Featured DRI Graduate Students

KC King, Apr. 2013 Featured DRI Graduate Student

april-gradstudent-featureMeet KC King, a Ph.D. student in the atmospheric sciences program.  She is a part of the EPSCoR Climate Change project, on the climate modeling team, and interested in climate models’ ability to correctly forecast teleconnections seen in the western U.S. in temperature and precipitation due to ENSO events. 

What brought you to DRI?

Steamboat kc-thbI came to DRI in 2007 to start my master’s in atmospheric science after working as a lawyer for three years. It was a big shift for me back into science after being immersed in the law for years. I was especially drawn in by DRI’s amazing facilities and the chance to work on a wind energy project with Dr. Kaplan. 

What are you studying? What research projects are you working on? And who at DRI are you working with?

I am studying climate change through the use of regional climate models. I am a part of the EPSCoR Climate Change project on the climate modeling team. I work most closely with Darko Koracin and John Mejia, but interact on a daily basis with others on the modeling team as well. My project is focusing on the uncertainty inherent in climate modeling – how do we put a number on that uncertainty, what are the sources, and how does it affect modeling for the future? I am especially interested in climate models’ ability to correctly forecast the teleconnections that we see in the western U.S. in temperature and precipitation due to ENSO events. storm peak work-thb

What are your short-term and long-term goals while at DRI?

My long term goal is to get my Ph. D. in Atmospheric Science from UNR. I completed my master’s at UNR in 2010. I am working through researching and writing a number of papers to publish in scientific journals at the moment. I also hope to connect with researchers in many different environmental fields like those at DRI. The earth is an incredibly complex system and I think that only through collaboration within our own field and with those from other disciplines can we begin to understand the various parts of that system.

storm peak 3-thbTell us about yourself. What do you do for fun?

I enjoy the outdoors and am known for my “farm” of animals. I love camping, road trips, and hiking. I also have been trying to get a good organic garden going in my backyard. Each year I participate in the NorCal AIDS Cycle which is a 330 mile bike ride over 4 days to raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS in the Northern California area.

xpats-feature-pic-thbWhat problem in the world would you like to solve? And if given the chance and unlimited resources, how would you go about solving it?

There are too many problems to list! From what I’ve experienced, small, local actions tend to have much more of an effect than grand schemes. On my present list of things to conquer are getting all my friends to recycle what they can, talking to people about small steps that they can make to live in an environmentally friendly way (light bulbs, gardening, buying local, biking and taking the bus), and trying to understand problems from multiple viewpoints. If I had unlimited resources, I would put them into education across the globe because I think that a good education for all is the most important step to solving any problem.

 

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