Group News

Graduate students share their work at 2018 CMAS Conference

October 24, 2018 – PhD students Sadia Afrin, James East, and Megan Johnson presented their research at the Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Annual Conference in Chapel Hill, NC. Sadia delivered a talk about her work investigating the links among air quality, social vulnerability, and smoke from prescribed fires in the Southeastern US. Megan presented a poster comparing uncertainties in air pollution and health impacts estimates from wildfires in North Carolina. James presented a poster exploring air quality modeling in Bogota in collaboration with researchers from Universidad de La Salle in Colombia. Dr. Jorge Pachon and Juan Montealegre, our collaborators from La Salle, also attended and presented their research.

Fernando participates in Fire Management Under Climate Change Panel

October 12, 2018 – Dr. Fernando Garcia Menendez participated in a public panel discussion on fire and its effects on human and ecological communities in a changing world hosted by the Southeast Climate Adaptation Global Change Fellows Program. During the seminar, the panelists and audience discussed the challenges facing fire management in the US, including managing natural resources and informing citizens in the context of climate change. Other panelists included members of the NCSU Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and School of Public and International Affairs. A seminar summary is available here.

Southern Fire Exchange webinar showcases group research

October 6, 2018 – Dr. Fernando Garcia Menendez presented research findings and results during a webinar hosted by the Southern Fire Exchange with over 200 registrants. Along with Dr. Talat Odman from Georgia Tech, Fernando discussed work related to prescribed fire and air quality tracking in the Southern US. This research is part of a project supported by the Joint Fire Sciences Project. PhD student Sadria Afrin has been an important contributor to the project. A recording of the webinar is available here.

James visits La Salle University to research air pollution in Bogota

August 20, 2018 – PhD student James East traveled to Bogota, Colombia for seven weeks over the summer to work with Professor Jorge Pachón at Universidad de La Salle. Professor Pachón and CCEE Professor Fernando Garcia Menendez are currently collaborating to simulate air quality in Bogota, where high particle pollution and exposure levels are a concern for human health. While working in Bogota, James worked to incorporate emissions data into a regional air quality modeling system and compare model predictions to observed particle pollution levels obtained with field measurements. The Bogota air quality model will improve researchers’ understanding of air quality in this region and provide information for decision-makers in Bogota. The group plans to present their work at the Community Modeling and Analysis System Conference next October in Chapel Hill, NC.


Megan attends climate and atmospheric modeling tutorials at NCAR

August 15, 2018 – PhD student Megan Johnson traveled to Boulder, CO, to attend the Community Earth System Model (CESM) Tutorial and the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol Modeling Workshop, both held by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Around 80 participants were selected to attend the CESM tutorial, many of which were early-career graduate students. The week-long tutorial included lectures on simulating the climate system as well as hands-on sessions for running the model, modifying components, and analyzing outputs. CESM is a fully-coupled, community climate model developed by NCAR.

Megan was also invited to attend NCAR’s three-day Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol Modeling Workshop. The workshop covered the fundamentals of atmospheric modeling across different scales, with specific attention to transport, chemistry, and aerosols. Atmospheric scientists from the university community and NCAR delivered lectures on the history of and science behind atmospheric modeling, as well as important applications of various modeling approaches. Attendees broke into groups to explore what model and configuration would be best to answer a chosen science question.

Emily presents at Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium

July 31, 2018 – Undergraduate Research Assistant Emily Rudasill presented a poster titled “Potential Smoke Impacts of Prescribed Burning in North Carolina State Parks” at the 17th NC State University Annual Summer Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium. Emily described the work she has done as a Research Assistant and participant in the Research Internship Summer Experience (RISE) within the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. RISE is an 8-week program that allows undergraduates and graduates from both inside and outside the department to spend the summer learning about research while being mentored by faculty.

James receives best poster award at A&WMA Annual Conference

June 28, 2018 – PhD student James East traveled to Hartford, Connecticut to present a poster entitled “Impact of Climate Model Response on Projections of Future Air Quality under various Climate Scenarios” at the 2018 Air & Waste Management Association Annual Conference & Exhibition. The poster was awarded 1st place in the M.S. student poster competition (at the time of the presentation James was an M.S. student). The poster examined the impact of climate sensitivity, a source of uncertainty in global models, on predictions of the climate penalty on air quality generated with a global climate modeling framework.

“Future Ingenieros” visit research group for summer research experience

June 22, 2018 – The Garcia Menendez research group hosted a group of talented high school students from NC for a week to learn about engineering research. The Future Ingenieros program was created by CCEE faculty to expose Latino students to educational opportunities at NC State and encourage enrollment in engineering disciplines. This year a student team worked on a weeklong project to build low-cost air pollution sensors. All activities were enthusiastically supported by graduate and undergraduate research assistants in our group.

Sadia presents at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management

June 18, 2018 – PhD student Sadia Afrin presented her research in a talk titled “Impacts of prescribed fire on air quality in the Southeastern U.S. evaluated with a unified prescribed burning database” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The objective of this work was to find a permit-derived prescribed burning signal on daily PM2.5 concentration recorded at air quality monitoring stations on the Southeast. In addition, the study focused on characterizing communities vulnerable to prescribed burning air pollution using local-level spatial association between social vulnerability and prescribed burning activity. This research was funded by the Joint Fire Science Program and includes collaborators from the US Forest Service.

Fernando speaks at ITM 2018 in Ottawa

May 18, 2018 – Dr. Fernando Garcia Menendez presented his research at the International Technical Meeting on Air Pollution Modelling and its Application in Ottawa, Canada. In his talk, titled “Climate model response uncertainty in projections of climate change impacts on air quality”, Fernando described the work he completed with PhD student James East, undergraduate researcher Bret Pienkosz, and collaborator Erwan Monier from UC Davis.