Stephen Nicholls

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Stephen Nicholls

  • SR. RESEARCH SCIENTIST
  • 301.614.6337
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 612
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: SCIENCE SYSTEMS AND APPLICATIONS INC
  • Positions/Employment

    3/2016 - Present

    Post-Doctoral Research Associate

    Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology/University of Maryland Baltimore County, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    • Developed a Python-based algorithm and software framework for automatically detecting and characterizating properties of Saharan-like, dry, well-mixed layers over North Africa.
    • Investigated viability of regional climate models for decadal-scale applications and its capabilities of helping diagnose change in water resources over High Mountain Asia at 4-km resolution. 
    • Application of high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) to investigate ground clutter region of Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) satellite overpasses, ways estimate data in these regions, and address hydrometeor particle drift into the vertical column during the IPHEx and OLYMPEX field campaigns.
    3/2013 - 2/2016

    Post-Doctoral Researcher

    NASA Posdoctoral Program (NPP), NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt, MD

    • Studied potential impact of future climate change on the wet season precipitation characteristics of the Central Andes.
    • Evaluated the effectiveness of a coupled ocean-atmosphere mesoscale modeling system in simulating South American wet season dynamics.
    • Evaluated the capability of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) to detect Saharan air layers over Northern Africa.

    9/2008 - 10/2012

    Graduate Assistant

    Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

    • Investigated the impact of model version, radio occultation assimilation, microphysics parameterizations, and ocean-atmosphere coupling on Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model forecasts of intense, mid-latitude winter cyclones.

    9/2006 - 8/2008

    Graduate Assistant

    The State University of New York, University at Albany, Albany, NY

    • Quantified the pre-storm environment of intense organized convection in West Africa using satellite, ground, and model reanalysis data.

    1/2006 - 8/2006

    Meteorological Consultant

    Avenge Inc., Dulles, VA

    • Compared prognostic weather model forecast accuracy of US Army’s Meteorological Measuring Set – Profiler (MMS-P) system to existing Joint Air Force-Army Weather Information Network (JAAWIN) system for artillery guidance applications.

    Education

    Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ – 2012
    M.S. in Atmospheric Science, The State University of New York, University at Albany, Albany, NY – 2008
    B.S. in Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA – 2005

    Professional Societies

    American Meteorological Society, 2005 - Present
    Member
    American Geophysical Union, 2012 - Present
    Member
    European Geophysical Union, 2016 - Present
    Member

    Awards

    • 2017 Group Achievement Award by NASA (NASA Adminstration)
    • 2016 Outstanding Performance Outreach by Earth Science Division-Atmospheres at NASA GSFC (Code 610)
    • 2015 Exceptional Scientific Achievement by Mesoscale Processes Laboratory at NASA GSFC (Code 612)

    Special Experience

    Extensive expertise with ocean and atmosphere numerical prediction models, proficient in multiple scientific programming languages, and experienced with analyzing large space-based and in-situ datasets in the GIS environment. Models used and adapted for weather and regional climate modeling include the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS), the Coupled-Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sedimentation Transport (COAWST) modeling system, and Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) Model. Programming languages applied in my research include: Python, Matlab, IDL, Fortran, BASH and C-shell.

    Publications

    Refereed

    Nicholls, S. D., S. G. Decker, W.-K. Tao, et al. S. E. Lang, J. J. Shi, and K. I. Mohr. 2017. "Influence of bulk microphysics schemes upon Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) version 3.6.1 nor'easter simulations." Geoscientific Model Development, 10 (2): 1033-1049 [10.5194/gmd-10-1033-2017]

    Nicholls, S., and S. G. Decker. 2015. "Impact of coupling an ocean model to WRF nor’easter simulations." Monthly Weather Review, 143 (12): 4997–5016 [10.1175/mwr-d-15-0017.1]

    Wang, Z., D. Wu, X. Song, X. Chen, and S. Nicholls. 2012. "Sun-Moon gravitation-induced wave characteristics and climate variation." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 117 (D7): [10.1029/2011jd016967]

    Nicholls, S., and K. I. Mohr. 2010. "An analysis of the environments of intense convective systems in West Africa in 2003." Monthly Weather Review, 138 (10): 3721-3739 [10.1175/2010MWR3321.1]

    Nicholls, S. D., and G. S. Young. 2007. "Dendritic Patterns in Tropical Cumulus: An Observational Analysis." Monthly Weather Review, 135 (5): 1994-2005 [10.1175/mwr3379.1]

    Publications

    Refereed

    Nicholls, S. D., S. G. Decker, W.-K. Tao, et al. S. E. Lang, J. J. Shi, and K. I. Mohr. 2017. "Influence of bulk microphysics schemes upon Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) version 3.6.1 nor'easter simulations." Geoscientific Model Development 10 (2): 1033-1049 [10.5194/gmd-10-1033-2017]

    Nicholls, S., and S. G. Decker. 2015. "Impact of coupling an ocean model to WRF nor’easter simulations." Monthly Weather Review 143 (12): 4997–5016 [10.1175/mwr-d-15-0017.1]

    Wang, Z., D. Wu, X. Song, X. Chen, and S. Nicholls. 2012. "Sun-Moon gravitation-induced wave characteristics and climate variation." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 117 (D7): [10.1029/2011jd016967]

    Nicholls, S., and K. I. Mohr. 2010. "An analysis of the environments of intense convective systems in West Africa in 2003." Monthly Weather Review 138 (10): 3721-3739 [10.1175/2010MWR3321.1]

    Nicholls, S. D., and G. S. Young. 2007. "Dendritic Patterns in Tropical Cumulus: An Observational Analysis." Monthly Weather Review 135 (5): 1994-2005 [10.1175/mwr3379.1]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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