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College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Atmospheric Sciences Research Center
Terrestrial hydrology and hydrometeorology; satellite remote sensing; climate reconstruction and predictability; global climate change
Campus phone: (518) 437-8752
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Ferguson, a research associate in UAlbany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), is a recipient of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s David S. Johnson Award, which recognizes young professionals who are finding new and innovative ways to enhance or redefine the use of Earth observation satellite data for inclusion in operations at NOAA.
He has done extensive research on the application of satellite remote sensing in the areas of soil moisture and terrestrial evapotranspiration, land-atmosphere interactions, and the global hydrological response to climate change, among other climate-relevant topics.
Improved weather and climate forecasting at longer lead times allows additional time for coping and adaptation to severe weather and climate change, respectively. A key source of inter-model disagreement historically has been the strength of the land surface’s role in weather and climate predictability.
Ferguson, however, pioneered research using microwave and infrared sensors on NASA’s Aqua Earth Observing System satellite that, for the first time ever, resolved which models tended to correctly represent regional land-atmospheric coupling and feedbacks. This work has paved the way for comparison, evaluation and refinement of models.
At ASRC, Ferguson is now building a modelling team to collaborate on improving sub-seasonal to seasonal forecast skills by incorporating these satellite-observed tendencies.