|UND atmospheric scientist gets NSF funds to study severe storm systems|
UND climate scientist earns major National Science Foundation research grant to study severe storms
Gretchen Mullendore, an atmospheric modeler and assistant professor in the UND Department of Atmospheric Sciences, has been awarded a three-year, $355,155 research grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Mullendore, an expert on how major storms form in the atmosphere, earned the NSF grant for her proposal titled “Deep convective transport to the upper troposphere/lower- stratosphere.” The proposal was submitted to the Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program of the NSF Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences Division.
“To do this research, I’m going to use radar observations and atmospheric computer models to measure the amount of pollutants that are transported vertically in severe storms,” said Mullendore.
“Severe thunderstorms, like the type we get in the summer months in North Dakota, ingest air from the surface and rapidly transport that air upwards 10-15 kilometers,” Mullednore said. At those high altitudes, she said, pollutants can cause changes in the chemical balance of the atmosphere, which in turn can change the amount of heat absorbed by the Earth.
“Both the chemical changes and the amount of heat absorbed by the Earth are important for understanding changes in climate,” Mullendore said.
Mulledore’s NSF grant includes funds to support two graduate students and an undergraduate research assistant. There is also funding for Jeff Tilley, a research faculty member in atmospheric sciences. The department is part of the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.
-- Juan Pedraza, Writer/Editor, University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-6571