This grant provides travel support for students and early-career scientists to attend a special Symposium focusing on biological aerosols, to be held in conjunction with the 2011 IUGG (International Union of Geodesy & Geophysics), to be held 28 June-7 July 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Motivation for the symposium comes from a growing recognition of the importance of primary biological particles (bacteria, spores and pollen) in atmospheric processes, including processes involved in the formation of clouds and precipitation. This symposium will explore the current state of knowledge and relevant challenges/perspectives of future research. In particular, interdisciplinary connections will be facilitated and emphasized as part of the broad IUGG forum.

The Intellectual Merit of this activity derives from efforts to increase qualitative and quantitative understanding of processes regulating Earth's weather and climate, and from growing interface between traditionally separate scientific disciplines (viz. biology and geophysics). Broader Impacts of this award will arise through enabling participation of students and early career scientists in the conference, thereby providing for the enhanced education and training of the next generation of scientists.

Project Report

The objectives of this project were to organize a symposium on Bioaerosols in the Earth System at the 25th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) (summer 2011, Melbourne, Australia) with particular emphasis on promoting the participation of students, young scientists and disadvantaged researchers, to assure broad publication of the topics presented at the symposium beyond the proceedings of the IUGG, and 3) to use the symposium as a springboard for publication on prospection about future research. The one-day symposium provided an opportunity for over 15 presentations from a range of scientific disciplines from the life and environmental sciences as well as mathematics and modeling. Many of the speakers were early-career scientists. A summary of all presentations and short video interviews of some of the speakers and participants were posted on the web site dedicated to disseminating information about biological ice nucleators and their role in atmospheric processes (: Several follow-up activities were organized as a result of the discussion that was held at the end of the symposium. A working group was initiated on feedback processes among land cover, the biological ice nucleators that they emit and rainfall. The working group of 6 scientists met in France at the end of 2011 and began the processes of writing a review paper on this subject. They resulting manuscript has been submitted for publication to a scientific journal and is currently under review. A second aspect of land-atmosphere feedback that emerged from the discussion was the need for time series statistics to evaluate patterns of rainfall from historical records to identify contexts where feedback could be occurring. Another working group of 3 scientists was established including an early career spatial statistician. This working group involves the transfer of competence of an atmosphere scientist with over 50 years of experience toward the younger scientists in the group. The manuscript describing the statistical tool will be submitted to a scientific journal by the end of 2013 and a statistical software package for such analyses will be made available. This will be followed by a second manuscript illustrating its application to 100-year historical records from Australia. Funding from the project was also used to cover the publication costs of a paper that included several early career scientists as authors, and in particular as first author: Attard, E. , H. Yang, A.-M. Delort, P. Amato, U. Pöschl, C. Glaux, T. Koop, and C.E. Morris. 2012. Effects of atmospheric conditions on ice nucleation activity of Pseudomonas. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12:10667-10677, doi:10.5194/acp-12-10667-2012. The symposium also fostered discussion of the content of several manuscripts that were successfully published soon after the symposium.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS)
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Bradley F. Smull
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Montana State University
United States
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