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Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

The Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences has a great diversity of programs and intersecting disciplines, with faculty and students studying in fields such as severe weather, the solar system, stable isotopes, and geophysics. We are committed to four strategic initiatives: Energy and the Environment, Severe Weather Science, Planetary Exploration, and Geodata Science.

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Springs that discharge a large proportion of old groundwater are more resistant to the effects of the drought

Researchers at Purdue University’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), including Dr. Zach Meyers, recent Ph.D. alumnus, and his advisor, Dr. Marty Frisbee, have studied data from the groundwater-dependent ecosystems of the Owens Valley, CA region including the eastern Sierra Nevada and White Mountains. Their findings, recently published in Environmental Research Letters, show that springs which discharge a large amount of older groundwater are more likely to persist over time than those that discharge younger groundwater.

Scientists simulate alien volcanoes here on Earth

A small volume of liquid iron snakes across the top of the molten rock as narrow rivers flowing ten times faster than that underlying lava. Despite initially being a whopping 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, these rivers rapidly cool and solidify before the snail-like shimmying of the ropey lava below snaps them into pieces. Most of the liquid iron, though, sinks into the lava. It bunches up toward the front of the lava flow before exploding out of it as braided, winding streams — silvery strokes of an altogether alien calligrapher. Dr. Brandon Johnson of Purdue EAPS is cited in this article by Supercluster.

Programs prepare faculty to lead; 20 participants selected for 2021-22 academic year

The Provost’s Office has named the 20 faculty members who will participate in the Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program and the Purdue Insights Forum programs in the 2021-22 academic year. The Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program and the Purdue Insights Forum are designed to help faculty interested in taking on administrative and leadership roles, although each program takes a distinct approach to achieving the goal. Dr. Lisa Welp, EAPS associate professor, has been selected as a 2021-22 Purdue Insights Forum Program Fellows.

Wildfires have enabled boreal forests in North America to become a major carbon source which will likely only get worse

Forests around the world are known to emit and consume carbon.  The balance of carbon depends on the rates of emissions and consumption.  A recent publication in Scientific Reports by Purdue EAPS Professor Qianlai Zhuang and PhD student, Bailu Zhao, use satellite data and a mechanistically-based biogeochemistry model to quantify the impacts of wildfires on carbon cycling in North America boreal forests.

The American Philosophical Society Welcomes New Members for 2021

The American Philosophical Society is pleased to welcome new Members elected to the Society in 2021. Election to the American Philosophical Society honors extraordinary accomplishments in all fields. The APS is unusual among learned societies because its Membership is composed of top scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines. Dr. Joseph S. Francisco of Purdue EAPS was elected for Class 1 Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

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