Opening Workshop: August 21 – 25, 2017


This workshop was held at the Hamner Conference Center in Research Triangle Park.

This workshop served to introduce the activity of the entire SAMSI Climate program that lasted from August 2017 through May 2018. There were overview lectures by leading scientists in the field, a series of sessions of research talks and round table discussions, an initial meeting of Working Groups, and a short course on computational methods.

The opening day (August 21) consisted of five Overview Lectures designed to highlight major areas of climate science for which there is a need for input from mathematicians and statisticians. Speakers and summary titles are:

  • Vipin Kumar (University of Minnesota): Climate Informatics
  • Kristie Ebi (University of Washington): Climate and Health
  • Leonard Smith (London School of Economics): Science, Simulation and Insight
  • Bill Collins (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab): Mathematical Challenges in Climate Modeling
  • Kenneth Kunkel (North Carolina State University): Climate Datasets

The next three days included research sessions featuring invited talks on the following topics: Remote Sensing; Ice Dynamics; Climate Informatics; Climate and Health; Stochastic Parameterizations. There were round-table discussions on the following topics: Climate Extremes; Climate and Risk Analysis.

The Thursday afternoon session was focused on Working Groups formation session. Leaders of proposed Working Groups made 5-minute presentations and were followed by initial organizational meetings of the groups themselves. The topics for the Working Groups were constantly updated but, as of the time of writing, the proposed topics were: Remote Sensing; Parameter Estimation; Data Assimilation; Data Analytics; Climate Prediction; Extremes; Stochastic Parameterizations; Climate and Health; Food Systems; Ice Dynamics; Detection and Attribution.

Working group discussions continued Friday morning. Finally, the afternoon of Friday, August 25, Doug Nychka and Dorit Hammerling (both from the Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO) presented a 3-hour short course on “Computational Methods for Climate Science” (question #20.5 on the on-line application form.)

Schedule and Speakers:

Confirmed Speakers for this event included:

  • Veronica Berrocal (University of Michigan)
  • Michal Branicki (University of Edinburgh)
  • Amy Braverman (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Chris Bretherton (University of Washington)
  • Alberto Carrassi (Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center [NO])
  • Howard Chang (Emory University)
  • Bill Collins (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)
  • Noel Cressie (University of Woolongong [AU])
  • Dan Crichton (NASA)
  • Imme Ebert-Uphoff (Colorado State University)
  • Kristie Ebi (University of Washington)
  • Montse Fuentes (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Andrew Gettelman (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • Dorit Hammerling (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • Murali Haran (Penn State University)
  • Christopher Jones (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
  • Charles Jackson (University of Texas)
  • Matthias Katzfuss (Texas A&M University)
  • Vipin Kumar (University of Minnesota)
  • Ken Kunkel (NOAA)
  • Adam Monahan (University of Victoria – British Columbia [CA])
  • Prabhat (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)
  • Leonard Smith (London School of Economics)
  • Deborah Sulsky (University of New Mexico)
  • Jason West (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)

Schedule and Supporting Media

Printable Schedule
Speaker Abstracts
Participant List
Poster Session

Monday, August 21, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Description Speaker Slides Videos
Introductions and Welcome  Richard Smith, Director, SAMSI
Overview Lecture 1: Big Data in Climate: Opportunities and Challenges for Machine Learning Vipin Kumar, University of Minnesota
Overview Lecture 2: Climate and Health Kristie Ebi, University of Washington
Overview Lecture 3: Science, Simulation and Insight: Developing Confidence when Extrapolating Complicated Complex Systems Leonard Smith, London School of Economics
Overview Lecture 4: Computational and Mathematical Challenges in Climate Modeling Michael Wehner, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Overview Lecture 5: Climate Datasets Ken Kunkel, NOAA

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Description Speaker Slides Videos
Research Session 1: Remote Sensing
A Bird’s-Eye View of Statistics for Remote Sensing Data Noel Cressie, University of Wollongong (AU)
Software Architecture Considerations in the Analysis of Highly Distributed Data and Computational Analysis Dan Crichton, NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
A General Framework for Vecchia Approximations of Gaussian Processes Matthias Katzfuss, Texas A&M University
Discussant Amy Braverman, NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Research Session 2: Ice Dynamics
Modeling Arctic Sea Ice Deborah Sulsky, University of New Mexico
Some Statistical Challenges in Studying the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Murali Haran, Penn State University
Research Session 2: Issues in Ensemble Prediction and Data Assimilation Using a Lagrangian Model of Sea-Ice Alberto Carrassi, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NO)
Discussant Christopher Jones, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Poster Session

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Description Speaker Slides Videos
Research Session 3: Climate Informatics
Deep Learning for Extreme Weather Detection Prabhat, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Methods for Causality Analysis in Climate Science Imme Ebert-Uphoff, Colorado State University
Research Session 3: Compression and Conditional Emulation of Climate Model Output Dorit Hammerling, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Discussant  Doug Nychka, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Panel Discussion 1: Climate Extremes Panelists:
Daniel Cooley (Colorado State University); Michael Wehner (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab); Michael Stein (University of Chicago); Adam Monahan (University of Victoria)
Research Session 4: Climate and Health
The Effects of Climate Change on Human Health through Changes in Air Quality Jason West, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Projecting Health Impacts of Climate Change: Embracing an Uncertain Future Howard Chang , Emory University
A Multivariate Dynamic Spatial Factor Model for Speciated Pollutants and Adverse Birth Outcomes Montse Fuentes, Virginia Commonwealth University
Discussant Veronica Berrocal, University of Michigan

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Description Speaker Slides Videos
A Cloud of Numbers: Representing Physical Processes in the Earth System with Mathematics Andrew Gettelman, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Ice Sheet Contribution to Sea Level Rise Charles Jackson, University of Texas
An Information-Theoretic Framework for Improving Multi-Model Predictions & Data Assimilation Techniques Michal Branicki, University of Edinburgh
Developing Stochastic Parameterizations of Subgrid Variability of Clouds and Turbulence using High-Resolution Simulations Chris Bretherton, University of Washington
Discussant Adam Monahan, University of Victoria – British Columbia (CA)
Panel Discussion 2: Climate and Risk Panelists:
Brian Blanton (Renaissance Computing Institute); Wei Lei (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Slava Lyubchich (University of Maryland); Hans Kaper (Georgetown University)
Working Group Formation Session

Friday, August 25, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Description Speaker Slides Videos
Initial Meetings of Working Groups
Adjourn/LUNCH/Shuttle to RDU Airport
Short Course on Computational Methods Doug Nychka and Dorit Hammerling, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Questions: email [email protected]