institutions, including 19 US states and 3 foreign countries. The quality of the talks and posters was superb: the topics ranged from rural economics to atmospheric physics to experimental ecology, yet they were immediately accessible and informative. We also had a great time getting to know and bond with other early-career scientists who we ordinarily would not have met outside venues like this one. Elizabeth Thomas from Brown University won the costume contest as the organic paleothermometer TEX-86, and a group of MIT students were inspired to host the 7th GCC, which will be later in 2013.

Therefore, we would again like to strongly thank the conference sponsors for making this both possible and inexpensive: the PCC, CoEnv, the Graduate School, Atmos, CEE, ESS, JISAO, Oceanography, the QRC, the National Science Foundation, and Fremont Brewing! Your generous contributions went to something great, and we hope that you think of us again next time around! (2014??)

the GCC6 grad student organizing team
Susan Dickerson, Kat Huybers, Nemiah Ladd, Ashley Maloney, Emily Newsom, Hilary Palevsky, Stephen Po-Chedley, Sarah Purkey, Jack Scheff, Nick Siler and Perry Spector

Graduate Certificate in Climate: Updates and Capstone Opportunities

Interdisciplinary climate science coursework and learning to communicate that science more effectively are central to the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science. There are a few changes and opportunities of note:

Required Course Work: Two options are available for the Physical Climate requirement: Fundamentals of Global Warming Science (ATM S/OCN/ESS 587, 3 credits, offered Autumn Quarter, requires one semester of calculus) OR Climate Dynamics (to be offered Fall 2013, 3 credits, requires differential equations).

Also, one option in the application of climate science option, Option 3c: Climate Impacts on the Pacific Northwest (AtmS/Envir/ESS/SMA 585 is currently not being offered. We are hoping to see it return in some form in the not too distant future.

Several files have been updated on the GCeCS webpage, most notably we've uploaded a file that lists content of the capstone proposal and final report. We hope this helps make the processes smoother.

Finally, since we've got your attention, we've listed a few Capstone Project Opportunities below. There are others around, please contact us ( for more information (at no obligation).

High School Climate Science Projects (NASA/UWHS Climate Science)

Module Development: develop a lab for a high school class with feedback from high school teachers and students (RA support may be available for big projects).
Video Creation: student interviews, live demonstrations, and concept narratives related to ATMS 211 content (project described in opportunities, above).
Mentor a high school student through a project and develop manual for how to mentor high school students.
When? Winter, Spring, Summer 2013

Teacher Training in Oceans and Climate

Lead a portion of the training, based on your Ocean and Climate Research. This is a collaboration between South Sound GREEN program, the Nisqually River Education Project and the Chehalis Basin Education Consortium (and you!)
When? June 17-19, 2013

Contact the PCC office if interested in more information on any of these opportunities.

2012/2013 "PCC" Courses-Update

Winter 2013

The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate (ATMS/OCN/ESS 588)
Instructors: Abigail Swann (ATMS) and Samantha Siedlecki (JISAO); MGH 251; MW 2:30-3:50.

Spring 2013

Paleoclimate: Data Modeling and Theory (ATMS/OCN/ESS 589)
Instructor: Eric Steig (ESS)

e-list Subscription Information

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We also have an active climate outreach group; if you'd like to be contacted when we get speaker or other climate-related requests, send an e-mail to Miriam at

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