Meetings, Workshops, Seminars, and Colloquia

Most seminars and colloquia at NASA/GISS are presented during the academic year, September through May.

Normally, formal seminar presentations by visiting scientists are held at 11:00 a.m on Fridays during the academic year.

Informal lunchtime seminars (usually presented by NASA/GISS, Columbia/EI, and/or Columbia/LDEO scientists ) take place at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays about twice per month.

Since late 2019, GISS staff have organized a Tuesday morning (at 11 a.m.) series of Sea Level Rise seminars (YouTube). Presenters have represented numerous research institutions.

Following are upcoming seminars, workshops and other events of interest to GISS staff and to our research partners. Please note that due to security regulations, as described elsewhere on this page, presentations on the GISS premises are not open to the general public.

Events marked "Virtual Only" are presented on-line for remote attendance only. Please consult with the event contact/host for connection details.

This event listing was last updated 2021-10-18. All times shown are New York City local.


October 12, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Topic: How does glacier ice flow and deform?
Speaker: Brent Minchew (MIT)
More info: Abstract
Host/Contact: Craig Rye

Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Brent Minchew (MIT)
Title: How does glacier ice flow and deform?


This is an on-line, virtual presentation only. Please consult with event host Craig Rye for connection details.


Abstract:
The dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets influence rates of sea-level rise, freshwater supplies, and landscape evolution. Decades of research has highlighted key processes and connections between terrestrial ice, climate, and the solid earth, but limited observations of glaciated regions have allowed
fundamental questions in glaciers dynamics to remain open. In this talk, we will explore a long-standing and well-known question in glaciology: What is the viscosity of glacier ice? More specifically, we will discuss recent work aimed at understanding the mechanisms that allow for viscous flow of ice and how best to represent those mechanisms through a constitutive relation in ice-flow models. Traditionally, the deformation of ice has been modeled using a constitutive relation known as Glen’s Flow Law, wherein the rate of deformation is proportional to stress raised to the power n, where n=3 is assumed in virtually all models. We will discuss new evidence collected in large regions of Antarctica and models of ice recrystallization that both suggest a higher value for the stress exponent. We will build upon these efforts with a discussion of new methods being developed to better test the applicability of Glen’s Law to natural glacier ice and to calibrate the rheological parameters using a suite of satellite observations. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion of potential implications of this work for projections of sea-level rise and the evolution of ice sheets.


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October 19, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Topic: Exploring the Drivers of Global and Local Sea-Level Change Over the 21st Century and Beyond
Speaker: Matt Palmer (UK Metoffice)
More info: Abstract
Host/Contact: Craig Rye

Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Matt Palmer (UK Metoffice)
Title: Exploring the Drivers of Global and Local Sea-Level Change Over the 21st Century and Beyond


This is an on-line, virtual presentation only. Please consult with event host Craig Rye for connection details.


Abstract:
We present a set of global and local sea-level projections at example tide gauge locations under the RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5 emissions scenarios, including exploratory extended projections to 2300 based on emulation of individual CMIP5 models. Combining the projections with observed tide gauge records, we explore the contribution to total variance that arises from sea-level variability, different emissions scenarios, and model uncertainty. For the period out to 2300 we further breakdown the model uncertainty by sea-level component and consider the dependence on geographic location, time horizon, and emissions scenario. Our analysis highlights the importance of local variability for sea-level change in the coming decades and the potential value of annual-to-decadal predictions of local sea-level change. Projections to 2300 show a substantial degree of committed sea-level rise under all emissions scenarios considered and highlight the reduced future risk associated with RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 compared to RCP8.5. Tide gauge locations can show large ( > 50%) departures from the global average, in some cases even reversing the sign of the change. While uncertainty in projections of the future Antarctic ice dynamic response tends to dominate post-2100, we see substantial differences in the breakdown of model variance as a function of location, time scale, and emissions scenario.


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October 20, 2021
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
GISS Lunch Seminar
Topic: Modeling fire emissions and identifying their key drivers in the contiguous US using interpretable machine learning
Speaker: Sing-Chun Wang (DOE/PNNL)
More info: Abstract
Host/Contact: Susanne Bauer

GISS Lunch Seminar
Speaker: Sing-Chun Wang (DOE/PNNL)
Title: Modeling fire emissions and identifying their key drivers in the contiguous US using interpretable machine learning


This is an on-line, virtual presentation only. Please consult with event host Susanne Bauer for connection details.


Abstract:
Wildfires are becoming more frequent and intense in the United States, which causes property damage and poor air quality. Wildfire is a complex process that intermingles multiple factors, including ignition, fuel, weather, topography, and climate. Thus, developing wildfire prediction models that encompass the complex and non-linear relationships between fires and their drivers is increasingly important and demanding.

In this study, we built a machine learning (ML) model incorporating predictors of local meteorology, land-surface characteristics, and socioeconomic variables to predict monthly burned area at grid cells of 0.25deg x 0.25deg resolution across the contiguous US (CONUS) during 2000-2017. In addition, we design and include predictors representing the large-scale circulation patterns conducive to wildfires, which improves the predictions in several regions. We introduce a game-theory-based method, named the Shapley Additive explanation (SHAP), to interpret the machine learning model (hereafter referred to explainable ML model) and examine the relative importance of the predictor variables to wildfire prediction. Results show a key role of longitude and latitude in delineating fire regimes with different temporal patterns of burned area. For western US, the energy release component (ERC) is the major contributor to large burned areas. In contrast, the identified large-scale circulation patterns featuring less active upper-level ridge-trough and low RH two months earlier in winter contribute more to large burned areas in spring in the southeastern US. In another study, we construct another explainable ML model using a similar set of predictors to predict monthly fire PM2.5 emissions from GFED and use this model to diagnose the fire emissions simulated by process-based models from Fire Modeling Intercomparison Project (FireMIP). For instance, SHAP importance shows that SVD predictors representing the large-scale circulation patterns favorable for fires are the dominant factors for peak fire emissions in 2007, which may explain the underestimations in the process-based models. The results demonstrate how the ML technique enhances wildfire predictions and interpretation and how ML provides a better elucidation of the complex processes contributing to wildfires.


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October 27, 2021
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
GISS Lunch Seminar
Topic: Drought impact on atmospheric composition and its climate feedbacks
Speaker: Yuxuan Wang (Univ. Houston)
Host/Contact: Susanne Bauer
November 2, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Brad Lipovsky (Unv. Washington)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
November 3, 2021
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
GISS Lunch Seminar
Topic: Sources of uncertainty in multi-model large ensemble projections of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation
Speaker: Christine McKenna (Univ. Leeds)
Host/Contact: Clara Orbe
November 9, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Thomas Frederikse (NASA/JPL)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
November 10, 2021
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
GISS Lunch Seminar
Topic: Evidence that abundant aerosols help cloud clusters develop into tropical cyclone
Speaker: Chris Collimore (CUNY)
Host/Contact: Clara Orbe
November 16, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Phillip Orton (Stevens Inst Tech)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
November 17, 2021
1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
GISS Lunch Seminar
Topic: Can past climates constrain cloud and convective parameterizations?
Speaker: Riovie Ramos (William Paterson Univ.)
Host/Contact: Allegra LeGrande
November 23, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Manoochehr Shirzaei (Virginia Tech)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
November 30, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Baylor Fox-Kemper (Brown Univ.)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
December 7, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: DJ Rasmussen (Princeton)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
December 14, 2021
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Tal Ezer (Old Dominion Univ.)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
January 11, 2022
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Ella Gilbert (Reading Univ UK)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
January 18, 2022
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Ben Hamlington (NASA/JPL)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
January 25, 2022
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Klaus Desmet (Southern Methodist Univ.)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
March 8, 2022
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Ellyn Enderlin (Boise State Univ.)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
March 22, 2022
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Denis Felikson (NASA/GSFC)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye
March 29, 2022
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Virtual Only
Sea Level Rise Seminar
Speaker: Esteban Rossi-Hansberg (Princeton)
Host/Contact: Craig Rye

Special Events

There are no workshops, conferences, or other special events (co-)organized by NASA/GISS staff currently announced.

+ Past Meetings & Workshops

Security Note

Federal regulations require that visitors to NASA/GISS arrange in advance for a building pass. Persons attending a GISS seminar or colloquium should contact the event host at least two days in advance of the event for assistance. Please include your affiliation in your e-mail.


Due to the COVID pandemic, visitors have not been admitted to the GISS premises since March 2020. When such admissions are again permitted, there may be restrictions based on the ID presented and on vaccination status.


As of late September 2021, visitors to Goddard Space Flight Center facilities (including GISS) must fill out a COVID-19 attestation form at the proper badging office in order to gain access to our center. No further action is required if a visitor attests to being vaccinated. If, however, a visitor attests to being unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or chooses not to disclose their vaccination status, they will need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours.


Due to implementation of the REAL ID Act (2005), a state driver's license or identification card has been required for admittance to the GISS premises, which is considered a federal facility. However, if you have a state-issued license or ID that is not considered REAL-ID compliant, we urge you to do so before one is required to enter a federal facility. Enforcement of this requirement was expected in October 2021, but apparently has been postponed to May 2023 due to the COVID epidemic.

Persons who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents and who may be planning a visit to GISS require that special arrangements be made. Please co-ordinate with your GISS host on this at least three weeks before your visit.


All visitors can expect to have their bags searched upon entry to GISS. This may include having to answer questions about personal items, including any medication the visitor may be carrying.