Undergraduate student research

Senior Theses


Our undergraduates complete a 2-semester research project in their senior year. During Fall they choose a topic, and begin work. The research is completed in Spring, and then written up and presented in a seminar. The list below represents the inventory in the Chair's office - it is not complete!


Thesis topics 2013-14

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2014 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Extreme Cyclogenesis Over the North Pacific", James Kiernan  (Chiao).
  • "Mechanisms of Torrential Rain over Southern California Associated with the Remnants of Tropical Storm Ivo", Jeff Forgeron (Chiao).
  • "High Resolution Doppler Lidar Observations of a Santa Ana Wind Event", Reed Manes (Clements).
  • "Doppler Lidar and Microwave Profiler Observations of a Sierra Nevada Winter Storm", Wyndam Lewis (Clements).
  • "Observing and Examining Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough (TUTT) interactions with Tropical Cyclones (TCs) in the South Pacific", Jane Taifane (Chiao).
  • "Modeling Chevron Refinery Explosion Incident using CALPUFF", Jack Keovongsa (Freedman).


New for 2014: Climate Science concentration

Students in the Climate Science concentration take a capstone course (MET 714) in which they identified and worked with a client whose business would potentially be influenced by climate changes over the next 10-40 years.  Each student then used the latest generation of climate model simulations (IPCC AR-5) to produce a report for their client that described the potential changes for their client. Below are student presentations in Spring 2014 (title, student, client)(a mixture of Climate Science (*) and other students).

  • "Potential for climate change impacts on coffee production in Chiapas Mexico", Elizabeth Chinoransky  (Cosmic Coffee Co., Santa Cruz).
  • "Projected change in potential snow days for the Lake Tahoe area", Wyndam Lewis (North Lake Tahoe Resort Association).
  • "Future heatstorms", Matthew Cadena* (PG&E).
  • "Analysis of maximum and minimum temperatures in Napa Valley", Kiri Kennedy* (Wine Institute).
  • "Temperature change affects the fishing industry over McAvoy Harbor", Danny Nguyen* (Bay Point Harbor).
  • "An exploration of Ivory Coast precipitation and the potential impacts on cacao production", Kristen Dominguez (MacKenzie's Chocolate).
  • "Climate change and its projected effects on the Alameda Whipsnake", Gaby De La Cruz Tello* (Fernando Villalba-Natural Resource Specialist for the NPS)
  • "Identifying future fire danger from CMPI5 precipitation projections: Northwest edition", Philip Martin (John Saltenberger, Fire Weather Program Manager, NICC)
  • "Assessing temperature and precipitation changes in San Jose between 1950 and 2050 using the CMIP5 models", Kayla Novak (Mike Foster, City of San Jose)
  • "Tahoe region precipitation projections", Joey Spitze* (North Lake Tahoe Resort Association)
  • "Changes in climate for the Gilroy and Hollister region", Jack Keovongsa (Christopher Ranch, Gilroy)
  • "Fog climatology in the future along the California central coast", Christine Williams (Alicia Torregrosa, USGS)


Thesis topics 2012-13

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2013 (title, student, advisor).

  • "A Case Study of the June 2008 Dry Lightning Outbreak in Northern California", Rachel Eidelman (Bridger).
  • "Effects of Nocturnal Atmospheric Drying Events on Bay Area Fire Weather", Richard Bagley (Clements).
  • "Seasonal and Annual Variation in CMIP5 Arctic Sea Ice Concentration", Laura Hodgens (Cordero).
  • "The Strength of the North American Monsoon Season", Maureen McKinney (Leach).
  • "An Analysis of the Propagation of Aerosols across Asia to North America", Chris Mitchell (Jin).
  • "Aircraft Measurements of Stratosphere-to-Troposphere Transport over California", Matthew Roby (NASA).
  • "Effects of Aerosols and Water Vapor on Cloud Cover over Southeastern China", Kerwyn Yexeira (Jin).


Thesis topics 2011-12

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2012 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Pressure Gradient Patterns in the Bay Area and the Effect on Weather Delays at San Francisco International Airport", Craig Nikkel (Chiao).
  • "Monitoring the Regional Climate of the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range: A Comparison of MODIS and Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) data from 2001-2010", Andrew Chiuppi (Jin).
  • "Monitoring the Relationships Between Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Hybrid Course Availability at San Jose State University", Matthew Little (Cordero).
  • "An Observational Analysis of the Locations of Most Frequent Convective Thunderstorms in Arizona During the North American Monsoon", Ryan Voelz (Leach).
  • "Analyzing Baroclinicity During Extratropical Transition to Better Forecast Post-tropical Reintensification in the North Atlantic", Jonathon Pelissero (Chiao)
  • "Doppler Lidar and Microwave Profiler Observations of a Cold Front Passage", Neil Flaiz (Clements).


Thesis topics 2009-10

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2010 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Black Carbon Concentrations along the Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View, CA", Suzi Perez (Cordero).
  • "Effects of El Nino on Temperature and Precipitation in the Southeast United States", Gina DeVecchio (Leach).
  • "Observations of Cold Air Pooling in a Narrow Mountain Valley", Allison Charland (Clements).


Thesis topics 2008-09

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2009 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Analysis and Characterization of Monsoonal Surges into Southern California's Deserts", Andrew Joros (Abatzoglou).
  • "Bridging the Science Gap in Elementary Schools with Meteorology", Steve Marshall and Amanda Short (Bridger).
  • "Modeling California Climate Temperature Trend and Comparing with Observed Data", Erica Silva (Cordero).
  • "Extreme Temperature Changes for Northern California between 1945 and 2008", Stephen Palgutt (Steffens).


Thesis topics 2007-08

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2008 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Fog Occurrence Frequency Analysis in the San Francisco Bay Area over the Past 33 Years", Daisuke Seto (Goodman).
  • "Urban Heat Island Effects on Heat Index Values During 2006 Portland (OR) Heatwave", Andrew Melford (Bornstein).
  • "El Nino and its Effects on California Precipitation during December-February 1955-2004", Daniel Jones (Steffens).


Thesis topics 2006-07

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2009 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Diurnal Precipitation Variation and its Correlation With Altitude in the Southwestern US During the Monsoon", Katie Daniello (Voss).
  • "Analysis of Land Versus Ocean Radar-derived South Floridan Rainfall Data During CRYSTAL-FACE", Scott Strenfel (Rickenbach).


Thesis topics 2005-06

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2006 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Variations in Temperature and Precipitation in the Californian Mojave Desert Since 1950", Nick Osterloh (Cordero).
  • "Eyewall Evolution of Hurricane Katrina Near Landfall Using NEXRAD Reflectivity and Radial Velocity Data", Kimberly Campo (Rickenbach).
  • "Changes in Southern Sierra Snowpack over the Period 1932-2004", Rebeca Torres (Steffens).
  • "The Madden-Julian Oscillation and its Impact on ENSO and The Southern Oscillation Index", Michael Delman (Sinton).
  • "Examining California Tornado Frequency through an El Nino Cycle", MAssoud Fazal (Rickenbach).


Thesis topics 2003-04

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2004 (title, student, advisor).

  • "Forecast Error Mechanisms Associated with Extratropical Transition: A Case Study of Hurricane Fabian", Rebecca Waddington (Sinton, NRL).
  • "Development of an Automated System to Determine and Apply Short-term, Location-specific AVN MOS Bias", Jonathan Bonk (Voss).
  • "Simulations of Air Currents Produced by Dry Lake Beds in Owens Valley, California", Ryan Knapp (Bridger).
  • "Ozone Depletion Above La Paz, Bolivia", Daniel Hussey (Cordero).
  • "El Nino Impacts on Ozone Concentrations in the Cities of Livermore and Sacramento", Jay Clark (Steffens).


Thesis topics 2002-03

Below are Senior Thesis topics completed and presented in Spring 2003 (title, student, advisor).

  • "The Revision of an RCM and its Coupling with a Carbon Cycle Model", Terry Kubar (Steffens).
  • "Analysis and Comparison of Thermal Emission Spectrometer and Mars General Circulation Model Data", Shaun Tanner (Bridger.)