610-758-3536 | Fax: 610-758-3677
Ph.D. (Geology), Brown University, 1995
M.S. (Geology), University of Colorado, 1990
B.A. with Honors (Physics major, Astronomy minor), Swarthmore College,
Links: Full CV,
Talk at Penn State (4/1/14)
I have funding to support a new Ph.D. (preferred) or
M.S. graduate student. The general
topic is studying the role of climate disasters such as floods and
droughts on food supply and resulting societal response throughout human history. The student will have the opportunity
to work with climate data and indices of climate extremes related to
prehistoric, preindustrial, and contemporary civilizations. Please contact me for more
information. Graduate application
1. EES023 Weather and Climate: Past, Present, and Future
An introduction to the basic principles of meteorology, as they
pertain to past, present, and future climates. The course considers the
earth’s energy balance, cloud formation and precipitation, winds and
atmospheric circulation, regional climatologies, past warm periods and
ice ages in earth’s history, and the latest ideas about future climate
change and global warming. Students will maintain a weather notebook to
enable them to relate theory to observations from real weather data.
Three class hours per week. No prerequisites, but course will contain
simple mathematical applications and you will learn how to use MS Excel.
2. EES004 Science of Environmental Issues (team-taught course; I teach
section on Global Climate Change)
Analysis of current environmental issues from a scientific perspective.
The focus on the course will be weekly discussions based on assigned
readings. Pre- or co-requisite: 3-credit introductory-level (000-level)
course in EES (or the cross-listed EES 105/ASTR 105/PHY 105). Staff. (NS)
3. EES100 Earth System Science
Examination of the Earth as an integrated system. Study of interactions
and feedbacks between key components such as the atmosphere, biosphere,
geosphere, and hydrosphere to permit better understanding of the behavior
of the system as a whole. Response of the Earth system to human
perturbations such as land use and emissions are explored in the context
of predictions of future environmental conditions and their projected
impacts back on human systems. Lectures, class discussions, and lab.
Prerequisites: EES 22.
4. EES395 Intermediate
An intermediate course on the basic principles of
meteorology. The course considers
atmospheric structure and composition, earth’s energy balance and
radiation laws, cloud formation and precipitation, atmospheric motion and
circulation, including jet streams and planetary waves, atmospheric
stability, frontal systems and air masses, regional climatologies,
weather and climate modeling, and the latest ideas about future climate
change and global warming.
Students will keep track of daily atmospheric charts to enable
them to relate theory to observations from real weather data.
5. EES403 Earth System Modeling
This course will introduce the concepts behind computer modeling,
including stocks and fluxes, finite differencing, initial and boundary
conditions, feedbacks, calibration, validation, data visualization, monte
carlo, and sensitivity. We will apply these ideas to radiative energy
balance, atmosphere and ocean dynamics, hydrological cycling, terrestrial
carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and vegetation biogeography. Students will
learn both agent-based and systems dynamics modeling using NetLogo and
Stella, simple box modeling in Excel, and research-oriented models such
as the NCAR Community Climate System Model using C++, Fortran, and IDL.
The lectures will relate these modeling exercises to the fundamental
science to allow students to interpret how their results relate to larger
questions of global climate change and carbon feedbacks.
From 2001-2008 I was a research associate at the Ecosystems Center of
the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, MA, where I worked with
the Terrestrial Ecosystems Model (TEM), a biogeochemical model of the
carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles. I am using this model to understand
the effects of the land surface, particularly vegetation, on the global
carbon cycle. For example, global warming is caused by emissions of greenhouse
gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), but not all the CO2 we emit into the
atmosphere remains there because of absorption by the ocean and land
surface. I am also running the NCAR CESM global climate model here at
Lehigh on our 72 core Beowulf cluster, Lehigh’s Corona cluster, and the
NSF’s Yellowstone supercluster. Several important questions include a)
can we account for the land component of the 'carbon sink? b) how do
changes in vegetation cover affect atmospheric CO2 and the resulting
climate? c) how does the ability of vegetation to remove CO2 from the
atmosphere change with a warmer climate? d) how will vegetation migrate
with shifting climates, and e) how does air pollution affect vegetation
My major research foci are a) using the TEM model to determine the
effects of tropospheric ozone on vegetation production and carbon
storage, b) using TEM coupled to the MIT Integrated Global Systems Model
to determine the economic consequences of policy decisions regarding air
quality, c) developing more realistic carbon, water, and nitrogen
linkages to capture the effects of carbon and nitrogen feedbacks on the
hydrological cycle, d) exploring land use and land cover change
implications for carbon dynamics, especially with respect to future crop
growth for biofuels, and e) using global and regional climate models to
understand climate change in the past and to determine the impacts of
future climate change on ecosystems and the hydrological cycle. I have more recently been awarded
funding from NSF’s Macrosystems Biology program to explore the effects of
climate extremes (floods, droughts) on ecosystem functions and services,
and from NSF’s Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science (IBSS)
program to study the effect of climate disasters on food supplies within
a range of human societies.
During 2000/2001 I helped coordinate NOAA's Office of Global Programs
(OGP)'s GCIP/GAPP (GEWEX Continental-scale International Project/GEWEX
Americas Prediction Project, where GEWEX is the Global Energy and Water
Cycle Experiment) program. Previous to that, I served as the climate
scenarios coodinator for the U.S. National Assessment of the potential
consequences of climate variability and change (details),
following my postdoctoral research at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research (details). Please see my CV for list of publications and
while at Lehigh
B. S., Cronin, T. W., Melillo, J. M., Kicklighter, D. W., Schlosser,
C. A. 2009. Importance of
carbon-nitrogen interactions and ozone on ecosystem hydrology during the
21st century. Journ.
Geophys. Res. 114,doi:10.1029/2008JG000826., Appendix, Fig1_rev
A., Stone, P. H., Forest, C. E., Prinn, R., Sarofim, M. C., Webster, M.,
Paltsev, S., Schlosser, C. A., Kicklighter, D., Dutkiewicz, S., Reilly,
J., Wang, C., Felzer, B., Melillo, J. M. and Jacoby. 2009. H.D. Probabilistic forecast
for twenty-first-century climate based on uncertainties in emissions
(without policy) and climate parameters. Journal
of Climate. 22:5175-5204.
J. M., Reilly, J. M, Kicklighter, D. W., Gurgel, A. C., Cronin, T. W.,
Paltsev, S., Felzer, B. S., Wang, X., Sokolov, A. P., and
Schlosser, C. A. 2009.
Indirect emissions from biofuels: how important? Science.
Felzer, B. S., T. W. Cronin, J. M. Melillo, D. W. Kicklighter, C. A. Schlosser,
and S. R. S. Dangal. 2011.
Nitrogen effect on carbon-water coupling in forests, grasslands, and
shrublands in the arid Western U.S. Journ. Geophys. Res. 116. G03023.
E., Barford, C. L., Kucharik, C. J., Felzer, B. S., Foley, J. A. 2011. Role of turbulent heat
fluxes over land in the monsoon over East Asia. International
Journal of Geosciences, 2: 420-431.
B. Carbon, 2012,
Nitrogen, and Water Response to Climate and Land Use Changes in
Pennsylvania during the 20th and 21st Centuries, Ecological
Modelling, 240: 49-63.
Lee, E. and Felzer, B. S. 2013.
Effects of Nitrogen Limitation on Hydrological Processes in CLM4-CN. Journal
of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. 5(4): 741-754. doi:10.1002/jame.20046.
Ruegg, J., Gries, C., Bond-Lamberty,
B., Bowen, G.J., Felzer, B.S., McIntyre, N.E., Soranno, P.A.,
Vanderbilt, K.L., and Weathers, K.C. 2014. Closing the data life
cycle: Using information management in macrosystems ecology research. Frontiers in
Ecology and the Environment. 12(1): 24-30.
Dangal, S.R.S., Felzer, B.S.,
and Hurteau, M.D. 2014. Effects of agriculture and timber harvest
on carbon sequestration in the eastern US forests. JGR-Biogeosciences. doi:10.1002/2013JG002409.
He,Y., Jones, M., Zhuang, Q.,
Bochicchio, C., Felzer, B.S., Mason, E. and Yu, Z. 2014.
Evaluating the effects of climate seasonality on CO2 and
CH4 cycling of Alaskan Ecosystems during the Holocene Thermal
Science Reviews. 86: 63-77.
Felzer, B. and Sahagian, D. Climate impacts on
regional ecosystem services in the United States from CMIP3-based
multimodel comparisons. Climate Research.
Jiang, M., Zhang, J., Felzer, B.,
and Hargreaves, B. Parameterization and sensitivity analysis of a
biogeochemical model for Pennsylvania dairy pasture carbon flux under
climate change scenarios. Crop
Felzer, B.S. and Withers, C.E. Using future storm
statistics from climate models to determine flood potential in the Lehigh
Valley, PA in the 21st century. Journal
of Flood Risk Management.
Last Updated 07/24/2014