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Humboldt Fellowship!

Award will spark new collaborations with German paleoclimatologists

This past week has really lifted my spirits. On Wednesday, Ansu Chatterjee and I found out that NSF will fund us to develop novel statistical methods to study climate change. And on Thursday, I received the very-unexpected news that I've been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. Thanks to this support, I'll be spending several months (maybe up to a year) visiting colleagues in Germany to study decadal- or multi-decadal climate change.

The Humboldt Foundation was established by the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1950s and aims to encourage cooperation between international researchers and German academics. The Foundation supports research in all sorts of fields - including the physical sciences and the humanities - and is one of the most important scientific institutions in Germany. And to make it even more special, the Foundation takes its name from Alexander von Humboldt, who's widely regarded as the founder of modern geography.

Because of this award, I'll be able to organize an extended visit with two colleagues working in Germany. For part of the trip, I'll be hosted by Dr. Jan Esper at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Jan is an internationally-recognized expert in paleoclimatology and dendrochronology, who has published over 200 articles in the areas of global environmental change, tree rings, and the climate of the Common Era. Because Jan's research has focused on low- frequency variability in the climate system and the use of tree rings and other natural archives as surrogate measures of past climate change, he's the perfect person to hash out questions about decadal-scale climate change as recorded by natural climate archives. Besides the time in Mainz, I'll also visit Dr. Eduardo Zorita at the Helmholtz-Centre Geesthacht in Hamburg. I met Eduardo last year during a trip to the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, and I know he's keen to explore the spatial structure of decadal variability in the Northern Hemisphere tree-ring network.

Because this news just came down, I haven't worked out any of the details of this visit. But one way or the other, we're going to Germany and I'm feeling so lucky to have the sort of opportunity.

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