Professor, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Department
Gina Henderson is a professor in the Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Department and teaches courses including global climate change, atmospheric thermodynamics, and capstone research. As a climatologist, Professor Henderson's primary research interests include understanding the role of snow cover in the hydrologic and global climate system, and the influence of these elements on atmospheric circulation and climate change. In particular she is interested in how snow influences atmospheric circulation and climate change through surface-atmosphere interaction using both climate data records and global climate models.
Over the past few years, Prof Henderson’s research has focused on linking variability and change in the tropical atmosphere to variability and change in the high latitudes. In a previous National Science Foundation grant, Professor Henderson along with her Oceanography Department colleague Professor Barrett, investigated this tropical-extratropical teleconnection, specifically examining variability in Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere snow cover as a result of tropical forcing. Building on the successes of this work, Professors’ Henderson and Barrett were recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant to extend their research into the southern high latitudes. In this multi-year grant, they seek to develop a comprehensive understanding of the physical mechanisms that support modulation of the Antarctic cryosphere via forcing from the tropics on an intraseasonal timescale. The proposed hypothesis for this tropical-to-Antarctic interaction is summarized in the figure below.
Figure 1 - Hypothesis for MJO modulation of the Antartic atmoshphere and surface state variables, for recenlty awarded National Science Foundation grant.
Professor Henderson has strived to integrate midshipmen oceanography majors in her research whenever possible. For the two research projects described above, 6 midshipmen were involved over the past 5 years resulting in 5 peer reviewed publications. For all publications, midshipmen were either lead or co-authors of these publications.