Research Foundation Names 2018 Early Career Investigator Award Recipients

The Research Foundation announced the 2018 Early Career Investigator Award recipients March 8. Assistant Professor Minghui Diao, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, College of Science, left, and Assistant Professor Susan Snycerski, from the Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, will receive their awards on April 23 at the SJSU Celebration of Research.

The Research Foundation announced the 2018 Early Career Investigator Award recipients March 8. Assistant Professor Minghui Diao, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, College of Science, left, and Assistant Professor Susan Snycerski, from the Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, will receive their awards on April 23 at the SJSU Celebration of Research.

Assistant Professor Minghui Diao, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, College of Science, and Assistant Professor Susan Snycerski, from the Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, have been chosen to receive the Early Career Investigator Award for 2018. The pair will be honored at the annual SJSU Celebration of Research on April 23, 2019, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Diaz Compean Student Union ballroom. The event is open to the entire SJSU campus community.

 

Research with a global impact

Diao’s research focuses on the impact of clouds and aerosols on global climate change and regional air quality. Her work includes aircraft-based field campaigns to study regions as remote as Antarctica and the Southern Ocean; high precision laser instrument development; and computational global model simulations for comparisons with aircraft-based measurements and satellite remote sensing data. Since arriving at SJSU in 2015, she has secured a substantial amount of extramural sponsored funding for her research, primarily from the National Science Foundation and NASA.

She has published peer-reviewed articles in top tier journals, including Science, Nature Geoscience, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere, Bulletin of American Meteorology, and Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry.

In addition to these activities, Diao has been a science team member for eight major NSF flight campaigns. She has taken part in field campaigns to Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, New Zealand, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and other parts of the United States.

Diao is active in her field on a national level, having chaired numerous sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual meetings in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She served as a NASA panel reviewer in 2017, and has been a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Cloud Physics Committee since 2016, which is in charge of updating the Glossary of Meteorology.

Also of significance is Diao’s engagement of students in her research. One graduate student was the lead author on a published paper, and is now pursuing his PhD in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. She brought graduate and undergraduate students with her to the National Center for Atmospheric Research to do summer research with aircraft instruments and global climate model simulations in 2016 and 2018. Since 2016, her students have given five oral presentations at AMS and AGU annual meetings.

A behavioral theory and motivation expert

Snycerski’s interdisciplinary research combines concepts and topics from the fields of behavior analysis, consumer behavior, and psychopharmacology. Her recent studies, conducted in collaboration with current and former SJSU graduate students, have investigated sports fans’ perceptions of cannabis use by professional athletes, alcohol use and aggression in sports fans, and educational attainment and employment status of Bay Area medical cannabis patients.

Snycerski is considered a subject matter expert on the behavioral theory and study of motivation, having co-developed The Motivating Operations Concept (MOC), a leading theory in behavior analysis that is included in undergraduate and graduate textbooks and training materials worldwide. The MOC is also used in the examination to earn a Board Certified Behavior Analyst license, which is the only professional credential in her field.

Since 2017, she has served as the principal investigator of a previously awarded cooperative agreement that funds advanced rotorcraft research in collaboration with scientists from the U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate. In the last year, she has significantly increased extramural sponsored funding for SJSU’s human factors and aerospace engineering research at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field. This research has resulted in technological advances in the areas of adaptive autonomy, future lift systems, and human-centered display design.

In 2018, Snycerski was awarded a new cooperative agreement at NASA Ames. This three-year agreement funds research conducted entirely by students working at NASA’s Arc Jet Complex at Moffett Field, where materials that can withstand the heat environments to which spacecraft will be exposed are extensively tested. Such tests are imperative for NASA’s Journey to Mars mission, as well as other space travel missions. Both undergraduate and graduate students will apply the science of macroergonomics (a subdiscipline of human factors/ergonomics) to the complex research processes and tasks conducted at this facility.

Snycerski is an active scholar with more than 1,000 citations to her work (Google Scholar). She has published in the primary journals in her field, including Journal of Organizational Behavior ManagementJournal of Applied Behavior AnalysisJournal of the Experimental Analysis of BehaviorThe Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and Perspectives on Behavior Science. She has actively included SJSU students in her research, resulting in several conference presentations with SJSU students as co-authors.

About the award

The SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Awards recognize tenure-track SJSU faculty who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship, and creative activity. Consideration is given to both 1) externally funded contract and grant activity, and demonstration of ways in which such awards contribute to the improvement of the infrastructure, research capability, and recognition of San José State University; and 2) publications in top-ranked peer-reviewed journals, authorship of respected scholarly books, exhibits in renowned galleries, or other artistic endeavors.

Two award categories have been created to ensure the broadest participation possible from all academic units: Category 1 awards a faculty member in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering or in the College of Science, and Category 2 awards a faculty member in all other colleges and the SJSU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

SJSU Students Join Nationwide Solar Eclipse Weather Data Project

SJSU meteorology lecturer Arthur Eiserloh and a student team, under the supervision of Professor Sen Chiao, will travel to Oregon, where they will take radiosonde measurements during the eclipse. (James Tensuan/San Jose State University)

SJSU meteorology lecturer Arthur Eiserloh (right of the monitor) and a student team prepare to study the eclipse (Photos: James Tensuan, ’15 Photojournalism).

Media contact:
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749

SAN JOSE, CA — San Jose State University students will travel to Oregon to be among the first researchers in the nation to measure atmospheric conditions during the total solar eclipse Aug. 21.

NBC Bay Area catches a demo.

NBC Bay Area catches a demo.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our meteorology students to investigate how the atmosphere responds during a brief disruption in the sun’s energy. They will be part of the most well-documented and most studied total solar eclipse so far,” said Arthur Eiserloh, lecturer in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science.

The SJSU group will team up with students from Oregon Coast Community College in Newport, Ore. They will release eight radiosonde devices. Each device will be carried by a balloon to various levels of the atmosphere and will transmit measurements by radio. The team will study air temperature, air pressure, moisture and winds.

Lecturer Arthur Eiserloh and a student team, including Arianna Jordan (second from the right) study the radiosonde instrument (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Photojournalism).

Eiserloh and students, including Arianna Jordan (second from the right) study the radiosonde instrument.

“When I first heard about this project, it seemed like a really good opportunity. Projects like this motivate people in STEM majors,” said Arianna Jordan, ’18 Meteorology and Climate Science. “It’s going to be a really amazing experience and I’m excited to share what we find with the world.”

The San Jose-Oregon team members are joining students from 13 universities nationwide in the Solar Eclipse Radiosonde Project. The SJSU group is working under the auspices of the SJSU Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education, directed by Sen Chiao, associate professor of meteorology and climate science.

The center is a NASA Minority University Research and Education Project, which seeks to support underrepresented minorities in atmospheric-related disciplines, including meteorology, climate, physics, hydrology, public health, and engineering, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Eiserloh and students practice using instruments that will measure the meteorological impact of the eclipse.

Eiserloh and students practice using instruments that will measure the meteorological impact of the eclipse.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

SJSU Meteorologist Forecasts Super Bowl Weather

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Jan Null (Photo: David Schmitz)

Jan Null (Photo: David Schmitz)

By Jan Null, Lecturer of Meteorology and Climate Science and Certified Consulting Meteorologist

This week will see the eyes of the world focused on the San Francisco Bay Area for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, and the days preceding. Game day is still at the far end of the meteorological forecast model’s capabilities, and consequently, it is still a tossup as to whether it will actually rain in Santa Clara on that day. There is even a lesser chance of rain during the four-hour period of play.

The general trend for the entire week of activities preceding the Super Bowl is both good news and bad news.  The good news is that only a couple weak weather systems will move through the region during that time, but the bad news is that most Californians would rather see more rain toward the mitigation of the drought.

Looking at the past 49 years during the week preceding the Super Bowl, it has rained on average two days, with an average rainfall amount of 0.81 inches at the Mineta-San Jose International Airport, just three miles away from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. That rain occurred on 37 of the 49 weeks, or 76 percent of the time. It is also interesting to note that the two wettest Super Bowl weeks were during the strong El Nino events of 1997-98 (6.76 inches) and 1972-73 (2.23 inches).

Over the past 49 February 7ths it has rained 41 percent of the time on game day, but probably on the order of 15 percent of the time during the late afternoon.

The bottom line looks like any precipitation will be more of nuisance and not a deluge.