[Eoas-seminar] FSU EOAS Newsletter

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Tue Nov 27 16:34:30 EST 2018

Florida State University
Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science


Building Update

The fifth floor of the new EOAS building will have two levels of offices, all with excellent views to the east and north.  There will be a research deck on the east side on the 6th floor and a undergraduate and graduate student lounge on the 2nd and 3rd floor.The foyer of the building will host “Science on a Sphere” which is a 5 foot sphere onto which you can project and show animations and movies.  There will be a seismometer installed next to the building that will fill a “hole” in the US seismic network and record earthquakes and display in the foyer. On the southwest side of the building we will have a renewable energy demonstration project with a “smartflower” which is donated by by emeritus professor Winchester.  There are 18 “wet” labs and 12 computational labs.


The building is a high-rise building, apart from some dorms, the only high-rise on campus. To accommodate the foot traffic to the building, the Caraway lecture Hall (CAR101) will be taken down in 2020.

Construction is expected to be finished before the end of 2019 and a full move in the summer of 2020.

Meteorology Research Update

Mark Bourassa, along with researchers in Oceanography, COAPS, FAMU, several universities, and national laboratories including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, are developing a satellite that can measure ocean surface winds and currents. The research team has made progress in the optimizing the satellite design to measure very high resolution (5x5 km2) winds and currents.  Surface currents (speed and direction) have not yet been measured from a satellite. These new observations are important because they can improve hurricane intensity forecasts. The currents help identify warm and cold ocean eddies, which can change the energy the ocean provides to a hurricane. A warm ocean eddy is believed to have contributed to Hurricane Michael’s intensification before making landfall. Further research is being conducted to understand how wave modified surface currents can be related to currents in the upper few meters of the ocean. The team is developing additional goals for this satellite.

Oceanography Research Update

The Phytoplankton Ecophysiology Group of Dr. Sven Kranz, along with researchers in Oceanography, are working on how marine primary productivity is affected by environmental factors such as light, CO2 and nutrient availability.  Research is being conducted both in the laboratory as well as in the field. In the field, the Kranz lab measures community and phytoplankton productivity using mass spectrometry and chlorophyll fluorescence techniques. In the lab, the research team aims to measure and understand the response of key phytoplankton species to environmental changes (e.g. CO2, light, iron, nitrogen). Species investigated include Karenia brevis, the local phytoplankton red tide forming phytoplankton species and Trichodesmium a globally important N2 fixing species. The team also developed new techniques to simulate natural light condition in the laboratory, thus reducing an inherent bias of phytoplankton bottle incubations. This research is important as phytoplankton is the base of the marine food web and understanding the responses of those important organisms to environmental change allows to nearcast and forecast potential ecosystem changes.

Environmental Science Research Update

Sarah Simm, a current honors undergraduate student studying Environmental Science and Policy, is working on an Honors in the Major Thesis titled A 100% Renewable Energy Strategy for the City of Tallahassee, Florida. Her research involves developing a comprehensive plan for how Tallahassee could switch to 100% renewable energy, specifically solar PV energy, in order to have no CO2 production. This research project will provide Tallahassee with strategies for how to help mitigate against climate change. It also provides a path for a new, and financially competitive, form of energy that benefits both the citizens of Tallahassee and the environment. Further research is being conducted to estimate the financial cost of switching to solar power and how to combat obstacles like energy intermittency.


"I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this research," Sarah remarks. "It has been such a unique learning experience and it has given me the ability to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to a real life issue. I want to thank my professor, Dr. Humayun, who has taught me so much during this process. Conducting this research has been eye opening and I look forward to continuing my work."

Notable Achievements

  *   Matthew Reagan was hired off camera at The Weather Channel
  *   Tevin Wooten was hired on camera at The Weather Channel
  *   Greg Bennett is the new head on-camera meteorologist for The Weather Channel’s streaming service, "Local Now"

EOAS In the News

Volcanic eruptions once caused mass extinctions in the oceans – could climate change do the same?<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__theconversation.com_volcanic-2Deruptions-2Donce-2Dcaused-2Dmass-2Dextinctions-2Din-2Dthe-2Doceans-2Dcould-2Dclimate-2Dchange-2Ddo-2Dthe-2Dsame-2D99655&d=DwMFaQ&c=HPMtquzZjKY31rtkyGRFnQ&r=KY6UPnUhl-_xM1lPsgONBA&m=1DCTbGqKVwoj2L0npfITzORnoGXlosCWFMmSGQFflRk&s=DCB46-ujdiFXiwOGKYYFbpdavITS8rPXfteYOWzpUjc&e=>
Why is Wakulla Springs’ water turning brown? FSU researchers may have the answer<https://news.fsu.edu/news/science-technology/2018/10/24/why-is-wakulla-springs-water-turning-brown-fsu-researchers-may-have-the-answer/>
Survey will show how much sand Hurricane Michael took from one Florida beach<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.palmbeachpost.com_zz_news_20181105_survey-2Dwill-2Dshow-2Dhow-2Dmuch-2Dsand-2Dhurricane-2Dmichael-2Dtook-2Dfrom-2Done-2Dflorida-2Dbeach-3Ffbclid-3DIwAR2pzWSkpWZ-5F74Q8-5FtE3-5FGaGtY28B4VzNVwCZXsiAB-2D3fECS1ANGpVAE2h8&d=DwMFaQ&c=HPMtquzZjKY31rtkyGRFnQ&r=KY6UPnUhl-_xM1lPsgONBA&m=1DCTbGqKVwoj2L0npfITzORnoGXlosCWFMmSGQFflRk&s=0SP4YCQt-TEWZCEgaCk9i3B1EzEEaTg6We5EF1yrcwk&e=>
Carbon in the Congo<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__nationalmaglab.org_fieldsmagazine_archives_carbon-2Din-2Dthe-2Dcongo&d=DwMFaQ&c=HPMtquzZjKY31rtkyGRFnQ&r=KY6UPnUhl-_xM1lPsgONBA&m=1DCTbGqKVwoj2L0npfITzORnoGXlosCWFMmSGQFflRk&s=7dUOD5WmxPHtBYv0kYs4a5bRmJ6SZnDlAlurXczjfcw&e=>
EOAS postdoc, Dr. Anders Lindskog, awarded the Jan Bergström Young Geoscientist Award 2018<https://www.eoas.fsu.edu/2018/10/17/eoas-postdoc-dr-anders-lindskog-awarded-the-jan-bergstrom-young-geoscientist-award-2018/>
FSU hurricane hunter studies storms where they happen — 10,000 feet up<https://news.fsu.edu/news/science-technology/2018/10/01/fsu-hurricane-hunter-students-storms-where-they-happen-10000-feet-up/>
FSU researchers: Most fires in Florida go undetected<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__https-3A__news.fsu.edu_news_science-2Dtechnology_2018_09_13_fsu-2Dresearchers-2Dmost-2Dfires-2Din-2Dflorida-2Dgo-2Dundetected_&d=DwMFaQ&c=HPMtquzZjKY31rtkyGRFnQ&r=KY6UPnUhl-_xM1lPsgONBA&m=1DCTbGqKVwoj2L0npfITzORnoGXlosCWFMmSGQFflRk&s=8QP2is_EsuFS7Rg_F30Y_sUto7pIH6ytXf6zAv1_fns&e=>
A key to climate stabilization could be buried deep in the mud, FSU researchers suggest<https://news.fsu.edu/news/2018/09/18/a-key-to-climate-stabilization-could-be-buried-deep-in-the-mud-fsu-researchers-suggest/>

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