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Cloud Observations and Tools

February 29, 2016

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The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded Lewis & Clark a grant in support of a research project to be undertaken by Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Jessica Kleiss. This project, “Improved observations of cloud typology from cloud motion vectors” will create an automated determination of cloud type (e.g. Cirrus, Cumulus, etc.) from all-sky images of the celestial dome. Using image processing techniques, Dr. Kleiss’s team will determine cloud type using cloud motion vector information and statistical characteristics from the sky images.  Motivated by the termination of manual cloud observations in the U.S. in the mid-1990’s, this project has the potential to provide a substitute for manual cloud type observations at surface weather stations.  Funded by Murdock’s College Research Program for Natural Sciences, designed to support research in the natural sciences at private, predominantly undergraduate institutions in the Trust’s funding region, this three-year project will involve at least six undergraduate students in meaningful and transformative research.
February 2016

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