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Lawrence Berkley National Lab
Research Scientist
Climate Science Department
Multi-scale Climate Modeling


Travis A. O'Brien is a research scientist in the Climate Science Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Dr. O'Brien leads a team of researchers, within the LBNL Calibrated and Systematic Characterization, Attribution, and Detection of Extremes (CASCADE) scientific focus area, aimed at improving our understanding of the physical processes that lead to extreme events and our ability to model them. He earned a B.S. in Physics, a M.S. in Earth Sciences, and a Ph. D in Earth Sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz. While earning his Ph. D from UC Santa Cruz, Dr. O'Brien spent two years at UC Davis collaborating with colleagues, taking courses, and ultimately teaching a course on atmospheric thermodynamics. He started at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab as a postdoctoral researcher mentored by Prof. William D. Collins before ultimately securing a career scientist position at the lab. His current research has two major foci: a focus on understanding and leveraging emergent multiscale behavior in the climate system to improve our ability to predict climate, and a focus on understanding the role of low clouds and fog as a mediator for (and expression of) the tight coupling of the atmosphere, terrestrial, and marine systems that occurs at subtropical, western continental boundaries.