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Hello, I'm Zac. I'm a PhD candidate in the Physics department at New Mexico Tech, and an affiliate of NASA, JPL, and NorthWest Research Associates.

My research focuses primarily on the Arctic stratospheric polar vortex, a large scale cyclone that forms over the pole in the stratosphere (from roughly 15 to 50km altitude) during the autumn in the transition to winter. Stratospheric polar vortices form in both hemispheres during their respective autumn seasons, but the dynamical behavior of the Arctic stratospheric vortex is much more variable, and often dramatic, than that of its Antarctic counterpart. One recent example of this is shown in the animation to the right; it shows the Arctic vortex split event that occurred in Feb 2018. Through my research, I am seeking to better understand how such vortex variability arises, and the ways in which such variability can influence weather, climate, and other things near the surface. See my research page for more information.