JACKSON, Tenn. – May 5, 2005 – A researcher from Florida will be coming to Union University this month to conduct studies about climate trends and changes in the west Tennessee region.
The studies will determine which occurrences in weather are trends and which are one-time events.
“I have no interest in going to Antarctica to gather data,” researcher Michael Hayes said. “The object is to see if we can take data that may be available from other people and see if we can spot trends early.”
Hayes, a 1974 Union graduate, spent 24 years with Petroferm Inc., a chemical company in Fernandina Beach, Fla. He served as the company’s chief executive officer from 1997-2004. He earned his doctorate from the University of Texas.
“This research must begin at a local level because the only way global climate can change is if local weather changes,” Hayes said.
His research at Union will be done in a three-phase project. The first phase, which is already underway, consists of searching the Internet for existing data needed to recognize trends. During the second phase, Hayes will take some examples from the data and try to explain useful information.
The last and most intense phase will occur only if the first two are successful. If they are, Hayes will try to assimilate and make public information that can be useful to the community.
Hayes said he wants to see if it’s possible to pick out climate changes, not so much by predicting them, but by identifying them. This research may help farmers and horticulturalists prevent economic damages. Depending on his findings, Hayes might publish his results in some type of scientific journal.
He will be here as a volunteer, but Union is providing him with an office, a telephone and a computer, which is the medium by which most of the research will be conducted. Hayes is part of Union’s Hammons Society of Fellows, a program that promotes professionals and their efforts to advance the cause of Christ in the area of science.
Emily Stopher (’07)