Communication and Outreach

UAV videography

I captured a series of UAV (drone) videos, many designed for Large-Scale Particle Image Velocimetry (LSPIV), a U.S. Geological Survey-developed technique that tracks suspended particles in rivers to estimate flow. I also filmed a few fun videos, because... why not? There is more on my YouTube page.

Recruiting the next generation!

My department runs a program in Providence Public Schools called Career Opportunities & Research in Earth Sciences (CORES). In order to recruit our first cohort of tenth-graders, a number of us recorded brief videos explaining our pathway to the earth sciences. I helped add these Spanish subtitles.

Color gypsum 3-D prints

UAV photos can be combined using techniques that rely on triangulation from multiple viewpoints to yield stitched-together images and surface models. Here, I received support from Brown University Libraries to create resin and colorized 3-D prints, which were displayed at a 2018 exhibit at the Brown Science Center and an ongoing exhibit in the Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum, Alberta, Canada, the town my team and I stayed in when I captured these photos.

Article for Massive Science on GNSS Reflectometry

Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R) is a cool, opportunistic technology that uses ongoing GPS satellite transmissions for an unintended purpose.

Article on climate change in Rhode Island

Summit Neighborhood Association (Providence, RI) Fall 2021 newsletter

Wet summer, unusually warm autumn consistent with climate change projections for Providence

Ethan Kyzivat

Do temperatures this fall seem warmer than usual to you? I thought so and decided to look up our local climate statistics and compare to this year’s weather conditions. 2021 had the 2nd warmest October and 5th warmest September in the record collected since 1950 at what is now T.F. Green airport. The warmest October in the record was in 2017, with an average temperature of 61.2 ˚F, compared to 59.8 ˚F last month. Rainfall has also been greater than average since July, which was the 3rd rainiest on record measured in total inches (7.12). In fact, total rainfall for 2021 exceeded the climatological yearly average on July 21, five months before the end of the year. So, I wondered, could these 2021 anomalies be related to climate change?

As a PhD student in Brown’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, I have been trained to be cautious when making statements that attribute any one particular weather event to climate change. After all, climate is average weather, and we can only experience weather instantaneously. Even so, there is a growing field of climate science called attribution science, which seeks to actually put numbers on the contribution of climate change to large weather patterns, such as droughts, storms, or heat waves. For example, high rainfall caused by Hurricane Dorian, which hit the Bahamas in 2019, has been deemed 16% more likely with climate change. The 2019 cold spell in the Northeast, on the other hand, occurred despite a tendency for similar cold outbreaks to decrease with climate change.

What about the current season in Rhode Island? Climate models predict that rainfall will increase in our region, similar to the rest of the East Coast and the Southeast. Temperatures in every season are also predicted to rise. As for tropical storms, there has been an increase in recent years, with 2020 setting records. Although scientists say it is too early to conclude whether or not this recent trend is human-caused, increasing hurricane intensity is very much a consequence of our warming oceans and atmosphere. So, the wet summer, active storm season, and unusually warm autumn are all consistent with the effects of climate change, and we should expect to see similar conditions in the future.

Sources: “Explaining Extreme Events of 2019 from a Climate Perspective” (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society); National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) at the University of North Carolina Asheville;; “How tropical storms and hurricanes have hit U.S. shores with unparalleled frequency” (Washington Post)