NISS co-sponsors the STATMOS (Statistical Methods for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) workshop on climate extremes held in State College, Pa., on October 23-25, 2016. The objective of the workshop is twofold, the first part is to introduce graduate students as well as prospective students looking to pursue a career in the area of extreme value analysis to the techniques and challenges that are unique to studying rare events. And the second part is to provide a venue for statisticians and atmospheric scientists to share ideas and facilitate collaboration aimed at understanding rare, high impact climate and weather events.
James Rosenberger, NISS Director, who attended the conference says, "NISS aims to deliver research that impacts public policy and thus convening statisticians and climate scientists to share ideas aimed at understanding extreme weather and climate events has the potential to foster far-reaching results with clear implications for policy. This workshop addressed issues that integrate well with the NISS mission."
NISS seeks to act as a hub for academia, government, and industry. “This workshop did just that," says Rosenberger. The workshop brought together researchers from academia and government, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
This workshop featured 18 invited talks by statisticians and atmospheric and climate scientists from around the world, including six talks by Ph.D. students and postdocs. In addition, there was a lively poster session.
Professor Ben Shaby of Penn State University says that the workshop was more about understanding changing risks of high-impact events like massive storm surges or heat waves. The direct policy implications are about managing that risk. Supporting his statement with an example, Shaby says: "Heat waves are a serious threat to agriculture, and increasing frequency or severity of heat waves could trigger a food security crisis. To respond to this threat, we need to understand in detail the current and future characteristics of heat waves that will occur with high probability."
The workshop was attended by more than 40 registered participants and by the faculty and students from the local Penn State community.