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GFDL Statistical Downscaling Research Team Members & Collaborators

NOAA GFDL federal employees:

Keith Dixon, NOAA/GFDL – Team Lead
Keith’s research focuses on the use of state-of-the-art computer models to simulate the global climate. His interest in statistical downscaling stems from a desire to assess the capabilities of climate models and downscaling methods. Keith also is active in the science communications arena – seeking to enhance the exchange of scientifically credible information between the realms of large-scale climate research and local-scale impacts and applications.

[M. Nath]
Mary Jo Nath, NOAA/GFDL
Mary Jo’s efforts contribute to the development, documentation and use of the team’s statistical downscaling software infrastructure. She provides support to in-house team members in the use of off-the-shelf and custom-built software. Mary Jo also plays a critical role in creating, managing, and performing quality control reviews for the many data sets associated with the team’s downscaling projects.

UCAR contract staff:

[Dennis Adams-Smith]
Dennis Adams-Smith, UCAR at NOAA/GFDL
Dennis joined the ESD team in June 2016 as a data analyst and programmer. He brings in-depth knowledge of statistical methods, R programming and climate data. Dennis is supporting the creation of an expanded and improved framework both for downscaling climate model output and for analyzing the results in a rigorous manner that can be readily communicated to users of statistically downscaled climate products.

SAIC contract staff:

[Carolyn Whitlock]
Carolyn Whitlock, SAIC at NOAA/GFDL
Carolyn, a 2012 graduate of Wellesley College, joined the ESD team in May 2014. Carolyn is supporting the ESD team by working on tasks that benefit from her Python and R programming skills.

Postdoctoral researcher:

[Benjamin Le Roy photo]

Benjamin Le Roy, postdoctoral research associate with Princeton University’s Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System (CIMES)

Benjamin Le Roy joined our team in May 2022. He will be using the SURFEX model and its urban surface energy balance modeling capabilities to examine the urban heat island in Philadelphia. And more generally, his work will include the analysis of statistically refined climate projections and their use in heat and health studies. Attention will be given to the cascade of uncertainties from emissions scenarios to dynamical climate models to statistically downscaled climate projections, high resolution urban climate simulations and derived products that subsequently are used in studies that inform climate risk reduction and resilience activities.

NOAA GFDL federal collaborator:

[John Lanzante]
John Lanzante, NOAA/GFDL
John is a member of GFDL’s Weather and Climate Dynamics Division. His work involves the use of statistics and data analysis techniques as applied to both observed and model (GCM) generated data. Recently, John has been focusing on the representation of climate extremes (i.e., the tails of the distribution) in bias corrected and statistical downscaled data products generated by different techniques.

Other Internal Research Collaborators at NOAA-GFDL & Princeton

[C Bay icon]

Charles Stock, NOAA/GFDL
Liz Drenkard, NOAA/GFDL
Vincent Saba, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Andrew Ross Post Doc at Princeton University,
Fernando González Taboada, Post Doc at Princeton University
Barbara Muhling, Carlos Gaitan, & Desiree Tommasi

Members of GFDL’s ESD Team collaborate with Charlie Stock and others on the bias correction and statistical downscaling of surface climate variables for use in marine resource impacts applications.  This work has focused on multi-decadal projections as well as sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasts.

♦ Ross, A. C., C. A. Stock, D. Adams-Smith, K. W. Dixon, K. L. Findell, V. S. Saba, and B. Vogt, 2020: Estuarine Forecasts at Daily Weather to Subseasonal Time Scales. Earth and Space Science, doi:  10.1029/2020EA001179.
♦ Muhling, B. A., C. F. Gaitán, C. A. Stock, V. S. Saba, D. Tommasi, and K. W. Dixon, 2017: Potential Salinity and Temperature Futures for the Chesapeake Bay Using a Statistical Downscaling Spatial Disaggregation Framework. Estuaries and Coasts, doi:10.1007/s12237-017-0280-8.
♦ Muhling, B. A., J. Jacobs, C. A. Stock, C. F. Gaitan, and V. S. Saba, 2017: Projections of the future occurrence, distribution, and seasonality of three Vibrio species in the Chesapeake Bay under a high-emission climate change scenario: Vibrio and Climate in the Chesapeake Bay. GeoHealth, doi:10.1002/2017GH000089.

Our Other Collaborators

[Ellen Mecray photo]

Ellen Mecray, NOAA Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region

Ellen focuses on how to make the climate data and information coming out of various parts of NOAA useful, useable, and used by a broad range of stakeholders. Ellen’s knowledge about what customers want from NOAA in terms of climate services, and her efforts to work within NOAA to figure out how best to be responsive to those needs, meshes with the aspect of the GFDL ESD Team’s research efforts that can promote better informed use of such data products in climate impacts studies. The use of downscaled climate projections for applied research into the effects of heat on human health is a topic of mutual interest.

♦ Dixon, K.W., D. Adams-Smith, J. Lanzante, and E. Mecray, 2020: Matching Statistically Downscaled Climate Projections to Northeastern U.S. Heat Application Sensitivities, presented at the 2020 American Meteorological Society Meeting. [Abstract & Recorded Presentation]
♦ Dixon, K.W., and E. Mecray, 2019: Considering Climate Projection Uncertainties in the Science and Decision Realms, presented at the 2019 European Meteorological Society Meeting [ Abstract ]

[Hunter Jones]
Hunter Jones, NOAA/CPO
Hunter Jones is the program manager and lead of the Climate Program Office’s Extreme Heat Climate Risk Area. Hunter fosters and manages connections between scientists and stakeholders, with a very specific focus on climate change and the health risk of heat in urban environments.  He is a principal for the 2022 NOAA Urban Heat Island Campaigns – part of the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS).

[University of Oklahoma logo]

Adrienne Wootten, Post Doc at The University of Oklahoma

Adrienne became the primary research point-person for OU-GFDL collaborative activities in January 2017. Adrienne is involved in the co-ordinated analysis of downscaled climate projections generated at GFDL, and in the conversion of knowledge developed from that research into products and guidance useful to researchers and the broader SC-CASC stakeholder community. Adrienne has also contributed to expanding the set of downscaling and analysis techniques used at OU and GFDL.

♦ Wootten, A. M., K. W. Dixon, D. Adams‐Smith, and R. A. McPherson, 2020: Statistically Downscaled Precipitation Sensitivity to Gridded Observation Data and Downscaling Technique. International Journal of Climatology, doi: 10.1002/joc.6716.

Prior External Collaborators

[Texas Tech logo]

Katharine Hayhoe, Professor at Texas Tech University
Anne Marie Stoner, Research Associate / Post Doc at Texas Tech University

Among other things, Katharine and Anne are known for their development of the ARRM statistical downscaling method. Starting in 2012, TTU and GFDL researchers have episodically collaborated on evaluating the stationarity assumption in statistical downscaling applications -and- leveraging what is learned as part of those evaluations to create improved statistical downscaling methods. Early parts of the effort were partially supported by the South Central Climate Science Center.

[NMSU logo]

Kenneth Boykin, Research Associate Professor at New Mexico State University
Eric Salas, Niki Harings, & Virginia Ann Seamster, Post Doctoral Research Scientists at New Mexico State University

During the early phases of a project modeling the effect of environmental change on crucial wildlife habitat, Ginny was the ecologist at New Mexico State University with whom we at GFDL most directly interacted [USGS Project Page]. Ginny’s since taken a position at New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, so Niki and Eric are joined the effort. Two  journal articles were produced as a result of this collaboration with staff and affiliates of the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

♦ Salas, E. A. l., V. A. Seamster, K. G. Boykin, N. M. Harings, and K. W. Dixon,  2017: Modeling the impacts of climate change on Species of Concern (birds) in South Central U.S. based on bioclimatic variables. AIMS Environmental Science, 4, 358–385.[LINK]
♦ Salas, E. A. L., V. A. Seamster, N. M. Harings, K. G. Boykin, G. Alvarez, and K. W. Dixon, 2017: Projected Future Bioclimate-Envelope Suitability for Reptile and Amphibian Species of Concern in South Central USA. Herpetol Conserv Biol, 12, 522–547. [LINK]

Joe Barsugli, CIRES research scientist
Michael Alexander, NOAA ESRL-PSD federal researcher

Starting in 2017, the GFDL ESD Team partnered on a project with researchers affiliated with three entities in Boulder, CO. The GFDL-centric part of the project involved expanding perfect model-based evaluations of statistical downscaling methods. Much of the analysis work is being conducted by researchers at NOAA-ESRL PSD (Physical Sciences Division) and its CIRES-Univ. of Colorado (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) partner. Researchers at NCAR were also part of the project (see below). The primary sponsor was the Department of Defense’s  Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP).

[NCAR logo]

Linda Mearns, Seth McGinnis, & Rachel McCrary, NCAR research scientists
As the lead for the NA-CORDEX related ESTCP project begun in 2017 that also involves researchers affiliated with GFDL and NOAA ESRL-PSD (see above), our NCAR collaborators provided processed regional climate model output for use in statistical downscaling experiments run at GFDL, and they shared Seth’s Kernel Density Distribution Mapping (KDDM) method software.