Penczykowski, Medley share seed grant to precisely measure St. Louis climate

Taylor Geospatial Institute grant will support project to measure neighborhood-by-neighborhood variations in St. Louis-area climate.

Rachel Penczykowski, assistant professor of biology, Kim Medley, director of the Tyson Research Center, and a group of collaborators have won a $200,000 seed grant from the Taylor Geospatial Institute for their project “Integrating downscaled climate models with in-situ measurements to investigate fine-scale urban environmental heterogeneity.”

Co-investigators on the project include Roger Michaelides, assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences.

The new project will use on-the-ground and remotely sensed data to model the St. Louis climate with unprecedented levels of precision. The project will clarify climate variations throughout the region and provide a baseline to help future researchers track climate trends in St. Louis and beyond.

"We aim to improve predictions of climate at spatial scales that are relevant to humans, animals, and plants across the metropolitan area," Penczykowski said. "Understanding how fine-scale variation in the natural and built environment contribute to differences in climate is essential for making informed climate decisions that promote human health, wellbeing, and environmental justice."

The award is one of 17 new seed grants provided by the Taylor Geospatial Institute, a research collaborative based at Saint Louis University.