Staff Spotlight: Rachel White

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Rachel WhiteRachel joined JISAO as a post-doc at the beginning of 2015. She works in atmospheric dynamics, playing with coupled climate models to study large scale circulation. She removes mountains, rainforests, or even land masses from climate models to help understand how these features of Earth impact our climate.

Recently she has looked at the effects of the Himalayan and Mongolian mountains on jet streams, the impacts of the Rocky mountains on ocean circulation, and the effects of tropical deforestation on weather events in the tropics. Rachel also has an interest in the statistics of weather events, and how these act to impact the long-term climate and Earth's energy budget. She has always had an interest in extreme weather, particularly tornadoes, and would love to go on a storm-chasing trip... although fear has so far prevented her from actually doing this!

Rachel first came to Seattle in 2014, on a three-month visiting scientist grant from the Royal Society. It was then that she realized how much she loved living here, and so she applied for a JISAO post-doc position. Rachel came to Seattle from Imperial College London, UK, where she completed her PhD. She received her undergraduate degree in physical natural sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Rachel dancingScience outreach is something that Rachel really enjoys. She is involved in a number of weather/climate outreach activities, including hosting school classes in the atmospheric sciences department, teaching "Climate Change 101" in bookstores, libraries and outdoor fairs, and volunteering at the National Science Fair in Washington D.C. earlier this year. She also has a new-found interest in undergraduate teaching, after teaching the Introduction to Climate Science course at UW Bothell this Spring.

Back in England, Rachel competed in Ballroom and Latin dancing. But, when she moved to Seattle (leaving her dance partner behind in London), she turned to Ballroom Formation Team dancing, and aerial circus! She is learning flying trapeze, double trapeze and silks, and can regularly be found happily hanging out upside down in one of Seattle's aerial gyms.

She loves the outdoors, particularly the mountains around Seattle, and is a volunteer with King Country Search and Rescue. When she finds a moment of spare time, she enjoys backpacking and camping in the beautiful WA wilderness. Her dream is to horse-ride along the Great Silk Road in Asia; although she is working up to this slowly by going on shorter horse-riding trips! At the beginning of August she went riding in Transylvania for a few days whilst traveling around Romania.