Personnel


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

 

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

 

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 Conrad Blucher Institute Chair for Coastal Artificial Intelligence 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, contributions to coastal conservation 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

 

Julie Demuth

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

 

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

 

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. Member of the AI2ES Industrial Advisory Board.

Professional webpage

Team Members

Hamed Alemohammad

Dr. Hamed Alemohammad

Industry collaborator

Dr. Hamed Alemohammad is the Chief Data Scientist and Executive Director at Radiant Earth Foundation, leading the development of Radiant MLHub- the open repository for geospatial training data and models. He has extensive expertise in machine learning, remote sensing and imagery techniques particularly in developing new algorithms for multi-spectral and passive/active microwave observations. He serves on the Technical Advisory Boards of Lacuna Fund and Enabling Crop Analytics At Scale (a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative). Prior to joining Radiant Earth, he was a Research Scientist at Columbia University. Hamed received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT in 2014. Member of the AI2ES Industrial Advisory Board.

John Allen

Dr. John Allen

Collaborator

Dr. Allen is an Associate Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth Sciences, and Director of the Earth and Ecosystem Ph.D. program at Central Michigan University. His research spans the mesoscale to climate scales, particularly through the use of observational, reanalysis and climate model datasets together with statistical modeling frameworks, including work providing fundamental understanding the mechanisms through which climate variability influences severe thunderstorms. His interest in AI/ML has derived through the need for ways to manage the challenges of big data for end users, and efficient approaches to filter such datasets to discover processes. Dr. Allen completed his education at the University of Melbourne, Australia, receiving a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Applied Mathematics and Meteorology, First Class Honors Meteorology Research, and a Ph.D. in Climate Science in 2013. 

Professional webpage

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

  

Charlie Becker

Collabortor

Charlie is an Associate Scientist on the Analytic and Integrative Machine Learning (AIML) team at NCAR. He earned a B.S. in Meteorology from MSU Denver and completed his Master’s in Hydrology from Boise State with research interests focused on the intersection of food, water, and energy. Ongoing research projects include using ML to emulate computationally expensive physical models and using semi-supervised learning approaches for prediction of high impact weather.

Dara Betz

Collabortor

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

Don Berchoff

Don Berchoff

Industry Collaborator

Don Berchoff is the CEO of TruWeather Solutions, a micro-weather analytics company that is building weather resiliency into UAS and e-VTOLs operations. A highly successful military leader, meteorologist, technologist and business entrepreneur, Don has 40 years-experience in weather, aviation and logistics, during which he designed and led regional and global aviation weather operations centers, co-authored the FAA NEXGEN Weather CONOPS and led all ground operations at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan (2007-2008.) As a Senior Executive Service member, he led the NWS Science and Technology Directorate (2008-2012) and was responsible for the transition of over $500M in new S&T infrastructure and software applications into NOAA operations. Don and the TruWeather team are delivering on a 3-year promise to reduce micro-weather uncertainty for Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations, with a focus on over-the-horizon” hard-to-detect weather hazards. TruWeather’s efforts seek to replace the loss of the “human sensor”, the pilot, on board the aircraft and increase airframe revenue generation and effectiveness when weather is marginal for operations. TruWeather is accelerating the deployment of novel low-altitude weather sensing technology through two NASA “urban weather sensor testbed” projects in Hampton, VA and deployment of the regular operations of the first ever commercial weather drone in Grand Forks, ND. These sensors, coupled with TruWeather’s micro-weather services, are already improving the quality of low altitude micro-weather hazard detection and alert notifications to enhance operator and airspace management safety. Don leads the ASTM F38 Weather Supplemental Data Service Provider group developing weather specifications for UAS Traffic Management and Advanced Air Mobility systems.

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

Matthew Cappucci

Matthew Cappucci

Industry Collaborator

Matthew Cappucci is an atmospheric scientist and meteorologist who works in TV, radio, print and digital media. He was born on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and attended Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, where he earned an International Baccalaureates diploma. Thereafter, he matriculated into Harvard University, where he designed his own atmospheric sciences major through cross-enrollment at MIT. He’s been with MyRadar since August of 2021. Matthew is an avid storm chaser, world traveler and adventurer. He has chased more than a dozen tornadoes, stood in the eye of a hurricane, flown beneath the northern lights and drive a UHaul van through the Arctic tundra. He’s also an “umbraphile,” traveling thousands of miles every few years to stand in the shadow of the moon during total solar eclipses. His truck looks like a dimpled golf ball from all the times it’s been pelted by softball-sized hail.

In addition to working at MyRadar, Matthew delivers forecasts on FOX5 in Washington D.C.. He also works for The Washington Post and WAMU, the local NPR affiliate. Outside of weather, he is a college admissions consultant and also teaches public speaking classes. His book “Looking Up” will be published and released in August. He makes frequent appearances on international television outlets. In his free time, Matthew can usually be found working. He doesn’t have free time, nor does he want it. He is a devout Waffle House supporter.

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.

Waylon Collins

Waylon Collins

Government Collaborator

Waylon Collins is a Senior Meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office in Corpus Christi, Texas. During Mr. Collins’ 30 year tenure with the NWS, he has developed expertise in the operational forecasting of meteorological, hydrological, marine, and coastal conditions, events, and phenomena to benefit aviation, marine, coastal, and fire weather interests, and to benefit the general public. In addition, Mr. Collins has issued warnings for rapidly-developing hazardous and potentially life-threatening events, and has provided decision support services to local emergency management officials in connection with forecasts of hazardous meteorological, hydrological, marine, and coastal events. Waylon has conducted research and co-authored peer-reviewed Journal articles in the areas of tornadogenesis and lightning climatology, and has collaborated with Dr. Philippe Tissot at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for over 15 years, which resulted in the co-authorship of peer-reviewed Journal articles on the application of machine learning to thunderstorm prediction, and now fog prediction in connection with AI2ES. Waylon is a member of the American Meteorological Society Artificial Intelligence Applications to Environmental Science Committee. He obtained a MS in Atmospheric Science from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1991, and a BS in Meteorology from Texas A&M University (College Station) in 1987.

Laura Craven

consultant

Laura Craven, Research Associate at Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), received her Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics from North Carolina State University.  At HRI, Ms. Craven develops surveys, conducts data analyses, and is also involved in the evaluations of several research projects.

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

consultant

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

collaborator

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. 

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). Member of the AI2ES Industrial Advisory Board.

Professional webpage

  

AI2ES logo

 

Dr. Eric Grimit

industry collaborator

 

Technology Manager, Applied Meteorology at Vaisala.

Member of the AI2ES Industrial Advisory Board.

Bio coming soon.

Chase Hatcher

Chase Hatcher

Consultant

Mr. Hatcher is a Research Associate at Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), where he assists with research and the evaluation of research related to math and science education. He received his Bachelor’s degrees in Astrophysics and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught high school physics for two years before joining HRI in 2021.

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. Member of the AI2ES Industrial Advisory Board.

Professional webpage

Katherine Haynes headshot

Dr. katherine haynes

collaborator

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

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. Member of the AI2ES Industrial Advisory Board.

Professional webpage

Kyle Hilburn

Kyle Hilburn

Collaborator

Kyle Hilburn is a Research Associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University (CSU). His research focuses on using machine learning for quantitative applications of satellite imagery to improve forecasts of high-impact weather and wildfire events. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University and has received a M.S. in Meteorology from Florida State University and a B.S. in Atmospheric Science from the University of North Dakota.

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; gridrad.org) 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

  

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

Christina Kumler Headshot

christina kumler

collaborator

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

 

Arnoldas Kurbanovas

Arnoldas Kurbanovas

Collaborator

Mr. Kurbanovas is a full-time lead software engineer at the xCITE laboratory for the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) at the University at Albany. Mr. Kurbanovas manages all xCITE lab hardware, software, and networking, including data storage, high-end GPU, compute servers, and high-end visualization. Additionally, with a Masters in Computer Science and expertise in Machine Learning and data analysis, Mr. Kurbanovas contributes to on-going xCITE lab projects with public and private partners, including academic faculty and students. Finally, Mr. Kurbanovas serves as a mentor to undergraduate and REU students, training in machine learning algorithm development, data management techniques, and data analytic tools while working in an agile programming environment.

Ryan Lagerquist headshot

Dr. Ryan Lagerquist

collaborator

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.

  

Dr. Yoonjin Lee

Dr. Yoonjin Lee

collaborator

Dr. Yoonjin Lee is a postdoc at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA). She received her Ph.D. and M.S. degree in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University and B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. Her research area focuses on applying machine learning techniques to use geostationary satellite data in weather forecasting.

Erica Lopez

Erica Lopez

Industry collaborator

Erica is a bilingual meteorologist. Since graduating from the University of Oklahoma, she’s experienced a wide array of weather in her broadcast meteorology adventures. She’s held previous positions in Oklahoma City, Central California, and The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia. She now brings her skillset to MyRadar providing national forecasts in English and Spanish.

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

collaborator

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 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

Son Nguyen

Son Nguyen

Collaborator

Mr. Nguyen leads the IT division of the Conrad Blucher Institute at the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC). His works include designing, developing, and maintaining operational software systems at the Institute. Nguyen also helps the AI2ES team at TAMUCC on processing weather data and mentoring students on programming skills. Some of Nguyen’s area of interests are system designs, ETL, containerization, DevOps, project management, and Agile methodology. He graduated with a M.S in Computer Science at TAMUCC in 2017.

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

consultant

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.

Jacob Radford

Dr. Jacob Radford

Collaborator

Jacob is a research associate working with AI2ES and CIRA on AI uncertainty visualization. Jacob’s research is always applied and highly interdisciplinary, using AI methods to improve mesoscale winter weather forecasts and developing novel ensemble visualization strategies to communicate snowfall risk and uncertainty. He received a B.S. degree from the University of North Carolina Asheville and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from North Carolina State University.

Kalai Ramea

Dr. Kalai Ramea

Industry Collaborator

Dr. Kalai Ramea manages the Data Science area at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Her research interests include applying large-scale data analytics, statistical reasoning, and domain-informed machine learning models to climate and energy sectors. Before PARC, Kalai worked as a researcher at the University of California, Davis, where she developed numerical models in energy, transportation, and climate domains to assess long-term policy impacts of energy-efficient technologies and human behavior. Kalai also worked as a research fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, where she developed an energy systems model that incorporated consumer purchase behavior to analyze long-term climate impacts. She also has over five years of experience as an engineering consultant, where she led and managed systems engineering and design projects. Member of the AI2ES Industrial Advisory Board.

 

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

Andrea Schumacher

Andrea Schumacher

Collaborator

Andrea is a Research Associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University (CSU) and a visitor at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Weather Risks and Decisions in Society (WRaDS) program . Her research focuses on tropical cyclone product development, building datasets for interdisciplinary societal impacts research, improving the R2O(2R) process, and risk communication. She received an MS in atmospheric science from CSU and a BA in mathematics/chemistry from New College of Florida.

Sean Smith headshot

Dr. Sean Smith

consultant

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

 

Michael Starek headshot

Dr. Michael Starek

SENIOR PERSONNEL

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

Ryan Torn headshot

Dr. Ryan Torn

collaborator

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

Joseph Trujillo-Falcón - Meteorologist

Joseph Trujillo-Falcón

Industry collaborator

Joseph is a bilingual meteorologist and hosts Spanish-language series and podcasts on MyRadar for international audiences. Joseph is an expert in bilingual risk & crisis communication and works at a NOAA Cooperative Institute, researching how multilingual communities receive, understand, and respond to different weather and climate hazards. His research has shaped how meteorological organizations approach multilingual communication and outreach in disaster contexts. His work has been published in flagship journals and recently featured by the National Academies of Science. As chair of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Committee for Hispanic and Latinx Advancement, Joseph leads an international cohort of 66 scientists representing academia, broadcast networks, public sector, private sector, and students to elevate underserved populations in the sciences and beyond. He was recently awarded the prestigious 2022 AMS Award for Early Career Professional Achievement for his continued efforts in bilingual risk communication and is respected among his peers. He is an alumnus of Texas A&M University and is obtaining a doctoral degree at the University of Oklahoma.

Kevin Tyle headshot

Kevin Tyle

collaborator

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

Dr. Joe Zambon

Dr. Joseph B. Zambon

Senior Personnel

Dr.  Zambon is a Research Assistant Professor in the Ocean Observing and Modeling group within the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University.  His research expertise is in numerical modeling of coupled coastal environmental systems, air-sea interaction, high performance cloud computing, and IT infrastructure.  Prior to his faculty position, Dr. Zambon earned his BS in Atmospheric Science from the University at Albany in 2007, MS and PhD from NC State University in 2009 and 2014, and completed postdoctoral research in 2017.

 

Postdoctoral Researchers and Graduate Students

Akansha Singh Bansal

Akansha Singh Bansal

Postdoctoral Researcher

Akansha is a postdoctoral fellow at CIRA Colorado working with Dr. Imme Ebert-Uphoff and Kyle Hilburn. Her research focuses on developing machine learning approaches for satellite data. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MS in Information Technology from IIIT-Bangalore, and B.Tech in Computer Science. She spent one year in NTU Singapore researching real-time operating systems before starting her Ph.D. Her doctoral work focuses on using ML and satellite imagery for control, modeling, and forecasting solar power. She also interned at the GeoAI group at Oak Ridge National Lab during her Ph.D.

Professional webpage

Amanda Burke

Amanda Burke

Graduate Student

Amanda Burke is a PhD student working under Dr. Amy McGovern at the University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology. Amanda’s current research involves classifying Above Anvil Cirrus Plumes (AACPs) in real-time using deep learning models with inputs from satellite and radar data. During her Master’s work under Dr. McGovern, Amanda worked on severe weather prediction using both traditional and deep learning models. This work focused on real-time probabilistic hail prediction for the Storm Prediction Center. 

Mariana Cains

Dr. Mariana Cains

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Cains is a postdoctoral fellow at NCAR in the Mesoscale and Microscope Meteorology (MMM) Lab working with Dr. Julie Demuth and the Weather Risks and Decisions in Society (WRaDS) research group. Dr. Cains’ research interests include the development of assessment and measurement metrics for complex systems and information visualization for risk communication. Her PhD research focused on the parameterization of socio-environmental systems to inform quantitative risk assessments and support local government decision-making. Dr. Cains earned her BS in Environmental Science (Environmental Toxicology) from Western Washington University and MS/MPA in Environmental Science and Policy and PhD in Environmental Science (Environmental Risk Assessment) from Indiana University.

Randy Chase headshot

Dr. Randy Chase

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Chase is a Postdoctoral 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.

Jose Congo

José Congo

Graduate Student

José is a Ph.D. student in the Geospatial Computing Science program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, under Dr. Michael Starek. He has research experience in UAS Photogrammetry and GNSS techniques for georeferencing UAS imagery.

Monte Flora headshot

Dr. 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.

Nico Gordillo

Nicolas “Nico” Gordillo

Graduate Student

Nicolas “Nico” Gordillo is a masters student at Colorado State University working under Dr. Elizabeth Barnes. His current research focuses on developing and implementing robust and explainable AI methods for subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction. Before arriving at Colorado State, Nico double majored with a BS in Computer Science and Atmospheric & Oceanic Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His free time activities include watching sports, reading, and playing video games.

Michael Gray

Michael Gray

Graduate Student

Michael Gray is a Masters 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. His current research involves the application of ML and AI in ocean models, but he is especially interested in air-sea interactions and the ocean’s role in weather systems. He received a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Marine Science, both from North Carolina State University.

David Harrison

David Harrison

Graduate Student

David Harrison is a Research Associate employed by the University of Oklahoma’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) in partnership with the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC).  He is also a PhD candidate working under Dr. Amy McGovern and Dr. Chris Karstens at the University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology.  David’s research interests center around the development, testing, and implementation of machine learning procedures in operational meteorology.  His previous and ongoing research has utilized machine learning techniques to develop probabilistic guidance to help SPC forecasters predict the timing and location of lightning occurrence, plan convective watch placement up to 48 hours in advance of a severe weather day, and estimate winter precipitation type in real time. David is also involved in web development, and has created several web displays used internally at the SPC to view and process experimental products.

Professional webpage

Andrew Justin

Andrew Justin

Graduate Student

Andrew Justin is a master’s student and graduate research assistant at the University of Oklahoma working under Dr. Amy McGovern and developing deep learning models that can reliably detect and classify frontal boundaries. Starting in the summer of 2022, his focus will shift to making my deep learning models operational so that forecasters can use them in real-time to expedite the frontal analysis process. He earned his B.S. in Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.

Evan Krell

Evan Krell

Graduate Student

Evan Krell is a Geospatial Computer Science PhD student at Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi, where he has previously received an MS in Computer Science. His research interests are in autonomous marine vehicles (mission planning and onboard computer vision), coastal AI applications, and explainable AI. Projects include using metaheuristics and deep learning for efficient marine route planning, onboard classification of turbid underwater imagery for data-driven sampling and developing XAI techniques to explain models whose inputs are rasters with hundreds of highly correlated channels. 

Anna Lowe - headshot

Dr. 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.

Deianna Madlambayan

Deianna Madlambayan

Graduate Student

Deianna Madlambayan is a master’s student and graduate research assistant at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. She is studying risk perception, communication, and decision-making as it relates to AI under Dr. Ann Bostrom and Dr. Julie Demuth. Before attending the University of Washington, Deianna earned her BS in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

Antonios Mamalakis headshot

Dr. 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

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.

Marie McGraw

Dr. Marie McGraw

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. McGraw is a postdoctoral researcher at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University, working with Prof. Imme Ebert-Uphoff and Dr. Kate Musgrave.  She will be working on using trustworthy AI methods to better understand tropical storms and their impacts.  Dr. McGraw earned her Ph.D. in atmospheric science in 2019 at Colorado State University.  Prior to joining AI2ES, Dr. McGraw was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, where her research focused on understanding the predictability of extreme sea ice loss on subseasonal timescales.

Professional webpage

Amanda Murphy

Amanda Murphy

Graduate Student

Amanda Murphy is a PhD student at the University of Oklahoma working under Dr. Cameron Homeyer. Her work focuses on using radar data along with machine learning techniques to better understand the presentation of tornadic vs. non-tornadic thunderstorms on radar and work toward improved prediction of tornadoes. Amanda earned her B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois before completing her M.S. in Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.

Vanessa Przbylo

Dr. Vanessa Przybylo

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Przybyło is a postdoctoral research associate at the University at Albany developing software products and tools for the atmospheric sciences with a focus on winter weather. Her experience includes building user interfaces powered by deep learning and machine learning techniques to provide exploratory analysis and insight to end users. Within the AI2ES science objectives, she harnesses the power of convolutional neural networks to predict the presence of precipitation in New York State Mesonet imagery at night to provide real-time, operational capacities. Dr. Przybylo earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University at Albany in 2021.

Jay Rothenberger

Jay Rothenberger

Graduate Student

Jay Rothenberger is a graduate student of Computer Science at the University of Oklahoma studying under Dr. Dimitris Diochnos. Jay hopes to apply his knowledge of computational learning theory to provide provable guarantees of robustness towards increasing the trust and trustworthiness of machine learning classifiers.

Tobias Schmidt

Tobias Schmidt

Graduate Student

Tobias is a graduate research assistant and master’s student working under the supervision of Dr. Amy McGovern and Dr. Corey Potvin. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in spring 2021 with a B.Sc. Combined Honours in both Atmospheric Science and Computer Science. His work is focused on developing trustworthy AI for convective weather with AI2ES and the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Carly Sutter

Carly Sutter

Graduate Student

Carly Sutter is a PhD student working under Dr. Kara Sulia and Dr. Christopher Thorncroft at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center and Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany. Starting in the fall of 2021, her research will involve using AI and ML to explain winter weather in New York State. She completed her MS in Applied Mathematics from the University of Missouri where she studied Prandtl’s Boundary Layer Theory, and her BS in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University.

Jason Stock

Jason Stock

Graduate Student

Jason Stock is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science working under Dr. Chuck Anderson at Colorado State University. His current research focuses on extending existing methods and developing new methods for trustworthy and explainable artificial intelligence specifically for applications in the environmental sciences. Recent work has focused on using machine learning to improve vertical profiles of temperature and moisture for severe weather forecasting. Jason earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Colorado State University.

Professional webpage

 

Lander Ver Hoef headshot

Lander Ver Hoef

Graduate Student

Lander Ver Hoef is a PhD student in mathematics at Colorado State University. He has a background in pure and applied mathematics, particularly data science, machine learning, graph theory, and topology. Recent work has focused on applying topological data analysis to satellite cloud observations with the intent of creating explainable classifiers. Previously, he received a Master’s and Bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and served as an ensign in the NOAA Corps of Commissioned Officers. In his free time, he enjoys cross country skiing, reading, and playing board games.

Marina Miquel

Marina Vicens Miquel

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.

Chuck White

Dr. ChArles “Chuck” White

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. White is a postdoctoral researcher at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. His work focuses on the use of machine learning methods to estimate properties of clouds primarily from passive satellite imagers. Dr. White also has experience in the development of long-term satellite cloud climate records and lake surface temperature estimation. He earned his PhD and MS in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (UIUC).

Miranda White

Miranda White

Graduate Student

Miranda White is a Coastal and Marine System Science PhD student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Her research focuses on assessing and communicating variability, uncertainty, and trustworthiness of an AI coastal model that predicts cold temperatures in the local lagoon. She is working collaboratively with NCAR and TAMUCC AI scientists and local stakeholders to improve stakeholder decision-making concerning sea turtle and fisheries conservation efforts during extreme cold events. Miranda earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Integrated Environmental Science at Bethune-Cookman University.

Chad Wiley

Chad Wiley

Graduate Student

Chad Wiley is a master’s student working under Dr. Amy McGovern and Dr. Corey Potvin at the University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology. His current research will work to improve short-term severe weather forecasting using deep learning techniques. Before attending the University of Oklahoma, Chad graduated from the Millersville University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in meteorology and a minor in computer science.

Christopher Wirz

Dr. Christopher D. Wirz

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Wirz is a postdoctoral fellow at NCAR in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology (MMM) Lab with the Weather Risks and Decisions in Society (WRaDS) research group working under the supervision of Dr. Julie Demuth. His research focuses on risk communication, risk perceptions, and decision making across a range of stakeholders. His BS is in biology, environmental science, and communication, his MS and PhD are in science communication. 

Professional webpage

Tianning Wu

Tianning Wu

Graduate Student

Tianning Wu is a PhD student working with Dr. Ruoying He in the Ocean Observing and Modeling Group at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on coastal and shelf processes. He is studying coastal sea level variability, extreme events, and biogeochemical processes along the U.S. East Coast, through numerical modeling, data assimilation, and AI/ML approaches.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Charlotte Cabrera

Charlotte Cabrera

Undergraduate Researcher

Charlotte Cabrera is an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma studying Computer Science, with a minor in Math and Sociology. Charlotte works on using machine learning to predict visibility in an area from monocular Mesonet images.

Chris Cepin

Chris Cepin

Undergraduate Researcher

Chris Cepin is an undergraduate student studying meteorology at NC State University. She plans to attend graduate school and afterwards work with the National Weather Service as a Warning Coordination Meteorologist. Her main area of interest is information dissemination to the public, but she is motivated to work in a variety of topic areas depending on where she can be of help. She is working on developing a model that can interpret input images of roadways and other sites in New York as having types of precipitation and amounts of visibility using Machine Learning.

 

Katie Colburn

Katie Colburn

Undergraduate Researcher

Katie Colburn is an undergraduate research assistant at the Conrad Blucher Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Katie works on drawing wet/ dry lines on images of the beach which will be used to program an AI to predict beach inundation. She also does work with historical images including scanning and cataloging coastal imagery. In the winter you can find her volunteering with Padre Island National Seashore to help cold-stunned turtles as another part of her job at CBI. 

Christian Duff

Christian Duff

Undergraduate Researcher

Christian Duff is an undergraduate research assistant at the Conrad Blucher Institute at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, pursuing a bachelor degree in Computer Science.
His research focuses on the prediction of water temperature using artificial neural networks for cold stunning events.

AI2ES logo

Beto Estrada Jr.

Undergraduate Researcher

Beto Estrada Jr is an undergraduate research assistant at the Conrad Blucher Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a focus on information systems. He also has a minor in atmospheric science. His research focuses on manipulating real-time Coastal Bend ocean conditions and prediction data and visualizing them through interactive charts for stakeholders to utilize.

Vincent Ferrera

Vincent Ferrera

Undergraduate Researcher

Vincent Ferrera is a rising senior undergraduate student at the University of Delaware. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology and Climate Science, with minors in physics and computer science. This summer, he is undertaking a group project as an intern with the AI2ES, which is taking part in the 2022 NWC REU program. The goal of this project is to evaluate and/or increase trust in automatically generated labels derived from visibility and precipitation data from Mesonet images, which will be used to improve winter storm prediction. Outside of his appetite for weather, he has a knack for music, performing in his college’s marching band, and likes to dive into sports analysis.

 

Kayla Hoffman

Kayla Hoffman

Undergraduate Researcher

Kayla Hoffman is an undergraduate student at San Jose State University pursuing a B.S. degree in Meteorology with a concentration in Climate Science. She is currently in the REU program within the AI2ES division and will be starting her senior year at SJSU. Her project focuses on estimating convective updraft characteristics from radar using machine learning.

Matthew Kastl

Matthew Kastl

Undergraduate Researcher

Matthew Kastl is an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Conrad Blucher Insititute located at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Matthew’s contributions consist of helping to construct a camera array and data collection system. Using Sterio Vision Technology the array will be used to collect elevation information about a shoreline to later be used for AI training.

Noah Lang

Noah Lang

Undergraduate Researcher

Noah Lang is an undergraduate student at Valparaiso University, where he is pursuing bachelor degrees in meteorology and mathematics. His research project focuses on utilizing machine learning to improve thunderstorm prediction in the Warn-on Forecast System.

Ashley Marines

Ashley Marines

Undergraduate Researcher

Ashley Marines is an undergraduate research assistant at the Conrad Blucher Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Physics, minor in Computer Science, and minor in Mathematics. A student at Del Mar College transferring to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Fall 2022. This summer, she is undertaking a group project as an intern with the AI2ES, which is taking part in the 2022 NSF REU program on applied computing research. Her current focus is prediction of water levels using artificial neural networks.

Hector Marrero

Hector Marrero

Undergraduate Researcher

Hector Marrero is an undergraduate research assistant at the Conrad Blucher Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He works with new interactive touch screens that are being used in the hybrid work environment while learning about how to apply artificial intelligence methods to the environment through the AI2ES online content.

Alex Nozka

Alex Nozka

Undergraduate Researcher

Alex Nozka is an Undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma studying meteorology and computer science. His research focuses on nowcasting tornados via machine learning. When not in school, Alex enjoys watching storms, playing water polo and frisbee golf, and hanging out with friends.

raven reese

Raven Reese

Undergraduate Researcher

Raven Reese is an undergraduate research assistant specializing in media management for the AI2ES program at the Conrad Blucher Institute. Raven is a senior at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi finishing a B.A. in English, with minors in Creative Writing and Women and Gender Studies. She works to document events and research projects conducted by CBI AI2ES and then communicate important developments in their work across social media platforms. Outside of managing AI2ES outreach in the Gulf Coast, Raven is also an assistant managing editor for the Windward Review, a student-led South Texas literary journal.

Lydia Spychalla

Lydia Spychalla

Undergraduate Researcher

Lydia Spychalla is an undergraduate physics student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is participating in the 2021 AI2ES Research Experiences for Undergrads (REU) program. Her project focuses on using machine learning methods to create 0-3hr hail forecasts for model-forecasted storms. When Lydia isn’t studying the weather, she likes to run, climb trees, and make quilts.

Savannah Stephenson

Savannah Stephenson

Undergraduate Researcher

Savannah Stephenson is an undergraduate research assistant at the Conrad Blucher Institute at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Savannah has not found a focus for her research yet but has interests in machine learning. When not at school or work Savannah enjoys analyzing popular media and writing fiction stories.

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 

webmaster@ai2es.org

External Advisory Board

Andrew Barto

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.

Mary Glackin head shot

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.

William Hsieh head shot

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.

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee

The Brookings Institution

Discipline: AI and Ethics

Sector: Non-profit

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of TechTank. Dr. Turner Lee researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world. Her work also explores global and domestic broadband deployment and internet governance issues. She is an expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and technology within the context of civic engagement, criminal justice, and economic development.

Professional webpage

AI2ES logo

Dr. Diana Marinez

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Discipline: Biochemistry

Sector: Academia (retired)

Bio coming soon.

Lori Peek headshot

DR. LORI PEEK

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.

Nick Pidgeon

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.

Emilie Roth headshot

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.

Marshall Shepherd head shot

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.

Gordon Snyder head shot

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.

AI2ES logo

Dr. Jim Stear

Chevron Energy Technology Company

Discipline: Metocean, Ocean engineering

Sector: Industry

Bio coming soon.

Kiri Wagstaff head shot

DR. KIRI WAGSTAFF

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