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Become a nitrogen atom in the nitrogen cycle in our Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit/Game. See all our games, activity kits and classroom activities.
This photo of Rachel McCrary was taken on a snowshoeing outing in the Never Summer Wilderness in Colorado. Notice the moose in the background!
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Courtesy of Nick Parazoo

Rachel McCrary

I am a graduate student at Colorado State University and I study drought. For my masters thesis, I am using global climate models to study drought over the Great Plains of the United States. I am most interested in trying to understand why decade long droughts, like the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, happened over this region. I am also interested in studying how future climate change will impact the occurrence of drought over the United States .

Growing up, history and math were always my favorite subjects, but I was never really a fan of chemistry or biology. It wasn't until I started college at UCLA that I discovered my love for the physics of the atmosphere. During my freshmen year I took a climate science class and I knew, on the very first day, that I had found my passion. Studying the climate and especially drought is exciting because these topics are relevant and important to everyone on the planet. It is rewarding to know that scientists, policy makers, and educators are all interested in knowing more about the topics I study.

When I am not studying or working on research I like to cook, race in triathlons, and spend time outdoors hanging out with friends while hiking or playing softball. Before moving to Colorado for graduate school, I grew up in southern California and when I get the chance to go home, I also really like spending time at the beach.

Last modified May 9, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA