Project Alumni


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

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Grant Eckstein

Grant Eckstein

REU Participant

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

REU Participant

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.

Conner Flansburg

Conner Flansburg

REU Participant

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

REU Participant

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.

Andrew Justin

Andrew Justin

REU Participant

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.

Kaelia Okamura

Kaelia Okamura

REU Participant

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

REU Participant

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.

Jordan Robinson

Jordan Robinson

REU Participant

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.

L. Spychalla head shot

Lydia Spychalla

REU Participant

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.

Colin Willingham

Colin Willingham

REU Participant

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.