Category: Publications

Dan Li publishes on atmospheric boundary layer in Atmospheric Research

October 11th, 2018 in 2018, Dan Li, Faculty, News, Oct-18, Pub-18, Publications

Assistant Professor Dan Li has published a single-author, invited review article titled “Turbulent Prandtl number in the atmospheric boundary layer – where are we now?” in Atmospheric Research. Turbulent Prandtl number is named after the Father of Modern Fluid Mechanics, Ludwig Prandtl, and is an indicator of how turbulent transport of heat differs from its counterpart of momentum. It is a key parameter in first-order turbulence closure schemes used in weather and climate models. In this article, Professor Li reviews recent advances in understanding and modeling of turbulent Prandtl number in the atmospheric boundary layer and presented a unifying framework for turbulent Prandtl number based on his own recent work. For more information on Professor Li’s research, visit

Istem Fer, Elizabeth Cowdery, and Mike Dietze publish in Biogeosciences

October 4th, 2018 in 2018, Faculty, Graduate students, Michael Dietze, News, Oct-18, Pub-18, Publications, Researchers

Postdoc Istem Fer, PhD candidate Elizabeth Cowdery, and Associate Professor Mike Dietze have co-authored “Linking big models to big data: efficient ecosystem model calibration through Bayesian model emulation” in Biogeosciences. “Bayesian methods provide a rigorous data assimilation framework for these applications, especially for problems with multiple data constraints,” the authors note. “However, the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques underlying most Bayesian calibration can be prohibitive for computationally demanding models and large datasets. We employ an alternative method, Bayesian model emulation of sufficient statistics, that can approximate the full joint posterior density, is more amenable to parallelization, and provides an estimate of parameter sensitivity.”

Rachael Garrett publishes on causes of changes in land use extent and intensity

September 24th, 2018 in 2018, Faculty, News, Pub-18, Publications, Rachael Garrett, Sept-18

Assistant Professor Rachael Garrett has published “Middle-range Theories of Land System Change” in Global Environmental Change. Dr. Garrett and her colleagues note that while an integrated theory of land system change remains elusive, they show that contextual generalizations that describe chains of causal mechanisms explaining a well-bounded range of phenomena, as well as the conditions that trigger, enable, or prevent these causal chains, provide a path towards generalized knowledge of land systems.

PhD alum Yan Yang publishes in Nature Communications

September 6th, 2018 in 2018, Faculty, Former Students, Pub-18, Publications, Ranga Myneni, Sept-18

Yan Yang, a 2017 PhD graduate, recently published part of her dissertation research in Nature Communications. In “Post-drought Decline of the Amazon Carbon Sink” Yang and her colleagues report a significant loss of carbon over the entire Amazon basin at a rate of 0.3 +/- 0.2 PgC per year after the 2005 mega-drought, which continued persistently over the next three years (2005-2008) using systematic sampling of forest structure measured by LIDAR waveforms. Dr. Yang is affiliated with UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

For more information about Prof. Myneni’s works, please visit

PhD candidate Chloe Anderson publishes on sediment in the East China Sea

August 27th, 2018 in 2018, Aug-18, Faculty, Graduate students, News, Pub-18, Publications, Rick Murray

PhD candidate Chloe Anderson has just published “Climatically Driven Changes in the Supply of Terrigenous Sediment to the East China Sea” in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. She and her colleagues examine the paleoceanographic record over the last ∼400 kyr derived from major, trace, and rare earth elements in bulk sediment from two sites in the East China Sea drilled during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 346. Anderson’s co-authors include her advisor Rick Murray and E&E alum Ann Dunlea.

E&E minor Katie Camero writes on diamonds for the Globe

August 6th, 2018 in 2018, Aug-18, Christine Regalla, Faculty, Pub-18, Publications, Undergraduate

Katie Camero, a Journalism major and Earth & Environmental Science minor, recently penned “More than a quadrillion tons of diamonds are under your feet, new study proposes” in the Boston Globe. Camero writes of MIT’s new study finding that the diamonds, 100 miles below ground and detected by seismic activity, are more common that conventionally thought. Camero noted her recent coursework with Christine Regalla in ES 107 Introduction to Climate & Earth System Science bolstered her reporting.

Assistant Professor Christine Regalla reports on earthquake and tsunami hazards in Japan

July 31st, 2018 in 2018, Christine Regalla, Faculty, Jul-2018, News, Pub-18, Publications

Assistant Professor Christine Regalla has penned “At-Sea Workshop Advances Subduction Zone Research” in EOS. The report highlights the research and training opportunities afforded by Dr. Regalla’s IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program) workshop at sea. She spent January of 2017 aboard the Chikyu ocean drilling vessel, where she and her team used ocean sediment cores and geophysical data to address research questions concerning earthquake and tsunami hazards in Japan.

New blog accompanies lecturer Rick Reibstein’s environmental responsibility textbook

July 12th, 2018 in 2018, Faculty, Jul-2018, News, Pub-18, Publications, Rick Reibstein, Undergraduate

Trunity, the publisher of E&E Lecturer Rick Reibstein‘s Developing Sustainable Environmental Responsibility​, now hosts a blog “for people who want to help meet the challenge of how to live within the biosphere without harming it, and thus protect ourselves, other living things, future generations, and the source of all wealth and value that we hold dear.” The Environmental Citizen offers stories about collective social responsibility, federal policy for land management, and legislative proposals surround clean energy. The last topic was explored by E&E students in Reibstein’s course GE 532 Research for Environmental Agencies & Organizations (now enrolling for Fall 2018).

Read assistant professor Rachael Garrett’s take on necessary tradeoffs in Brazil’s livestock production

June 11th, 2018 in 2018, Faculty, Jun-18, News, Pub-18, Publications, Rachael Garrett

Assistant Professor Rachael Garrett and her colleagues have just published “Tradeoffs in the Quest for Climate Smart Agricultural Intensification in Mato Grosso, Brazil” in Environmental Research Letters. “We compare the costs and benefits of a typical extensive, continuously grazed cattle system relative to a specialized soybean production system and two improved cattle management strategies (rotational grazing and integrated soybean-cattle) under different climate scenarios. We find that relative to continuously grazed or rotationally grazed cattle systems, the integrated soybean-cattle system showed higher food production and lower GHG emissions per unit of human digestible protein, as well as increased resilience under climate change (both in terms of productivity and financial returns). By underscoring the economic feasibility of improving the performance of cattle systems, and by quantifying the tradeoffs of each option, our results are useful for directing agricultural and climate policy.”

Lecturer Rick Reibstein writes about lead poisoning and democracy

June 11th, 2018 in 2018, Faculty, Jun-18, News, Pub-18, Publications, Rick Reibstein

Lecturer Rick Reibstein has recently penned “Environmental Law—Resuming Progress On Lead Poisoning: A Prime Indicator of Civilization” in the Western New England University Law Review. “The quality of the effort made to prevent lead poisoning is an indicator of whether a society has become civilized,” Reibstein writes. “It is hard to argue with the logic that, at the very least, a society must act to avoid foreseeable harms—particularly to its own members and to itself as a body.” Click to read the full article.