2018 CESM Awards
2018 CESM Workshop Graduate Student Award - Qiang Sun
Qiang Sun and CESM Chief Scientist Gokhan Danabasoglu
Qiang Sun is a graduate student in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Qiang led the development, implementation and testing of the Estuary Box Model (EBM) parameterization in the ocean component of CESM-2. This parameterization addressed a previously neglected aspect of the coupling of the ocean and terrestrial components of the global water cycle. Estuaries are important in the mixing of water properties in the coastal ocean and in setting the stratification in the nearshore environment. From the earliest versions of CSM through CESM-1, this important process was treated in a completely ad hoc manner with an arbitrary specification for the spreading of riverine freshwater to the coastal ocean. The parameterization that Qiang developed puts the exchange and mixing of riverine and continental shelf waters on firm physical grounds, and is a unique capability of CESM. Qiang has a first authored paper describing the formulation and initial testing of the parameterization published in Ocean Modelling (112, 139-157, 2017), and is ready to submit a second paper on further testing and sensitivity studies with the scheme to the JAMES CESM-2 special collection. The later paper also involved construction of a new global ocean coastal hydrographic climatology suitable for evaluating the highly anisotropic and small scales of the coastal salinity distribution. He has presented the work at a number of national meetings including the AGU Fall Meeting and Ocean Sciences, as well as at CESM meetings. In summary, Qiang made a major contribution to CESM-2 that has turned out to be quite successful and impactful, and is deserving of recognition for this accomplishment.