2019 Bryson Scholarship Event
The Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research (CCR) held its ninth annual Reid Bryson Scholarship competition on April 9, 2019. There were 27 student applicants from a diverse set of departments and institutes across campus, including the Nelson Institute, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Space Science and Engineering Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Integrative Biology, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Geography, Chemistry, Botany, UW Biocore, and Agricultural and Applied Economics. This rich variety captures the interdisciplinary nature of Professor Reid Bryson's studies and will inspire other UW students.
The winners of the 2019 Reid Bryson Graduate Scholarship of $750 each were Cameron Batchelor from the Department of Geoscience and Charles White from the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS). The winner of the 2019 Reid Bryson Undergraduate Scholarship of $500 is a shared poster by Olympia Mathiaparanam, undergraduate in Biology and Psychology and Alder Levin, undergraduate in Biochemistry and History of Science, Medicine, and Technology.
Cameron, a graduate student of Professors Shaun Marcott and Ian Orland, presented the poster, “A U-Th chronology of late Pleistocene climate and permafrost conditions at Cave of the Mounds, Wisconsin.” She is working on developing a reconstruction of North American paleoclimate extending back 250,000 years, specifically focused on a new record of speleothem growth from the Cave of the Mounds in southwestern Wisconsin.
Charles, a graduate student of Professor Steve Ackerman and Dr. Andy Heidinger, presented the poster, “Size and Frequency of Deep Convective Clouds in the Tropics Observed from the PATMOS-x AVHRR Record.” His analysis of PATMOS-x satellite data demonstrated that ENSO is the main driver of the interannual variability in tropical deep convection, the SST threshold for such convection is increasing during the PATMOS-x record, and tropical deep convective cloud coverage has experienced a negative trend since the 1980s.
Olympia and Alder are undergraduate students working with Professor Seth McGee in the UW Biocore Honors Biology Program. Their poster, “Impact of Warmer Spring Temperatures on Flowering Times of Individual Native Wisconsin Prairie Plants,” focused on four of Wisconsin’s prairie plant species and concluded that flowering time is regulated differently across plant species. The relationships between climatic variables and flowering are largely species-dependent, with a significant relationship between spring temperature and first flowering data detected only for some species.
In addition to these winning posters, the scholarship competition attracted an interesting and diverse range of research topics from across the UW campus, including:
- Probabilistic landslide hazard nowcasting
- Hawaiian paleohydrology reconstruction
- Climate change and Ethiopian manufacturing
- Ecological and carbon impacts of Hurricane Maria
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we will be awarding more Reid Bryson Scholarships in 2020 to worthy University of Wisconsin-Madison students.