Symposium Format Information

EnviroDay 2023 Symposium will be held in-person on Friday, February 24th. All oral presentations, including the keynote talk at 4:30 will be available in-person (see the detailed schedule here) and through Zoom. Zoom information will be made available to all EVSC community members and those who are registered on the morning of February 24th. PDFs of the posters will be available on the poster tab of the EnviroDay website, but all poster presentations will occur in-person in the Mural Room between 1:00-2:00.

We have also created an EnviroDay 2023 Glossary (below), where participants can find terms that are used in the presentations with definitions understandable by an audience with minimal background in the sciences.

If you have any questions about accessibility and inclusivity, please reach out to our Accessibility point person, Marion McKenzie at If you have questions or concerns about access to in-person presentations, please look for our volunteers in the green EnviroDay t-shirts on the day of the symposium.

EnviroDay 2023 Glossary

Alluvial fan: Depositional landforms that commonly occur at transitions from high-to-low slope, where there is a reduction in sediment transport capacity over a short distance

Apparent Oxygen Utilization (AOU):  Measure of maximum possible dissolved oxygen at a given salinity and temperature minus the observed dissolved oxygen, where positive values indicate high respiration and consumption and negative values indicate high productivity.

Basin: Large low-lying area. In this case, a low lying area that water flows into.

BAU: Stands for business as usual. Represents UVA’s future nitrogen footprint assuming normal university growth and no additional operations changes.

Benthic Microalgae: Photosynthetic microorganisms residing in sediment.

Climate Feedback: a response of the climate system to warming that either intensifies (positive feedback) or dampens (negative feedback) warming. Main examples include water vapor, lapse rate, albedo, and cloud feedbacks.

Cloud Optical Depth: a measure of the degree to which a cloud modifies light passing through it. This is dependent on cloud thickness, liquid and ice water content, and size distribution of ice crystals and water droplets. Different clouds are characterized by their optical depths and resulting differences in the ways they attenuate light.

CMIP: Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. This is the framework through which climate modeling groups around the world collaborate and share climate model data. Common experiments and conventions allow for the comparison of results across models. Model ensembles are periodically updated, for example from CMIP5 to CMIP6, and coincide with the release of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessment reports.

Coefficient of variance: a standardized measure of dispersion, the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean.

Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS): a now extinct ice sheet that covered the northwestern part of North America during the Last Glacial Maximum (20,000-14,000 years ago).

CTX: Context Camera that provides high resolution images created by NASA to gather planetary data.

Emergent Constraint : [definition 1] a method used to constrain the variability of climate models’ predictions of warming using observations. This requires three components: 1) a statistical relationship between the intermodel variability in some climate variable and intermodel variability of climate sensitivity; 2) a plausible physical mechanism explaining the relationship between the climate variable and climate sensitivity; 3) observations of the climate variable that can be used to constrain variability of the variable in models and therefore the prediction of warming. [definition 2] physically explainable empirical relationships between characteristics of the current climate and long-term climate prediction that emerge in collections of climate model simulations.

Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS): the long term increase of globally averaged surface temperature change a climate model predicts under a scenario of doubled CO2.

Fluorescence: A two-step process in which a pigment first absorbs light of a relatively short wavelength and then emits light of a relatively long wavelength.

Fluorescence yield: Ratio between fluorescence energy emitted by chlorophyll and light energy absorbed by chlorophyll.

Gross primary productivity (GPP): The gross rate of CO2 uptake by plants.

Grounded-ice margin: where a glacier or ice sheet is last in contact with the ground beneath it. The position of this line is especially important for ice bodies that terminate into water.

Harmonic Analysis: Method of studying periodic variations in time series using sine and cosine functions, where the harmonic increases indicate changes in frequencies. 

Hyperspectral imaging: a type of imaging that allows you to obtain the electromagnetic reflectance spectrum for each pixel of an image

ICP: inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The machine used to assess the levels of silver and copper in the water samples.

Imaging spectroscopy: a synonym of hyperspectral imaging; a type of imaging that allows you to obtain the electromagnetic reflectance spectrum for each pixel of an image

ISCCP: International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project. Observations from this project output cloud coverage in cloud top pressure – optical depth space. An ISCCP simulator can also be deployed in climate models to produce analogous cloud fraction output that can be compared to ISCCP observational data.

Last Glacial Maximum (LGM): the global period in which ice sheets were last at their maximum extent (around 20,000 years ago)

Light use efficiency: The ratio between GPP and light energy absorbed by plants.

Marine-terminating ice sheet: a large, persistent body of ice overlying an entire body of land that directly contributes to and is in contact with the ocean. 

Morphometry: Measuring the external shape and dimensions of landforms.

Nitrogen Footprint: the amount of reactive nitrogen released to the environment as a result of an entity’s resource consumption

Paleoclimate: Climate during a particular time in the geological past.

Percent cover: the percent of the canopy that is made up by each species present in the area; can add up to more than 100% when adding all the species due to overlap and multiple canopy layers

Permafrost: Ground that remains continuously frozen for longer than two years.

Phenology: The study of the timing of cyclic, often seasonally recurring, natural phenomenon, such as the shedding of leaves by deciduous trees in autumn.

Point-of-use water filters: rather than serving as a filtration system for an entire water supply, point-of-use water filters directly purify water as it is about to be used in smaller quantities. This form of water treatment is more feasible in a rural, developing context.  

Radiative Kernels: a method for calculating and decomposing the top-of-atmosphere radiative flux changes that result from feedbacks in a warming atmosphere. Kernels are typically multiplied by the change of the variable of interest, such as change in cloud fraction from a control state to a warmed state, to yield a change in radiative flux resulting from the feedback in question.

Red edge: a region in the electromagnetic spectrum between red and the near-infrared wavelengths, which is typically associated with a steep increase in reflectance in healthy vegetation.

Remote Sensing: [definition 1] The process of monitoring or determining the physical characteristics of materials by measuring its reflected or emitted radiation from a distance.  [definition 2] acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object, in contrast to in situ or on-site observation

Rossby wave: a large, slow-moving, planetary-scale wave generated in the troposphere by ocean-land temperature contrasts and topographic forcing (winds flowing over mountains), and affected by the Coriolis effect due to the earth’s rotation.

Seed bank: repository of seeds within the soil; seeds can remain there for many years before germinating, which is often triggered by environmental conditions

Solar-Induced Fluorescence (SIF): [definition 1] Light emitted by chlorophyll in the red to near-infrared wavelengths following light absorption. Commonly abbreviated as SIF. [definition 2] Faint light emitted by chlorophyll when it absorbs sunlight.

Spatial resolution: the spatial sensitivity of a sensor; typically described as the size of a single pixel.

Spectral bands: the recorded wavelengths by a sensor

Spectral resolution: the spectral sensitivity of a sensor; in hyperspectral imaging, the sensor is not sensitive to all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum but rather records information every few wavelengths.

Spectral signature: variation of reflectance or emittance of a material with respect to wavelengths

Subtropical jet: a belt of strong upper-level winds lying above regions of subtropical high pressure.

Topography: The changes in elevation over a particular area.

Walker Circulation: longitudinal (east-west) circulation across the equatorial Pacific.