Thursday, July 2, 2009

Featured Research by Janel Hanrahan

Hanrahan, J.L, S.V. Kravstov, P.J. Roebber. 2009. Quasi-periodic decadal cycles in levels of Michigan and Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research 35:30-35.

In this paper, Janel Hanrahan and colleagues describe their discovery of two multi-decadal cycles in the water levels of the Michigan-Huron system, which they believe stem from previously identified cycles in the North Atlantic region. Changes in precipitation appear to play a key role in the transmission of these cycles.

According to Janel, this discovery may eventually allow predictions of lake-level changes to be made beyond a few months in advance. This is important because the lakes provide transportation for shipping, hydroelectric power, sustenance, and recreation for more than 30 million people and lake-level variations can have immediate and profound impacts on the economy and environment.

Janel is currently a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Her research focuses on atmospheric science, which nicely integrates her favourite disciplines of Mathematics and Computer Science. This paper represents an exciting accomplishment for Janel because it is her first publication!