Jacob O. Sewall, Ph.D.
Environmental Science and Geology

422 Boehm Science Center
Department of Physical Sciences
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
P.O. Box 730
Kutztown, PA 19530

sewall at kutztown.edu

My educational background is in Geology and computational Earth System Science. I have used geological, paleoecological, and observational data in combination with numerical models to study the climate history, change, and dynamics of our planet. My research has focused on understanding the history of the earth and climate system as represented in the rock record and exploring the potential for future climate system changes.

The more I studied climate and climate change and the more I taught about unfolding resource challenges, the more I realized that we had enough information.  At this point in human history we know better.  We need to start doing better.  I spent an enlightening sabbatical visiting and learning about many of the positive actions people are doing here and now in the pursuit of a better tomorrow.  I returned to the classroom energized and focused on helping science students understand and identify the role of narrative in science and, most importantly, teaching them some of the skills and flexibility necessary to change our current narrative from one of destructive consumption to one of productive coexistence.

Public education serves the future of the whole by nurturing the next generation of visionaries and decision makers.  In many ways, the overaching theme of our future is set.  Whatever form it takes, it will be an Anthropocene - a world influenced predominantly by human actions.  Which version of the Anthropocene we occupy will depend on the vision and decisions of this and subsequent generations.  It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to do our best to produce aware, empowered, and energized citizens who can recognize the current condition of the Earth System and envision and work towards an integrative society that prioritizes healing and strengthening the struggling support networks humanity depends on.
CV (pdf)

Boundary Conditions
One of the most time consuming tasks facing researchers who use General Circulation Models (GCMs) in paleoclimate investigations is the production of surface boundary conditions for past time periods. I, and others, have developed surface boundary conditions (land-sea distribution, paleotopography, paleobathymetry, and paleovegetation distribution) for various past time periods. These boundary conditions are in NetCDF format, are appropriate for incorporation into numerical studies of Earth's climate, and are available upon request.

Courses and Student Research Undergraduate research is recognized as a particularly powerful and transformative experience.  Recently there has been a push to increase student involvement in research via the inclusion of discovery-based research within the classroom (President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012; Committee for Convocation on Integrating Discovery-Based Research into the Undergraduate Curriculum, 2015). To that end, I have greatly expanded the inclusion of research into the courses that I teach. Each course uses a different model, but all involve original inquiry.