Brian V. Smoliak

Climate scientist by training, servant leader at heart.


Summary

  • Scientific expert; twelve years of climate science research experience analyzing large datasets, independently and in teams; four years of weather forecasting experience.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborator; six years research experience across disciplines and institutions toward better understanding of relationships between weather, climate, agriculture, resource management, and public policy.
  • Accomplished communicator; track record of effective and engaging written and oral presentations for broad audiences on diverse topics related to climate, weather, and their impacts on society. Experience with traditional and social media.
  • Servant leader; sustained experience leading a wide spectrum of organizations and representing peers in a proactive manner. Committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Programming Languages & Tools
Workflow

Education

University of Washington

Doctor of Philosophy, Atmospheric Sciences
Advisor: John M. (Mike) Wallace
Thesis: "Detection and attribution of global surface air temperature change in the instrumental record"
2013
Graduate Certificate in Climate Science
Advisor: Alison Cullen, Evans School of Public Affairs
Capstone: "Climate and Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: Communicating Climate Science to Public Policy Students and NGOs"
2011
Master of Science, Atmospheric Sciences
Advisor: John M. (Mike) Wallace
Thesis: "A Eurasian pattern of Northern Hemisphere wintertime sea-level pressure variability"
2009

Creighton University

Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences
Magna cum laude
2006

Professional Experience

Senior Research Scientist

WindLogics, Inc.; St. Paul, MN
Science & Research Team

Support product development and greenfield research for wind, solar, and battery energy analytics.

2016 - 2018

Atmospheric Scientist

The Climate Corporation; Seattle, WA
Climatology Team

Help farmers sustainably increase their production by building and supporting digital tools that utilize in situ and remotely-sensed environmental data. Engage customers to understand their needs.

2014 - 2016

Postdoctoral Associate

University of Minnesota; St. Paul, MN
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate

Collect, process, and analyze observational data from local field campaign sampling the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Urban Heat Island effect; run land surface model; review and write journal articles.

2013 - 2014

Research Assistant

University of Washington; Seattle, WA
Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Analyze data, review and write journal articles, produce graphics and figures, develop and support webpages.

Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Support the work of the Agricultural Policy and Statistics Group at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under the supervision of Evans School of Public Affairs faculty in the Policy Analysis and Research group. Analyze weather and climate data relevant to agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, review literature, and write white papers.



2006 - 2013



2010 - 2011

Instructor

University of Washington; Seattle, WA
ATMS101: Weather

Administer course, including: daily lecture, office hours, course webpage, homework and exams.

Summer Quarter 2010

Lead Teaching Assistant

University of Washington; Seattle, WA
Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Supervise, train, and support 20 graduate teaching assistants for 9 courses during academic year.

2011 - 2012

Teaching Assistant

University of Washington; Seattle, WA
ATMS211: Climate and Climate Change

Lead weekly quiz sections, review sessions, create and grade homework sets, support website.

Winter Quarter 2008

Staff Reporter

The Daily of the University of Washington; Seattle, WA
News Department

Write weekly articles on current science, environment, technology, and health topics.

2007 - 2009

SCEP Meteorologist

National Weather Service; Chanhassen, MN & Valley, NE
Weather Forecast Offices MPX & OAX

Work alongside NWS forecasters, learning their duties as a student trainee through rotating shifts.

2007 - 2009

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Smoliak, B. V., P. K. Snyder, T. E. Twine, P. M. Mykleby, and W. F. Hertel (2015), "Dense Network Observations of the Twin Cities Canopy-Layer Urban Heat Island," J. Appl. Meteor. Clim., 54, 1899-1917, doi: 10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0239.1
  • Smoliak, B. V., and J. M. Wallace (2015), "On the Leading Patterns of Northern Hemisphere Sea-Level Pressure Variability," J. Atmos. Sci., 72, 3469-3486, doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-14-0371.1
  • Smoliak, B. V., J. M. Wallace, P. Lin, and Q. Fu (2015), "Dynamical Adjustment of the Northern Hemisphere Surface Air Temperature Field," J. Climate, 28, 1613–1629, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00111.1
  • Deser, C., A. S. Phillips, M. A. Alexander, and B. V. Smoliak (2014), "Projecting North American Climate over the next 50 years: Uncertainty due to Internal Variability," J. Climate, 27, 2271–2296, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00451.1
  • Wallace, J. M., Q. Fu, B. V. Smoliak, P. Lin, and C. M. Johanson (2012), "Simulated Versus Observed Patterns of Warming over the Extratropical Northern Hemisphere Continents during the Cold Season," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 14337-14342, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1204875109
  • Mishra, V., B. V. Smoliak, D. P. Lettenmaier, and J. M. Wallace (2012), "A prominent pattern of year-to-year variability in Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 109, 7213-7217, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119150109
  • Wu, Z., N. E. Huang, J. M. Wallace, B. V. Smoliak, and X. Chen (2011), "On the time-varying trend in global-mean surface temperature," Clim. Dyn., 37, 759-773, doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1128-8
  • Wood, K. R., J. E. Overland, T. Jónsson, and B. V. Smoliak (2010), "Air temperature variations on the Atlantic-Arctic boundary since 1802," Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, doi: 10.1029/2010GL044176
  • Bendick, R., K. M. Dahlin, B. V. Smoliak, L. Kumler, S. J. Jones, A. Aktipis, E. Fugate, R. Hertog, C. Moberg, D. Scott (2010), "Choosing carbon mitigation strategies using ethical deliberation," Weather, Climate, and Society, 2, 140-147. doi: 10.1175/2010WCAS1036.1
  • Smoliak, B. V., J. M. Wallace, M. T. Stoelinga, and T. P. Mitchell (2010), "Application of partial least squares regression to the diagnosis of year-to-year variations in Pacific Northwest snowpack and Atlantic hurricanes," Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L03801, doi: 10.1029/2009GL041478

Book Chapters

  • Wallace, J. M., C. Deser, B. V. Smoliak, and A. S. Phillips (2016) "Attribution of climate change in the presence of internal variability," in Climate Change: Multidecadal and Beyond, Chang, C. P., M. Ghil, M. Latif, and J. M. Wallace, Eds., World Scientific Series on Asia-Pacific Weather and Climate, Vol. 6. doi: 10.1142/9789814579933_0001

Theses

Patents

Journalism


Proceedings

  • Smoliak, B. V., M. F. Garvert, and W. B. Leeds (2016), "Weather Impacts on the 2015 U.S. Agricultural Growing Season: Corn Planting and Harvesting." 96th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting; New Orleans, LA.
  • Smoliak, B. V. (2015), "Empirical approaches to uncovering teleconnections in global climate data." Fifth Workshop on Understanding Climate Change from Data; Minneapolis, MN.
  • Smoliak, B. V., C. Deser, and A. S. Phillips (2014), "Dynamical Adjustment of Surface Air Temperature Fields from Large Initial-Condition Ensemble Simulations: Ensemble Spread and Multi-Decadal Trend Attribution." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting; San Francisco, CA.
  • Snyder, P. K., T. E. Twine, B. V. Smoliak, P. Mykleby, W. F. Hertel (2014), "Characterizing the Urban Heat Island with a Dense Sensor Network." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting; San Francisco, CA.
  • Smoliak, B. V., D. L. Hartmann, and J. F. Booth (2013), "Attributing surface temperature trends in the presence of natural variability: progress regarding the warming hiatus and unresolved challenges." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting; San Francisco, CA.
  • Smoliak, B. V., P. Lin, Q. Fu, and J.M. Wallace (2012), "Reconciling spatial and seasonal variations in Northern Hemisphere Surface Air Temperature trends with a pointwise dynamical adjustment." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting; San Francisco, CA.
  • Smoliak, B. V., S. Po-Chedley, and A. C. Cullen (2012), "Assessing the Agronomic Impact of Climate Variability and Change Using Regional Climate Models: A Matter of Scale." Joint Statistical Meetings; San Diego, CA.
  • Smoliak, B. V., S. Po-Chedley, and A. C. Cullen (2011), "Impact of large-scale climate variability and change on crop yields in Africa: An observational assessment." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  • Smoliak, B. V., S. Po-Chedley, and A. C. Cullen (2011), "Rainfall and Crops in Subsaharan Africa: Past and Future." UW Program on Climate Change Summer Institute; Friday Harbor, WA.
  • Smoliak, B. V. and J. M. Wallace (2011), "A pan-Eurasian pattern of Northern Hemispheric wintertime sea-level pressure variability." 91st American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting; Seattle, WA.
  • Smoliak, B. V. and J. M. Wallace (2010), "Atlantic Multidecadal Variability & Global temperature trends: An observational assessment." Climate Research Committee Spring meeting, The National Academies; Washington, D.C.
  • Wood, K. R., J. E. Overland, T. Jónsson, and B. V. Smoliak (2010), "Air temperature variations on the Atlantic - Arctic boundary since 1802: the low-frequency pattern and ocean teleconnections." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting; San Francisco, CA.
  • Smoliak, B. V., J. M. Wallace, M. T. Stoelinga, and T. P. Mitchell (2009), "Partial Least Squares Regression: Application to diagnoses of dynamically induced variability in local climate." American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting; San Francisco, CA.
  • Smoliak, B. V. and J. M. Wallace (2009), "Eurasia: The Third Party of Northern Hemisphere Wintertime Climate Variability." 3rd Graduate Climate Conference; Eatonville, WA.
  • Ueyama, R., J. M. Wallace, and B. V. Smoliak (2007), "On the Cause of the Annual Cycle in Tropical Tropopause Temperature." 2nd Graduate Climate Conference; Eatonville, WA.
  • Smoliak, B. V. and A. V. Douglas (2006), "Climate Variability and Cold Season Energy Budgeting." 86th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA.

Outreach

WindLogics // St. Paul, MN

  • Volunteer with Windustry; Eco Experience at Minnesota State Fair // 8/23/18, 8/24/18
  • Volunteer with Windustry; Eco Experience at Minnesota State Fair // 8/26/17

The Climate Corporation // Seattle, WA

  • "Managing Nitrogen During a Warm, Wet Winter" // Blog post // 3/17/16
  • Staff in Climate Corporation exhibition tent at Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL // 9/3/15
  • Invited Presenter at Foster City Elementary School in Foster City, CA // Photo // 2/26/15

University of Minnesota // St. Paul, MN

  • Interview with Minnesota Daily, Urban Heat Island effect // Article // 5/5/14
  • Interview with WCCO-TV, "Seasons of Change" arboretum sensor network // Video // 4/2/14

University of Washington // Seattle, WA

Program on Climate Change Outreach Committee
  • Invited Speaker to WSU Extension Sustainable Community Stewards program in Everett, WA // 2/5/13 
  • Presented Ignite-style talk "Climatic Challenges to Sustainable Agriculture" // 4/10/12
  • Invited Speaker to Interlake HS AP Environmental Sci. classes in Bellevue, WA // 4/3/12 
  • Climate Expert for Educurious program at The Big Picture School, Bellevue, WA // 10/11–12/11 
  • Invited Speaker for the Cool School Challenge Training in Shelton, WA // 11/2/11 
  • Climate Expert for Educurious program at Monroe High School, Monroe, WA // 3/11–12/11 
  • Invited Speaker for a Cool School Challenge Training in Everett, WA // 1/28/11 
  • Invited Speaker for the WSU Extension Carbon Masters Program in Everett, WA // 10/20/10 
  • Invited Speaker for the WSU Extension Carbon Masters Program in Bothell, WA // 2/24/10 
  • Invited Speaker for a Cool School Challenge Training in Everett, WA // 1/30/10 
  • Invited Speaker for a Cool School Challenge Training in Bremerton, WA // 8/19/09 
  • Invited Speaker at the Bremerton Rotary Club // 4/13/09 
  • Invited Speaker for a Seattle City Light Teacher Training at Lawton Elementary // 10/28/08 
  • Participant at the Boeing Environmental, Safety, and Wellness Fair // 7/14/08 
  • Invited Speaker to Counting Carbon workshop of the AIA-Cascadia Green Building Council, Seattle, WA // 5/8/08 
  • Invited Speaker to Engineering Vision 2030, Seattle, WA // 3/26/08 
  • Keynote Speaker at "Who Turned Up The Heat?", Bellevue HS, Bellevue, WA // 12/5/07 
  • Invited Speaker to Step It Up 2, Bellevue, WA // 11/3/07
Department of Atmospheric Sciences Outreach Committee
  • Cameo appearance in an educational short film "Convection/Conduction" // Video // 2011
  • Host speaker for a home school group from Seattle, WA: Atmospheric Science // 6/23/10
  • Actor in an educational short film "Can crushing with air pressure" // Video // 2010
  • Weather merit badge counselor, Chief Seattle Council, Boy Scouts of America // 2010 
  • Mentor for a 4-H Science Fair participant from Puyallup, WA // 5/1/10 
  • Host speaker for a home school group from Seattle, WA: Climate and Climate Change // 2/26/10 
  • Exhibitor at the 1st Annual Science Night, Hamilton International Middle School // 1/21/10 
  • Invited Speaker to an International Day of Climate Action event sponsored by 350 Seattle // Video // 10/24/09 
  • Invited Presenter at Ridgecrest Elementary Science Night // 1/20/09
  • Invited Speaker at the UW Making Connections summer program // 7/30/08 
  • Volunteer at Climate Day for Kids hosted by Olympic Sculpture Park // 4/19/08 
  • Volunteer at Polar Science Weekend hosted by the Pacific Science Center // 3/9/08 
  • Invited Speaker to Eastside Prep in Kirkland, WA // 1/23/08
  • Volunteer at Polar Science Weekend hosted by the Pacific Science Center // 3/10/07

Service & Leadership

Co-founder & President

Weathervane Labs, LLC; Minneapolis, MN
Board of Governors

Co-founded LLC to help people acclimate and adapt to Earth’s changing weather and climate so that together, we can live happier, more comfortable lives. Applied for support from NSF SBIR program.

2017 – Present

President

Engeye, Inc.; Albany, NY
Board of Directors

Coordinated Board of Directors and 6 internal committees comprised of 50 volunteers; ensured efficient communication within and between the US and Uganda, accurate reporting to state and federal authorities, and inspired progress toward strategic initiatives. $150k annual budget.

2016 - 2018

Treasurer

Engeye, Inc.; Albany, NY
Board of Directors

Served as board director and managed finances for global health non-profit supporting a rural community in Uganda, including accounting, analysis, and reporting. $100k annual budget.

2013 - 2016

Member

Boreas Leadership Program, University of Minnesota
Student Advisory Team

Analyze data, review and write journal articles, produce graphics and figures, develop and support webpages.

2013 - 2014

Co-Chair

Seattle Inspiring Connections Outdoors, Sierra Club
Steering Committee

Directed operations of this all-volunteer organization providing outdoor experiences to underserved and underrepresented youth in Seattle. Coordinated 120 volunteers organized into 8 teams paired with Seattle schools, K-12. Managed gear acquisition and organization. $50k annual budget.

2010 - 2012

Graduate Student Representative

University of Washington; Seattle, WA
UW Program on Climate Change Board
2009 - 2010

Organizer

2nd and 3rd Graduate Climate Conference; Eatonville, WA
Organizing Committee

Planned and executed conference "for graduate students, planned by graduate students." 150 attendees. Served as operations chair for 3rd conference, A/V chair for 2nd conference.

2006 - 2009

Senator

University of Washington; Seattle, WA
UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate
2007 - 2009

Organizer

UW Focus the Nation; Seattle, WA
Organizing Committee

Oversaw planning of national teach-in on global warming at UW from idea to event in January 2008. Attended regional and national planning conferences, coordinated science demonstrations at expo.

2006 - 2008

President

Creighton Rowing Association, Creighton University; Omaha, NE
CRA Board
2005 - 2006

Funding

National Science Foundation

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program; 2018
$225,000; under review

P.I. – "SBIR Phase I: A cloud-based platform for determining personal comfort outdoors at hyperlocal scale"

Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoc Fellowship; 2014
$172,000; withdrawn

P. I. – "Attribution of internally-generated coupled climate variability in the presence of externally-forced climate change"

Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Postdoc; 2012
$305,455; not funded

P. I. – "Agronomic impacts of large-scale climate variability and change: assessing challenges to sustainable agriculture"

University of Minnesota

Institute on the Environment MiniGrant Award MF-0024-13; 2013
$2,300; awarded 2013-2014

P.I. – “Seasons of change: Observing Local Environmental Change at the Landscape Arboretum”


Professional Development


Awards & Certifications