VOLUME 19 #2

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Climatologist recognized for work predicting drought

ALUMNI | Steven Quiring, EO ’05PhD, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation. The highly competitive award is given to those scientists deemed most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.

Quiring, who earned his doctorate in climatology from the Department of Geography, is an assistant professor in Texas A&M University’s Geography Department.

The five-year, $486,000 grant will support his research program on drought and the role of land-surface processes in the Great Plains, which stretch from Mexico to Canada across the center of the United States.

“A lot of things that go on in the atmosphere in terms of weather and climate are controlled by the interactions of the atmosphere with the land surface that’s underneath it,” Quiring says.

His NSF project focuses on creating a unified database of existing soil moisture observations made across the U.S. Great Plains. Making the soil moisture data uniform and available in one location will help experts develop better algorithms that can more accurately estimate soil moisture using satellites and global climate models, he says.

The project is expected to help refine seasonal climate forecasts for the U.S. as well as similar mid-latitude regions around the world. The project will not only help the climate modeling community, but it will also benefit water resource managers, those in the agricultural industry and anyone who needs to understand or predict seasonal climate.

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