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Matthew Graber

Profile picture for Matthew Graber

Contact Information

4064-A Natural History Building
1301 W Green St
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

Friday 2-4pm
Teaching Assistant
Advisors: Drs. Robert Trapp and Zhuo Wang

Biography

Hello everyone! I am a first-year M.S. student working with Drs. Robert Trapp and Zhuo Wang. In May 2022, I graduated from Purdue University with my B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences. In addition to my major, I minored in Chemistry and graduated with Honors. One opportunity I had for research included working with atmospheric aerosols derived from biomass burning and agricultural processes to look at the physical and chemical structure for possible impacts on climate change. The project specific to biomass burning was funded by NASA's FIREX-AQ program. I operated a photo spectrometer to visualize the aerosol compounds undergoing photolysis and hydrolysis. Furthermore, I operated a cloud condensation nuclei counter (CCNc) to determine the potential of different aerosols to act as CCN at different supersaturations.

Additionally, I worked on the Purdue weather radar (the XTRRA) and the NWS mesocyclone detection algorithm to determine if a tornado near the campus would have been detected by the algorithm if it was available on the radar. With the Purdue campus located relatively far from nearby NWS radars, this research was important from a risk and safety standpoint since the tornado I was studying was not warned by the NWS algorithm. At both Purdue and Illinois, I have had experience working on the PERiLS field campaign. 

When I am not doing work, I am a competitive distance runner. All in all, I love sports and being being active outside. Other than MLB. I tend to prefer college sports over professional sports. I am a huge Chicago White Sox and Purdue Boilermakers (sorry!) fan, but I have warmed up to the Illinois Fighting Illini as well.

Research Interests

Currently, I am interested in climate change and how it impacts extreme weather. Climate change is an important phenomenon to study in Atmospheric Science due to the potential it has to impact society in a variety of ways from more violent extreme weather, changes in agriculture production, more extreme droughts, etc. Its causes stem from a variety of sources, some of which I have had the opportunity to look more deeply into. Much of the work I have done in the past has related to either climate change or societal risk, and I plan to continue to incorporate them into my research moving forward. 

At the University of Illinois, I am working on tornado climatologies. I have looked at historical spatial and temporal trends of tornado days and outbreaks. Currently, I am looking at global air patterns in the form of historical weather regimes to see which ones are more so associated with tornado days and outbreaks with respect to the climatological mean.

Education

B.S. Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry with Honors, Purdue University (May 2022)

M.S. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (May 2024)

Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (In Progress)

Grants

2023 Schlesinger Travel Grant Award

Awards and Honors

2024 Ogura Award Winner for Outstanding Teaching Assistant

2024 SESE Research Review 1st Place Poster

Courses Taught

Teaching Assistant

- Fall 2022: ATMS 302/PHYS 329- Atmospheric Dynamics I

- Spring 2023: ATMS 314- Mesoscale Dynamics

- Summer 2023: ATMS 120- Severe and Hazardous Weather

- Fall 2023: ATMS 302/PHYS 329- Atmospheric Dynamics I

- Fall 2024: ATMS 302/PHYS 329- Atmospheric Dynamics I

Additional Campus Affiliations

- Atmospheric Science Graduate Student Ambassador

- SESE Research Review 2023 Planning Committee

- Midwest Student Conference on Atmospheric Research (MSCAR) 2023 Co-Chair

- 2024-2025 CLiMAS Secretary

Recent Publications

Graber, M., R. J. Trapp, and Z. Wang, The Regionality and Seasonality of Tornado Trends in the United States. Npj Clim. Atmospheric Sci., (Accepted in principle)