Climate Change News (CCN)- Spring 2014

Climate Change News (CCN), offered in fall and spring, is 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.

PCC's Well-Attended Annual Winter Welcome

What happens when you invite two young, happening climate scientists to talk about their research to the PCC community, AND kick off the event by entraining participants from an IGERT seminar on Tidal Energy at your reception? You get an over-the-top turnout at the PCC Winter Welcome. The event was January 22, 2014 in the auditorium and lobby of the Fisheries Sciences Building, a perfect venue for our annual meeting.

Attendees were treated to a well catered event and presentations by Joel Pedro, JISAO Postdoc and Paleoclimatologist who spoke about his work on "Ice core records of climate variability and forcing" and by Lauren Buckley, Assistant Professor UW Biology, who spoke on "What biology matters for forecasting species' responses to climate change?".

The Winter Welcome is one of the PCC's opportunities to bring climate scientists together from across campus, around common research and education goals. This years' theme, which will carry through the summer institute, fall seminar (PCC 586), and beyond, focuses on Climate Variability and Uncertainty.

Four Climate/Ocean Graduate Students Engage in Washington State Legislative Process through the IGERT Program on Ocean Change

The IGERT Program on Ocean Change (iPOC) is an NSF funded project that seeks to integrate social implications of change into graduate student training on the fundamentals of ocean systems and marine life. Here, four iPOC graduate students, Andrea Fassbender (OCN) , Seth Bushinsky (OCN), Ashley Maloney (OCN), and Emily Newsom (ESS), also active PCC participants, learned about the legislative process, and acted as consultants to Senator Kevin Ranker and the Climate Legislative Working group . This team of graduate students had the opportunity to experience how science is used in the legislative process as the working group met to establish recommendations on actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Washington State. The students shared their perspectives and expectations at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting.

Read more about the project in the UW News article of March 27, 2014.

PCC's Annual Summer Institute to be led by Dargan Frierson

Save the dates of 15-17 September 2014 to think and talk about Climate Variability and Uncertainty with the UW climate science community and invited speakers at beautiful Friday Harbor Labs. Dargan Frierson (ATMOS) is organizing the SI this year, so along with a great few days of science, I'm sure there will be some creative lyrical constructs.

Look for additional information and registration information at the Summer Institute event page.

Graduate Climate Conference Returns to Pack Forest in 2014

The Graduate Climate Conference Returns to Pack Forest! After a one year break, where the GCC traveled east, UW climate graduate students are once again organizing this conference that continues to grow in popularity and reputation each year.

Abstracts will be accepted between April 15 and May 31. Link available soon.

Other Upcoming Conferences

5th Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference will be in Kane Hall September 9-10, 2014. This annual conference brings together more than 250 researchers and practitioners from the PNW to discuss scientific results, challenges, and solutions related to the impacts of climate on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest. Abstracts accepted until April 25.

U.S. Atlantic Meridional Overturning Science Meeting will be at the Deca Hotel Seattle, September 9-11, 2014. Contact LuAnne Thompson for information.

PCC Graduate Courses and the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS)

There are now two courses that satisfy the Climate Dynamics requirement of the GCeCS:

ATMS/ESS/OCN 587 Fundamentals of Global Warming Science, appropriate for students in a non-physical science graduate program. This course will be taught again in Fall 2015.


ATMS 571: Advanced Physical Climatology: appropriate for students in a physical science graduate program. To be taught by Dennis Hartmann this Fall (2014).

With the availability of two options for the Climate Dynamics requirement of the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science there are now two "tracks" that could be followed.

In the first track students take Advanced Physical Climatology (which replaces the original Climate Dynamics).

The second track begins with the Fundamentals of Global Warming.

The second and third course requirements for both tracks is the Global Carbon Cycle and an elective course in climate science applications. Students in either track are also required to take one semester of the PCC seminar (586) on current climate science. Students in both tracks also develop a capstone project and skill in climate science communication (a number of seminars and courses are available to fulfill this requirement).

Graduate students from the Evans School, Global Health, ESS, Oceanography, and Atmospheric Sciences have successfully completed the certificate, tailoring their courses and capstone to their interests and expertise.

If you are interested in learning more or about tailoring the GCeCS to your interests, contact Miriam in the PCC office (

Potential Capstone Projects

For those of you interested in doing the certificate, but just can't think of a capstone project, several are being defined based on requests for climate expertise by organizations outside the UW. One such new opportunity is to be a member of a team of scientists and media professionals (e.g. TV meteorologists) to review the accuracy of presentation content developed by Pacific Science Center staff for their Science On a SphereŽ. You would provide expertise on one or more subtopics of (A) Terrestrial and Planetary Geology (underway spring 2014), (B) The Oceans, Weather and Climate (develop summer 2014) and (C) Earth Geography and Human Impacts (develop fall 2014). If you participate in spring or summer 2014, partial RA support for 1 quarter is possible through the PCC. Contact LuAnne ( or Miriam ( for more information.

As other opportunities become available, they will be distributed through the PCC grads mailman list. If you have your own idea for a capstone, or want to discuss what others have done, set up a meeting with Miriam ( or LuAnne (

PCC Classes and Seminars

Spring 2014

The Graduate Student Seminar (GSS) : The GSS seminar series is organized by graduate students for graduate students every quarter. This spring quarter they will meet bi-weekly on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 PM in ATG 610. The GSS provides an extremely laid back environment where grad students give 20-30 min presentations on their research followed by 20 minutes of questions/discussion on the topic. A great opportunity to see what is going on in climate research with your fellow students down the hall or across campus.

Upcoming Seminars:

April 9 Alex Lenferna
April 23 Jack Scheff
May 7 Greg Quetin
May 21 Hayley Dosser
June 4 Miguel Jimenez-Urias

Spring Quarter Chairs: Hilary Palevsky ( and Sarah Purkey (

PCC Courses in 2014/2015

Fall 2014

Advanced Physical Climatology (ATMS 571) --Instructor: Dennis Hartmann
Current Research in Climate Change: "Climate Variability and Uncertainty" (OCN/ATMS/ESS 586)--Instructor: LuAnne Thompson
Current Research in Climate Science Undergraduate Seminar (OCN/ATMS/ESS 475)-- Instructor: LuAnne Thompson

Winter 2015

The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate (ATM S/OCEAN/ESS 588)--Instructor: Abby Swan

Spring 2015

Climate Modeling (ATMS 559/ESS 559/OCEAN 558)--Instructor: Ceclia Bitz

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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

Table of Contents

  • Winter Welcome/Annual Theme 2014

  • Climate/Ocean Graduate Students Engage in Washington State Legislative Process

  • PCC's Annual Summer Institute to be led by Dargan Frierson

  • The Graduate Climate Conference Returns to Pack Forest in 2014

  • Other Upcoming Conferences

  • Graduate Certificate in Climate: Updates and Capstone Opportunities

  • 2014/2015 GSS and PCC Courses

  • How to subscribe to PCC e-lists

  • Contributing to PCC Programs

    Are you interested in helping the PCC via a private donation? If so, please contact LuAnne ( or Miriam (206-543-6521 or or give directly through the UW foundation website. We welcome contributions of all sizes!

    Previous PCC Newsletters