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STONY BROOK, N.Y., November 10, 2017 – The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University is honored to have two faculty recipients of Faculty Early Career Development awards and federal funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The 2017 Class of NSF early career awardees includes Hyemi Kim, PhD, and Lesley Thorne, PhD.

The NSF CAREER award is designed to recognize “teacher-scholars” and the recipients are selected based not just on the intellectual merit of their science but also on their plans to integrate education and research within the context of the mission of their organization.  CAREER awards support “early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.”

“It is rare for a school to have two recipients in a year,” noted Interim Dean Larry Swanson. “SoMAS is extremely proud of our two junior faculty who were recipients of this prestigious honor.”  Drs. Kim and Thorne join Dr. Minghua Zhang, Dr. John MakDr. Daniel Knopf and Dr. Heather Lynch as SoMAS faculty who have received National Science Foundation Career Awards.

Hyemi Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor in SoMAS, has been awarded nearly $750,000 over the next five years from the NSF for her project, titled “Understanding the Source of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) Predictability and its Impact on the Mid-latitudes.”

The MJO is a special type of tropical convection system varying in subseasonal timescale. Understanding the essential dynamics and predictability of the MJO is key to improving global subseasonal prediction. Prof. Kim will use observations and climate models to better understand the physical processes of MJO and its teleconnection. By having a better understanding of subseasonal predictability, scientists and policy makers will be able to make decisions that impact agriculture, commerce and healthcare/outreach.

Lesley Thorne, PhD, Assistant Professor in SoMAS, is receiving more than $560,000 over the next five years from the NSF for her project, titled “Using Dynamic Energy Landscapes to Understand Drivers of Movement, Foraging and Life History Patterns in Albatrosses.”

Climate change is impacting where marine predators go to find food. This research will investigate how wind patterns influence the amount of energy that albatrosses have to spend when foraging, how this in turn impacts albatross reproduction, and how differences in wind patterns between El Nino and La Nina conditions influence the energetic cost of reaching foraging grounds. Professor Thorne will use new tagging technology to estimate energy expenditure of the birds and how they adjust to climate changes in their foraging patterns.

About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) is SUNY’s designated school for marine and atmospheric research, education and public service. SoMAS is one of the leading coastal oceanography institutions in the world and features classrooms on the water. The School is also the focus for the study of atmospheric sciences and meteorology and includes the Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres, Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, Institute for Particle-Related Environmental Processes, Living Marine Resources Institute, Waste Reduction and Management Institute, Long Island Groundwater Research Institute, Sustainability Studies and the Geospatial Center.

About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students, 2,500 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

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