juniperClimate and Biosystems Modeling applies general systems theory to the analysis of climate, environmental and agricultural systems, and their interactions. Systems theory provides a method of analyzing overall system behavior by examining the relations among—and the behavior of—individual components, and synthesizing these relationships into a mathematicalframework that describes the total system. Computer simulation using this mathematical framework can predict and analyze the response to various changes in the inputs to, and/or structure of, the system, providing a powerful tool for the development of comprehensive solutions to problems. Examples of topics for student research could include studying the effects of climate change on vectored disease transmission, marine biodiversity, distributions of crops and crop pathogens, the carbon and nitrogen cycles, and wildfire cycles.


BRR students interested in climate and/or ecosystem research but not modeling should investigate the Sustainable Ecosystems option.

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Advising Checklist

Examples of research projects:

  • Is Advection Important? An Examination of the Advective Dynamics of Sensible Heat and Their Influence on Subcanopy Carbon Fluxes in Heterogeneous Terrain. Sean Stephen Carrigg. Mentor: Christoph Thomas, Atmospheric Sciences.