Project Alumni


Personnel who have graduated, finished their programs, or completed their service to the project

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 Website

Lauriana Gaudet headshot

Lauriana Gaudet

Postdoctoral Researcher

Lauriana Gaudet will be a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center starting in the late summer working under Dr. Kara Sulia and Dr. Chris Thorncroft. Her Ph.D. work focuses on identifying sensitivities of high-impact weather events to cloud microphysics through forecast ensembles. She is looking forward to combining her numerical weather prediction expertise with machine learning techniques to address AI2ES goals associated with winter weather prediction. Lauriana anticipates earning her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences during the summer and earned her B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences at Lyndon State College.

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.

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.

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.

Alex Nozka

Alex Nozka

Graduate Student

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mel Wilson, OU

Mel Wilson Reyes

Graduate Student

Mel is a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Oklahoma working under Dr. Andrew H. Fagg. She is pursuing her Master’s degree in Computer Science. Her research interests include deep learning for computer vision and data science for societal and environmental impact. Prior to joining AI2ES, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and worked as a data scientist for the Department of Energy.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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.

Grant Eckstein

Grant Eckstein

Undergraduate Researcher

Grant Eckstein is an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. His research focuses on convective initiation prediction using deep learning. His position is funded by Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS).

Nathan Erickson headshot

Nathan Erickson

Undergraduate Researcher

Nathan is a student at Iowa State University, where he is majoring in meteorology, with minors in economics and geographic information systems. This summer, he will be working on training, evaluation, and verification of machine learning models for the Warn-On Forecast System (WoFs), a high-resolution model for severe weather forecasting. Outside of meteorology, he greatly enjoys reading, playing video games, running, and spending time with friends and family.

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.

Conner Flansburg

Conner Flansburg

Undergraduate Researcher

Conner Flansburg is a student at the University of Oklahoma, where he is studying computer science. This summer he is working with Dr. Diochnos, and together they are researching how current machine learning models are affected by poisoning attacks. They are particularly interested in examining how models meant to predict rare events (such as tornados) will perform when noise is introduced. 

Josh Friesen

Josh Friesen

Undergraduate Researcher

Joshua Friesen is an undergraduate student studying software engineering and mathematics at Fresno Pacific University. His work in the AI2ES program is focused on the research and development of XAI techniques that better understand models trained with multi-band data. In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball, tennis, and piano.

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.

Andrew Justin

Andrew Justin

Undergraduate Researcher

Andrew Justin is a Research Assistant at the University of Oklahoma currently working on the automated detection of fronts via machine learning. He has a passion for coding, storm chasing, and severe weather forecasting. His position is funded by NOAA.

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.

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.

Kaelia Okamura

Kaelia Okamura

Undergraduate Researcher

Kaelia Okamura is an undergraduate senior at San Diego State University studying Applied Mathematics with a double minor in Statistics and Linguistics. Her work with AI2ES will focus on predicting winter weather using AI and ML. She is excited to be part of this diverse winter weather group and looks forward to learning more about and applying these AI and ML methods to her work with NYS Mesonet images in order to more accurately predict winter weather within this area. Her position is funded byNOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M).

Joshua Pan headshot

Joshua Pan

Undergraduate Researcher

Joshua Pan is an undergraduate atmospheric science student at Cornell University, where he is conducting research with idealized atmospheric general circulation models. In the 2021 AI2ES REU program, he is applying machine learning methods to diagnose visibility and precipitation types from New York State Mesonet camera images. His leisure pursuits include cycling, skiing, and PC flight simulators.

raven reese

RAVEN REESE

Undergraduate Assistant

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.

Jordan Robinson

Jordan Robinson

Undergraduate Researcher

Jordan Robinson is an undergraduate student at Rhodes College majoring in Physics. He graduated the valedictorian at Memphis Catholic High School. He is currently working with AI2ES as a research student, focusing on using machine learning techniques to improve 0-3hr hail forecasts.

Colin Willingham

Colin Willingham

Undergraduate Researcher

Colin Willingham is currently a participant in the REU program under the AI2ES division. He is starting his Senior year at OU and plan on getting his MBA in the dual degree program that OU sponsors with the Gene Rainbolt School of Business, so that he will finish in an additional year. His position is funded by NOAA.

External Advisory Board

Bill Gail head shot

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.

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

Jim Stear

Chevron Energy Technology Company

Discipline: Metocean, Ocean engineering

Sector: Industry

Kiri Wagstaff head shot

Dr. KIRI WAGSTAFF

Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Oregon State University

Discipline: Computer Science/AI

Sector: 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.

Team Members

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).

Jerald Brotzge

Dr. Jerald. “Jerry” Brotzge

Collaborator

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