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New York City Research Initiative

Research Projects at Queensborough Community College

Go to projects in: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

Queensborough Community College — 2015

Use of Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance Monitors to Detect Coronal Mass Ejections
Team Members

Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Chantale Damas

Co-Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Paul Marchese

Educator: Anthony Campagna

Undergraduate Interns: Jennifer Amador

High School Interns: Michael Espinosa, Ariane Marchese

Final Research Presentation
Summary

The purpose of this research is to study the effect of Earth directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on the ionosphere in 2011, and to see if sudden ionospheric disturbance (SID) monitors could be used to predict whether a CME was geoeffective. A CME is a cloud of highly energized particles ejected from the Sun. It is hypothesized that a strong CME will affect the ionosphere, which might be observed in certain data sets. Data was taken from two SID monitors in Vienna receiving transmissions from Norway and France from February through July, 2011. This data was then analyzed relative to the kinetic energy of Earth directed CMEs that occurred during the same time period. The Earth directed CME data was taken from the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) device on NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). A correlation was found between CME kinetic energy and SID energy, with the maximum correlation at a 6 day lag of the SID data. The 6 day delay accounts for the travel time for the CME to reach Earth. Though the impact of the CME on the ionosphere was observed retrospectively, the research indicates that CMEs may be identified using SID monitors alone.

View Presentation (PDF)

Queensborough Community College — 2014

Coronal Mass Ejection Characteristics and the Solar Wind
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Ariane Marchese, High School Student
Famim Talukder, Undergraduate Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a release of charged particles resulting from activity from the surface of the Sun. The charged particles emitted from CMEs can affect electronics on spacecraft, airplanes, global positioning systems and communication satellites among other things. The purpose of this research was to analyze CME properties and correlate them to other variables so that these events may be predicted. Specifically, helium ejected by the sun before and after CMEs were analyzed to determine a relationship.

Solar wind data collected by STEREO A/B, and ACE satellites were plotted and studied for correlations. The data consisted of various elements (helium through iron) and the magnetic field. It was observed that CMEs lead to an increase in the helium flux, as well as other elemental increases. It was found prior to intense CMEs, there was a significant increase in the ratio between helium to oxygen. However, this was not always the case as weaker CMEs did not produce a significant increase in the ratio. It is hypothesized that the input of energy from a CME accelerates the lighter elements resulting in the increased ratio observed.

An Analysis of ENSO Phenomena's Effect on the GDP of Western Pacific Nations
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Matthew O'Connell, High School Student
Akilah Lewis, Undergraduate Student
Daniel Mezzafonte, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a climatological phenomenon that occurs in the Tropical Pacific Ocean and has a direct influence on the weather of western Pacific nations. This study evaluates the potential effect of ENSO on the economies of nations in the area. It was hypothesized that decreased precipitation in the western Tropical Pacific region during El Niño events cause decreases in the agricultural production in the region, and overall GDP. Furthermore, during the anti-El Niño, or La Niña, the opposite effect of increased agricultural GDP and overall GDP is expected. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data were obtained from the World Bank, and the Bank of Indonesia. Sea surface temperatures, of Niño 3.4 data, were obtained from the NOAA National Climate Data Center.

There is an inconclusive correlation between the annual agricultural/total GDP and the ENSO signal. By examining data between smaller time segments of the overall 1961-2013 timeframe, more conclusive results could not be discerned. Evaluating ENSO's influence on annual GDP, a correlation coefficient of -0.302 was determined. It supported the hypothesis, as did correlations obtained from examining smaller sections of the overall 1961-2013 timeframe. Indonesia's quarterly negated non-oil GDP was independently correlated with ENSO providing better insight on the variables' relationship during discrete ENSO phenomena. The results provided strong correlation coefficients of 0.831 and 0.624 in support of the antithesis as well as -0.421 in support of the hypothesis. An economic anomaly known as the East Asian Financial Crisis may have been the cause of the unexpected 0.831 however more data is needed to be certain. Overall, the results demonstrated weak to moderate correlations present between variables.

Queensborough Community College — 2013

The Relationship Between Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Adam Carbone, Undergraduate Student
Michael Hirschberger, Undergraduate Student
Kevin Chen, High School Student
Ariane Marchese, High School Student
Matthew O'Connell, High School Student
Daniel Mezzafonte, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: Solar flares and their associated coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are an integral part of solar weather that can have profound effects on Earth's atmosphere. The charged particles emitted by strong CMEs as well as strong x-ray fluxes produced by solar flares can cause damage to satellites, disrupt radio and GPS signals, and strain power grids. It is critical to understand how solar flare intensity influences the magnitude and occurrence of CMEs so as to minimize and prevent the negative effects that could result from them. This study seeks to further this flare-to-CME relationship. To do this, x-ray flux, a defining element of solar flare intensity, was correlated graphically and numerically with CME energy for the years 2000-2012. X-ray flux data used in this correlation consisted of both background and solar flare flux, which were both summed together for each day of each year. CME energy was obtained by squaring the 2nd-order speed at 20 Rs (solar radii) and summing these squared values for each day of each year. Our results show that for the entire time series of 2000-2012, a 0.16 correlation exists between the two data sets. For individual years, the correlation coefficient increased for years around maxima (0.48 for 2003, 0.40 for 2001, 0.31 for 2012). These preliminary results suggest a moderate correlation between the intensities of the two data sets when examined around solar maxima.

Queensborough Community College — 2012

The Effects of the Arctic, North Atlantic and El Niño-Southern Oscillation on Climate in the New York Metropolitan Area
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Michael Hirschberger, Undergraduate Student
Matthew O'Connell, High School Student
Mr. Daniel Mezzafonte, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: This study examined how fluctuations in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) affects climate in the New York metropolitan area between 1950 and 2011. This study postulated that there is a positive correlation between ENSO 1+2, AO and NAO and temperature and precipitation in the New York metropolitan area. Furthermore it was postulated that an inverse correlation exists between ENSO 1+2, AO and NAO and snowfall. Data for temperature, precipitation, and snowfall were obtained from the Brookhaven National Laboratory. ENSO data was obtained from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (IRI/LDEO). AO and NAO data was obtained from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Prediction Center. The effects of the variables on temperature and precipitation were studied from 1950-2011. The effects of the variables on snowfall were studied from 1950-2011 between the months of October and April. This study's data supports the hypothesis that positive periods for the ENSO, AO and NAO resulted in higher winter temperatures and greater amounts of precipitation. An inverse relationship exists for the studied variables and snowfall.

Queensborough Community College — 2011

The Effects of Stratospheric Aerosols on Tropical Cyclone Activity in the North Atlantic Basin
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Adnan Aziz, Undergraduate Student
Michael Hirschberger, High School Student
Alana Menendez, High School Student
Daniel Mezzafonte, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: This study examines how fluctuations in stratospheric ozone levels have affected the energy of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin between 1979 and 2010. We postulate that there is a correlation between stratospheric ozone concentration and tropical cyclone energy. As a result of ozone depletion from anthropogenic activities (namely chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) emissions), UV light retained near the ozone layer has decreased, leading to lower stratospheric cooling. An increase in the temperature differential between the warm sea surface and the cooler atmosphere results. This differential creates unstable air masses, hindering tropical cyclone development (Emanuel, 1986). Previous research (Rowland, 1990) has shown that a strong negative correlation exists between CFCs and ozone levels. The team's research has shown a strong positive correlation between stratospheric ozone concentrations in the Atlantic Basin to stratospheric temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere from 1979-2010 (0.5977). Finally, a strong correlation value exists between stratospheric temperatures and tropical cyclone energy in the North Atlantic Basin from 1979-2010 (-0.47384). Ozone layer depletion should be considered when forecasting tropical cyclone development.

QueensBorough Community College Carbon Footprint Project
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Za-y-va Lareche, Undergraduate Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: The City University of New York (CUNY) mission statement assets that the aim of Queensborough Community College is to provide students with a quality, affordable education in a supportive environment.  For fifty years, Queensborough Community College (QCC) has served students from Queens and the entire New York City region as a starting place to pursue their academic and career goals. QCC understands that we are intimately connected with the ecological systems of the area and ultimately linked to the global atmospheric, biological and geological processes.
Responsibility entails QCC to be aware of our actions and the full range of effects. The actions of these thousands of people including students, faculty and staff are incorporated in the daily processes of QCC.
An ideally sustainable establishment would function without waste and would not burden the local ecosystems. Due to the fact that QCC is situated in a urban environment with like-minded individuals, there are many ways to make the sustainability of QCC environmentally friendly.
Though we may not be able to realize and calculate the full extend of the impact of QCC on the environment, it is extremely exhilarating to take necessary steps in order to give a measurement of the current environmental impact of Queensborough Community College. The environmental impact of Queensborough Community College may well extend beyond campus boundaries, but the limitations of data-mining in order for these calculations are nigh improbable to evaluate. Therefore, to the best of our ability the ecological impact of QCC will be used to reduce environmental demand caused by Queensborough Community College.

Queensborough Community College — 2010

Solar Weather and Tropical Cyclone Activity
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Adnan Aziz, Undergraduate Student
Michael Hirschberger, High School Student
Alana Menendez, High School Student
Daniel Mezzafonte, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: Worldwide tropical cyclone energy and frequency data was obtained from the Unisys Weather database. Trends were investigated between this data and that of solar weather, specifically sunspot number, total solar irradiance, and proton flux. Our hypothesis stated that increased sunspot number and solar irradiance would have a direct effect on tropical cyclone activity.

Queensborough Community College — 2009

Assessing Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Frequency
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Joon Chong, David Morales

Michael Hirschberger, High School Student
Alana Menendez, High School Student
Daniel Mezzafonte, High School Teacher

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: Data from Unisys Weather was used to calculate tropical cyclone energy in the Atlantic, East Pacific, South Pacific, West Pacific, North Indian, and South Indian Oceans from 1996 to 2008. Trends in global cyclone intensity and frequency were studied. Furthermore, variables having short- and long-term effects on regional and global tropical cyclone activity such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) were investigated. In most oceans, there was a distinct correlation between Tropical Cyclone activity and the ENSO anomalies.

Queensborough Community College — 2008

Hurricane Activity
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Tak D. Cheung, Graduate Student
Donald E. Cohen, Undergradutae Student
James Oji, High School Teacher
Christian Segarra, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary
The purpose of this research was to study hurricane activity. With the aid of satellite data from Unisys Weather, we studied hurricane tracks and tried to find a pattern in hurricane activity, such as, whether or not hurricane activity was increasing or decreasing over the years. We also tried to see how the hurricane season of one year differed from the hurricane season of another year. We also aimed to discover if hurricane activity in the A tlantic Ocean affected Hurricane activity in the East Pacific Ocean.

Queensborough Community College — 2007

The Relationship between the Solar Winds and the Interplanetary Magnetic Field
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Team Members:
Egbuta Oji, High School Teacher
Henry Weinberger, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is a term used to describe the Sun's magnetic field as it is carried by the solar wind into the space. The IMF is a vector quantity with three directional components, two of which (Bx and By) are oriented parallel to the ecliptic. The third component--Bz--is perpendicular to the ecliptic and is created by waves and other disturbances in the solar wind. The magnetic field of the Sun is produced by an electric current produced by consuming hydrogen to form helium at the interface and radioactive layers of the sun.The magnetic field produced is huge; it is about 50 Gauss and 100 times more than that of the Earth.

Queensborough Community College — 2006

Composition of Solar Wind
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Researchers:
Karen Leon, Undergraduate Student
Gregory Brathwaite, Undergraduate Student
Nicholas Hunter-Walker, Undergraduate Student
Johanna Espinoza, Undergraduate Student
Mandy Chow, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

The solar wind is a stream of charged particles which are ejected from the outer atmosphere of a star or the sun's corona.

Some Useful Facts about Solar Wind:

+ contains a large number of electrons, protons, and a few ions
+ particles are able to escape through coronal holes because of the high temperature of the corona and the high kinetic energy of each particle
+ velocity varies from 200-889 km/s (with an average of about 450 km/s or 1,000,000 mph)
+ temperature of solar wind plasma around the Earth is about 150,000°K

The SEPICA (Solar Energetic Particle Ionic Charge Analyzer) is the prime sensor on the ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer).

Queensborough Community College — 2005

Earth's Magnetic Field and Ionosphere
Team Members

Principle Investigator(PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Researchers:
Odell John, Undergraduate Student
Deniss Steward, Undergraduate Student
Oscar Puente, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

We will be researching space weather and study how the solar wind affects the Earth's magnetic field and ionosphere.  We will be using ACE and SOHO satellite data for the solar wind, and ionosonde data for the Earth.

Queensborough Community College — 2004

Solar Wind Effect on Earth's Ionosphere
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Paul Marchese

Researchers:
Professor Tak Cheung
Professor Donald

Odell John, Undergraduate Student
Deniss Steward, Undergraduate Student
Fernando Quijije, Undergraduate Student
Dorra Kridis, Undergraduate Student
Oscar Puente,SHARPApprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

We are studying the solar winds effect on the Earth's ionosphere and magnetosphere. The sun emits charged particles, known as the solar wind. When these particles interact with the Earth's magnetic field the ion content of the atmosphere is affected. We have been analyzing data from the ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) NASA satellite that measures the solar wind & this data is compared with measurements of the ionosphere. It has been found that strong gusts in the solar wind result in atmospheric Gamma ray bursts in addition to deviations in the electron content in the atmosphere

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