Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Adriana Bailey


2009 to 2014

Student Type

Graduate Student

Adriana Raudzens Bailey says she began her atmospheric research and writing career in a small town north of Boston, MA, with a report on the state of the ozone hole, presented to her 6th grade teacher. A CIRES graduate student from 2009-2014, Dr. Bailey continued to indulge her interests in both writing and atmospheric science. Now a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, she continues to study water cycle and climate variability problems. She says her communications work with CIRES (2007-2009) got her hooked on science.

“I really started graduate school because of the writing I was doing for CIRES. Part of my job was to interview scientists and write press releases about the studies they had done and the research they were undertaking. I realized that I wanted to be asking my own questions about the natural world and about how Earth systems work. That’s what motivated me to apply to the graduate program.”

In 2009, Dr. Bailey became a PhD student in CU Boulder’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and remained affiliated with CIRES, primarily because of its emphasis on climate change and the broad reach of the institute’s partnerships, which include NOAA and NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “Between NOAA and NCAR and the University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder is a pretty incredible hotspot for atmospheric science research related to climate.” During her PhD career, Dr. Bailey worked with CIRES fellow David Noone. (Previously, while doing her Master’s in Geography, she worked with CIRES fellow Tom Chase.) “Graduate school is like being an apprentice,” she said. “I think that’s why I liked the job so much. You get to come up with the questions and ways to answer them and learn something about how the atmosphere works.”

While publishing papers on what isotopes can tell us about how air masses mix, Dr. Bailey has remained interested in communications, too. In 2014, she published a paper evaluating media representations of climate change.  “That’s been a really nice way to bring science and communications together,” she said.

At the end of 2014, Dr. Bailey finished her Ph.D. and moved to Seattle with her husband to join the University of Washington’s Joint Institute for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO), a NOAA cooperative institute like CIRES. From there, she headed to Dartmouth, to continue her research as a Joseph P. Obering Postdoctoral Fellow.

“I’m specifically interested in what controls the humidity and cloud patterns that we observe. Understanding these processes is going to help us predict future climate change more accurately,” Dr. Bailey said.

In terms of future opportunities, “there are still a lot of options on the table,” she said. “I’m looking at what will arise from making new connections here and being with new scientists – you never know, part of what’s exciting about this is that you can go where opportunity knocks."