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Nicolas Cullen

Position:

Associate Professor

Qualifications:

MSc(Cant), PhD(Colorado)

Office Hours:by email appointment

 


Teaching

ENVI111 Environment and Society
GEOG101 Physical Geography
GEOG282 Climate Change: Present and Future
GEOG290 Field Research Methods
GEOG380 Field Research Studies (Science)
GEOG388 Climate Change: Present and Future
GEOG460 Climatology

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Research Interests

Nicolas' research interests are in all aspects of meteorology and climatology. The study of the atmosphere inevitably involves an understanding of other components of the global environment, which for Nicolas has been primarily the cryosphere.  Much of his research has focused on the interactions of the atmosphere with snow and ice surfaces in the high and mid-latitudes, as well as on a number of high mountains in the tropics (e.g. Kilimanjaro). Nicolas is also interested in the impacts of atmospheric processes on human behaviour, in particular air pollution meteorology, utilizing wind for energy through turbine development and issues related to climate change on local to global scales.  The research that Nicolas undertakes is dependent on a combination of field data, remote sensing observations and modelling.

The following outlines the main research projects Nicolas is presently linked to and how he undertakes this research:

Project: Brewster Glacier, New Zealand: Collaborators: 1. Associate Professor Sean Fitzsimons and Dr. Pascal Sirguey, University of Otago, Dr. Andrew Mackintosh and Dr. Brian Anderson, University of Victoria, 3. Dr. Andrew Lorrey, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. Motivation: Understanding the response of temperate glaciers to climate variability is important in improving our current knowledge of global climate change.  Temperate glaciers, including those in New Zealand, are sensitive indicators of climate change and though their contribution to global sea level rise may not be as significant as cold polar and subpolar glaciers and ice caps in the future their retreat will continue to be an important source of terrestrial water to our oceans.  Though complete loss of all glacial ice in New Zealand would only have a minor impact on global sea level rise, understanding the links between glacier behaviour in the Southern Alps and climate is critical in efforts to unravel past patterns of Southern Hemisphere climate and in developing tools to predict future trends. Research activities: Long term measurements of climate (using automatic weather stations) and mass balance allow energy and mass balance models to be utilized, providing insights into the linkages between glacier variability and atmospheric processes on Brewster Glacier, and the greater Southern Alps. see more...

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Check out Glaciers@Otago 


Postgraduate Student Supervision

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Publications

Jobst, A. M., Kingston, D. G., Cullen, N. J., & Sirguey, P. (2017). Combining thin-plate spline interpolation with a lapse rate model to produce daily air temperature estimates in a data-sparse alpine catchment. International Journal of Climatology, 37(1), 214-229. doi: 10.1002/joc.4699

Bohleber, P., Sold, L., Hardy, D. R., Schwikowski, M., Klenk, P., Fischer, A., Sirguey, P., Cullen, N. J., … Mayewski, P. (2017). Ground-penetrating radar reveals ice thickness and undisturbed englacial layers at Kilimanjaro's Northern Ice Field. Cryosphere, 11, 469-482. doi: 10.5194/tc-11-469-2017

Schlögl, S., Lehning, M., Nishimura, K., Huwald, H., Cullen, N. J., & Mott, R. (2017). How do stability corrections perform in the stable boundary layer over snow? Boundary-Layer Meteorology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10546-017-0262-1

Hofer, M., Nemec, J., Cullen, N. J., & Weber, M. (2017). Evaluating predictor strategies for regression-based downscaling with a focus on glacierized mountain environments. Journal of Applied Meteorology & Climatology, 56(6), 1707-1729. doi: 10.1175/JAMC-D-16-0215.1

Cullen, N. J., Anderson, B., Sirguey, P., Stumm, D., Mackintosh, A., Conway, J. P., … Fitzsimons, S. J., & Lorrey, A. (2017). An 11-year record of mass balance of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand, determined using a geostatistical approach. Journal of Glaciology, 63(238), 199-217. doi: 10.1017/jog.2016.128

Chapter in Book - Research

Mölg, T., Hardy, D. R., Cullen, N. J., & Kaser, G. (2008). Tropical glaciers, climate change, and society: Focus on Kilimanjaro (East Africa). In B. Orlove, E. Wiegandt & B. H. Luckman (Eds.), Darkening peaks: Glacier retreat, science, and society. (pp. 168-182). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Jobst, A. M., Kingston, D. G., Cullen, N. J., & Sirguey, P. (2017). Combining thin-plate spline interpolation with a lapse rate model to produce daily air temperature estimates in a data-sparse alpine catchment. International Journal of Climatology, 37(1), 214-229. doi: 10.1002/joc.4699

Cullen, N. J., Anderson, B., Sirguey, P., Stumm, D., Mackintosh, A., Conway, J. P., … Fitzsimons, S. J., & Lorrey, A. (2017). An 11-year record of mass balance of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand, determined using a geostatistical approach. Journal of Glaciology, 63(238), 199-217. doi: 10.1017/jog.2016.128

Hofer, M., Nemec, J., Cullen, N. J., & Weber, M. (2017). Evaluating predictor strategies for regression-based downscaling with a focus on glacierized mountain environments. Journal of Applied Meteorology & Climatology, 56(6), 1707-1729. doi: 10.1175/JAMC-D-16-0215.1

Schlögl, S., Lehning, M., Nishimura, K., Huwald, H., Cullen, N. J., & Mott, R. (2017). How do stability corrections perform in the stable boundary layer over snow? Boundary-Layer Meteorology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10546-017-0262-1

Bohleber, P., Sold, L., Hardy, D. R., Schwikowski, M., Klenk, P., Fischer, A., Sirguey, P., Cullen, N. J., … Mayewski, P. (2017). Ground-penetrating radar reveals ice thickness and undisturbed englacial layers at Kilimanjaro's Northern Ice Field. Cryosphere, 11, 469-482. doi: 10.5194/tc-11-469-2017

Conway, J. P., & Cullen, N. J. (2016). Cloud effects on surface energy and mass balance in the ablation area of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand. Cryosphere, 10(1), 313-328. doi: 10.5194/tc-10-313-2016

Sirguey, P., Still, H., Cullen, N. J., Dumont, M., Arnaud, Y., & Conway, J. P. (2016). Reconstructing the mass balance of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand, using MODIS-derived glacier-wide albedo. Cryosphere, 10, 2465-2484. doi: 10.5194/tc-2016-98

Conway, J. P., Cullen, N. J., Spronken-Smith, R. A., & Fitzsimons, S. J. (2015). All-sky radiation over a glacier surface in the Southern Alps of New Zealand: Characterizing cloud effects on incoming shortwave, longwave and net radiation. International Journal of Climatology, 35(5), 699-713. doi: 10.1002/joc.4014

Oliphant, A. J., Hindmarsh, R. C. A., Cullen, N. J., & Lawson, W. (2015). Microclimate and mass fluxes of debris-laden ice surfaces in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 27(1), 85-100. doi: 10.1017/S0954102014000534

Gibson, P. B., & Cullen, N. J. (2015). Regional variability in New Zealand's wind resource linked to synoptic-scale circulation: Implications for generation reliability. Journal of Applied Meteorology & Climatology, 54(5), 944-958. doi: 10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0273.1

Cullen, N. J., & Conway, J. P. (2015). A 22 month record of surface meteorology and energy balance from the ablation zone of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand. Journal of Glaciology, 61(229), 931-946. doi: 10.3189/2015JoG15J004

Gibson, P. B., & Cullen, N. J. (2015). Synoptic and sub-synoptic circulation effects on wind resource variability: A case study from a coastal terrain setting in New Zealand. Renewable Energy, 78, 253-263. doi: 10.1016/j.renene.2015.01.004

Cullen, N. J., Mölg, T., Conway, J., & Steffen, K. (2014). Assessing the role of sublimation in the dry snow zone of the Greenland ice sheet in a warming world. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 119(11), 6563-6577. doi: 10.1002/2014JD021557

Sirguey, P., & Cullen, N. J. (2014). A very high resolution DEM of Kilimanjaro via photogrammetry of Geoeye-1 images (Kilisosdem2012). New Zealand Surveyor, 303, 19-25.

Pfeffer, W. T., Arendt, A. A., Bliss, A., Bolch, T., Cogley, J. G., Gardner, A. S., … The Randolph Consortium, including Cullen, N. J., & Sirguey, P. (2014). The Randolph Glacier Inventory: A globally complete inventory of glaciers. Journal of Glaciology, 60(221), 537-552. doi: 10.3189/2014joG13J176

Cullen, N. J., Sirguey, P., Mölg, T., Kaser, G., Winkler, M., & Fitzsimons, S. J. (2013). A century of ice retreat on Kilimanjaro: The mapping reloaded. Cryosphere, 7(2), 419-431. doi: 10.5194/tc-7-419-2013

Conway, J. P., & Cullen, N. J. (2013). Constraining turbulent heat flux parameterization over a temperate maritime glacier in New Zealand. Annals of Glaciology, 54(63), 41-51. doi: 10.3189/2013AoG63A604

Cullen, N., Bowden, A., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2012). Partnering between a geography department and a community initiative to provide a wind resource assessment for the Blueskin Bay region, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Geographer, 68(1), 49-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7939.2012.01220.x

Cullen, N. J., Conway, J., Zawar-Reza, P., & Spronken-Smith, R. A. (2012). Further assessment of the atmospheric controls on night-time air pollution dispersion in Alexandra, Central Otago, New Zealand from idealized modelling experiments. Air Quality & Climate Change, 46(1), 29-36.

Gillett, S., & Cullen, N. J. (2011). Atmospheric controls on summer ablation over Brewster Glacier, New Zealand. International Journal of Climatology, 31, 2033-2048. doi: 10.1002/joc.2216

Tate, A., Cullen, N. J., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2011). Wintertime PM10 measurements and modelling in Alexandra, Central Otago, New Zealand: Understanding the bi-modal peak in evening air pollution. Air Quality & Climate Change, 45(3), 19-25.

Clark, M., Hendrikx, J., Slater, A. G., Kavetski, D., Anderson, B., Cullen, N. J., … Woods, R. A. (2011). Representing spatial variability of snow water equivalent in hydrologic and land-surface models: A review. Water Resources Research, 47, W07539. doi: 10.1029/2011wr010745

Broadbent, A., Cullen, N. J., & Zawar-Reza, P. (2010). Wintertime numerical modelling of PM10 air pollution in Milton, Otago, New Zealand: Boundary layer structure, effects of data assimilation, and reaching national environmental standards. Air Quality & Climate Change, 44(4), 22-28.

Winkler, M., Kaser, G., Cullen, N. J., Mölg, T., Hardy, D. R., & Pfeffer, W. T. (2010). Land-based marginal ice cliffs: Focus on Kilimanjaro. Erdkunde, 64(2), 179-193. doi: 10.3112/erdkunde.2010.02.05

Kaser, G., Mölg, T., Cullen, N. J., Hardy, D. R., & Winkler, M. (2010). Is the decline of ice on Kilimanjaro unprecedented in the Holocene? Holocene, 20(7), 1079-1091. doi: 10.1177/0959683610369498

Mölg, T., Cullen, N. J., Hardy, D. R., Winkler, M., & Kaser, G. (2009). Quantifying climate change in the tropical midtroposphere over East Africa from glacier shrinkage on Kilimanjaro. Journal of Climate, 22(15), 4162-4181. doi: 10.1175/2009jcli2954.1

Mölg, T., Cullen, N. J., & Kaser, G. (2009). Solar radiation, cloudiness and longwave radiation over low-latitude glaciers: Implications for mass-balance modelling. Journal of Glaciology, 55(190), 292-302. doi: 10.3189/002214309788608822

Mölg, T., Chiang, J. C. H., Gohm, A., & Cullen, N. J. (2009). Temporal precipitation variability versus altitude on a tropical high mountain: Observations and mesoscale atmospheric modelling. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 135(643), 1439-1455. doi: 10.1002/qj.461

Mölg, T., Cullen, N. J., Hardy, D. R., Kaser, G., & Klok, L. (2008). Mass balance of a slope glacier on Kilimanjaro and its sensitivity to climate. International Journal of Climatology, 28(7), 881-892.

Cullen, N. J., Mölg, T., Kaser, G., Steffen, K., & Hardy, D. R. (2007). Energy-balance model validation on the top of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, using eddy covariance data. Annals of Glaciology, 46, 227-233. doi: 10.3189/172756407782871224

Cullen, N. J., Steffen, K., & Blanken, P. D. (2007). Nonstationarity of turbulent heat fluxes at Summit, Greenland. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 122, 439-455. doi: 10.1007/s10546-006-9112-2

Cullen, N. J., Mölg, T., Kaser, G., Hussein, K., Steffen, K., & Hardy, D. R. (2006). Kilimanjaro glaciers: Recent areal extent from satellite data and new interpretation of observed 20th century retreat rates. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L16502. doi: 10.1029/2006GL027084

Mölg, T., Renold, M., Vuille, M., Cullen, N. J., Stocker, T. F., & Kaser, G. (2006). Indian Ocean zonal mode activity in a multicentury integration of a coupled AOGCM consistent with climate proxy data. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L18710. doi: 10.1029/2006GL026384

Cullen, N. J., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2002). Synoptic controls on surface energetics in the Port Hills, Canterbury, New Zealand. Weather & Climate, 22, 3-18.

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Journal - Research Other

Mölg, T., Kaser, G., & Cullen, N. J. (2010). Glacier loss on Kilimanjaro is an exceptional case [Letter]. PNAS, 107(17), E68. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913780107

Mölg, T., Rott, H., Kaser, G., Fischer, A., & Cullen, N. J. (2006). Comment on ″Recent glacial recession in the Rwenzori Mountains of East Africa due to rising air temperature″ by Richard G. Taylor, Lucinda Mileham, Callist Tindimugaya, Abushen Majugu, Andrew Muwanga, and Bob Nakileza. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L20404. doi: 10.1029/2006GL027254

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Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Sirguey, P., & Cullen, N. J. (2013). Surveying from outer space: KILISoSDEM2012: A very high resolution DEM of Kilimanjaro. Survey Quarterly, 76, 5-7.

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Sirguey, P., Cullen, N. J., & Dos Santos, J. F. (2014). The new digital orthometric elevation model of Kilimanjaro. In S. Winter & C. Rizos (Eds.), Proceedings of the Research at Locate (R@Loc) in conjunction with the Locate Conference. (pp. 108-117). [Full Paper]

Sirguey, P., & Cullen, N. J. (2014). A century of photogrammetry on Kilimanjaro. Proceedings of the XXV FIG Congress. International Federation of Surveyors. Retrieved from http://www.fig.net/resources/proceedings/

Wood, R., Sirguey, P., & Cullen, N. J. (2013). Modelling ice retreat on Kilimanjaro using GIS. In P. Denys, M. Strack, A. B. Moore & P. Whigham (Eds.), Proceedings of the 125th New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS) Annual Conference and the Spatial Information Research Centre New Zealand (SIRC NZ) GIS and Remote Sensing Research Conference: Celebrating the Past: Redefining the Future. (pp. 117-120). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Institute of Surveyors. [Full Paper]

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Varley, O., & Cullen, N. (2015). Air quality in New Zealand. In C. Ergler & S. Connelly (Eds.), Proceedings of the Postgraduate Symposium. (pp. 23). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Geography, University of Otago. [Abstract]

Jobst, A., Kingston, D., & Cullen, N. (2015). Developing robust spatial interpolation techniques for temperature and precipitation in a data-sparse alpine catchment. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 17, EGU2015-608. [Abstract]

Jobst, A. M., Kingston, D. G., & Cullen, N. J. (2015). Development of a model chain for climate change impact assessment in the Clutha catchment. In C. Ergler & S. Connelly (Eds.), Proceedings of the Postgraduate Symposium. (pp. 43). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Geography, University of Otago. [Abstract]

Cullen, N. J., Anderson, B., Sirguey, P., Stumm, D., Mackintosh, A., Conway, J. P., … Fitzsimons, S. J., & Lorrey, A. (2015). A new method to consolidate a decade of mass balance measurements on Brewster Glacier, Southern Alps, New Zealand. Proceedings of the Snow and Ice Research Group (SIRG) Annual Meeting. (pp. 1). SIRG. Retrieved from http://sirg.org.nz/

Still, H., Sirguey, P., Cullen, N. J., & Dumont, M. (2015). Reconstructing the mass balance record of Brewster Glacier using satellite-derived albedo data. Proceedings of the Snow and Ice Research Group (SIRG) Annual Meeting. (pp. 2). SIRG. Retrieved from http://sirg.org.nz/

Bell, J., & Cullen, N. (2015). Behaviour and decision making of recreational users of avalanche terrain, Craigieburn Valley Ski Field, New Zealand. In C. Ergler & S. Connelly (Eds.), Proceedings of the Postgraduate Symposium. (pp. 29). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Geography, University of Otago. [Abstract]

Redpath, T., Cullen, N. J., Sirguey, P., & Fitzsimons, S. (2015). Exploring spatial and temporal variability of seasonal snow in New Zealand: Why and how. In C. Ergler & S. Connelly (Eds.), Proceedings of the Postgraduate Symposium. (pp. 52). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Geography, University of Otago. [Abstract]

Seager, R., & Cullen, N. (2015). Global climate change and Antartica. In C. Ergler & S. Connelly (Eds.), Proceedings of the Postgraduate Symposium. (pp. 20). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Geography, University of Otago. [Abstract]

Bell, J. L., & Cullen, N. J. (2014). Avalanche risk mitigation and the perceptions of hazards. Proceedings of the Snow and Ice Research Group (SIRG) Annual Meeting. (pp. 8). SIRG. Retrieved from http://sirg.org.nz/

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