CW3E Summer Interns

Class of 2023

Jozette Conti

Mentors: Colin Grudzien and Pat Mulrooney

Project Title/Topic: Scientific software development for statistical learning

Jozette is a senior studying Meteorology at the Florida Institute of Technology. This summer, she will be working with Colin Grudzien and Pat Mulrooney on scientific software development for statistical learning. After graduating in the spring of 2024, Jozette plans to pursue a graduate degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

Anahita Jensen

Mentors: Garrett McGurk and Pat Mulrooney

Project Title/Topic: Flow data dashboard

Anahita is a rising senior at UCLA, with a major in environmental science and a minor in geography/environmental studies. Originally from Sonoma County, CA, she enjoys rock climbing, slacklining, puzzles, and anything outdoors. She is excited to be participating in research at CW3E this summer building a flow data dashboard with Garrett McGurk and Pat Mulrooney.

Emilio Yanez Jr.

Emilio is a rising senior at UCLA. He is majoring in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences with Mathematics and minoring in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). After graduating in 2024, he plans to pursue a graduate degree in meteorology. Emilio has previously worked on atmospheric river types and their associated precipitation and is excited to learn about the forecasting aspect of ARs. During his free time, he enjoys playing chess, Stardew Valley, and cooking with friends. Emilio looks forward to applying his passion for precipitation-related projects this summer.

Isaac Yang

Mentors: Agniv Sengupta and Mike DeFlorio

Project Title/Topic: Machine learning techniques to improve predictive skills

My name is Isaac Yang and I am currently studying Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego [UCSD] and plan to complete my BS in both Structural Engineering and Environmental Systems in 2025. I will be exploring machine learning techniques to improve predictive skills with my mentor Agniv Sengupta and co-mentor Mike DeFlorio.

Azara Boschee

Azara is a rising senior at St. Cloud State University where she is studying Meteorology with minors in Hydrology, Applied Math, and Scientific Computing. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in research. Outside of school, she enjoys alpine skiing, biking, and other outdoor activities.

Abbey Ertzbischoff

Abbey currently attends Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecosystem Science and Stewardship. She enjoys exploring the great outdoors, rock climbing and reading.

Hannah Harbert

Hannah has called Leadville, Colorado her home for 18 years now and absolutely loves life at 10,000 feet! She enjoys backcountry skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and sailing. Hannah is an intern this summer with CW3E and Aspen Global Change Institute. Her passion for outdoor recreation has fueled a growing passion for environmental science which is why she has chosen to make a career change and pursue a BS in Ecosystem Science and Stewardship at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville

Abdulrahman Alkatheeri

Project Title/Topic: Influence of dust on clouds and rainfall in the UAE

Abdulrahman is a MSc student in Geosciences at Khalifa University in the United Arab Emirates. His research focuses on investigating the impact of dust on the atmospheric system. As part of his summer program with CW3E he will analyze the influence of dust on clouds and rainfall in the UAE. This analysis will involve utilizing aircraft measurements, satellite observations, and ground-based data. Abdulrahman plans to advance his studies by pursuing a Ph.D. degree and aspiring to become a dedicated researcher in this area of expertise.

Mazen Idriss

Mazen will graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in spring 2024. He is majoring in Environmental Engineering and plans to pursue a graduate degree in either hydrology, water treatment, or climate and planetary sciences. He worked on collecting snow water equivalent data from several sources across the western United States and the Colorado river basin. He compared the snow water equivalent observed to the predictions made by Noah-MP. Validating the Noah-MP model is essential for improving our ability to forecast and manage water resources effectively, as well as for enhancing climate predictions. Additionally, he worked with two versions of the Forecast Informed Reservoir Operation (FIRO) model and addressed their differences. The development of this model could vastly improve how water in reservoirs is handled and better our water conservation efforts.

Jamie Stankiewiz

Mentors: Jennifer Haase

Project Title/Topic: Operationalization of a GNSS receiver system

Jamie is a Master’s student studying Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. With a background in Biochemistry and Statistics from UC Berkeley, Jamie loves contributing to meaningful research that seeks to understand more about our planet and helps humanity be more sustainable. This summer, Jamie is working with Dr. Jennifer Haase to operationalize a custom built GNSS receiver system that will collect satellite signals passing through the troposphere. The GNSS signals collected will help determine atmospheric and water vapor characteristics in the Pacific Ocean, which will inform storm prediction models and also help understand atmospheric river dynamics.

Class of 2022

Clinton Alden

Mentors: Minghua Zheng and Luca Delle Monache

Project Title/Topic: Use of MODIS-derived Cloud Products for Characterizing Atmospheric Rivers

Clinton is a rising senior at the University of Utah, studying Atmospheric Sciences with a minor in Political Science. He plans to pursue a graduate degree after graduating in May 2023 in the Atmospheric Sciences. Clinton had the opportunity to work with Minghua Zheng and Luca Delle Monache on a data assimilation project using MODIS-Terra satellite data to better understand the cloud structure of Atmospheric Rivers. Remotely sensed data is crucial in the data assimilation and initial state assumptions for models over otherwise data-sparse regions such as the North Pacific Ocean. He hopes to continue working with Dr. Zheng on data assimilation projects using satellite datasets moving forward.

Sam Dahl

Mentors: Mohammadvaghef Ghazvinian and Weiming Hu

Project Title/Topic: Evaluation and Postprocessing of West-WRF Precipitation Forecasts over California

Sam is a senior and first year Accelerated Master’s student in Atmospheric Science at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. In Summer 2022 he had the opportunity to work with Mohammadvaghef Ghazvinian and others at CW3E on a project focusing on statistical postprocessing of the center’s West-WRF precipitation forecast for California. Accurately characterizing the skill and improving accuracy of dynamical models like the West-WRF is of paramount importance for managing water resources in California. Results pointed to high predictive skill of raw forecast across the domain, except in extreme events, and skill decreases with increasing forecast lead time as expected. Initial postprocessing via a multiple linear regression at a single location showed promising results with decreased precipitation forecast bias.

Lauran Garcia

Mentors: Elise Osenga and Anna Wilson

Project Title/Topic: The utility of snow depth measurements in determining available water in the Colorado River headwaters of the Roaring Fork Valley

Lauran worked this summer with CW3E and the Aspen Global Change Institute in Colorado to conduct research on snowpack data collection and management in the headwaters of the Colorado River. She will be graduating this year with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies from Colorado Mountain College and is passionate about natural resource management, sustainable development, and the intersection of science and society to promote an adaptive and resilient future.

Jacob Hair

Mentors: Jennifer Haase

Project Title/Topic: Refractivity comparisons within the GFS model during atmospheric rivers

Jacob Hair will graduate in the spring of 2023 from Pennsylvania State University. He is majoring in Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, with minors in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Sciences and Technology (IST). This summer, Jacob had the opportunity to work with Dr. Jennifer Haase and her wonderful team on refractivity comparisons between different GFS model runs within an atmospheric river. The GFS Control run had dropsonde data assimilated into it, while the GFS Denial run did not. From there, we calculated the refractivity profile from each model and compared it to the true refractivity profile in the environment by utilizing Airborne Radio Occultation (ARO). Our expected results are to show that the control model will present a better representation of reality due to it having additional data. Jacob plans to pursue a graduate degree and continue to work in the broadcast meteorology field.

Charlotte Merchant

Mentors: Colin Grudzien

Project Title/Topic: Application of automatic differentiation to 3-dimensional variational assimilation in Julia

Charlotte Merchant is a junior at Princeton University, studying Computer Science with minors in Applied & Computational Mathematics and Statistics & Machine Learning. She had the opportunity to work with Dr. Colin Grudzien on a data assimilation project involving the application of automatic differentiation to 3-dimensional variational assimilation in Julia. She contributed to the DataAssimilationBenchmarks.jl package by implementing an XdVAR module and related tests and forecast-observation-cycling experiments as well as test cases verifying the results of the automatic differentiation. She analyzed the effects of adjusting and tuning prior, the probability of the distribution of the physical system based on current knowledge, on the stabilized RMSE found during the forecast-observation-cycling experiments. Charlotte hopes to continue working with Dr. Grudzien on analyzing experimental results and implementing 4-dimensional variational assimilation with automatic differentiation. She plans to pursue a graduate degree involving climate/earth system modeling, predictability, ML, and data assimilation after graduating in 2024.

Anh Pham Phu

Nico Sartori

Mentors: Jiabo Wang

Project Title/Topic: Precipitation extremes in a warming climate

Lillian Svoboda

Mentors: Madison Muxworthy and Anna Wilson

Project Title/Topic: Understanding Hydrology of the Colorado Headwaters Research: Roaring Fork Watershed

Class of 2021

Hillary Beckmeyer

Mentors: Allison Cobb, Forest Cannon, and Tom Corringham

Project Title/Topic: Attributing Commercial Shipping Losses to Extreme Weather in the North Pacific

Hillary is originally from Okemos, MI, although for the last 6 years she has called Boulder, CO, home. She is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder where she studied Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. She previously had also obtained a degree in International Relations and Comparative Cultures & Politics from Michigan State University’s James Madison College. Her interests include traveling, hiking, and studying air-sea interactions and climate change. This summer, before her internship with CW3E, Hillary was involved in a research project examining how oceanic barrier layers are represented in the latest generation of global climate models, and how such models predict barrier layers will respond to global climate change.

Lauren Bolotin

Mentors: Nina Oakley and Luke Odell

Project Title/Topic: Investigating Relationships Between Extreme Hourly and Sub-Hourly Precipitation in California

Project Summary

Lauren graduated with a B.S. in Ecohydrology and Environmental Science from the University of Nevada Reno in 2019. This summer, Lauren worked with and learned from Nina Oakley and Luke Odell at CW3E to investigate the relationship between 15-minute and hourly precipitation observations, particularly during extreme precipitation as it relates to the risk of post-fire debris flows. Despite the fact that sub-hourly precipitation observations are scarce in comparison to hourly observations, these data are crucial for monitoring debris flow risk across California, especially as wildfire activity increases in the state. Lauren is excited to continue her time in San Diego earning her M.S. in Watershed Science at San Diego State University

Brandon Bourassa

Mentors: Jennifer Haase

Project Title/Topic: Improved Atmospheric River Forecasting using Airborne Radio Occultation

Brandon is a rising senior at UCSD, pursuing a degree in Oceanic and Atmospheric Science. . This summer Brandon had the opportunity to work with Jennifer Haase and her team, to investigate a real-time data-retrieval method using Airborne Radio Occultation (ARO) to retrieve refractivity profiles. By comparing these refractivity profiles, Brandon was able to determine if a real-time method can be used in place of a post-processed one. This real-time method has the potential to greatly improve the accuracy of forecast models. This coming year Brandon plans to apply to graduate programs and pursue on-campus research.

Sierra Dabby

Mentors: Minghua Zheng and Luca Delle Monache

Project Title/Topic: Using Python for AR Recon Data Impact Analysis

Project Summary

Sierra is a rising sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Atmospheric Science. This summer she is creating python scripts to analyze the impact of dropsonde data on the WEST-WRF model. Originally from Martinez, California she loves to spend her time outdoors, anywhere from cross country skiing to backpacking and now surfing! She’s really looking forward to applying her love for nature to her work with data analysis and atmospheric rivers.

Gilberto Estrada Camacho

Mentors: Carly Ellis, Anna Wilson, and Cody Poulsen

Project Title/Topic: Using the Hydroclimate Network to Investigate the Link Between Wildfires and Solar Radiation

Project Summary

Gilberto is a senior at the University of the Pacific studying Geology with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Immigrating from Mexico at the age of four, he has endured many obstacles but they have shaped him into the well rounded person that he is today. Through his educational pursuit he hopes to help find new means to reduce the effects of climate change and to preserve the environment for future generations to enjoy. There have been many people that have helped Gilberto get to where he is today and he hopes one day to pay it forward as he obtains his PhD. He is already doing so by his involvement with the Stockton Community where he grew up. Through the help of the Community Involvement Program he has been not only been able to give back to the community but inspire the youth of the community to pursue a higher education. At the end of the day Gilberto wants to help out as much as he can and explore the world with the bright mindset he has been able to create for himself.

Rachael Jones

Mentors: Elise Osenga, Julie Vano, Michelle Stewart, and Nathan Stewart

Project Title/Topic: Climate Variables Impacting Water Supply of the Colorado River in The Upper Yampa and Roaring Fork Watersheds

Project Summary

Rachael grew up in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in western Colorado, the perfect place to pursue her hobbies of bouldering, trail running, hiking, and backcountry skiing. She really loves being up in the alpine, alone, with a topo map and exciting ridgelines to explore on a hot summer day. She has a passion for our local ecosystems, which face an unknown future in an area that has experienced extreme drought, wildfires, and other effects of climate change. She will graduate in Spring of ‘22 with her Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies from Colorado Mountain College.

Martin Liu

Mentors: Kristen Guirguis, Benjamin Hatchett, Alexander Gershunov, and Tamara Shulgina

Project Title/Topic: Avalanche fatalities during AR Events in Western US

Project Summary

Martin (he/him) is a 3rd year studying civil engineering and minoring in computer science at UC Davis. In his free time he likes to do calisthenics, play video games with friends and watch comedy shows.

Mariejane Lopez

Mentors: Jiabao Wang and Mike DeFlorio

Project Title/Topic: Future Changes in the Madden-Julian Oscillation

Project Summary

Mariejane Lopez is a recent graduate from UC Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in Earth System Science with a specialization in Hydrology & Terrestrial Ecosystems and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Policy. She enjoys thrifting, visiting art museums, and finding new ways to live more sustainably. She is excited to be a part of the CW3E team to contribute to research in the environmental science field!

Adolfo Lopez-Miranda

Mentors: Douglas Alden and Ava Cooper

Project Title/Topic: Developing telemetry systems for stations in the Hydroclimate Network

Project Summary

Adolfo Lopez Miranda lived in Compton, California his entire life before moving to San Diego to attend UC San Diego. Sports have always been a part of his life, and he played multiple sports such as soccer, basketball, and football growing up. When he is not watching or playing sports you can be sure to find him at a local coffee shop enjoying a cortado or cold brew.

Diana Montoya-Herrera

Mentors: Peter Yao and Pat Mulrooney

Project Title/Topic: CW3E Observation Database and Interactive Dashboard

Project Summary

Diana Montoya is going into her fourth year at the University of San Diego studying Integrated Engineering with an emphasis in Sustainability and a minor in Environmental and Ocean Sciences. She is interested in environmental engineering and environmental public policy. One of the reasons as to why she went into engineering was the combination between engineering and art, and how only with this union of two fields can we create better and more efficient solutions to our modern day problems. She is also a roller coaster fanatic, and my favorite is Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Levi Newell

Mentors: Linghan Li and Forest Cannon

Project Title/Topic: Atmospheric Rivers and Their Effect on Arctic Sea Ice

Project Summary

Levi Newell is a rising senior at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He is pursuing a degree in meteorology with a minor in climate change. He enjoys storm chasing and storm photography, the picture above was taken in the eye of Hurricane Hanna in 2020. In his spare time he enjoys having fun at the beach, playing with his dog, and experiencing the great outdoors.

Rachel Santi

Mentors: Michelle Stewart and Nathan Stewart

Project Title/Topic: A Sub Basin Comparison of Soil Moisture to Inform Meteorological Station Location

Project Summary

Rachel goes to school at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs. She often spends her free time hiking, climbing and relaxing in nature. She came to school out in Colorado for the adventure that is found in the mountains.

Erica Shivers

Mentors: Zhenhai Zhang and Julie Kalansky

Project Title/Topic: The impacts of Atmospheric Rivers on Extreme Snow Events in the UCRB (White-Yampa River)

Project Summary

Soon to be a graduate at the University of Colorado Boulder, Erica is currently earning a dual degree in both meteorology and oceanography with minors in math and computer science. Erica loves world travel, music, singing and trail running. In 2019, she started an inspirational movement for POC’s in nature with the hopes to create diversity and wellness in and through nature. With that said, most outdoor activities are of interest to her, especially hiking and running marathons. Furthermore, in the future she wishes to contribute to research in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences as well as further her knowledge on Artificial intelligence.

Janelle Wargo

Mentors: Jennifer Haase and Michael Murphy

Project Title/Topic: An Investigation of Spatially Dependent Atmospheric Refractivity Characteristics within Atmospheric Rivers and their Importance for Airborne Radio Occultation Observations

Project Summary

Janelle is a rising junior Engineering major and Physics/Mathematics minor from Wake Forest University. This summer, she is very excited to combine her interest in data analytics and love for the environment with research for CW3E.

Class of 2020

Preston Ancello

Mentors: Mike Deflorio and Peter Gibson

Project Title/Topic: Tracking Pacific Ridging Events Under Climate Change

Anirudhan Badrinath

Mentors: Luca Delle Monache, Will Chapman, and Negin Hayatbini

Project Title/Topic: Machine Learning for Improved West-WRF precip. Forecasting

Anirudhan is an undergraduate computer science student at UC Berkeley studying machine learning and software engineering and their applications in various fields. In his spare time, he likes playing and developing video games for fun. This summer, Anirudhan designed a U-Net convolutional neural network with Luca Delle Monache, Will Chapman, and Negin Hayatbini to improve forecasted accumulated precipitation predictions from the WWRF dynamical model. The machine learning model performed consistently better than the raw forecasted precipitation data with around 15-20% improvements in error metrics such as root-mean squared error, BIAS, and mean absolute error. Anirudhan’s plan for the coming year is to contribute more to various interdisciplinary machine learning and software engineering projects. He hopes to grow his skills in all areas of computer science while learning a lot in each of the specialized domains in which computation can be used, be it meteorology or therapy.

Rachel Cameron

Mentors: Minghua Zheng and Luca Delle Monache

Project Title/Topic: Forecast Skill of NCEP Operational GFS During the Cool Season of 2019-2020

Rachel is a senior at NYU majoring in math and double minoring in computer science and environmental studies, but she is originally from beautiful Charleston, South Carolina which is also where she has been holed up all summer. Rachel worked this summer with Minghua Zheng and Luca Delle Monache on a project to analyze the skill of the new GFS forecast model over North America and attempt to pinpoint where errors originate. This year Rachel will be doing her year of my undergrad at NYU (remotely for now).

Julianna Cativo

Mentor: Jennifer Haase

Project Title/Topic: Simulating Observations from Loon Balloons for Atmospheric River Reconnaissance

Julianna is a rising senior at UCLA, pursuing a degree in Geophysics. Although Julianna is a Los Angeles native, she loves to go camping and hiking! A personal goal of hers is to hike in all 62 US National Parks. This summer Julianna had the opportunity to work with Jennifer Haase and her team, alongside Emma Robertson, to investigate the capability of using a Loon long-duration stratospheric balloon to conduct radio occultation measurements from different meteorological phenomenons, such as the North American monsoon or an atmospheric river. These balloons have the potential to contribute to improving the precipitation forecasts of such events. This coming year Julianna plans to apply to graduate programs and pursue on-campus research.

Joseph Miscimarra

Mentors: Sasha Gershunov and Allison Michaelis

Project Title/Topic: Analyzing the effects of climate change on Pacific AR behavior with MPAS

Madison Muxworthy

Mentors: Anna Wilson, Michael Sierks, Michelle Stewart, and Nathan Stewart

Project Title/Topic: Measuring Streamflow Variability in the Upper Yampa River Basin

Madison graduated from Colorado Mountain College in 2019 with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies. While attending CMC, she also competed as a Division 1 alpine ski racing athlete and conducted an internship at a local environmental non-profit. Madison’s sustainability background has enabled her to apply systems thinking to sustainability challenges and motivates her to educate, engage, and inspire people to build a more sustainable future. Madison’s research project focused on measuring streamflow variability in the Upper Yampa River Basin, in Colorado. This involved working with local stakeholders to understand how they are planning and thinking about variability. The project was very field-based, taking streamflow measurements at key locations in the watershed. Madison’s mentors were Anna Wilson, Michael Sierks, Michelle Stewart, and Nathan Stewart. Without a doubt, Madison will be skiing a lot this upcoming year! Also, continuing work as a program director at the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council (YVSC) and assisting in the development of a water and snow program at YVSC.

Hamish Prince

Mentors: Peter Gibson and Mike DeFlorio

Project Title/Topic: Extreme Atmospheric River Events Under Climate Change

Hamish is a recently graduated MSc student from New Zealand (University of Otago) where he was examining atmospheric river (AR) seasonality and impacts in the Southern Hemisphere. He undertook a CW3E summer internship working with Peter Gibson and Mike DeFlorio exploring the genesis location of the most costly atmospheric rivers to make landfall on the west coast of the USA in collaboration with Tom Corringham, Alison Cobb, and Bin Guan. This work utilized the most recent advances in AR life-cycle tracking algorithms to identify the genesis location of all ARs that make landfall on the west coast of the USA. These AR lifecycles were paired with calculated financial damages recorded during these events to identify if there are any factors at the point of genesis which indicates the potential damage of an approaching AR. Hamish had plans to start graduate school in the USA in Fall 2020, but these plans have been deferred due to travel restrictions and he will be staying in New Zealand continuing on with personal research.

Emma Robertson

Mentor: Jennifer Haase

Project Title/Topic: Simulating Observations from Loon Balloons for Atmospheric River Reconnaissance

Emma is from Redondo Beach, CA, and a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she studied Environmental Science & Geography. This summer, Emma worked with Jennifer Haase simulating radio occultation observations for atmospheric river reconnaissance using high altitude balloons operated by Loon, LLC. This Fall, Emma will be starting graduate school at Penn State where she will be using satellite data to monitor and understand ice sheet and ice cap surface mass balance.

Alexander Weyant

Mentors: Sasha Gershunov and Allison Michaelis

Project Title/Topic: Analyzing the effects of climate change on Pacific AR behavior with MPAS

Class of 2019

Timothy Higgins

Mentors: Minghua Zheng and Luca Della Monache

Project Title/Topic: Object-based verification of data assimilation experiments

Ketzel Levens

Mentors: Anna Wilson and Julie Kalansky

Project Title/Topic: A case-study comparison of west coast/continental ARs using using dropsondes/radiosonde data

James McCarthy

Mentor: Tom Corringham

Project Title/Topic: The rising costs of atmospheric rivers in the 21st century

Joseph Miscimarra

Mentors: Allison Michaelis and Zhenhai Zhang

Project Title/Topic: Analyzing the effects of climate change on Pacific AR behavior with MPAS

Justin Templer

Mentors: Reuben Demirdjian and Joel Norris

Project Title/Topic: Comparison of an idealized AR with and without latent heating