Department of Applied Environmental Science
Dr. Fernandez is currently working with researchers from NASA Ames who are looking to use the data from the collectors to ground truth satellite images from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors, which have the ability to extract information on the presence or absence of fog. The NASA researchers are hoping to establish long time series of fog to look at its effects on regional ecosystems and to evaluate whether the patterns of fog presence are shifting as a result of climate change.
UC Santa Cruz
Dr. Fernandez is also working with research groups at UC Santa Cruz. One group is looking at fog as an indicator of lizard extinctions throughout the world. That is, some lizards are dependent upon the moisture and cooler temperatures that the fog brings. As these fog regimes shift their spatial and temporal extent, various lizard species are shown to go extinct. Another group at UC Santa Cruz is looking at some of the chemicals present in fog and has identified monomethyl mercury, a biologically “fixed” compound of mercury,as having a concentration several times greater in fog than in rain.