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Jared Bowden

Senior Research Scholar

he/him/his

David Clark Labs NA

Bio

My research interests are in the area of applied climatology and modeling in a changing environment. My research interests are at the intersection of atmospheric science and other disciplines, including hydrology, ecology, air quality, agriculture, health, engineering, business, and technology. The vision that drives my research is the need to understand, improve, and tailor regional climate change data for scientists, stakeholders, and decision makers that apply or are considering climate model data for climate adaptation or mitigation. In particular, I am interested in understanding and quantifying anthropogenic sources of uncertainty for precipitation, including changes in GHGs and land use/land cover. I have extensive experience with producing high-resolution climate change simulations using regional climate models. I currently work with stakeholders including NCDOT, USGS, and US EPA on climate change problems and large interdisciplinary funded projects such as NOAA and NSF Coupled Natural Human Systems.

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF INTERESTS:

I have extensive experience with producing high-resolution climate change simulations using regional climate models. I currently work with stakeholders including NCDOT, USGS, and US EPA on climate change problems and large interdiscplinary funded projects such as NOAA and NSF Coupled Natural Human Systems.

I am interested in finding partners seeking to better understand and simulate regional climate change for defined problems of interest. For instance, the NCDOT project uses a combination of numerical atmospheric modeling techniques that will be used in combination with advance hydrology modeling to help prevent flooding of major highways.

secasc.ncsu.edu/people/jared-bowden/

Publications

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Grants

Date: 06/01/20 - 6/30/25
Amount: $664,891.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Transportation

The frequency and intensity of both floods and droughts are expected to increase in response to climate change; however, significant uncertainties remain regarding regional changes, especially for extreme rainfall. In particular, North Carolina’s geographic position makes it vulnerable to several natural hazards that pose significant flooding risks, including hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, and large winter storms. The most obvious problems within NC in recent years are the pluvial and fluvial flooding from notable hurricanes which paralyzed the eastern NC highway system for days to weeks. The heavy rainfall associated with Hurricanes Floyd (1999), Matthew (2016), Florence (2018), and Dorian (2019) generated record-breaking fluvial flooding along key economic corridors including I-95, I-40, US-70, NC-12, and US-64, and created a chain of transportation infrastructure problems that affected emergency response operations and the transportation of goods. In particular, I-95 facilitates 40 percent of the Nation’s GDP while US-70 and I-40 are key routes for supporting the military, agriculture and the economy in eastern NC. Though hurricanes receive a lot of attention in resilient design, as they should, transportation engineers face additional challenges, including possible changes to rainfall intensity from localized thunderstorms and even drought. NC officials, recognizing the risks posed by a changing climate, developed Executive Order 80 (EO80) to help protect the people, natural environment, and economy of North Carolina. NC DOT is likewise working to implement solutions to become more resilient to weather extremes in a changing climate. This objective of this study is to improve confidence in climate change projections by quantifying future precipitation extremes within NC for resilient design (e.g., precipitation intensity, duration, frequency curves). This project will incorporate guidance developed for the National Cooperative Highway Transportation Research Board, NCHRP 15-61, with additional methods and numerical model experiments to improve confidence in future precipitation extremes, and to inform design concepts for potential future events.

Date: 08/01/20 - 5/31/23
Amount: $14,948.00
Funding Agencies: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Styrene is neurotoxic at occupational levels, but has received little study at environmental levels experienced by the general population, despite widespread exposure. Our study team has found that annual average ambient styrene levels are adversely associated with neurologic function and symptoms, including decrements in visual, sensory, and vestibular function. Exposure to styrene in the general population occurs primarily through inhalation of industrial and vehicle emissions, tobacco smoke, and off-gassing of building materials. It is produced from petroleum-derived benzene and ethylbenzene, which explains why over half of US styrene production occurs near oil and gas operations in the Gulf states. Benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylenes (i.e., BTEX) are also neurotoxic at occupational levels. The proposed study is significant because there are virtually no data describing the safety of most of these neurotoxicants at general population levels, despite widespread exposure. The objective of this study is to investigate the acute and chronic neurotoxicity of styrene and BTEX at levels relevant to the general population. Our central hypothesis is that, even at general population levels, higher ambient styrene/BTEX levels are associated with reduced peripheral nerve and neuro-behav¬ioral function and increased neurologic symptoms. We will test this in a prospective, well-characterized cohort of 23,370 Gulf state residents enrolled in the Gulf Long-Term Follow-up Study in 2011-2013—a socioeconomically disadvantaged, medically underserved, and racially diverse population with significant unexplained health disparities. This population has average blood styrene levels 2-3 times higher than those observed in the general population, but much lower than the ~25-fold higher levels typically observed in occupationally exposed populations. We have extensive information on all cohort members, from enrollment and follow-up interviews, on demographic, lifestyle, occupational, and health factors; geocoded residential histories; measured blood levels of styrene and BTEX from 965 cohort members during the last year of enrollment; and results of extensive peripheral neurologic function and neurobehavioral tests administered to 3,403 members 2-4 years after enrollment. We propose to: (1) Generate high resolution temporally- and spatially-referenced ambient (air) styrene and BTEX concentra¬¬tions in the Gulf region over a 6 year follow-up period, (2) Evaluate estimated ambient styrene and BTEX concentrations against measured blood styrene and BTEX levels, and (3) Determine associations of styrene and BTEX exposures, both individually and as a mixture, with neurologic symptoms and neurobehavioral and peripheral neurologic function, accounting for other neurotoxic air pollutants. This study is innovative because we will be the first to investigate the neurotoxicity of styrene at general population levels and we will do so using state-of-the-art air quality exposure data fusion methods that have not previously been applied to styrene or BTEX. The Public Health Impact of this research is high because exposure to styrene and BTEX is widespread and these chemicals are known to be neurotoxic at occupational levels.

Date: 05/01/20 - 4/30/23
Amount: $191,519.00
Funding Agencies: US Geological Survey (USGS)

The objective of this study is to identify areas across North America that have (or have not) experienced detectable changes in ecologically-relevant climate variables. The goal is to improve the quality and efficiency of investigations into climate change effects on biodiversity by providing a means to narrow such analyses to areas that truly experienced detectable and biologically-relevant environmental changes. To do this we will use existing publicly-available observational and global climate model (GCM) datasets to estimate the range of internal climate variability (ICV), and then test whether observed trends exceeded the estimated level of background variability or ‘noise’. ICV is a result of coupled interactions in the climate system between the ocean, atmosphere, land surface, and cryosphere. Examples of ICV include the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). ICV can be considered the ‘noise’ in the ‘signal-to-noise ratio’ (SNR) when characterizing the strength of the global climate change signal. Thus, the larger (smaller) the ICV for a particular location or climate variable, the harder (easier) it will be to ascertain whether an observed trend is distinguishable from background ICV. We will leverage recent advancements in trend detection and ICV estimation in order to: 1) better understand climate trend uncertainty due to ICV, and 2) estimate the Time of Emergence (ToE) of any relevant climate trends in the recent past and near-term future. Because there are a wide range of species’ responses and sensitivities to many different climate variables and climate thresholds, we will apply our method to a large suite of climate variables and indices in collaboration with USGS ecologists. This study provides an opportunity to improve species status and trends assessments by reducing uncertainty about whether observed biological trends are potentially outside of the range of natural ecological variability.

Date: 10/01/18 - 3/31/23
Amount: $228,621.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The proposed study is a four-year project to conduct research on the impacts on land use, air quality and regional climate change of biofuel use in Southern and East regions of Africa. Data collection will occur in southern Malawi, centered on several communities participating in a Structured Conditional Transfer program for household cookstove replacements being initiated by a non-governmental organization. Data collected will include those on land use/land cover change, air pollutant emissions, ambient air pollution concentrations, fuel demand and household behavior and decisions. Dr. Pamela Jagger from UNC-CH is the Principal Investigator of the study. Dr. Grieshop will serve as co-PI on the project and will lead the air pollutant emission and air quality measurement components of the study. Air pollutant measurements will include focused emission measurements on indoor air pollution sources (e.g. cookstoves) and other small biofuel-based sources (e.g. brick and charcoal kilns). A network of small, low-cost air quality monitors will be deployed to examine community and regional air quality and also to examine emission sources (e.g. agricultural burning) via near-field concentration measurements.

Date: 09/01/19 - 8/31/22
Amount: $296,709.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Commerce (DOC)

Wastewater infrastructure is designed to provide safe and efficient conveyance and treatment of sewage to protect human health and the environment. Increasingly though, climate change threatens the effectiveness of this infrastructure, particularly in coastal communities. High tide flooding and extreme precipitation events, as well as sea level rise result in immediate and long-term losses of system functionality. Of special concern to rural areas and small towns is the functionality of decentralized, or on-site wastewater treatment technologies. These systems are at risk with impaired ability to process contaminants, which may lead to human illness, ecosystem damage, and ultimately the un-livability of communities that depend on them. The proposed study will evaluate a suite of onsite wastewater technologies under various climate conditions to help coastal communities cost effectively and legally implement climate adaptation plans for wastewater infrastructure. The research will be conducted in the coastal Carolinas in partnership with communities already experiencing infrastructure threats due to climate change. The study will demonstrate the relative effectiveness of alternative wastewater technologies on the removal of three pollutants: fecal bacteria, phosphorus, and nitrogen. The effort builds on existing understanding of decentralized wastewater infrastructure functionality by wastewater facility operators, private septic experts, and coastal community decision makers. Interview data from these experts will be synthesized into a dataset that will aid in economic analysis of potential adaptation measures. New sampling data will be collected to evaluate existing onsite wastewater systems that are representative of environmental conditions throughout the coastal Carolinas. Economic analysis will be used to estimate the marginal economic return on wastewater infrastructure climate adaptation technologies. Legal analysis will identify alternative wastewater technology regulatory barriers and solutions to these barriers. Finally the research will result in transferable protocols that coastal decision makers and adaptation professionals can use to plan and prepare for climate change with regards to decentralized wastewater infrastructure.

Date: 08/01/20 - 7/31/22
Amount: $229,814.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

This project will develop an improved understanding of the coupled dynamics among the natural processes that underpin drought and poor air quality, the human systems that manage water resources and electricity supply, and localized human exposure to fine particulate matter and ozone pollution, all under the influence of two anthropogenic drivers: technology adoption and climate change.

Date: 01/01/20 - 12/31/21
Amount: $181,199.00
Funding Agencies: US Geological Survey (USGS)

Benefit to USGS - This assignment is to fill the role of a research scientist for an Inter-Agency Agreement with US EPA for climate modeling and research that cannot be staffed internally with current program resources. Dr. Bowden is a climate modeler who has experience working on climate impacts to ecosystems in the southeastern US and has worked with US EPA in the past. Dr. Bowden's expertise will be instrumental in meeting the committments under the USGS/USEPA interagency agreement. Benefits to NC State University - NC State University will benefit by learning how the federal government develops and delivers science to meet specific agency goals. NC State University will also benefit through partnerships with USGS and USEPA that will benefit future education, research, and extension efforts.

Date: 10/01/16 - 9/30/18
Amount: $187,101.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The proposed study is a four-year project to conduct research on the impacts on land use, air quality and regional climate change of biofuel use in Southern and East regions of Africa. Data collection will occur in southern Malawi, centered on several communities participating in a Structured Conditional Transfer program for household cookstove replacements being initiated by a non-governmental organization. Data collected will include those on land use/land cover change, air pollutant emissions, ambient air pollution concentrations, fuel demand and household behavior and decisions. Dr. Pamela Jagger from UNC-CH is the Principal Investigator of the study. Dr. Grieshop will serve as co-PI on the project and will lead the air pollutant emission and air quality measurement components of the study. Air pollutant measurements will include focused emission measurements on indoor air pollution sources (e.g. cookstoves) and other small biofuel-based sources (e.g. brick and charcoal kilns). A network of small, low-cost air quality monitors will be deployed to examine community and regional air quality and also to examine emission sources (e.g. agricultural burning) via near-field concentration measurements.


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