Senior Leadership Team

Amy McGovern headshot

Dr. Amy Mcgovern

Principal Investigator

Dr. McGovern is the PI for AI2ES.  She is a Lloyd G. and Joyce Austin Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma where she has a dual-appointment in the School of Computer Science and the School of Meteorology.  Dr. McGovern’s research focuses on developing and applying AI techniques to a variety of real-world applications, with a special focus on severe weather.  Dr. McGovern earned her PhD. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her B.S. (honors) in Math/Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Professional webpage


Chris Thorncroft Headshot

Dr. Chris Thorncroft

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Thorncroft is a co-PI for AI2ES. He is Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the University at Albany. His research is concerned with weather and climate in the tropics and extratropics. Emphasis is given to improving knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of high-impact  weather systems through analysis of observations and modeling. He also directs the NYS Mesonet as well as the UAlbany Center of Excellence in Weather and Climate Analytics which is devoted to establishing applied research partnerships with the private sector. 

Professional webpage


Imme Ebert-Uphoff headshot

Dr. Imme Ebert-Uphoff

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Ebert-Uphoff is a co-PI for AI2ES.  She is a Research Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Machine Learning Lead at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), both at Colorado State University.  Her research focuses on the use of data science methods, including causal discovery and machine learning, to applications in climate and weather.  Dr. Ebert-Uphoff received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and the equivalent of B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany (now known as KIT).

Professional webpage


Roy He headshot

Dr. Ruoying “Roy” He

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. He is a co-PI for AI2ES. He is a Goodnight Innovation Distinguished Professor in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University. His research expertise spans from coastal circulation dynamics and air-sea interaction to biophysical interactions. As the director of the Ocean Observing and Modeling Group, he conducts coastal ocean observations, remote sensing data analyses, and  leads the development of prediction models of ocean circulation, air-sea-wave interactions, physical-biogeochemical couplings, as well as data assimilation. Dr. He earned his PhD. in Physical Oceanography from the University of South Florida. Prior to joining the NC State, he was a research scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Professional webpage


Philippe Tissot headshot

Dr. Philippe Tissot

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Tissot is a co-PI for AI2ES. He is the Interim Director for the Conrad Blucher Institute and an Associate Research Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Dr. Tissot’s research focuses on the development and operational application of AI methods for analysis and prediction of coastal processes. Projects include developing operational predictions for navigation and emergency management and work on relative sea level rise and coastal flooding. Dr. Tissot earned a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, and a Diploma in Physics Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne.

Professional webpage


Ann Bostrum Headshot

Dr. ann bostrom

Senior Personnel

Dr. Bostrom is the Weyerhaeuser endowed Professor of Environmental Policy at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington. She researches risk perception, risk communication, and decision-making under uncertainty, with a focus on mental models of hazardous processes. Projects include interview, survey and experimental research on perceptions, communication and decision making about climate change, earthquake early warning, and extreme weather forecasts and warnings. Dr. Bostrom earned her PhD. in Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University, her M.B.A from Western Washington University, and her B.A. in English from the University of Washington.

Professional webpage


Phillip Davis headshot

Dr. Phillip davis

Senior Personnel

Dr. Davis serves a lead curriculum developer for the AI2ES project developing the AI is GIS certificate and courses.  Dr. Davis is a professor of computer science at partner school Del Mar College in Corpus Christi Texas.  He is part of a team of four educators at Del Mar College responsible for promoting the AI2ES project with the nation’s two year college community.  Phillip will lead the new AI2ES curriculum development during year 1 and then build the new certificate program in years 2 and 3 with the plan to expand the program adoption by other two year colleges nationwide in years 4 and 5.

Professional webpage


Dr. Julie Demuth

Senior Personnel

Dr. Demuth is a Research Scientist at NCAR in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology (MMM) Lab with the Weather Risks and Decisions in Society (WRaDS) research group. Her research focuses on hazardous weather risk communication, risk perception, and decision-making with expert groups (forecasters, emergency managers, etc.) and members of the public. Her BS and MS are in Atmospheric Science, and her PhD is in Communication. 

Professional webpage


David Gagne headshot

Dr. David John Gagne

Senior Personnel

Dr. Gagne is a Machine Learning Scientist and head of the Analytics and Integrative Machine Learning group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His research focuses on developing explainable AI systems for a wide range of Earth System Science challenges, including predicting high impact weather and emulating computationally demanding physical models. He has led the development of multiple interactive short courses on machine learning for atmospheric science. Dr. Gagne received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.  

Professional webpage


Jason Hickey headshot

Dr. Jason Hickey

Industry collaborator

Dr. Hickey is a senior member of the technical staff in Google.  He leads the AI for Weather team in Google Research, focusing on the use of machine learning to improve weather forecasting.  Jason holds the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees  in Computer Science from Cornell University, and the B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Caltech.  He has worked at Google since 2008, in areas including artificial intelligence, internet of things, and global computing infrastructure.  He was Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Caltech from 1999-2008, research focusing on programming languages and distributed and scientific computing.

Professional webpage


Nathan Snook headshot

Dr. nathan snook

Senior Personnel

Dr. Snook is a senior research scientist at the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms at the University of Oklahoma.  His research focuses on prediction of severe weather hazards, such as hail and tornadoes, using high-resolution ensemble forecasts and AI/ML methods.  Dr. Snook earned a B.S. in Meteorology from Iowa State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

Professional webpage



John Williams headshot

Dr. John Williams

Industry collaborator

Dr. Williams is Senior Scientist – Machine Learning and Senior Manager, Forecasting Sciences at The Weather Company, an IBM Business. He leads a team of scientists and software engineers who use AI and data science in conjunction with meteorological expertise to innovate and reduce to practice methods for creating state-of-the-art weather forecasts that routinely serve over 300 million individuals and 3,500 businesses around the globe, including via the popular Weather Channel and Weather Underground mobile apps. Dr. Williams earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics, M.S. in Applied Mathematics, and M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Colorado and his B.A. (Honors) in Physics from Swarthmore College.

Professional webpage

Team Members

Chuck Anderson headshot

Dr. chuck anderson

senior personnel

Dr. Anderson is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Colorado State University.  His research and teaching is focused on artificial intelligence and neural network algorithms for reinforcement learning, brain-computer interfaces and high-dimensional data. Prof. Anderson earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Professional webpage

Libby Barnes headshot

Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Barnes

Senior Personnel

Dr. Barnes is an associate professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Her research is largely focused on climate dynamics/predictability and data science methods for earth system research (e.g. machine learning, causal discovery). Prof. Barnes obtained dual B.S. degrees (Honors) in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington.

Professional webpage 

Nick Bassill headshot

Dr. Nick Bassill

Senior personnel

Dr. Bassill is the Director of Research & Development at UAlbany’s Center of Excellence. Dr. Bassill applies his background in numerical weather prediction, forecasting, and data analysis to “real-world” weather problems in and near the state of New York. These are often complex problems which require a synthesis of weather data and domain-specific data such as utility outages, road salt, or school closures. This work requires extensive outreach to non-meteorologists, and necessitates easily digestible information tailored for these decision makers. Through his affiliation with the NYS Mesonet, Dr. Bassill also creates a wealth of products and tools for use by operational forecasters and domain experts to maximize this resource. Finally, Dr. Bassill conducts original research on challenging forecast topics with both undergraduates and graduates at UAlbany.

Professional webpage


Dara Betz headshot

Dara Betz


Ms. Betz is the Director of Workforce Programs for Corporate Services and oversees Institutional Strategic Accreditations at Del Mar College.   In collaboration with institutional, government, and industry partners, she leads in the development of workforce initiatives creating career pathways for secondary and post-secondary students. In addition, she holds the rank of Major currently serving in the United States Army Reserves specializing in Imagery and Geospatial analysis. Dara received her MBA from University of Phoenix and B.A. in Criminal Justice from Temple University.

Professional webpage

Sid Boukabara headshot

Dr. sid Boukabara

Government Collaborator

Dr. Boukabara is a principal scientist at the NESDIS’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR). His main scientific activities include leading technology maturation projects and in particular exploring new numerical approaches such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to improve the Nation’s usage of satellite data in NOAA’s prediction systems. He is co-chair of the NOAA AI executive committee, helping establishing a NOAA-wide AI strategy and the NOAA AI Center. Dr. Boukabara received the Ingénieur degree in electronics and signal processing from the National School of Civil Aviation (ENAC), in Toulouse, France (1994), the M.S. degree from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France the same year and the Ph.D. degree in remote sensing from the Denis Diderot University, Paris, France (1997).

Professional webpage 

Jerry Brotzge

Dr. Jerald “Jerry” Brotzge

Senior personnel

Dr. Brotzge is a Research Scientist and Program Manager of the New York State Mesonet at the University at Albany.  Dr. Brotzge brings decades of experience working with data networks and research-to-operations (R2O).  Dr. Brotzge leads a team focused on the collection, quality control, archival and dissemination of high-quality environmental data for the state of New York.  Collecting over one million observations per day, the NYSM system includes innovative atmospheric, snow, and vertical profiling sensors, and efforts are now underway with local NWS and national NOAA research centers to integrate these new data into operations. Dr. Brotzge’s research has concentrated on the development and improvement of weather observing systems, forecast products, and R2O applications 

Professional webpage

Korinne Caruso headshot

Korinne Caruso

Senior personnel

Ms. Caruso is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Del Mar College.  Prior to this she was an adjunct instructor and the Engineering Program Coordinator II for Engineering Recruitment and STEM Outreach at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC).  She holds a BS degree in Control Systems Engineering Technology, an MS in Education and an MS in Computer Science all from TAMUCC.  Caruso’s experience includes coordinating outreach activities in the STEM fields to remove the stigma of the sciences in the community.

Dimitris Diochnos headshot

Dr. dimitris diochnos

Senior personnel

Dr. Diochnos is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Oklahoma. Dr Diochnos works in artificial intelligence and is particularly interested in provable guarantees of machine learning classifiers, especially in situations where the data has been adversarially altered. Dr Diochnos earned his PhD in Mathematical Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, his Master’s in Mathematics from the University of Athens (Greece) and his B.S. in Informatics and Telecommunications from the University of Athens (Greece).

Professional webpage


Jessica Dula headshot

Ms. Jessica Dula


Jessica A. Dula, Research Associate at Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), received her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Grade Mathematics Education from Florida State University.  Prior to joining HRI in 2016, Mrs. Dula taught seventh grade mathematics in Chapel Hill, NC and sixth through ninth grade mathematics in Tallahassee, FL.  At HRI, Mrs. Dula is a member of various research teams, and she is also involved in the evaluations of several research projects.

Professional webpage

Andrew Fagg headshot

Dr. Andrew Fagg

Senior personnel

Dr. Fagg is the Brian E. and Sandra O’Brien Presidential Professor of Computer Science, an Associate Professor of Computer Science and a member of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (IBEST) at the University of Oklahoma.  His research interests include machine learning, robotics and computational neuroscience.  In particular, he employs machine learning techniques to connect brain imaging data with complex motor behavior and to identify changes in each due to development and learning.  He holds a PhD and MS in Computer Science from the University of Southern California and a BS in Math/Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University. 

Professional webpage

Chris Fiebrich headshot

Dr. Christopher A. Fiebrich


Dr. Fiebrich is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Mesonet and Associate Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey at the University of Oklahoma. He is also Adjunct Faculty with the School of Meteorology at OU. His areas of expertise are in mesoscale meteorology and climatology, meteorological instrumentation, and applied meteorology and climatology. He oversees all activities of the Oklahoma Mesonet, including sensor calibrations, field operations, technology and software development, data and climate services, research, and outreach to emergency managers, fire fighters, farmers, and K-20 educators.  He earned his B.S. in 1998, M.S. in 2000, and Ph.D. in Meteorology in 2007 from the University of Oklahoma. He is a Steering Committee member of the AASC Mesonet committee and a Certified Consulting Meteorologist of the American Meteorological Society. 

Dr. Evelyn Gordon head shot

Dr. Evelyn Gordon


Dr. Gordon is a Senior Researcher at Horizon Research, Inc., where she conducts research on mathematics teaching and learning and manages the external evaluations of several STEM education projects funded by NSF and the US Department of Education.  Dr. Gordon earned her Ph.D. in Education and M.S. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her A.B. in Mathematics from Vassar College.

 Professional webpage

Sean Griffin headshot

sean griffin

industry collaborator

Mr. Griffin is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Disaster Tech. Sean served as Director for Incident Management Integration Policy on the US National Security Council, and is an active duty veteran of the U.S. Navy and Naval Nuclear Power Program.  During his White House term under President Obama and President Trump, Sean led the Executive Office of the President and inter- agency policy coordination for major disasters and incidents.  Additionally, Sean led emergency management training and exercise programs at the U.S. Department of State, Defense Logistics Agency, and National Institute of Health. He also volunteered time to Chair the Federal Sector Emergency Managers Caucus for the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), and is a leading member of the Private Sector Committee for the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA).

Professional webpage


David Hall headshot

Dr. David Hall

industry collaborator

Dr. Hall is Data Scientist at NVIDIA. His research focuses on applications of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning for the Earth and Space sciences. Previously, Dr. Hall held positions as an Assistant Professor of Research in the Computer Science Department at CU Boulder, and as a Research Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He has a broad technical background in theoretical physics, computational fluid dynamics, remote sensing, numerical methods, weather and climate modeling, and artificial intelligence. Before joining NVIDIA, Dr. Hall spent much of the previous decade developing numerical techniques to improve the atmospheric components of the CESM and E3SM global climate models. Dr. Hall earned a PhD in Soft Condensed-Matter Physics from the University of Santa Barbara, CA and a BA in Physics from CU Boulder.

Professional webpage

Dr. katherine haynes


Dr. Haynes is a Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University.  Her research focuses on applying machine learning techniques to atmospheric science-related topics, with a current emphasis on tropical cyclone problems.  Dr. Haynes received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University, a Master of Computer Science degree from Colorado State University, and B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Music Performance/Computer Science from Indiana University.

Professional webpage

Cameron Homeyer headshot

Dr. cameron homeyer

Senior personnel

Dr. Homeyer is an Associate Professor, the Associate Director for Graduate Programs, and the Chesapeake Energy Professor of Climate Systems Science in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. His research focuses on radar and satellite meteorology (especially that related to severe and non-severe convective storms), physics and dynamics of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and climate variability and change. He is a primary developer of the Gridded NEXRAD WSR-88D Radar (GridRad; data set, one of only two widely available 3D multi-radar mosaics over the United States. Dr. Homeyer earned all three of his degrees from Texas A&M University: B.S., Meteorology; M.S., PhD., Atmospheric Sciences.

Professional webpage


Christina Kumler Headshot

christina kumler


Ms. Kumler is a scientist working for the Corporative Institute of Environmental Sciences CIRES at NOAA’s Global System’s Laboratory (GSL) in Boulder. She comes from an applied mathematics and atmospheric/oceanic background. She enjoys a variety of projects and public outreach. Most recently, her work has included using deep learning for detection of cyclonic Regions of Interest (ROI) as well as deriving Fire Radiative Power (FRP) with random forests. In her spare time, she’s either playing in the mountains or in the kitchen and enjoys taking semi-professional photos as well as competing in triathlons.

Professional webpage


Scott King headshot

Dr. Scott King

Senior personnel

Dr. King is a Professor of Computer Science at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and Director of Innovation in COmputing REsearch Labs (iCORE).  His research interests are in coastal AI, smart environments, visualization and autonomous vehicles.  Scott A. King received his PhD in Computer and Information Science from The Ohio State University in 2001, he also has an MS in Computer and Information Science from Ohio State, and a BS in Computer Science from Utah State University. He is a member of IEEE and ACM.

Professional webpage

Dr. Ryan Lagerquist


Dr. Ryan Lagerquist is a postdoc at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) and NOAA.  He received his B.Sc. Honours in Atmospheric Science from the University of Alberta and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.  He has been working at the nexus of machine learning and atmospheric science since 2012.  His research has focused mainly on severe-weather prediction.  More recently, Ryan’s research has also focused on interpretable deep learning, novel methods for image-to-image translation, and emulating/accelerating physical models.


Antonio Medrano headshot

Dr. Antonio Medrano

Senior personnel

Dr. Medrano is an Assistant Professor in the Conrad Blucher Institute and the Department of Computing Sciences at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. Dr. Medrano works on spatial optimization, and is interested in using artificial intelligence to solve computationally demanding location problems. Dr. Medrano earned his PhD in Computational Geography from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), his Master’s in Multimedia Engineering also from UCSB, and his B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.

Professional webpage


Kate Musgrave headshot

Dr. Kate Musgrave


Dr. Musgrave is a Research Scientist and the Tropical Cyclone Group Lead at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University.  Her research focuses on tropical cyclone structure and evolution and the representation of tropical cyclones in dynamical and statistical models.  Dr. Musgrave earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University and B.S. degrees in Computer Engineering and Interdisciplinary Studies (Quantitative Sciences) from the University of Florida.

Professional webpage

Henry Neeman headshot

Dr. henry neeman

Senior personnel

Dr. Neeman is the Director of the OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research, Associate Professor in the College of Engineering and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Oklahoma, as well as the joint co-manager of the XSEDE Campus Engagement program with Dr. Dana Bruson of Internet2. He also founded and co-leads the Research Computing Facilitators Virtual Residency workforce development program.  He received his BS in computer science and his BA in statistics with a minor in mathematics from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York in 1987, his MS in CS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1990 and his PhD in CS from UIUC in 1996, where he served as a postdoctoral and graduate researcher at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Center for Supercomputing Research & Development.

Professional webpage

John Nelson headshot

John J. Nelson

Senior personnel

Mr. Nelson is Faculty at Del Mar College in  Geospatial Technologies.  He is Co-Project Director for the Unmanned Aircraft System Education Technology Consortium (NSF).  Mr Nelson completed his M.S EDTech, M.S.GS ABD in Geographic Information Science, Geospatial Surveying and Engineering and Educational Technology at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and earned a Post Baccalaureate Certification in Secondary Education at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, a BA degree double major History & PolSci at University of Minnesota Duluth and an AAS in Micro Computers and Geographic Information Systems at Del Mar College. He currently holds internationally recognized Geographic Information Science Institutes Professional Certification (GISP) and the US FAA 107 Remote Pilot Authorization License, plus other geospatial technology related industry and academic awards and certificates. He is also a 2019 Hi Tech NSF Educator of the Year Award.

Professional webpage

Corey Potvin headshot

Dr. Corey Potvin

Government collaborator

Dr. Potvin is a Research Meteorologist at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory. Dr. Potvin specializes in ensemble prediction of high-impact thunderstorms and is a senior member of the NOAA Warn-on-Forecast research program. Dr. Potvin earned Ph.D and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and B.S. degrees in Meteorology and Mathematics from Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University). 

Professional webpage


Brean Prefontaine headshot

Ms. Brean Prefontaine


Ms. Prefontaine, a Research Associate at Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), received her Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Drexel University and her Master’s Degree in Physics from Michigan State University.  Her personal research is focused on physics identity development within informal education environments.  At HRI, Ms. Prefontaine assists with several evaluations and research projects.

Matt Rogers headshot

Dr. Matt Rogers

Senior personnel

Dr. Rogers is a Research Associate III at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University, where he splits his time between satellite remote sensing research and education and outreach tasks.  Dr. Rogers was formerly the Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) lead for the NASA CloudSat mission, where he oversaw the CloudSat Education Network, and now develops resiliency programs for fire, flood, and drought using NOAA observations for the K-12 audience.  Dr. Rogers earned his MS and PhD degrees in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and a B.A. in Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  

Professional webpage

Dr. Nicholas Schiraldi


Dr. Schiraldi is the manager of Reporting and Analytics, and is the Data Analytics and Visualization expert at the University at Albany. He received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University at Albany in 2017 and worked as a weather analyst for global commodities traders for several years. His primary focus has been on understanding intraseasonal predictability and using machine learning techniques trained on reforecast datasets to enhance predictability in weeks two through four. Dr. Schiraldi now leverages his skillsets in big data analytics, machine learning and application development to support all researchers at the University at Albany. Dr. Schiraldi also leads the Business Intelligence group at the University and is an NSF XSEDE campus champion.

 Professional webpage 


Sean Smith headshot

Dr. Sean Smith


Dr. Smith, President of Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, a Master’s Degree in Science Teaching, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining HRI in 1991, Dr. Smith taught high school chemistry and physics. Dr. Smith leads the evaluations of several projects funded by NSF and the US Department of Education.  In addition, he conducts research on science teacher knowledge.

Professional webpage


Dr. Michael Starek


Dr. Michael J. Starek is an Associate Professor in Geospatial Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC), Chief Scientist and Director of the Measurement Analytics (MANTIS) Lab with the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science. Dr. Starek holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida and was formerly a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow of the U.S. Army Research Office in affiliation with North Carolina State University. His research focuses on the merging of geomatics, remote sensing, and geospatial computing for precise measurement and analysis of natural and built systems. Dr. Starek is contributing his experience of precise spatial measurements of the coastal environment and his experience in applying AI to such problems to the Coastal AI research component of the institute.

 Professional webpage 

Jebb Stewart headshot

jebb stewart

government collaborator

Mr. Stewart is the lead of the Informatics and Visualization Branch with the NOAA Global System Laboratory in Boulder Colorado.  With a unique background in both Meteorology and Computer Science, he has over 20 years of experience in software development for visualizing, processing, distributing, and interacting with geophysical data. Over the last couple of years, his work has expanded to machine learning applications for object identification and improving data processing capabilities along with leveraging commercial cloud capabilities to provide tools and services to efficiently explore the ever growing volumes of data.

Professional webpage

Kara Sulia

Dr. kara sulia

Senior personnel

Dr. Sulia is a research associate at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) at the University at Albany. Her research focuses on parameterization development, particularly in the field of ice microphysics. Further, and importantly for AI2ES, Dr. Sulia serves as the Director of the xCITE Laboratory, a high-end machine learning, data analytics, and scientific visualization facility located at ASRC. Through the implementation of innovative technologies, the xCITE Lab provides resources to the University, public, and private partners with specific climate and weather needs. 

Professional webpage

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Dr. Ryan Torn


Dr. Torn is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany.  His research focuses on trying to understand atmospheric predictability by determining the source and growth of errors within numerical models across a number of timescales using ensemble forecasts, with emphasis on synoptic and mesoscale systems, such as winter weather, convection, and hurricanes.

Professional webpage

Kevin Tyle headshot

Kevin Tyle


Mr. Tyle is the Manager of Departmental Computing for the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany, at which he received his M.S. in Atmospheric Science in 1995. He also has a B.A. in Psychology, with emphases on Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, from the University of Rochester. His main interest is promoting the use of free- and open-source software packages, mostly using Python, for the analysis, visualization and sharing of geoscientific datasets. One of UAlbany’s NSF XSEDE Program Campus Champions (along with AI2ES collaborator Dr. Nicholas Schiraldi), Kevin presently serves on the AMS Board on Data Stewardship and on the Strategic Advisory Committee of Unidata.

Professional webpage

Postdoctoral Researchers and Graduate Students

Randy Chase

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Chase is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate for AI2ES. Dr. Chase’s Ph.D. work applied neural networks to create a novel radar remote sensing retrieval for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission’s Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (GPM-DPR). Although his past research was heavily focused on radar remote sensing, he looks to apply his expertise in machine learning and meteorology to the general tasks on the AI2ES institute. Dr. Chase earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in Meteorology and Water Resources from the State University of New York (SUNY), The College at Brockport.

Monte Flora

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Flora is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorology working under Dr. Corey Potvin to improve short-term severe weather forecasting using deep learning techniques. Dr. Flora specializes in machine learning (ML) and ML interpretability methods, storm-scale predictability, and model verification. Dr. Flora earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and B.S. degree in Geography (concentration in Meteorology and Climatology) from Ball State University.

Anna Lowe

Postdoctoral Researcher

 Dr. Lowe is a postdoctoral research associate at NC State University with Dr. Ruoying He. Her research focuses on coastal processes in the ocean. She is most interested in the connections between the circulation and marine ecosystems. She is very excited to be part of the Ocean Observing and Modeling Group at NC State and learn artificial intelligence / machine learning methods and apply them to investigations of ocean circulation and contribute to developing coastal solutions. Dr. Lowe earned her PhD at University of  California Santa Cruz.

Antonios Mamalakis

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Mamalakis is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Atmospheric Science of Colorado State University, working under the supervision of professors Imme Ebert-Uphoff and Elizabeth Barnes. His research focuses on the application of machine learning (ML) and ML interpretability methods to climate problems, on climate predictability and teleconnections, climate change impacts, and hydrology. Dr Mamalakis holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, and a MSc and a diploma from the University of Patras, Greece. 

Laura McGee

Laura McGee

PhD Graduate Student

Laura McGee is a PhD student in Dr. Ruoying He’s Ocean Observing and Modeling Group at North Carolina State University in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. Laura’s current research interests involve using AI and ML to predict marine environment conditions. She completed her MS in the same group, investigating hurricane impacts on ocean surface mixing and chlorophyll blooms. Ms. McGee completed her BS in physics at University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Marina Miquel

Marina Vicens Miquel

PhD Graduate Student

Marina Vicens Miquel is a Geospatial Computer Science PhD Student at Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi under Dr. Medrano. Marina’s research focuses on using AI techniques to solve Geospatial computer science problems, typically using UAV Imagery. She had worked in flood detection from UAVs using recurrent neural networks (RNN), and UAV damage assessment using deep learning. She is currently working on wet / dry shoreline geo-detection by applying deep learning analysis to UAV Imagery. Prior to starting her PhD, Marina earned a double major BS in Computer Science and Mathematics and competed on the TAMUCC NCAA Women ‘s Tennis team.

Undergraduate Research Assistants



Coming soon!

Other Personnel

Susan Dubbs headshot

Susan Dubbs

Program Administrator

Ms. Dubbs is the Program Administrator for AI2ES at the University of Oklahoma. She has worked at OU in varying capacities since moving to Oklahoma in 2006. Prior to her time with OU, she worked with non-profit organizations and a county government agency in Pennsylvania. She obtained her B.S. in Recreation Management from Arizona State University.

Jennifer Warrillow

Jennifer Warrillow

Webmaster, Lab Manager

Ms. Warrillow is the website manager for the AI2ES project and the lab manager for Co-PI Dr. Ruoying He. She helps keep the research flowing in Dr. He’s Ocean Observing and Modeling Group at North Carolina State University, including by managing websites for numerous research projects. Ms. Warrillow has a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Aquatic Biology and a MS from Cornell University in Natural Resources (Fishery Science). 

Ocean Observing and Modeling Group site

External Advisory Board

Dr. Andrew Barto 

University of Massachusetts Amherst (emeritus)

Discipline: Computer Science

Sector: Academia (retired)

Andrew Barto is Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, having retired in 2012. He received a B.S. with distinction in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1970, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1975, also from the University of Michigan. He joined the UMass Computer Science Department in 1977 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, became an Associate Professor in 1982, and a Full Professor in 1991. He served as Chair of the UMass Department of Computer Science from 2007 to 2011. Before retiring he co-directed the UMass Computer Science Autonomous Learning Laboratory, which produced many notable machine learning researchers. He is currently an Associate Member of the UMass Neuroscience and Behavior Program. He serves as an associate editor of Neural Computation, as a member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Machine Learning Research, and as a member of the editorial board of Adaptive Behavior. Professor Barto is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow and Life Member of the IEEE. He received the 2004 IEEE Neural Network Society Pioneer Award, the IJCAI-17 Award for Research Excellence, and the University of Massachusetts Neurosciences Lifetime Achievement Award in 20019. He has published over one hundred papers or chapters in journals, books, and conference and workshop proceedings. He is co-author of the book “Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction,” MIT Press, 1998, 2018.

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Dr. Bill Gail

Global Weather Corporation

Discipline: Weather applications for business

Sector: Private industry

Dr. Gail is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Global Weather Corporation, a provider of precision forecasts for weather-sensitive business sectors, and was the 2014 President of the American Meteorological Society.  He was previously a Director in the Startup Business Group at Microsoft, Vice President of mapping products at Vexcel Corporation, and Director of Earth science programs at Ball Aerospace.  Dr. Gail received his undergraduate degree in Physics and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where his research focused on physics of the Earth’s magnetosphere.  During this period, he spent a year as cosmic ray field scientist at South Pole Station. 

Dr. Gail is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and a lifetime Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.  He was the co-chair of their 2017 Earth Sciences Decadal Survey, served on their Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, and has participated on many prior National Academies committees including the 2012 review of the National Weather Service and the 2007 Earth Sciences Decadal Survey.  He serves or has served on a variety of other editorial, corporate, and organizational boards including the US Commerce Data Advisory Council.  His book Climate Conundrums: What the Climate Debate Reveals About Us was released in 2014, and his opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, USA Today, and elsewhere.

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Ms. Mary Glackin

American Meteorological Society / Self-employed

Discipline: Computer Science and Atmospheric Science

Sector: Professional society / Self-employed

Ms. Glackin is the President of the American Meteorological Society.  She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council.  From 2015-2019 she was the senior vice president (SVP) for science and forecast operations for The Weather Company, an IBM Business. She is a member of the convening committee for the Science for Climate Action Network and also serves on the visiting committee of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center providing advice to the director. Ms. Glackin has had a long and distinguished career in public service, including 20 years in the National Weather Service and a five-year tenure as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operations. Ms. Glackin has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.

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Dr. William Hsieh

University of British Columbia (retired)

Discipline: Oceanography, AI for oceanography

Sector: Academia (International, retired)

Dr. Hsieh is a professor emeritus in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, at the University of British Columbia in Canada. His research has been primarily on the development of machine learning in the environmental sciences. He is the author of “Machine Learning Methods in the Environmental Sciences”, the first single-authored textbook on this topic.

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Dr. Nicol Turner Lee

The Brookings Institution

Discipline: AI and Ethics

Sector: Non-profit

Bio coming soon.

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Dr. Diana Marinez

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Discipline: Biochemistry

Sector: Academia (retired)

Bio coming soon.

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University of Colorado, Natural Hazards Center and Department of Sociology

Discipline: Sociology, Natural Hazards and Risk

Sector: Academia

Dr. Peek is director of the Natural Hazards Center and professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is also the leader of the National Science Foundation-supported CONVERGE facility, the Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) network, and the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Extreme Events Research (ISEEER) network. Peek is co-author of Children of Katrina, author of Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11, and co-editor of Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora. She helped develop FEMA P-1000, Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety, which is the first comprehensive natural hazards-focused school safety guidance for the nation.

Dr. Nick Pidgeon

Cardiff University (Wales, UK)

Discipline: Environmental Psychology and Risk

Sector: Academia (international)

Nick is Professor of Environmental Psychology and Risk at Cardiff University and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group. His extensive interdisciplinary research portfolio looks at public engagement, communication and decision-making for environmental, energy, and emerging technology risks. He has been a science advisor to the UK Energy and Environment Departments and currently to the UK Department of Transport. He was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2014 for services to climate change awareness and energy security policy. In 2006 Nick chaired the Cross-Party Parliamentary inquiry ‘Is a Cross-Party Consensus on Climate Change Possible – or Desirable?’ which recommended the setting up of the UK Climate Change Committee, an innovative climate governance mechanism which was the first of its kind in the world. He currently sits on the steering group for the UK Research and Innovation and UK Met Office joint climate resilience program.

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Dr. Emilie Roth

Roth Cognitive Engineering

Discipline: Cognitive Psychology

Sector: Private

Dr. Roth is owner and principal scientist of Roth Cognitive Engineering.  She is a cognitive psychologist by training, and has over 30 years of experience in cognitive analysis and design in a variety of domains including nuclear power plant operations, railroad operations, military command and control, and healthcare. She has supported design of first-of-a-kind systems including next-generation nuclear power plant control rooms; design of collaborative automated systems for airlift planning and monitoring for USTRANSCOM and the Air Mobility Command; and cognitive analysis in support of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making; a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; and currently serves as a member of the Board on Human-Systems Integration at the National Academies.

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Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd

University of Georgia

Discipline: Meteorology

Sector: Academia

Dr. Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia and Director of its Atmospheric Sciences Program.  Dr. Shepherd was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS). Prior to academia, he spent 12 years as a scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist of the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. Dr. Shepherd is the host of The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks Podcast and a contributor to Forbes Magazine. He chairs the NASA Earth Science Advisory Committee and has previously served on NOAA’s Science Advisory Board. His research primarily centers around hydrometeorological extremes, urban climate, and the intersection of weather and society.  He has received numerous awards including the 2004 White House PECASE Award, the Captain Planet Foundation Protector of the Earth Award, the 2019 AGU Climate Communication Prize, the 2020 Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science and the 2018 AMS Helmut Landsberg Award. He received his B.S., M.S. and PhD in meteorology from Florida State University. He has two TEDx talks on climate science and communication that collectively exceed two million viewers. He is routinely asked to brief the media, Congress, and the White House on weather-climate-science related topics.

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Dr. Gordon Snyder

Holyoke Community College

Discipline: AI

Sector: Academia (two-year colleges)

Dr. Snyder is past PI and Director of the National Science Foundation Funded National Center for Information and Communications Technologies at Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts, CoPI and Co-Director of the National Center of Optics and Photonics Education at the University of Central Florida, past Visiting Professor at the University of Hartford and currently an Engineering Professor at Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. He has written four engineering and engineering technology textbooks and have over 34 years of engineering, technology, communications and STEM teaching and grant  experience.
In addition to his teaching and work with NSF Centers of Excellence, he have served as the Verizon Next Step New England telecommunications curriculum leader and on several technology boards around the United States including the Microsoft Community College Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Networking and Communications Council and the National Skill Standards Board. He is one of the co-founders of the Hi-Tec Conference, was selected in 2001 as one of the top 15 STEM faculty in the United States by Microsoft and the American Association of Community Colleges, and in 2004 selected as the Massachusetts Network and Communications Council Workforce Leader of the year. His work has always been and continues to be student success focused with a strong emphasis on underrepresented populations.

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Dr. Jim Stear

Chevron Energy Technology Company

Discipline: Metocean, Ocean engineering

Sector: Industry

Bio coming soon.

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Oregon State University

Discipline: Computer Science/AI

Sectors: Government and Academia

Dr. Wagstaff is a Principal Researcher in machine learning at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and an associate research professor at Oregon State University.  Her research focuses on developing new machine learning methods for use onboard spacecraft and in data archives for planetary science, astronomy, cosmology, and more.  She earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University followed by an M.S. in Geological Sciences and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS).  She received the Lew Allen Award for Excellence in Research and two NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medals, and she is a Senior Member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.  She is passionate about keeping machine learning relevant to real-world problems.

Dr. Laure Zanna

New York University Courant Institute

Discipline: Climate and Ocean Physics/AI

Sector: Academia

Laure Zanna is a Professor in Mathematics & Atmosphere/Ocean Science at the Courant Institute, New York University. Her research focuses on the dynamics of the climate system and the main emphasis of her work is to study the influence of the ocean on local and global scales. Prior to NYU, she was a faculty member at the University of Oxford in the Department of Physics until 2019, and obtained her PhD in 2009 in Climate Dynamics from Harvard University.
She is the lead principal investigator of the NSF-NOAA Climate Process Team on Ocean Transport and Eddy Energy aiming to improve ocean mesoscale parameterizations in the NCAR, GFDL and LANL numerical models. She is also the director of the project M2LInES: Multiscale Machine Learning In coupled Earth System Modeling to improve coupled climate models with machine learning.
She was the recipient of the 2020 Nicholas P. Fofonoff Award from the American Meteorological Society “For exceptional creativity in the development and application of new concepts in ocean and climate dynamics”. She currently serves as an editor for the Journal of Climate.