2016 Bryson Scholarship Event
The Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research (CCR) held its sixth annual Reid Bryson Scholarship competition on April 1, 2016, as part of the UW-Madison Climate Change Symposium. There were 18 student applicants from a diverse set of departments and centers across campus, including CCR, Population Health Sciences, the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), the Nelson Institute, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Zoology, Geography, Engineering, Life Sciences Communication, and Agronomy. This rich variety captures the interdisciplinary nature of Professor Reid Bryson's studies and will inspire other UW students.
The winner of the 2016 Reid Bryson Graduate Scholarship of $1,000 was Alex Matus of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS). Alex is a Ph.D. candidate studying how anthropogenic aerosols affect climate. His poster, "What are the climate impacts of African biomass burning aerosols?," was based on his doctoral research under the guidance of Professor Tristan L'Ecuyer in AOS. Alex utilized satellite and lidar data to study how biomass burning in southwestern Africa affects solar radiation absorption. He found that the presence of human-caused aerosols from biomass burning causes downstream marine clouds to have a positive radiative effect, contrary to the impact of clouds almost everywhere else on earth.
The winner of the 2016 Reid Bryson Graduate Scholarship of $500 was Yun “April” Hang of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. April presented her research on clouds and radiation in a poster entitled, "The effect of cloud type on the Earth’s energy balance." She found that cirrus clouds warm the planet and stratus clouds cool the planet, while the longwave and shortwave radiative effects of deep convective clouds cancel each other in the tropics. April is advised by Professor Tristan L’Ecuyer, a co-author on the poster.
The winner of the 2016 Reid Bryson Undergraduate Scholarship of $500 was Emily Nettesheim of the Department of Zoology. In her poster, "Future Prairies Under A Warmer Climate: A Case Study of the Cold Tolerance of Two Prairie Plant Species," Emily studied whether temperature tolerance in dominant prairie plant species will change as the climate warms. She discovered that Rosinweed is likely to be more sensitive to climate change than Rigid Goldenrod and thus could be lost if winter soil temperatures decline due to a thinning snow pack. Emily’s research was conducted with Postdoctoral Fellow Laura Ladwig and Professor Ellen Damschen of the Department of Zoology.
In addition to these winning posters, the scholarship competition attracted an interesting and diverse range of research topics from across the UW campus, including:
- Vegetation feedbacks in North Africa
- Paleoclimatic changes in water vapor
- Effects of climate on West Nile virus
- Influence of Pope Francis on climate change discourse
- Doppler radar applications to identify drizzle
- Role of the ocean circulation during the last deglaciation
- Temperature trends on the Greenland Ice Sheet
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we will be awarding more Reid Bryson Scholarships in 2017 to worthy University of Wisconsin-Madison students.