In January 2016, Penn State associate professor of geography Erica Smithwick will have the opportunity to greatly expand the scope of the ecological research portfolio she has been building for several years in South Africa. The recipient of a prestigious Core Fulbright U.S. Scholarship, Smithwick will spend six months investigating how much carbon is stored in trees in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, and how that could impact global warming. She will also teach a course on sustainability at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- High in the sky where the cirrus ice crystal clouds form, jet contrails draw their crisscross patterns. Now researchers have found that these elevated ice cloud trails can influence temperatures on the ground and affect local climate, according to a team of Penn State geographers.