Michael Rawlins

Extension Associate Professor
Associate Director, Climate System Research Center
climate change
remote sensing
134 Morrill Science Center
(413) 545-0659
PhD 2006 University of New Hampshire
Research Interests: 

My research activitites focus on investigations of large-scale hydrology and biogeochemistry. I am interested in how climate processes affect and influence terrestrial water and carbon cycles through synthesis studies which leverage in situ observations, numerical models, and remote sensing data. Through this work I seek to connect and understand water, energy, and carbon cycling across the earth's land, atmosphere, and ocean domains. Most recently I have investigated recent and potential future change in the Arctic's freshwater cycle and its connections with warming across the region. This work suggests that the Arctic's freshwater cycle is accelerating or "intensifying", consistent with global climate model projections. I also study how a warming climate impacts permafrost and associated cycling of carbon between high latitude ecosystems and the atmosphere.Closer to home, my other research interests center on the use of numerical model depictions of future climatic changes across the Northeast US. Most recently this work involves outputs from a suite of high-resolution regional climate models (RCMs) which, relative to coupled global climate models, can account for important local influences on climate. Applying these tools I seek to advance understanding of the effects of climate change across the region, including likely impacts to forests and agriculture, coastal and marine resources, human health, and a host of other important ecosystem services.I am also manager of the Climate System Research Center, a research facility of the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts.