Katherine K Hirschboeck
- Associate Professor Emerita
Katherine (Katie) Hirschboeck is a faculty member in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and recently stepped down as the Chair of the Global Change Ph.D.Minor Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geography, with a minor in Geology, from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Her Ph.D. degree in Geosciences was awarded by the University of Arizona in 1985 and her dissertation examined the hydroclimatic causes of mixed distributions in Arizona flood records, linking them to climatic variability. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Oklahoma in 1984 and subsequently held a faculty position at Louisiana State University in the Department of Geography and Anthropology where she was tenured as an Associate Professor of Geography in 1990. In 1991, she joined the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona as an Associate Professor of Climatology.
Dr. HIrschboeckis active in many professional organizations including the Association of American Geographers (for whom she served as the Water Resources Specialty Group secretary/treasurer and chair); the American Quaternary Association (for whom she served as paleoclimatology councilor); the American Meteorological Society; American Geophysical Union; American Institute of Hydrology; American Water Resources Association; the Geological Society of America; and the Tree-Ring Society. She also served on the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Committee on Geography within the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources of the NAS's Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources.
In addition to her teaching and research activities in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Dr. Hirschboeck holds joint appointments in the departments Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, the School of Geography and Development, and maintains close interdisciplinary ties with the Geosciences Department, Arid Lands Resource Sciences, and the Institute of the Environment.
- Ph.D. Geosciences
- University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
- Hydroclimatology of Flow Events in the Gila River Basin, Central and Southern Arizona
- M.S. Geography
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
- The Response of Flooding in the Upper Mississippi Valley to Twentieth Century Climatic Fluctuations 1925-1969
- B.S. Geography
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
- Chair, Global Change Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (2004 - 2014)
- Associate Professor of Climatology, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research University of Arizona (1991 - Ongoing)
- Associate Professor, Department of Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University (1990 - 1991)
- Assistant Professor, Department of Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University (1985 - 1990)
- Instructor, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University (1984 - 1985)
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Oklahoma (1984)
Dr. Hirschboeck's research involves the climatology and hydroclimatology of extreme events – especially floods, paleofloods, and droughts -- which she analyzes from the perspective of their meteorological and climatological causes and their long-term variability. She also uses synoptic climatology and dendroclimatology to link tree-ring responses to anomalous atmospheric circulation patterns.
Introduction to Global Change (GC 170A1) (3 units) General Education Tier I course that presents the basics of physical science within the context of global environmental changes (climatic change, global warming, ozone depletion, deforestation, etc.) that impact Earth and its inhabitants. The course involves hands-on activities, discussions, computer exercises, and interactive small-group learning teams.Global and Regional Climatology (GEOG /GEOS 547) Gradaute Climate course that provides a continent-by-continent description and analysis of the weather and atmospheric circulation process that produces differences in climates throughout the world. Flood Hydrometeorology & Hydroclimatology (HWRS 696F Seminar) (1-3 units) Graduate seminar that focuses on the meteorological and climate-related causes of floods, both regionally and globally.Global Change Toolkit (GC 695g) (1 unit) Colloquium designed specifically for graduate students in the Global Change GIDP PhD Minor, although students in any global-change related discipline may enroll. The course's focus is the acquisition of a basic "Global Change Toolkit," i.e., the foundational background, vocabulary, and communication skills necessary for successful engagement in advanced interdisciplinary scholarly research on global change issues.Dr. Hirschboeck has received the University of Arizona’s Provost Teaching Award: http://www.ltrr.arizona.edu/kkh/Gened.award.htm
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- Woodhouse, C. A., Lukas, J. J., Morino, K. A., Meko, D. M., & Hirschboeck, K. K. (2016). Chapter 11: Using the past to plan for the future – The value of paleoclimate reconstructions for water resource planning. In Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate. https://www.crcpress.com/Water-Policy-and-Planning-in-a-Variable-Changing-Climate/Miller-Hamlet-Kenney-Redmond/9781482227970: CRC Press - Taylor and Francis.More infoEds: Kathleen Miller, Alan Hamlet, Douglas Kenney and Kelly RedmondSeries Title & Editor: Drought and Water Crises: Science, Technology, Management, and Policy Issues for the 21st Century, Donald A. Wilhite (Series Editor)
- Woodhouse, C. A., Lukas, J. J., Morino, K. A., Meko, D. M., & Hirschboeck, K. K. (2016). Chapter 9: Using the past to plan for the future – The value of paleoclimate reconstructions for water resource planning. In Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate. https://www.crcpress.com/Water-Policy-and-Planning-in-a-Variable-Changing-Climate/Miller-Hamlet-Kenney-Redmond/9781482227970: CRC Press. doi:10.1201/b19534-12More infoEds: Kathleen Miller, Alan Hamlet, Douglas Kenney and Kelly RedmondSeries Title & Editor: Drought and Water Crises: Science, Technology, Management, and Policy Issues for the 21st Century, Donald A. Wilhite (Series Editor)
- Hirschboeck, K. K. (1988). Flood hydroclimatology. In Flood geomorphology(pp 27-49).More infoAbstract: Unlike hydrometeorology, which focuses on short-term interactions of the atmosphere and hydrosphere, hydroclimatology analyzes such interactions on broader spatial and temporal scales. Hirschboeck utilizes the context of hydroclimatology to re-evaluate various assumptions and models that are presently used to describe how floods vary over time in relation to climate. -from Editors
- Ballesteros-Canovas, J. A., Stoffel, M., St George, S., & Hirschboeck, K. (2015). A review of flood records from tree rings. PROGRESS IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, 39(6), 794-816. doi:10.1177/0309133315608758
- Czyzowska-Wisniewski, E. H., van Leeuwen, W. J., Hirschboeck, K. K., Marsh, S. E., & Wisniewski, W. T. (2015). Fractional snow cover estimation in complex alpine-forested environments using an artificial neural network. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 156, 403-417.More infoThere is an undisputed need to increase accuracy of Fractional Snow Cover (FSC) estimation in regions of complex terrain, especially in areas dependent on winter snow accumulation for a substantial portion of their water supply, such as the western United States. The main aim of this research is to develop FSC estimation in complex alpine-forested environments using an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) methodology as a fusion framework between multi-sensor remotely sensed data at medium temporal/spatial resolution (e.g.16-day revisit time; 30 m; Landsat), and high spatial resolutions (e.g.1 m; IKONOS). This research is the first known attempt to develop a multi-scale estimator of FSC from surface equivalent reference data derived from IKONOS multispectral data. It is also the first endeavor to estimate FSC values by combining terrain and snow/non-snow reflectance data. The plasticity of the developed ANN Landsat-FSC model accommodates alpine-forest heterogeneity, and renders unbiased, comprehensive, and precise FSC estimates. The accuracy of the ANN Landsat based FSC is characterized by: (1) very low error values (mean error similar to 0.0002; RMSE similar to 0.10; MAE similar to 0.08 FSC), (2) high correlation with the ground equivalent reference datasets derived from I m resolution IKONOS images (r(2) similar to 0.9), and (3) robust FSC estimation that is independent of terrain/vegetation alpine heterogeneity. The latter is supported by a spatially uniform distribution of errors, and lack of correlation between terrain (slope, aspect, terrain shadow distribution), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and the error (r(2) = 0). (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Hirschboeck, K. (2014). Comment on “Using comparative analysis to teach about the nature of nonstationarity in future flood predictions” by S. B. Shaw and M. T. Walter. Hydrology and Earth Systems Science Discussions, 8, C6110-C6114.
- Merz, B., Merz, B., Aerts, J., Aerts, J., Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K., Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K., Baldi, M., Baldi, M., Becker, A., Becker, A., Bichet, A., Bichet, A., Bloeschl, G., Bloeschl, G., Bouwer, L. M., Bouwer, L. M., Brauer, A., Brauer, A., Cioffi, F., , Cioffi, F., et al. (2014). Floods and climate: emerging perspectives for flood risk assessment and management. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 14(7), 1921-1942.More infoFlood estimation and flood management have traditionally been the domain of hydrologists, water resources engineers and statisticians, and disciplinary approaches abound. Dominant views have been shaped; one example is the catchment perspective: floods are formed and influenced by the interaction of local, catchment-specific characteristics, such as meteorology, topography and geology. These traditional views have been beneficial, but they have a narrow framing. In this paper we contrast traditional views with broader perspectives that are emerging from an improved understanding of the climatic context of floods. We come to the following conclusions: (1) extending the traditional system boundaries (local catchment, recent decades, hydrological/hydraulic processes) opens up exciting possibilities for better understanding and improved tools for flood risk assessment and management. (2) Statistical approaches in flood estimation need to be complemented by the search for the causal mechanisms and dominant processes in the atmosphere, catchment and river system that leave their fingerprints on flood characteristics. (3) Natural climate variability leads to time-varying flood characteristics, and this variation may be partially quantifiable and predictable, with the perspective of dynamic, climate-informed flood risk management. (4) Efforts are needed to fully account for factors that contribute to changes in all three risk components (hazard, exposure, vulnerability) and to better understand the interactions between society and floods. (5) Given the global scale and societal importance, we call for the organization of an international multidisciplinary collaboration and data-sharing initiative to further understand the links between climate and flooding and to advance flood research.doi: 10.5194/nhess-14-1921-2014
- Norman, L., Tallent-Halsell, N., Labiosa, W., Weber, M., McCoy, A., Hirschboeck, K., Callegary, J., Riper, C. v., & Gray, F. (2010). Developing an ecosystem services online decision support tool to assess the impacts of climate change and urban growth in the santa cruz watershed; where we live, work, and play. Sustainability, 2(7), 2044-2069.More infoAbstract: Using respective strengths of the biological, physical, and social sciences, we are developing an online decision support tool, the Santa Cruz Watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model (SCWEPM), to help promote the use of information relevant to water allocation and land management in a binational watershed along the U.S.-Mexico border. The SCWEPM will include an ES valuation system within a suite of linked regional driver-response models and will use a multicriteria scenario-evaluation framework that builds on GIS analysis and spatially-explicit models that characterize important ecological, economic, and societal endpoints and consequences that are sensitive to climate patterns, regional water budgets, and regional LULC change in the SCW. © 2010 by the authors.
- Glenn, E. P., Huete, A. R., Nagler, P. L., Hirschboeck, K. K., & Brown, P. (2007). Integrating remote sensing and ground methods to estimate evapotranspiration. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 26(3), 139-168.More infoAbstract: Evapotranspiraton (ET) is the second largest term in the terrestrial water budget after precipitation, and ET is expected to increase with global warming. ET studies are relevant to the plant sciences because over 80% of terrestrial ET is due to transpiration by plants. Remote sensing is the only feasible means for projecting ET over large landscape units. In the past decade or so, new ground and remote sensing tools have dramatically increased our ability to measure ET at the plot scale and to scale it over larger regions. Moisture flux towers and micrometeorological stations have been deployed in numerous natural and agricultural biomes and provide continuous measurements of actual ET or potential ET with an accuracy or uncertainty of 10-30%. These measurements can be scaled to larger landscape units using remotely-sensed vegetation indices (VIs), Land Surface Temperature (LST), and other satellite data. Two types of methods have been developed. Empirical methods use time-series VIs and micrometeorological data to project ET measured on the ground to larger landscape units. Physically-based methods use remote sensing data to determine the components of the surface energy balance, including latent heat flux, which determines ET. Errors in predicting ET by both types of methods are within the error bounds of the flux towers by which they are calibrated or validated. However, the error bounds need to be reduced to 10% or less for applications that require precise wide-area ET estimates. The high fidelity between ET and VIs over agricultural fields and natural ecosystems where precise ground estimates of ET are available suggests that this might be an achievable goal if ground methods for measuring ET continue to improve. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Kim, T. -., Valdés, J., Nijssen, B., Roncayolo, D., & Hirschboeck, K. K. (2004). Linkages between large-scale climatic variations and seasonal variations of precipitation in the Colorado River Basin. Proceedings of the 2004 World Water and Environmetal Resources Congress: Critical Transitions in Water and Environmetal Resources Management, 227-236.More infoAbstract: This study analyzes the influence of large-scale climate patterns on precipitation variability in the Colorado River Basin. Large-scale climate patterns, like ENSO and PDO, are associated with regional hydrologic variations. In order to link large-scale climatic variations to the variations of precipitation in the basin, a conceptual influence index is developed, and its spatial variability in the basin is examined. Various possible combinations of teleconnections are examined using the conceptual climate phase representing extraordinary climatic fluctuation to investigate their influences on seasonal precipitation variations in the basin.
- Michaud, J. D., Hirschboeck, K. K., & Winchell, M. (2001). Regional variations in small-basin floods in the United States. Water Resources Research, 37(5), 1405-1416.More infoAbstract: This paper presents a reconnaissance study of regional flood patterns in the United States, focusing on peak discharges at several recurrence intervals and characteristics of flood-causing rainfall. Because of an interest in flash floods, attention was restricted to watersheds between 10 and 200 km2 in area. Data were obtained from 130 stream gaging stations with a consistent 30-year period of record and from reports documenting 90 exceptional floods occurring mostly on ungaged watersheds. Peak discharges vary considerably within local regions. Roughly 60% of the local variability can be explained by watershed characteristics, but watershed area is not a reliable predictor of peak discharge within the narrow range of watershed sizes examined. On a continental scale the spatial patterns of the median and 25-year floods are similar. In both cases a concentration of large floods is found in the southeastern Great Plains and parts of the southeast. In the west, north, and northeast, floods tend to be small, but large floods still occur in scattered locations. The pattern and seasonality of the exceptional floods, which are presumed to have relatively long recurrence intervals, are different from the pattern of median and 25-year floods. The largest of the exceptional floods are concentrated in the central and southern Great Plains during May and June. They occur farther west (and several months later) than the largest median floods. Exceptional floods occurring in the semiarid west were caused by as little as 5-10 cm of rain in 30-60 min, whereas in humid areas most of the exceptional floods resulted from 13-32 cm of rain in 1-12 hours.
- Hirschboeck, K. (1999). A room with a view: Some geographic perspectives on dilettantism, cross-training, and scale in hydrology. ANNALS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS, 89(4), 696-706.
- Hirschboeck, K. K. (1999). A room with a view: Some geographic perspectives on dilettantism, cross'training, and scale in hydrology. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 89(4), 696-706.
- Michaud, J., Hirschboeck, K., & Winchell, M. (1999). Regional variations in small-basin floods in the United States. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH, 37(5), 1405-1416.More infoThis paper presents a reconnaissance study of regional flood patterns in the United States, focusing on peak discharges at several recurrence intervals and characteristics of flood-causing rainfall. Because of an interest in flash floods, attention was restricted to watersheds between 10 and 200 km(2) in area. Data were obtained from 130 stream gaging stations with a consistent 30-year period of record and from reports documenting 90 exceptional floods occurring mostly on ungaged watersheds. Peak discharges vary considerably within local regions. Roughly 60% of the local variability can be explained by watershed characteristics, but watershed area is not a reliable predictor of peak discharge within the narrow range of watershed sizes examined. On a continental scale the spatial patterns of the median and 25-year floods are similar. In both cases a concentration of large floods is found in the southeastern Great Plains and parts of the southeast. In the west, north, and northeast, floods tend to be small, but large floods still occur in scattered locations. The pattern and seasonality of the exceptional floods, which are presumed to have relatively long recurrence intervals, are different from the pattern of median and 25-year floods. The largest of the exceptional floods are concentrated in the central and southern Great Plains during May and June. They occur farther west (and several months later) than the largest median floods. Exceptional floods occurring in the semiarid west were caused by as little as 5-10 cm of rain in 30-60 min, whereas in humid areas most of the exceptional floods resulted from 13-32 cm of rain in 1-12 hours.
- Moss, P., Debres, K. J., Cravey, A., Hyndman, J., Hirschboeck, K. K., & Masucci, M. (1999). Toward mentoring as feminist praxis: Strategies for ourselves and others. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 23(3), 413-427.More infoAbstract: In this paper, we outline some strategies that we have found useful in our everyday practices as faculty members at a variety of universities in Canada and the USA. We first set a framework for being a mentor while engaging feminist praxis. We then discuss strategies that would be useful in choosing a mentor as well as being a mentor; for mentoring undergraduate students as well as graduate students. We conclude by suggesting that working toward self-mentoring is a goal.
- Faiers, G. E., Keim, B. D., & Hirschboeck, K. K. (1994). A synoptic evaluation of frequencies and intensities of extreme three- and 24-hour rainfall in Louisiana. Professional Geographer, 46(2), 156-163.More infoAbstract: This research classifies extreme three-hour and 24-hour rainfall events in Louisiana by synoptic weather types (Frontal, Gulf Tropical Disturbance, and Air Mass). These classes were used to analyze differences in frequencies and intensities of extreme rainfall. Significant differences were found in the storm frequencies by weather type. However, no significant differences were detected in rainfall intensities between weather types during either duration. These findings have a bearing on statistical procedures associated with estimating storm probabilities in the region. -Authors
- Hirschboeck, K. K. (1991). Climate and floods. US Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper, 2375, 67-88.More infoAbstract: Floods are caused by weather phenomena and events that deliver more precipitation to a drainage basin than can be readily absorbed or stored within the basin. The kinds of weather phenomena and events that cause floods include intense convective thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes, extratropical cyclones and frontal passages, and rapid snowmelt. These individual meteorological processes are part of a larger climatic framework that determines: 1) the seasonal availability and large-scale delivery pathways of atmospheric moisture, 2) the seasonal frequency, typical locations, and degree of persistence of the weather phenomena that release the delivered moisture, and 3) the seasonal variation of climate-related, land-surface conditions that affect flood runoff, such as antecedent soil moisture or snow cover. -from Author
- Breve, M. A., Bengtson, R. L., Hirschboeck, K. K., & Fouss, J. L. (1990). Distribution and correlation of the rainfall erosion index in Southern Louisiana. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 33(2), 487-492.More infoAbstract: Rainfall erosion indices were calculated for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from a 19-year record and for four additional locations in southern Louisiana from a five-year record. Results showed the erosion indices recommended by Wischmeier and Smith (1978) for the studied locations were satisfactory for soil erosion control/prediction except for the higher indices in central Louisiana. Latitude and longitude were highly significant in explaining the variation of erosion indices in south central Louisiana.
- Hirschboeck, K. K. (1987). Catastrophic flooding and atmospheric circulation anomalies, ( USA). Catastrophic flooding, 23-56.More infoAbstract: An analysis of the atmospheric circulation patterns associated with twenty-one catastrophic floods in the conterminous United States demonstrates that each flood can be linked to anomalous patterns of circulation. Extreme regional floods over broad areas evolve from different types of large-scale anomalous behavior: uncommon locations of typical circulation features, unusual combinations of atmospheric processes, rare configurations in circulation patterns, and exceptional persistence of the same circulation pattern. Extreme local flash floods over small drainage areas can be classified into synoptic categories of existing flash-flood forecasting schemes, and in addition, these small-scale catastrophic events exhibit sensitivity to large-scale circulation anomalies. -from Author
- Hirschboeck, K. K. (1979). A new worldwide chronology of volcanic eruptions. (With a summary of historical ash-producing activity and some implications for climatic trends of the last one hundred years). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 29(C), 223-241.More infoAbstract: A chronological enumeration of volcanic eruptions from around the world is used to describe temporal and spatial variations in historical volcanism. Over 5000 eruptions from 907 active volcanoes of the world are classified on the basis of eruption type and scaled on the basis of relative magnitude of ejected material. The chronology extends from 2227 B.C. to 1969 A.D. but is most reliable after 1850 A.D. Advantages of the data set over other existing chronologies include a vastly increased sample size, a scheme for assessing the relative ash-producing magnitude of each eruption, and a computerized data-storage format. Preliminary application of the eruption chronology to global and hemispheric temperature trends for the period 1880-1969 demonstrates that episodes of frequent and intense ash-producing eruptions tend to be associated with periods of cooler hemispheric temperatures, while volcanically quiescent episodes tend to correspond with periods of hemispheric warming. © 1979.
- Hirschboeck, K., Ni, F., Wood, M., Woodhouse, C., Dean, J., Meko, D., & Swetnam, T. (1984). Synoptic dendroclimatology: Overview and outlook. In TREE RINGS, ENVIRONMENT AND HUMANITY, 205-223.More infoThe fields of synoptic climatology and dendroclimatology have maintained an interconnected and parallel development. In this paper we suggest that this mutual advancement should continue as synoptic dendroclimatology, a subfield that uses dated tree rings to study and reconstruct present and past climate from the viewpoint of the atmospheric circulation. Eigenvector-based analyses and the use of circulation indices are prime examples of the ways in which tree growth has been related to the circulation. However, analyses that define a direct process-based connection between the large-scale circulation and local ring-width variation are a critical missing link. We propose that standard dendroclimatic reconstructions be enhanced by companion analyses that identify the climate's constituent weather components and the way in which these components are related to tree rings through the circulation at all scales. Three examples of this approach are presented: anomalous circulation patterns associated with frost-ring formation, storm tracks that can be differentiated using tree-ring information in India, and ''response circulation patterns'' for trees in Oregon and New Mexico.
- Czyzowska, E., Van, L. W., Hirschboeck, K., Wisniewski, W., & Marsh, . (2013, December). Alpine Snow Cover – Water Resources in Arid Regions. 2013 Fall Meeting AGU. San Francisco, CA.More infoAbstract H31N-06; Dates: 12/15-12/19
- Quay, R., Garfin, G., Dominguez, F., Hirschboeck, K., Woodhouse, C., Guido, Z., & White, D. (2013, December). Climate Change Extreme Events: Meeting the Information Needs of Water Resource Managers. 2013 Fall Meeting AGU. San Francisco, CA.More infoAbstract NH51B-1611; Dates: 12/15-12/19
- Hirschboeck, K. (2012, February). Over Three Decades of Probing the Disconnect between Floods, Climate Change and Flood Frequency Analysis. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting. New York, NY.More infoDate: 02/27
- Hirschboeck, K., Zamora-Reyes, D., Kim, S., & Parreti, N. (2012, October). Paleo, Present and Future Floods: Insights from Flood Hydroclimatology for Identifying Flood-Climate Links on Different Time Scales. European Geophysical Union EGU Topical Meeting on Floods and Climate: Understanding and Exploiting the Link Between Floods and Climate. Potsdam, Germany.More infoDates: 10/04-10/05
- Zamora-Reyes, D., Hirschboeck, K., & Paretti, N. (2012, December). An Exploration of the Importance of Flood Heterogeneity for Regionalization in Arizona using the Expected Moments Algorithm. 2012 Fall Meeting AGU. San Francisco, CA.More infoAbstract H41F-1245; Dates: 12/03-12/07
- Hirschboeck, K. K. (2013, May). Floods Events in Tree-Ring Streamflow Reconstructions — Can They Be Sorted Out?. Ameridendro Conference. Tucson, AZ: Tree-Ring Society.
- Zamora-Reyes, D., Hirschboeck, K., & Valdes, J. (2013, December). Flood Heterogeneity as a Tool for Exploring Flood Frequency-Climate Linkages from a Watershed Perspective. 2013 Fall Meeting AGU. San Francisco, CA.More infoAbstract H51Q-06; Dates: 12/15-12/19