Travis O’Brien is a professor in the IU Bloomington Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Research in his group focuses on understanding what controls weather and climate phenomena that impact human and natural systems. He and his group specialize in using a combination of numerical models, novel data analysis techniques, and fundamental theory to form and test hypotheses about what controls the physical characteristics and occurrence of weather patterns, from fog to extremes.
This research focuses on the broad questions of: What causes characteristics of different weather types to vary from year to year? How well do different modeling approaches simulate different weather types? How will anthropogenic climate change affect specific weather types?
O’Brien received his Ph.D. in earth sciences from University of California Santa Cruz, followed by two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He transitioned from his postdoctoral position into a career scientist position, where he stayed until coming to IU in 2020.
Areas of Expertise
Extreme weather, climate change, climate modeling, regional climate modeling, climate statistics, fog, atmospheric rivers.