Haliczer one of 65 graduate students nationwide to earn DOE program fellowship

Photo of David Haliczer

David Haliczer is one of 65 graduate students nationwide to be selected for a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research fellowship.

Michael Mercier | UAH

David Haliczer, a third-year doctoral student in atmospheric science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, is one of 65 graduate students nationwide to be selected for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program’s 2021 Solicitation 1 fellowship program.

The SCGSR fellowship provides monetary support for inbound and outbound travel to a national laboratory and a monthly stipend of up to $3,000 for general living expenses while at the host DOE laboratory.

Haliczer, who is from Franklin Lakes, N.J., will continue his research in improving numerical weather prediction model (NWP) forecasts through combined use of satellite and ground-based remote sensing datasets at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, Long Island. It is one of seventeen DOE laboratories in the United States. He is advised by Dr. John Mecikalski, chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science.

“I know how prestigious these awards are, so I’m deeply humbled and honored to have been selected,” says Haliczer. “This award will provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the instruments I am using at the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site located in north-central Oklahoma and stretching into southern Kansas.”

He says he’s excited to work and build new relationships with the researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

“Collaborating with other scientists will only strengthen the work, and I look forward to exploring new thoughts and ideas,” Haliczer says. “I will be working with Dr. Pavlos Kollias, who is a professor of atmospheric science at Stony Brook University and has a joint appointment with the Department of Environmental and Climate Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory.”

Haliczer’s NWP research concentrates on a developing a technique to improve so-called convective parameterization schemes, which are used to predict the collective effects of many convective clouds in a single grid cell as part of larger-scale processes. Specifically, convective parameterization schemes are needed when NWP grid resolutions are low such that an entire storm fits inside one model grid point.

“These schemes predict convective precipitation, as well as making clouds, which is paramount as that can affect many surface properties, such as vertical temperature and moisture distributions,” says Haliczer. “Within these schemes, the possibility of convection occurring is determined based on a set of criteria known as the trigger function.”

His dissertation work uses both ground and satellite observations to determine if ingesting the observations into NWP convective parameterization schemes will trigger a scheme to simulate tall thunderstorms, which will therefore make a substantial difference on the simulation accuracy. The study evaluates this new methodology as storm forecasts are conducted and evaluated for multiple case dates.

“An improvement could be very beneficial for operational weather forecasters, who will be able to make better forecasts that would be disseminated to the public,” he says. His SCGSR proposal title is “Evaluation of the Kain-Fritsch convective triggering parameterization scheme using satellite and ARM observations.”

Haliczer’s advisor, Dr, Mecikalski, says that winning the DOE fellowship at Brookhaven points to the fact that David’s research represents a very unique use of DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement data.

“That’s something that has not been done before,” Dr. Mecikalski says. “It also states that there is a long path of research ahead, now that the basic methodology of his work has been formulated, to using ground-based and satellite algorithms to enhance weather forecast model predictability of convective storms.”

“The DOE Office of Science provides the scientific foundation for solutions to some of our nation’s most complex challenges, and now more than ever we need to invest in a diverse, talented pipeline of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who can help us build a brighter future,” says Dr. Harriet Kung, deputy director for science programs in the Office of Science. “These outstanding students will help us tackle mission-critical research at our labs as this experience helps them begin a successful and rewarding career.”


Dr. John Mecikalski

Jim Steele