Initial Publication Date: October 20, 2008
Lisa Doner Doner
Environmental Science and Policy
Plymouth State University
17 High St MS 67
Plymouth, NH 03264

I'm a paleoclimatologist with a huge interest in active climate processes as models for paleoclimate processes. For me the timeline is far less significant than the events and conditions that create the process, so I am equally interested in the 1983 El Nino, the Medieval Warm Period, the 8.2k event and this year's NAO. Because of the inability of most of the paleo record to preserve annual to seasonal change, I have focused my research on decadal-scale processes and events but always with an eye out for higher resolution drivers.

At Plymouth State University, I teach weather, climate change and environmental sciences to science and non-science majors. My classes are usually lectures with no labs; therefore my teaching activities have to fit within the 50-75 minute class period. One cool thing is in the Fall semesters, an update on current hurricane activity is usually an exciting component I can add to each lecture. I'd like to set up some web-based exercises to further engage the students and develop their curiosity about how global change and weather are affecting their lives. Many of my students are non-science majors, so my class is one of the few chances we have to convey the relevance of science to their lives.

On the other end of the teaching spectrum, I have upper-level meteorology majors and graduate students taking a climate change course. Most of the meteorology students are schooled to be extremely skeptical of climate change data and interpretations; the classic divide between paleoclimatologists and meteorologists. My goal is to get past their discipline-based distrust of low resolution data sets to show where paleoclimate data is providing important information about climate. I think the hurricane-climate investigations ongoing now are useful tools for this, because the temporal ranges for the data do overlap somewhat and the scale of the meteorological impacts are high and lasting enough to appear in the paleo records.

Activity: Hurricane Tracking