PASI Workshop

PASI Workshop

2013 Pan American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) on Atmospheric Processes in Latin America and the Caribbean: Observations, Analysis, and Impacts

Cartagena, Colombia
27 May - 7 June 2013

Student Participants

Attendee Information
Teddy Allen
University of Miami RSMAS, USA
Teddy Allen is a fourth year graduate student at The University of Miami - RSMAS studying meteorology. His research attempts to better understand the development and predictability of the Caribbean early rainfall season and the "mid-summer dry spell". He combines a mixed-methods approach from a background in geography by integrating farmer interviews and satellite derived vegetation indices into his work to understand the social response and biophysical impact that result from annual to sub-seasonal rainfall variability within the region. His other research related topics of interest include identifying the needs of climate information users and how they value and use climate data. In addition, Mr. Allen serves as the Science and Data Applications Branch Manager for the International Environmental Data Rescue Organization. His primary duties in this capacity include providing compelling examples for continuing or initiating historical data rescue projects. He is also involved with training employees at foreign national meteorological services on the data rescue process as well as supporting their climate applications programs by giving web tool based data analysis and visualization workshops. When not doing science Teddy enjoys surfing, cycling, dabbling with the ukulele, and has a newfound interest in adventure motorcycle touring.
Attendee Information
Vanessa Almanza
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA
Aloha my is Vanessa Almanza. I am a first-year graduate student at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in the Meteorology department. My graduate thesis focuses on using GPS receivers to measure precipitable water onboard a ship during a transoceanic voyage. As a former intern for the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research program, I was able to conduct several other research projects dealing with water vapor transport in mountainous regions and tropical cyclone environments. I am very enthused to be apart of this workshop which encompass much of my current research interests, and the chance interact with all those who are attending. On a side note, I currently just started surfing, which has been amazing. I also enjoy snorkeling and exploring the island whenever I get a chance.
Attendee Information
Haley Anderson
University of the West Indies, Trinidad
Hello, my name is Haley Anderson. I am a Meteorological Technician at the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services, and also a graduate research student in the Geography Department of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, Trinidad. My research focuses on the causes of rainfall variation in the southern end of the Caribbean island chain with an aim of increasing the accuracy of seasonal rainfall forecasts. Specifically, I am interested in determining the exact impact mechanisms like the El Nino/Southern Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, etc. has on the spatio-temporal distribution of rainfall at sub-Global Climate Model resolutions. My hypothesis is that on small islands it is possible to have different responses to the forcing mechanisms. I have been a weather observer, radiosonde operator and staffer of the climate department for the last seven years, which together with my undergraduate experiences, has molded my interest in the field of climate science. I have an open attitude towards conducting research, but I remain always focused on the facts. I prefer to thoroughly assess the data before me before jumping to conclusions. It is my intention to become an authority on the weather and climate of the Latin America-Caribbean region, and to form friendly, working relationships with other like-minded individuals.
Attendee Information
Paola Arias
Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
My name is Paola Arias. I´m an assistant professor at "Universidad de Antioquia" in Colombia. I hold a Ph.D degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.Sc degree in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Georgia Institute of Technology. My research interests focus on tropical climate variability, climate change impacts on tropics, American monsoons variability and changes during the recent decades, although I´m also interested on surface hydrological processes and their link to climate.
Attendee Information
Nicolas Bambach
University of California at Davis, Chile
Nicolas Bambach (MSc., Agr.Eng.), Ph.D. Student at University of California, Davis - Atmospheric Science Program, Fulbright Scholar, and Associated in the NSF Climate Change, Water and Society IGERT. His research is focused on Land - Atmospheric Processes in Mediterranean Ecosystems. He also has experience on topics related to climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, forestry, and native ecosystems. In the last years he has been involved in several projects that try to introduce Climate Change as a main component of the decision making process in different sectors. He has worked as a Specialist Consultant for ECLAC - UN (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), Chile'ss National Environmental Commission (CONAMA), The Latin American Technical Cooperation Network on National Parks, other Protected Areas and Wildlife, FAO, UN, and for internationals NGO's such as The Nature Conservancy - TNC and Conservation International.
Attendee Information
Elsa Castillo
University of Texas at El Paso, USA
Hi! My name is Elsa Castillo. I am a 2nd year PhD student in Environmental Science attending The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and have received my master degree in Physics from this university. I started in Atmospheric Science by assessing the impact of high ozone events on health, using Paso del Norte region as a test bed. I have also worked on improving estimates of planetary boundary layer height (PBLH). My research interests are aerosol composition and satellite data retrieval of aerosols transported over large distances. At any time, I enjoy dancing. See you in Cartagena, one of the most popular cities in Colombia.
Attendee InformationSen Chiao
San Jose State University, USA
Hello, I am the faculty advisor for the Chiao Research Group in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University. My research work and interests include data analysis and modeling of tropical cyclogenesis, mesoscale dynamics and problems related to stable boundary layer. My goal is to advance our understanding of fundamental science in the areas of weather, climate and their linkages and impact on the environment and society.
Attendee Information
Oscar Chimborazo
University at Albany, Ecuador
Hi everyone, my name is Oscar Chimborazo. I am from Ecuador, a graduate student at the University at Albany, focusing my work on climate change. I have an interest in the development of dynamical downscaling techniques of IPCC AR5 projections to explore the impacts of climate variations that can affect people in Ecuador. I got my undergraduate degree on Physics at Escuela Politecnica Nacional in Quito Ecuador, and I have been working in the field of Atmospheric science since 2009 when I joined the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Ecuador, INAMHI. My main tasks and duties were the generation of maps using data from different types of numerical weather and climate models. I was interested in this, because I wanted to understand much better not only the weather in the different zones of Ecuador but also the climate patterns which are important for the genesis of different events such as El Niño. I think that this course will give us an excellent opportunity to interchange ideas and meet other researchers.
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Yanet Cuddus
GPS Monitoring of Environmental Hazards
Attendee Information
Christian Dominquez
National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
Hi everyone, my name is Christian Dominguez. I am currently a PhD student in Meteorology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico. I also got my master degree from UNAM in 2011. My main scientific interest is focused on topics related to meteorological phenomena in the Intra Americas region as tropical cyclones (TCs). I have studied the relationships between types of TCs tracks and natural variability both Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, such as: ENSO (El Niño- Southern Oscillation), PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation), AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) and AMM (Atlantic Meridional Mode). Since the year of 2012, I have focused on researching more about physical processes in tropical convection, climate predictability of Mexico and running regional climate models due to the fact that my main doctoral aim is the influence of TCs tracks in Mexico summer precipitation. Apart from that, I wish everybody achieves its goals. I look forward to sharing knowledge and exciting experiences in Cartagena, Colombia!
Attendee Information
Frank Garcia
Camaguey, Cuba
Hello. My name is Frank García. I had my Bsc degree in Meteorology in the Higher Institute of Technologies and Applied Sciences (INSTEC) in Havana. I have been working in Atmospheric Optics Group of Camagüey (GOAC) since September 2011. The main goal of my work is the study of the effect of atmospheric constituents on solar radiation from measurements and the use of radiative transfer models. I have been working with the sun photometer installed at the Camaguey Station and operated by GOAC, and in measuring of particulate matter fraction PM10 and PM1 since 2012. During the course I hope to expand my knowledge and meet new colleagues.
Attendee Information
Jorge Jimenez
Colombian Air Force, Colombia
Hi! My name is Giovanni Jiménez. I am currently a Colombian Air Force Officer and I work as Director of Meteorology, managing economical, technical and human resources to provide weather information to military aircrews in our country. I have a B.S. in Aeronautics Administration from Colombian Air Force Academy and I am also Air Traffic Controller. After that, I earned a MSc. in Meteorology from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and I have been working in that field since 2004. I had the chance to be responsible for producing the operational information used daily for our military aircrews, and I got a fellowship at the Tropical Desk of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NOAA). Working in the operational area was a very interesting experience and there I could notice that there are some phenomena that can be researched to improve the diagnosis and forecasting of weather in the Andean region. I like to listen music, swimming, play soccer and spending time with my family.
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Leswis Cabeza
Colombian Navy, Colombia
Forecast and climate studies
Behavior of the ITCZ to the passage of tropical cyclones
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Jean Linero-Cueto
Colombian Navy, Colombia
Ocean-Atmosphere interaction, Computational Fluid Mechanics
Study of waves and their relationship with the sea breezes
Attendee Information
Erika Lopez-Espinoza
National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
Hi, my name is Erika Lopez-Espinoza. I received my B.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Puebla (BUAP) in 2002. I received my M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Optica y Electrónica (INAOE), in 2004 and 2009 respectively. From 2004 to 2005, I was part of Computer Vision Laboratory at INAOE. I worked in the Mexico City's Virtual Center on Climate Change in 2009. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at UNAM. I am developing research for Mexico on the impact of land use and land cover in weather forecast using the WRF numerical model. I am participating in a project that examines the impact on= air quality in the Valley of Mexico analyzing a scenario that considers a restoration of Texcoco Lake. For this project, I am carrying out numerical simulations with the WRF model, by introducing an artificial lake northeast of Mexico City. I also have evaluated five global maps of land cover and land use in order to choose the one that best describes the current state of the vegetation in Mexico, and use it to improve the data of land use of the WRF model. Finally, in my free time I love running, cooking mexican food and enjoying to my family every day.
Attendee Information
John Martinez
University at Arizona, Colombia
My name is Alejandro Martinez. I am a second year student in the PhD program of Hydrometeorology at the University of Arizona. I earned my B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics, from the University of Antioquia, Colombia. Currently, I am studying terrestrial sources of atmospheric moisture over South America. To estimate the sources, sinks and pathways of atmospheric moisture I am using a Lagrangian model and reanalysis data. In the near future I expect to study the role of the tropical Andes in meso-scale processes over northern South America. I look forward to learn about the COSMIC activities and to meet people working on atmospheric processes over Latin America.
Attendee Information
Lumari Pardo-Rodriquez
University of California at Santa Barbara, USA
¡Hola! My name is Lumari Pardo-Rodriguez and I am currently a PhD student at the University of California-Santa Barbara in the Geography Department. My research interests are in vulnerability, impacts, and adaption to climate change in South America. Currently, my focus is on mapping vulnerability and understanding adaptation to climate variability and/or change in Peru. I received a BS in Mathematics from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico followed by an MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University in 2009. I enjoy learning new languages, playing sports and trying new things.
Attendee Information
Caridad Perez
Dominican Republic
Climate and Forecast
Atmospheric processes in the Dominican weather forecast
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Camilo Platz Marroquin
Biological Oceanography
Physical Oceanography
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Michelle Reboita
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Climate Physics and Zoology
Using atmospheric tele-connections to simulate small scale historical climate data
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Luis Restrepo-Blandon
Colombian Navy, Colombia
Oceanography studies and meteorology forecasts
Some variations of climate in Ecuador for the near future through the MRI-AGCM 20km model data
Attendee Information
Tatiana Rodriguez-Tobar
National University of Colombia, Colombiz
Hi everyone! My name is Tatiana Rodriguez. I am currently in first year Geosciences Ph.D. at National University of Colombia. I received my Master degree in Meteorology. My research focuses in the processes of interaction between ocean and atmospheric. I've worked about climate Variability Ocean and upwelling processes over Pacific Ocean. Currently I am researching the synoptic variability of heat fluxes over Caribbean Sea. I am very pleased to attend to this training; over all because it is focuses in my study region.
Attendee Information
Jose Ruiz
Modeling Group, Department of Meteorology
Climate Prediction in Colombia
Attendee Information
Fernan Saenz
University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Hi, my name is Fernan Saenz. I earned a bachelor degree in meteorology at the University of Costa Rica and I work at Center for Geophysical Research of the same University. I am currently coursing a master's degree program in atmospheric science. My research focuses on mesoscale processes and their numerical modeling. I enjoy scientific programming, literature, music and football.
Attendee Information
Patricia Sanchez
University of Miami RSMAS, USA
Hola! My name is Patricia Sanchez-Rodriguez, and I am currently a graduate student in the Meteorology and Physical Oceanography department at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), University of Miami. I have earned a BS in Theoretical Physics with a minor in Atmospheric and Meteorology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2011. My research currently focuses in the study of the impact of data assimilation in the tropical cyclone forecast of intensity and structure using the variational data assimilation technique from the Weather Research Forecasting (WRF-Var) model. My objective is to analyze the effect of assimilating winds from the airborne Doppler radar for Hurricanes Ike (2008) and Earl (2010). My plan is to complete the MS degree during the spring 2013. I am looking forward to this PASI short-course and workshop for the opportunity to gain professional experience beyond the school, to make friends, to meet and learn from other experienced scientist and potentially start new collaborations. In my free time I enjoy cooking, traveling, music, dancing salsa, and spending time with my family and friends.
Attendee Information
Andrea Sealy
Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Barbados
Hello! I am Andrea Sealy, a Meteorologist at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and a Lecturer in Meteorology at CIMH and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. I obtained a B.S. in Meteorology from Jackson State University, a M.S. in Meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Howard University. After completing my Ph.D., I went on to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado as an Advanced Study Program Postdoctoral Fellow in the Terrestrial Sciences Section of the Climate and Global Dynamics Division. My Ph.D. work examined the impact of soil moisture initialization on West African rainfall using the Regional Spectral Model. For my postdoctoral work at NCAR, I worked closely with Dr. Natalie Mahowald in studying the interaction of dynamic vegetation with Saharan dust and Sahel rainfall in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM). Currently I am working on facilitating the CIMH's involvement in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS) through setting up of an aerosol guidance webpage and installation of the DREAM dust module onsite at the institute. I am also working on set-up of the WRF/Chem model to run dust forecasting simulations for the Caribbean region. I have worked on analysis of data from the Japanese super high resolution GCM during a visit to the Meteorological Research Training Institute (MRI) in Tsukuba, Japan for the purpose of examining future climate impacts in the Caribbean. I hope to work in the near future with COCONet data to validate the performance of the WRF model forecasts of precipitable water vapor.
Attendee Information
Maybis Sierra-Lorenzo
Havana University, Cuba
Hello, my name is Maibys Sierra Lorenzo. I born and grew up in Havana city, received my B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Havana University in 2008. I got my M.S. degree Mathematical Science, also in the Havana University in 2011. Right now I'm first year PhD student of Mathematical Science attending in Havana University. My current work focus in atmospheric modelling specialized in determining the ability of the Advanced Regional Prediction System and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model in simulations of local convection, large eddies and severe local storms. In my spare time, I enjoy listening music and pass time with my pets. I very much look forward to this workshop for the opportunity it provides to learn more about the atmospheric processes that are important to Latin America and the Caribbean, to exchange ideas, to make both friends and contacts.
Attendee Information
Stephanie Slade
Colorado State University, USA
Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Slade and I am a beginning PhD student at Colorado State University working towards my degree in atmospheric science. My master's work, also at CSU, detailed the development of an intraseasonal statistical model for the prediction of Atlantic and East Pacific hurricane cyclogenesis. I was also involved in the DYNAMO field project launching a ridiculous amount of weather balloons to learn more about the initiation of the MJO. I also had the privilege of co-teaching a tropical meteorology and hurricanes course at the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY) in Mexico. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, traveling, storm chasing, ultimate frisbee…and watching cartoons and playing computer games (oh man - a nerd and a geek?! What a weirdo). I also speak fluent Spanish, so have no fear! I look forward to meeting you all soon!
Attendee Information
Kimberly Stephenson
UWI Mona, Jamaica
Kimberly Stephenson is currently a PhD candidate in climate physics, with a focus on the impacts of climate variability and change on terrestrial animal populations. She obtained a BSc double major in in Environmental Physics and Zoology in 2009. She has been a student researcher with the Climate Studies Group, Mona based in the Department of Physics since her undergraduate years, and has conducted extensive climate data analysis for the region, also producing a number of publications including co-authoring of UNFCCC national communications of four Caribbean countries. She also gives talks across Jamaica on historical and projected climate change for the island and the Caribbean Region. Through her current PhD project, she is also a member of the Jamaican Iguana Recovery Group (JIRG) in the Life Sciences Department at UWI, Mona Campus. As a part of this group, she conducts zoological research in the Jamaican dry limestone forest of the Hellshire Hills, one of the best preserved dry forests in the region. This has involved work with multiple critically endangered species that are endemic to the area. Her current research seeks to project climate change impacts on sparse arthropod and small reptile populations in the Hellshire Hills, based on the current influence of atmospheric variables on abundance.
Attendee Information
Juan Sulca
University at Albany, USA
Hi everyone, my name is Juan Sulca. I am currently a PhD student in the Department Atmospheric Science at University at Albany in NY-USA. My thesis work is on impacts of climate variability and change on glaciers in the Tropical Andes. I am currently studying the interannual variability of the large-scale atmospheric circulation over South America associated with precipitation events in several Andean countries (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and northernmost Chile). I am also currently investigating regional teleconnection mechanisms linking wet and dry spells in the central Peruvian Andes and the eastern Amazon basin. Having mentioned these facts about my studies, my research interests is gain a broader insight and understanding about the dynamics of monsoon systems, such as the South American Monsoon System (SAMS), regional sources of moisture and ocean-atmosphere interactions and how they interact with the large-scale circulation. This is very relevant for my future research as all these aspects influence the seasonal and interannual variability of precipitation in my study area. On the other hand, I think that this workshop should be a great opportunity to make new friends and collaborators to make a research in the future.
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Elvis Torres
University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, USA
Atmospheric Chemistry
Chemical speciation of water soluble ions and metals from cloud and rain during the Puerto Rico African Dust and Cloud Studies (PRADACS) campaings
Attendee Information
Victor Torres
University at Albany, Mexico
Hello everyone! My name is Victor Torres. Currently I am a graduate student at the State University of New York at Albany. My current research involves the impacts of Convectively Coupled Equatorial Waves over the Central America region with particular emphasis on Kelvin waves and Easterly waves over the Caribbean. My undergraduate degree is in Physics from National Polytechnic Institute at Mexico City and I have a MS in Atmospheric Physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I am looking forward to attending the COCONet student workshop for the opportunity it provides to learn more about COSMIC-COCONet and interact with people interested in this challenging part of the world. I like reading and traveling.
Attendee Information
Sara Vieira
Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
Hello, my name is Sara Vieira. I am an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin Colombia. I received my Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Georgia Tech in 2010. My research focuses on studying interactions between global climate variability and climate dynamics on a regional scale in tropical regions. I my free time I enjoy dancing and music.
Attendee Information
Kristina Wagstrom
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Connecticut, USA
Hi, my name is Kristina Wagstrom. I am a chemical engineer with a background in atmospheric chemistry. I obtained my Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University focusing on approaches for modeling source contributions to atmospheric particulate matter concentrations. During my postdoctoral position at the University of Minnesota, I studied the potential air quality implications associated with using biofuels in place of conventional gasoline. I am currently on leave from a faculty position at the University of Connecticut in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department pursuing an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in Washington D.C. During my fellowship I am hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In September 2013 I will join the faculty at the University of Connecticut fulltime where I will continue my research using modeling over multiple scales to better our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and the health and climate impacts of air pollution (focusing on particulate matter / aerosols). Related to this workshop, I am interested in how long range transport can impact air pollution and cloud dynamics throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In my spare time I enjoy playing the flute, STEM outreach, scuba diving, and travel.
Attendee Information
Matthew Widlansky
University of Hawaii, USA
Aloha, my name is Matthew Widlansky. I am a postdoctoral fellow at the International Pacific Research Center on the University of Hawaii campus in Honolulu. Here, I study tropical climate variability such as shifting rainfall patterns and also sea-level extremes. I am particularly interested in climate change uncertainties faced by small island nations. I received my Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 2010 researching Southern Hemisphere convergence zones, thereby making some comparisons between South Pacific and South Atlantic climates. I look forward to meeting you all in Cartagena!

Sponsors and Acknowledgements

This short course is funded by the United States National Science Foundation under grant OISE-1242281. NOAA (award #NA06OAR4310119) and the Colombian Geological Survey provides additional support.


NOAA DIMAR UNAVCO Colombian Naval Academy

The above image shows the total column precipitable water vapor (PWV) derived from COCONet overlaid upon a GOES infrared satellite image on October 23, 2012 at 20:15 UTC as Tropical Storm Sandy was increasing in intensity in the Caribbean Sea.