Nick Bond

Research Scientist

Nick Bond turns a passion for weather into cutting edge climate science

Nick on an airplaneA broad range of research is being conducted at JISAO, and in this regard Nick Bond is doing his part. His thesis – under the mentorship of Emeritus Professor Robert Fleagle of the UW’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences – was based on measurements collected during a major oceanographic and meteorological program (STREX). He has parlayed that experience working on a multi-disciplinary problem and the opportunities afforded by the UW in general, and JISAO in particular, to become involved in a diverse set of projects.

His abiding interest in the weather (family and co-workers might characterize it more as an obsession) has served him well in recent programs focusing on the effects of terrain on precipitation and coastal winds. He specializes here on measurements in storms using research aircraft. A case study from the Southeast Alaska Regional Jet Experiment (SARJET) provides an especially vivid example of the kind of phenomenon that Nick has sought to observe and better understand. It is based on a transect along a commonly-used flight track over Gastineau Channel past downtown Juneau, in this case during a downslope-type windstorm locally known as a Taku wind. The aircraft encountered severe turbulence during this transect, as evidenced by the vertical velocity and wind speed traces shown below. Using the aircraft measurements, and numerical weather prediction model experiments, Nick and his co-workers have shown why it was such rough going that day.

Much longer time scales and broader space scales are involved in Nick’s research on the climate variability of the North Pacific. For example, in collaboration with NOAA scientist and JISAO senior fellow Ed Harrison, a retrospective study was undertaken to better characterize the effects of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the winter weather of Alaska. Nick and Ed found that ENSO’s impacts on Alaska are strongly dependent on the state of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). It bears noting that this study is just one example of a growing yearly values of walleye pollock in Bering Sea graphbody of work pertaining to the AO, all of which can be traced back to the pioneering studies of the AO by the former director of JISAO, John M. (Mike) Wallace, and other JISAO scientists. Nick is currently working with another NOAA scientist and JISAO senior fellow, Meghan Cronin, on a multi-faceted project aimed at better understanding air-sea interactions in the western Pacific off Japan, and their relationships to the North Pacific climate system.

Last but by no means least, Nick has drawn himself into a number of projects focusing on how climate variations impact the marine ecosystems of the North Pacific. Much of this effort is under the auspices of the Global Ecosystems Dynamics (GLOBEC) program, for which he is principal investigator on two projects, and for which he serves as chair of an executive committee on the Northeast Pacific component. His research on this broad theme extends from the west coast of the U.S. to the Bering Sea. He has helped demonstrate that the climate variability during summer, which has not attracted as much scrutiny as that during Nick teaching a young studentwinter, can be crucial to certain marine populations, as illustrated below for walleye pollock in the Bering Sea.

Nick resides in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of North Seattle (the relatively high elevation affords that much “better” weather). His wife, Lisa, is a tireless, long-time advocate for children, especially with regards to K-12 education. He has two children: a daughter, Nicole, at Roosevelt High School, and a son, Alex, at the University of Washington majoring in economics. Nick commutes by bicycle regardless of the weather; he has his office set-up to double as a drying rack. He continues to play basketball and other team sports in a refusal to act his age. He also volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for King County Superior Court on behalf of abused and neglected children in juvenile court proceedings.

While all this might sound like a lot of balls to keep in the air at once…Nick claims he would not have it any other way. “With all the interesting stuff going on at the UW and NOAA, I hope I don’t have to learn how to say no!”