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Two Faculty Projects Chosen for University Research Collaboration Fellowships

2/11/2009 —

Penn State Lehigh Valley faculty members Dr. Tai-Yin Huang, associate professor of physics, and Dr. David Livert, assistant professor of psychology, won two of the four available Penn State Research Collaboration Fellowships for Summer 2009. 

Dr. Tai-Yin Huang will collaborate with Dr. Tim Kane, professor of electrical engineering at University Park, on the project "An investigation of gravity wave induced airglow variations in the upper atmosphere as a proxy for global climate change."

"Global climate change has been receiving a lot of attention from the public and the scientific community in recent years. Observations and model predictions seem to support that our climate is changing with the global temperature in the increasing trend, though there is still debate on the extent and time trends involved," says Dr. Huang. 

"The central research idea of this project is to develop a global gravity wave model and/or a gravity wave parameterization module that can be included in an existing general circulation model like the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere General Circulation Model (TIME-GCM) to help investigate climate change."

As part of this fellowship, Dr. Huang will co-mentor Dr. Kane’s graduate students involved in this project.  Their aim is to develop this gravity wave model, which will be the first of its kind in the community, and for which the ultimate goal is to use the model to help investigate and understand the impact of climate change on the upper atmosphere.

Dr. David Livert will collaborate with Dr. Susan Mohammed, associate professor of psychology at University Park, on the project "Temporal composition of professional kitchen teams."

The project, which builds on team research previously conducted by Dr. Livert in professional food settings, will involve studying groups of students enrolled at a large east coast culinary school.  The outcomes could provide tools for culinary instructors, chefs, and even prospective cooks to identify and address their time orientations as they relate to success in the professional kitchen.

"Many studies have investigated the implications of group composition for team-level outcomes, especially with regard to individual characteristics such as sex, age, and race/ethnicity.  Fewer studies have integrated temporal individual differences, which refers to a person's perspective about time urgency, pacing style, and time perspective, into the study of team composition," says Livert.  "The goal of this collaborative project is to investigate the role of these aspects in a context where production under time constraints is critical: the professional kitchen.  Successful performance – food production and serving – is inseparable from timeliness."

The Penn State Research Collaboration Fellowship Program was created in 2007-08. The objectives are to encourage and build research collaborations among faculty members across Penn State. This will be accomplished through summer research collaborations between faculty members from the major research institutes located in University Park and faculty members at other campuses. The Fellowship provides up to $10,000 seed money to each Fellow to cover summer living and research expenses.

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