About me

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predawn@stanford.edu

Bio:

I am an interdisciplinary scientist working on research questions at the intersection of microbial ecology and atmospheric science. Currently, I am a Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. I am working with Professor Paula Welander to expand my skill set in microbial ecology to study biogeochemical processes that exert a significant control on our atmosphere (via climate-relevant trace gases or aerosols). I also aim to continue my participation in atmospheric flux measurements at Stanford.

I recently moved from Boston where I did my PhD dissertation at MIT on the significant, but poorly understood microbe-mediated soil sink for atmospheric H2. My advisor was Ron Prinn TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Director of the Center for Global Change Science, and Co-Director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. In October 2012, I defended my doctoral dissertation (link to .pdf) entitled “Field Measurement of the Fate of Atmospheric H2 in a Forest Environment: from Canopy to Soil” in the Climate Physics and Chemistry track of the Program in Oceans, Atmospheres and Climate, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary SciencesMIT. For my thesis work, I built a custom instrument to measure the flux of atmospheric H2 into the soils both above and below the forest canopy at Harvard Forest. I isolated H2-consuming soil microorganisms from Harvard Forest and characterized their ability to scavenge atmospheric H2 with undergraduate mentee Deepa Rao. Deepa was awarded the Christopher Goetze Prize for Undergraduate Research for her Bachelor of Science Thesis on this topic.

For my undergraduate studies, I attended California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo. I received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (summa cum laude) in 2005 with a concentration in Polymers and Coatings. I was able to apply my studies in chemistry (and in the German language) during a six-month internship at BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany, where I researched inorganic additives to aid the spray drying process of polymer suspensions. There, I was inspired to go to grad school for my PhD so I could someday lead my own research program. I also found that I was much less interested in applying chemistry for product development than I was for using it as a tool for understanding the natural world and its sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing.

I am originally from Southern Oregon. My three sisters and I attended public schools in the Phoenix-Talent School District. We are all now scientists of various sorts (soil scientist, forester, dietitian) probably as a result of my father’s interest in science (semi-retired forester). My mother is a retired kindergarten teacher and tai chi enthusiast. My hobbies include hiking, camping, biking, yoga, rock climbing, and learning languages.

 

Field & Summer Courses:

Microbial Diversity Summer Course, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, Massachusetts. 12 June – 29 July 2010

Course in Flux Measurement and Advanced Modeling, University of Colorado – Boulder, Niwot Ridge LTER Site. 3 – 24 July 2009

Polaris Project Siberian Field Course, Northeast Science Station, Cherskii, Siberia. 5 – 29 July 2008

National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) Summer School in Atmospheric Measurement, Isle of Arran, Scotland. 7 – 18 September 2007

Field Course in Arctic Science, University of Alaska, Fairbanks & Toolik Field Station. 20 May-6 June 2007

Courses:

Fall 2006
12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Atmosphere & Ocean Pedlosky
12.815 Atmospheric Radiation Prinn, McClatchey
12.818 Introduction to Atmospheric Data & Synoptic Meteorology Illari
12.842 Climate Physics & Chemistry Boyle, Emanuel, Wunsch
12.980 Special Problems in Meteorology Prinn
Spring 2007
12.806 Atmospheric Physics & Chemistry Prinn, McRae
12.810 Dynamics of the Atmosphere Plumb
EPS 236 Environmental Modeling and Analysis Wofsy, Jacob – Harvard
APMTH 105b Ordinary and Partial Differential Equatios Hutchinson – Harvard
Summer 2007
12.980 Special Problems in Meteorology Prinn
Fall 2007
12.831 Dynamics and Transport in the Stratosphere Plumb
1.89 Environmental Microbiology Polz
12.335 TA : Experimental Atmospheric Chemistry Prinn
Spring 2008
Slavic Aab Intensive Beginning Russian Reed, Chirkov, Veronina
Spring 2010
Italian Aa Beginning Italian

 

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