Monika Sikand


Department of Earth and Climate Sciences


Ph.D. Physics 2012, Stevens Institute of Technology

Dr. Sikand is an atmospheric physicist. She studies the Arctic mixed-phase clouds using in-situ mixed-phase clouds and radiometric measurements collected in a unique NSF-funded tethered balloon campaign conducted at Ny-Ålesund, Norway, located high in the Arctic. Dr. Sikand is a Visiting Faculty Exchange Fellow 2018 at the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association – Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (NOAA-GFDL), sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth Systems (CIMES) at Princeton University. Her research contrasted the Arctic mixed-phase boundary layer observations from a tethered balloon platform with cloud parameterization in the NOAA-GFDL AM4 model that is presently being used in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6). Her current research focus aims to understand cloud radiation feedback and better representation of clouds in the global climate model. Dr. Sikand has also published research on interdisciplinary education that synthesis the knowledge and perspectives from different disciplines to address common and complex problems in sustainability. Her research effectively engaged non-STEM majors’ students in a team-taught research-driven instructional strategy using a simple consumer product’s life-cycle analysis (LCA).  Dr. Sikand has served as a National Science Foundation panelist, Grand Awards Judge at International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Expert Reviewer, and National Science Foundation Graduate K-12 Fellow. She is currently co-leading the Diversity and Inclusion Working group at the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) that creates space to share resources on allyship, actions, education around racial issues in science, and start conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Sikand teaches courses in Physics, Astronomy, Sustainability, and Dynamical Climate (EAPH 220). Her courses involve the use of modeling and simulation tools to understand the response of the dynamical systems. She encourages inquiry-based learning using real-time data tools in the classroom that can be accessed freely at NOAA and NASA websites.