In the News


Professors Rutberg, Salmun, and Sun receive PSC-CUNY research grants

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science professors Rutberg, Salmun and Sun were recently awarded PSC research grants that support research by fulltime faculty. Professor Rutberg’s research focuses on the comprehension of carbon dioxides role in the climate system. Professor Salmun’s research centers on the process and connections of ocean waters in the Eastern Caribbean. Professor Sun’s research involves the New York City Public Transportation and the concepts of time and accessibility. Please see below for a more detailed description on their project methods and goals.

Professor Randye Rutberg :: The Response of the Earth System to Precessional Forcing
The objective of the proposed research is to determine how changes in the Earth’s precessional parameters impact the carbon cycle using two global climate model simulations of the Earth in different precessional positions. During the glacial interglacial cycles of the Pleistocene, atmospheric CO2 oscillated from roughly 280 ppm (warm periods) to 180 ppm (cold periods) [Barnola et al., 1987; Petit et al., 1999] (Figure 1). The role of CO2 in interglacial cycles is complex. Though it is not a driver of the cycles themselves, its near, synchronous variations with ice volume and its greenhouse properties suggest that CO2 acts as a positive feedback in the Earth’s climate system [Petit et al., 1999; Siegenthaler et al., 2005; Ahn and Brook, 2008].  Therefore, a critical challenge of paleoclimate research is uncovering the mechanisms that underly glacial interglacial changes in atmospheric CO2. Understanding the mechanisms of CO2 change on glacial time scales, as well as its role in the climate system, will enhance the understanding of the carbon cycle in the modern climate system.

Professor Haydee Salmun :: A long-term characterization of the water mass exchanges and connectivity at the Southern Puerto Rico shelf break and Virgin Islands trough
The objective of the research project is to characterize the vertical structure of the water column and cross-shelf exchanges of the water masses in a region of the Eastern Caribbean and to identify the physical mechanism that drive the biological productivity in this area. To this end, we will compile and analyze oceanographic data from in-situ observations in combination with remotely sensed data and model reanalysis products. The results of the proposed research will be a major contribution to the first long-term comprehensive observational analysis of the water masses at the Southern Puerto Rico shelf break and Virgin Islands Trough.

Professor Shipeng Sun :: Developing Accurate Space-Time Accessibility Measures for Public Transit in New York City
Public transit is an integral part of the urban system and measuring public transit accessibility to goods, services, employments, and amenities is fundamental to the examination of various urban issues. The objective of the proposed project is to develop accurate and high-resolution space-time accessibility measures for public transit in New York City by integrating GTFS real-time data that better represent actual transit conditions.