Joellen Russell is named Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair

Joellen Russell, a University of Arizona faculty member, received the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair in Integrative Science.

Joellen Russell

An assistant professor with the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in the UA Department of Planetary Sciences, she is part of an international team studying the Southern Ocean’s role in earth’s life-support system, according to a press release.

The Thomas R. Brown Foundations donated $2.5 million in 2008 to establish an endowment for the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair in Integrative Science. Ms. Russell is the third faculty member to hold the chair.

An associate professor of biogeochemical dynamics in the UA Department of Geosciences, she oversees the modeling component of the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling Project, which involves using climate models, supercomputers and robot floats to monitor the biogeochemistry of the ocean.

Several 5-foot cylindrical, yellow floats are deployed by the project that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA, the release said.

Via satellite, the floats transmit data that is being used by researchers to assess the uptake of heat and carbon by the Southern Ocean.

“The project will ultimately impact our world in terms of our knowledge of climate science and prediction science,” Ms. Russell said in a prepared statement. “We will be able to more accurately determine what is going to happen in the future in terms of climate change. It’s absolutely tremendous.”

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