My research falls within the intersections of the fields of boundary layer meteorology, mesoscale meteorology, and cloud/precipitation microphysics. My overall interest is in understanding how local variations in the earth's surface alter low-level atmospheric flow fields and, ultimately, change larger-scale weather conditions. Much of my work has been on weather and climate in the Great Lakes region. My research group has collected and analyzed field data taken in and around wintertime lake-effect snow storms, and conducted collaborative studies using mesoscale numerical models. Other areas of interest include lake- and sea-breezes, near-shore thunderstorms, and urban circulations. These weather phenomena are often complicated by cloud microphysical processes, particularly when thunderstorms or snowstorms develop. Understanding interactions between boundary layers, mesoscale circulations, and precipitation processes, is an area of intense current research in the atmospheric sciences community.
Graduate students in my research group have the opportunity to work with field data collected by instrumented aircraft, operational and research radars, rawinsondes, and other observational systems. Often, my students participate in the collection of data by participating in major field experiments and in collaborative efforts with scientists from other universities and research organizations. I expect my students to actively participate in the identification of important research questions and development of methods to address them. Ultimately, students are expected to present their research results not only in their theses, but also in journal publications, conferences, and seminars.