The Lab’s research is not centered on a specific scientific subdomain but rather spans a diverse array of interdisciplinary subject matter related to weather, climate and human-environment interaction. The philosophy is that useful research will come about from asking high-level, important questions on topics in which precise knowledge is currently lacking. Due to the complex nature of the subject matter of human-environment interaction, there are great opportunities to make meaningful advances in our research area. Our strength is being able to take the tools traditionally associated with one discipline and apply them to another discipline in creative ways that allow for new insights to be made.
The seeds of an important piece of research often come about from asking simple curiosity-driven questions of the form “I wonder if X has an influence on Y?”, “I wonder how big X’s influence on Y is relative to Z’s influence on Y?”, or “does X cause Y to change or does Y cause X to change, or are both caused to change by a third factor?”. We look primarily for the first-order answers to these questions. The point of research in our lab is not to demonstrate how complex the world is – complexity is our starting point. Rather, the goal of our research is to cut through the complexity to find the upshot. We want to turn data into readily communicable knowledge.