Professor of Meteorology
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Phone number(s): 
(814) 865-0479
Office Address: 
510 Walker Building, UP

Gregory Jenkins is a native of Philadelphia and is currently a professor in the Department of Meteorology at Penn State University and director of the Alliance for Education, Sciences, Engineering and Development in Africa (AESEDA) in the office of global programs.  He received his BS in Physics from Lincoln University and his MS and PhD degrees in Atmospheric and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan.   After receiving his PhD he spent 2 years at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder Colorado as a post-doc fellow. 

In 1996, Dr. Jenkins joined the faculty at Penn State University in the department of Meteorology and joined Howard University in the department of Physics and Astronomy and the Howard University Program in Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS) in 2003.  He was the director of HUPAS from 2004-2007 and chair of the department of physics and astronomy from 2007 through 2010.  He was a recipient of the NSF Career award and was selected as a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in 2003/2004.  Dr. Jenkins has taken part in NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis field campaign in Cape Verde and Senegal.  He has published in numerous journals and is the recipient of the 2007 Alumni merit Award from the AOSS department in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.  He is member of the HistoryMakers and was named a fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2014.  His areas of research are in weather, climate and air quality of West Africa.

PSIEE Research Theme: 
Climate and Ecosystem Change
Research Summary: 

Atmospheric/Air Chemistry: Biomass burning, soils and lightning in Africa provide natural and anthropogenic sources of ozone to the free troposphere, which can influence air quality and increase net radiative surface forcing.  Mineral dust can act as a sink of tropospheric ozone through heterogeneous chemical processes.  I have been trying to understand how lightning in particular and mineral dust aerosols can act as sources and sinks of tropospheric ozone in regions downstream of continental Africa.

Climate: Late 20th century drying and model projections of more arid conditions in the middle to late 21st century have and may further altered the way of life for many in West Africa.  Understanding the processes related to these changes require analysis of regional and global models.  It also requires a better understanding of limited observations for determining emerging trends in West Africa.   Climate variability and change will increase the challenges of decision-makers in West Africa who are addressing issues of urbanization, poverty alleviation, water resources, public health and food security. 

Tropical Meteorology: Weather hazards in the form of mesoscale convective systems, Saharan dust storms and tropical cyclones in the Eastern Atlantic pose a threat to continental, coastal zones and the Island Nation of Cape Verde.  Tropical cyclone formation over the Eastern Atlantic also poses a threat to downstream communities of the Caribbean, the United States and Central America.  Limited real-time weather forecasts and observations do not provide the necessary protection or provide a complete picture of how vulnerable communities in West Africa are being impacted.