About the Scholarship
The Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers an annual Reid Bryson Scholarship to honor the life and legacy of our founder, Professor Reid Bryson. The scholarship rewards exemplary students whose research mirrors the innovative and interdisciplinary studies of Professor Bryson, involving either fundamental climate and meteorological processes or topics that connect climate, people, and the environment. In 2013 we awarded two scholarships: a $1,000 award for the top graduate student research project and a $750 award for the top undergraduate student research project.
This year we offered three separate scholarships to recognize the top graduate and top two undergraduate student projects. The winner of the 2014 Reid Bryson Graduate Scholarship of $1,000 was Vijay Limaye of the Department of Population Health Sciences, SAGE, and the Nelson Institute's Environment and Resources program. Vijay is a Ph.D. candidate studying environmental epidemiology in the United States and India. His poster, "Climate change impacts on air quality and human health in the eastern U.S.", was based on his doctoral research under the guidance of Drs. Jonathan Patz and Tracey Holloway in SAGE and additionally co-authored by Drs. Monica Harkey and Jason Vargo of SAGE. His project used an integrated set of climate, energy, and air quality models to simulate the health impacts of air pollution. Vijay's study found that a warming climate will likely be accompanied by increasing air pollution during summers, leading to a significant rise in human mortality and morbidity, particularly in the southeastern United States.
The winners of the 2014 Reid Bryson Undergraduate Scholarships were Marian Mateling and Sonia Petty. Marian earned a $750 scholarship for her poster, "Assessing cloud and sea ice effects on the Arctic radiation budget in the CMIP5 models", while Sonia won a $250 award for her presentation, "Effects of climate change and land cover on the subnivium, a seasonal refuge beneath the snow". A senior in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Marian presented her research evaluating the ability of global climate models to simulate radiation and clouds in the Arctic (co-authored by her advisor, Professor Tristan L'Ecuyer). This is a very timely topic amid rapid Arctic climate change, and Marian demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of state-of-the-art models in representing these important components of the polar system. Sonia Petty, a major in Wildlife Ecology, featured her investigation of how climate change is affecting the wintertime biological refuge provided by snow cover. Through recent field work in the UW Arboretum, Sonia and her co-authors (Professors Ben Zuckerberg and Jonathan Pauli) demonstrated that temperatures within the snowpack differ significantly between locations in forests and prairies and that this relationship depends on the season (winter or spring). This kind of research on the biological impacts of climate change is important for understanding how plants and animals will adapt to different environmental conditions in the future.
Professor Reid Bryson (1920-2008) was the founder of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Meteorology and Center for Climatic Research and was the first director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (now the Nelson Institute). Dr. Bryson was one of the pioneers of modern climatology and among the first to explore the influence of climate on humans and human culture. He gained fame for his studies of past and future climate, the relationships between climate and the biosphere, and the interaction of climate and human societies. A polymath, Bryson's scholarly interests ranged from studies of archaeology and geography to geology and limnology, and he tied them together through an abiding interest in weather and climate.
Applicants for the Reid Bryson Scholarship must either be a registered undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from any department or center. The research should either address (1) fundamental climatic and meteorological processes or (2) environmental issues at the interface of climate, people, and the environment. Professor Bryson's research was highly interdisciplinary, so students from across the sciences and humanities are encouraged to apply. We will post updated information on next year’s Bryson scholarship in early 2015.
The Reid Bryson Scholarship is an Ideas to Excellence event. Ideas to Excellence, held for a month each spring, showcases the academic and creative work of our undergraduate students.
Multiple venues will house events - including exhibitions, poster sessions, presentations and performances - that celebrate excellence in student work.
For more information: http://learning.wisc.edu/ideas/