Welcome to CienciaPR, an expert and resource network for all who are interested in science and Puerto Rico.
I am Director of the new Puerto Rico Photonics Institute, an initiative of the Universidad Metropolitana School of Environmental Affairs and now part of the School of Science and Technology. PRPI is located at the Barceloneta Science Park, REdI Building. PRPI specializes in research, education, training and outreach in the rapidly growing fields of optics and photonics.
I am also a Senior Research Associate at the Arecibo Observatory carrying out studies of the top of the mesosphere layer (mesopause) of the Earth's atmosphere. I use a technique called lidar to remotely sense the spectra of meteor-deposited atoms at altitudes from 80 to above 100 km. This research is important to both space physics as well as climate research. I finished my PhD in 1991 at Colorado State University in Physics, studying molecular dynamics in simple liquids using nonlinear Raman spectroscopy. I have a BA in Physics from Cornell (1984).
PRPI provides new career, research, education, and economic opportunities in Puerto Rico. Please visit our website at http://umet.suagm.edu, and follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter at @prphotonics.
I study the mesopause region of the atmosphere, the coldest place on earth. It is the transition region from a neutral atmosphere to space. For this reason, it has importance to both space physics and to climate research. It is where meteors burn up and spacecraft first experience turbulence upon re-entry to the earth's atmosphere. It is at the "end of the whip" for climate study, where effects in the lower atmosphere are greatly amplified (and, perhaps, inverted). Global tropospheric warming is expected to produce substantial global mesospheric cooling. Scientists have just begun exploring in detail this region once called the "ignorosphere". So we have a ways to go to catch up. Resonance lidars have made this work possible, and many of the most important developments were undertaken by the research group I was part of in the 1980s.
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