Sarah Clark is currently working on her Master's thesis on multi-species foraminifera isotopes from the eastern tropical Pacific. She is investigating whether oxygen and carbon isotopes can be used to reconstruct thermocline depth and its variability through time.
Honors students cross-dating and measuring rings from oak cores collected on the campus of CSI.
Jim Oliveri analyzing tropical Atlantic hurricane data. For his master's thesis Jim carried out regression analysis of Atlantic hurricane activity indices (frequency, duration, maximum wind speed etc.) with climatic variables from 1942 to 2007, to establish the relative significance of sea surface temperature (SST) and atmospheric wind shear on tropical storm development. Results showed a strong dependence of overall tropical storm and major hurricane frequency on SST, with significant but secondary roles exerted by the Southern Oscillation and west African rainfall, through their association with wind shear. 30-year running correlations showed that these relationships have not been stationary but in fact changed markedly after the mid 1970s. In particular the correlation between hurricane frequency and ENSO strengthened after 1976, possibly associated with a large scale climate shift in the Pacific Ocean. Other factors may be acceleration of global warming and establishment of a strong warming trend in the major hurricane development region of the tropical North Atlantic.
Stephan Joanides weighing forams in the microbalance. Stephan's thesis investigated ENSO variability during the Last Glacial Maximum. Stephan completed 250 oxygen isotope analyses of individual G. ruber from core V21-30 in the eastern tropical Pacific. The results indicated an increase in ENSO variance in the LGM relative to the late Holocene. These data provide the first geologic evidence of ENSO activity during the LGM.