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Kathy Straub, Ph.D.

Department: Earth & Environmental Sciences

Professor Earth & Environmental Science

Director of Center for Environ Educ & Research

Department Head of Earth & Environmental Sciences

  • Education
  • PHD, Colorado State Univ Fort Collins
  • MS, Colorado State Univ Fort Collins
  • AB, Harvard University
Kathy Straub

For someone who loves to learn and think about new ideas as much as I do, I have the perfect job.

By training, I am an atmospheric scientist, so I think and teach a lot about the weather. When I was in graduate school, I was stationed on a Chinese research ship in the South China Sea for three weeks to launch weather balloons for a field experiment on the monsoon. That got me really interested in tropical weather, which is what I study in my scientific research.

But I have also spent countless hours reading and learning about global climate change over the last 15 years, so I teach about that too. While I'm interested in the science of climate change, for sure, I'm also interested in the politics, the economics, and the ethics of how we as a global community approach the solution. So I read and think about these issues too, and incorporate them into my classes, into research projects with students and into invited talks to the public.

Then there's my obsession with food justice, healthy eating, and growing food organically. I teach about these subjects too, in my first-year Perspectives seminar. I also have a really strong interest in keeping up with what's going on in natural gas fracking, energy legislation, the Keystone XL pipeline, renewable energy, campus sustainability, and the fossil fuel divestment movement, and I incorporate these current topics into my environmental science courses.

So for me, teaching and doing research in Susquehanna's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is the perfect job. I have the freedom to explore, along with my students, the most pressing environmental issues we face today. My goal is to inspire my students to be successful scientists as well as engaged global citizens.

PUBLICATIONS

Haertel, P., K. Straub, and A. Budsock: Transforming circumnavigating Kelvin waves that initiate and dissipate the Madden Julian Oscillation. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (in press).

Kiladis, G. N., J. Dias, K. H. Straub, M. C. Wheeler, S. N. Tulich, K. Kikuchi, K. M. Weickmann, and M. J. Ventrice, 2014: A comparison of OLR and circulation based indices for tracking the MJO. Monthly Weather Review, 142, 1697-1715.

Haertel, P., K. Straub, and A. Federov, 2013: Lagrangian overturning and the Madden Julian Oscillation. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 140, 1344-1361.

Straub, K. H., 2013: MJO initiation in the Realtime Multivariate MJO index. Journal of Climate, 26, 1130-1151.

Straub, K. H., P. T. Haertel, and G. N. Kiladis, 2010: An analysis of convectively coupled Kelvin waves in 20 WCRP CMIP3 global coupled climate models. Journal of Climate, 23, 3031-3056.

Haertel, P. T., and K. H. Straub, 2010: Simulating convectively coupled Kelvin waves using Lagrangian overturning for a convective parameterization. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 136, 1598-1613.

Kiladis, G. N., M. C. Wheeler, P. T. Haertel, K. H. Straub, and P. E. Roundy, 2009: Convectively coupled equatorial waves, Reviews of Geophysics, 47, RG2003, doi:10.1029/2008RG000266.

Straub, K. H., G. N. Kiladis, and P. E. Ciesielski, 2006: The role of equatorial waves in the onset of the South China Sea summer monsoon and the demise of El Niño during 1998. Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 42, 216-238, doi: 10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2006.02.005.

Kiladis, G. N., K. H. Straub, and P. T. Haertel, 2005: Zonal and vertical structure of the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 62, 2790-2809.

Majda, A. J., B. Khouider, G. N. Kiladis, K. H. Straub, and M. G. Shefter, 2004: A model for convectively coupled tropical waves: Nonlinearity, rotation, and comparison with observations. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 61, 2188-2205.

Straub, K. H., and G. N. Kiladis, 2003: Extratropical forcing of convectively coupled Kelvin waves during austral winter. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 60, 526-543.

Straub, K. H., and G. N. Kiladis, 2003: Interactions between the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation and higher-frequency tropical wave activity. Monthly Weather Review, 131, 945-960.

Straub, K. H., and G. N. Kiladis, 2003: The observed structure of convectively coupled Kelvin waves: Comparison with simple models of coupled wave instability. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 60, 1655-1668.

Straub, K. H., and G. N. Kiladis, 2002: Observations of a convectively coupled Kelvin wave in the eastern Pacific ITCZ. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 59, 30-53.

Kiladis, G. N., K. H. Straub, G. C. Reid, and K. S. Gage, 2001: Aspects of interannual and intraseasonal variability of the tropopause and lower stratosphere. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 127, 1961-1984.

  

GRANTS

·         National Science Foundation ($61,045 to Susquehanna University; total funding $403,613). Collaborative Research: Lagrangian modeling of convectively coupled equatorial waves and the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Co-PIs: Patrick Haertel and Alexey Federov, Yale University. November 2011 - October 2015.

·         Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate). Travel and conference support for the "Systems, Society, Sustainability, and the Geosciences" workshop at Carleton College, Northfield, MN. July 2012.

·         Susquehanna University. Sabbatical leave granted for Spring 2011.

·         Susquehanna University Faculty Scholarship Committee ($1000). "Analysis of convectively coupled Kelvin waves in 20 WCRP CMIP3 models." Mini-grant for publication costs. January 2010.

·         Susquehanna University Faculty Development and Research Committee ($4400). "Analysis of convectively coupled Kelvin waves in 20 WCRP CMIP3 models." Course release for Fall 2009.

·         Susquehanna University Summer Research Partners Program ($2860). Environmental audit of Susquehanna University. Summer 2008.

·         National Science Foundation ($34,968 to Susquehanna University; total funding $339,035). Collaborative Research: Analysis and modeling of convectively coupled equatorial waves and the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Co-PI: Patrick Haertel, Yale University. October 2005 - September 2009.

·         Susquehanna University Summer Research Partners Program ($2500). Surface observations of the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Summer 2004.

 

AWARDS

John C. Horn Distinguished Service Award, Susquehanna University, May 2014.

Susquehanna University "Whatever It Takes" (WIT) Award, Susquehanna University, December 2010.

Joel Cunningham Service-Learning Faculty of the Year, Susquehanna University, February 2009.

Student Presentation Award, 13th Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, American Meteorological Society, Breckenridge, CO, June 2001.

Max Eaton Prize, 23rd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, American Meteorological Society, Dallas, TX, January 1999. Awarded to the student who presents the best paper (judged on content and presentation).

James Bryant Conant Prize, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, June 1993. Given to the student who, as part of the regularly assigned work in elementary General Education and Core Program courses in any of the natural sciences, submits one of the best essays on a subject of scientific interest.

 

Courses taught:

  • EENV-104 Weather and Climate
  • EENV-240 Introduction to Meteorology
  • EENV-242 Climate and Global Change
  • EENV-510 Senior Project I
  • EENV-560 Independent Study
  • EENV-590 Internship
  • EENV-595 Research in Earth & Environmental Sci
  • ENST-301 Current Topics in Environmental Studies
  • ENST-400 AASHE Stars Report
  • ENST-400 Applied Environmental Ethics
  • ENST-400 Issues-Natural Gas Consulting
  • ENST-400 Perc Online Publication
  • ENST-400 Poverty & Sustainability
  • ENST-400 Watershed Implementation Plan
  • PRDV-104 Perspectives