Yunnan, China-07/13
Student Profile
Fang Zhao
Chongqing, China
4114C CSS Building
[protected e-mail]
Peking University, 2009: B.S. Geography
The University of Georgia, 2011: M.S. Geography

Dr. Ning Zeng and Dr. Eugenia Kalnay
Background/Research Interests

I grew up in a small town just outside the municipal area of Chongqing --a Midwest city in China famous for her hotpot, beautiful ladies, steaming hot summers and foggy winters. It is also near the mightly Three Gorges Dam--publicly blamed for the erratic climate events in Chongqing since it began impounding the Yangtze River. The heated debate surrounding these changes in the local/regional climate got me interested in climate science while I was studying geography at Peking University. After getting my B.S. in 2009, I continued to study the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam on regional climate at The University of Georgia, where I received my M.S. in geography in 2011.

There are many different approaches to studying and understanding the Earth System. A particularly powerful method is the utilization of Earth System Modeling, which provides a way for Earth scientists to experiment with different physical mechanisms in a laboratory setting. Understanding how these models work and how they can be improved are some of the questions that drove me to purse my Ph.D. here at Maryland. Since December 2011, I have been involved in a few assessment projects including the contribution of Earth System Models (ESMs) of Intermediate Complexity (EMIC) to the International Panel on Climate Change's 5th Assessment Report (IPCC AR5), and the North America Carbon Program's Multi-Scale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project (MsTMIP). Additionally, I have assisted in processing model output for the TRENDY Dynamic Global Vegetation Model Project, and plan to participate in upcoming multi-model comparison projects such as TRENDY2 and the Global Carbon Project 2013.

Participating in these large international projects and becoming more familiar with the Earth System Model developed here at the University of Maryland has only increased my interest in Carbon Cycle Science, particularly its ability to bring together various fields of expertise to address research questions in an integrated way. Since the start of my research career, I have been interested in land-atmosphere interactions, and the impacts of anthropogenic fossil fuel combustion and land use change. My current research highlights these interests as I am currently analyzing the profound impact of the Green Revolution with our ESM, as well as working on model development for our ESM by incorporating more first-order human induced mechanisms.

In addition to my research duties, I am also the current Graduate Student Government Representative of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department and a member of Metograds (the department’s graduate student organization).

Other Interests

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, biking and (non-competitive) outdoor/gym sports in general. I also like reading books, playing board games, and many other fun activities/gatherings that get me away from computer :-). I love to travel to new places and feel different culture, and studying in the United States is quite a unique and memorable experience for me. I am a proud Georgia Bulldogs fan, and I am also a casual soccer (mainly European/South America) fan.

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science | 3424 CSS Building | University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742