Core Office

Rachel Riley

Lead PI, Director
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
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Rachel Riley

Lead PI, Director
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
Rachel Riley is the Director of the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program at the University of Oklahoma. She has over a decade of experience co-producing useful and usable research and information that helps communities and states in the South Central U.S. better plan for and respond to climate-related challenges. Ms. Riley has expertise in climate adaptation and hazard mitigation planning, communication, decision support tool evaluation, and social science methodologies. She holds a B.S. in meteorology from Iowa State University and an M.S. in interdisciplinary studies (communication and meteorology) from the University of Oklahoma.
Barry Keim

Barry Keim

PI, Professor and Louisiana State Climatologist
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
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Barry Keim

Barry Keim

PI, Professor and Louisiana State Climatologist
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
Barry Keim is the State Climatologist for Louisiana and a faculty member in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at LSU. In addition to operating Louisiana's state climate office, Dr. Keim conducts research on climate change and variability, extreme climate events, hydroclimatology, and human dimensions of global change. 

Mark Shafer

PI, Deputy Director, Associate Professor, Associate State Climatologist
Oklahoma Climatological Survery
University of Oklahoma
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Mark Shafer

PI, Deputy Director, Associate Professor, Associate State Climatologist
Oklahoma Climatological Survery
University of Oklahoma
Mark Shafer is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability and is Deputy Director of the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), a NOAA RISA Team for the South Central U.S. His research interests focus upon natural hazards, particularly on communication between the scientific community and policy makers in planning for and managing societal response to extreme events and climate change. Mark received a PhD in Political Science and an MS in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and a BS in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois-Urbana.

Darrian Bertrand

Co-PI, Climate Assessment Specialist
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
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Darrian Bertrand

Co-PI, Climate Assessment Specialist
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
Darrian Bertrand is SCIPP’s Climate Assessment Specialist and is located at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Through engagement with a variety of stakeholders, her work focuses on the assessment of stakeholder risk and vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events in the south central U.S. and how the use of climate hazard data can better meet the needs of users in decision-making and adaptation efforts. Darrian received a B.S. in Meteorology (2015) and a M.S. in Geography (2017) from OU, where she worked for SCIPP as a Graduate Research Assistant. Previously, Ms. Bertrand worked for the State Climate Office of North Carolina, where she developed a heat stress forecast tool for high school athletes, engaged with Cooperative Extension agents, and led the climate segment of the NC Drought Management Advisory Council.

Vincent Brown

Co-PI, Climate Research Director
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
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Vincent Brown

Co-PI, Climate Research Director
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
Dr. Vincent Brown is SCIPP's Climate Research Director and is located at Louisiana State University (LSU). Dr. Brown is an Assistant Professor-Research in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at LSU. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from LSU, a M.S. in Geography from the University of Tennessee, and a B.S. in Geography from Salisbury University. His research interests include climatology, precipitation, climate change, and statistics. His current research focuses on precipitation extremes, particularly in the Southeast United States. 
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Evan Chladny

Climate Communications Assistant (Student)
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
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Evan Headshot

Evan Chladny

Climate Communications Assistant (Student)
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
Evan Chladny is a SCIPP Climate Communications Assistant located at the University of Oklahoma. Evan is currently a Junior working on his B.S. in Meteorology with a Minor in Mathematics. Joining the team in January 2022, he is responsible for communicating vital climate research from SCIPP, as well as updates about the organization. Evan's professional interests include extreme weather events and climate change adaptation.

Caylah Cruickshank

Co-PI, Program Manager
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
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Caylah Cruickshank

Co-PI, Program Manager
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
University of Oklahoma
Caylah Cruickshank is SCIPP's Program Manager and is located at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Ms. Cruickshank holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing from Tulane University. As SCIPP’s Program Manager, Caylah is responsible for managing the administrative side of the NOAA grant, which includes corresponding with NOAA Program Managers, answering NOAA requests, and SCIPP Annual Reports. Her research interests include impacts of climate policy decisions on vulnerable communities, and the topic of environmental justice.
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Charles Simson

Data Analyst
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
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Charles Simson photo

Charles Simson

Data Analyst
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Charles Simson is a Data Analyst for the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program at Louisiana State University. He collaborates with his teammates at SCIPP and aids them in their research by working with climatic datasets to extract useful information and/or create related visualizations in the form of maps, plots, graphs, etc. He also builds tools and websites if the climate data and information need to be viewed and used by a larger audience. Additionally, he maintains and fixes bugs in the existing websites and tools held by the organization. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science at Panimalar Engineering College from India and Masters of Science in Computer Science at Louisiana State University.

Dererk Thompson

Derek Thompson

Research Associate
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
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Dererk Thompson

Derek Thompson

Research Associate
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
Derek Thompson is a Research Associate for SCIPP at Louisiana State University (LSU). Mr. Thompson holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Western Kentucky University and a M.S. in Geography from LSU, and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Geography from LSU. His research interests include climatology, geographic information systems (GIS), tropical cyclones, heat stress, and statistics. His current research focuses on wet bulb globe temperature and its relationship with human health in Louisiana.

Additional Investigators

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Ioana Cionea

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Dept. of Communication
University of Oklahoma
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Ioana Cionea

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Dept. of Communication
University of Oklahoma

Ioana Cionea, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses on the role of culture in communicative interactions, such as conflict situations. She is also interested in research methods and modeling of human behavior. 

Dr. Cionea works with SCIPP as a program evaluator, assessing and providing recommendations on various aspects of SCIPP's work with stakeholders, partners, and advisory committee members. 

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Simone Domingue

Co-PI, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma
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Simone Domingue

Co-PI, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma

Dr. Simone Domingue is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. She recently completed a PhD in Sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder and holds an M.S. in Environmental Sciences from Louisiana State University. Dr. Domingue studies how vulnerability to hazards and disasters and social inequality intersect with the goal of supporting equitable and just resilience planning. Her dissertation critically examined Louisiana’s historic and current response to coastal land loss and climate change through the lens of environmental justice. She is currently working with a team of researchers to analyze and improve community capacity for equitable climate change adaptation planning in Gulf Coast States. 

Renee Edwards

Professor
Dept. of Communication Studies
Louisiana State University
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Renee Edwards

Professor
Dept. of Communication Studies
Louisiana State University
Renee Edwards (Ph.D., Florida State University) is a Professor of Interpersonal Communication in the Department of Communication Studies at Louisiana State University. Her research examines risk communication, social cognition, message interpretation, and misunderstanding. In addition to her work with SCIPP, her projects have included Building Resilience to Extreme Events and Water Hazard Planning in Rural Communities (Co-PI, 2018-2019), Communicating Climate Tools to Coastal Stakeholders (PI, 2018-2019), and Hurricanes, Institutional Policies, and Information Processing: Engagement with Decision-Makers and Coastal Residents (PI, 2009-2010). 

Aimee Franklin

Co-PI, Professor
Dept. of Political Science
University of Oklahoma
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Aimee Franklin

Co-PI, Professor
Dept. of Political Science
University of Oklahoma
Aimee Franklin, PhD is located at the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses on public budgeting, finance, and financial management with special emphasis on the role of stakeholders in government decisions. She works with SCIPP to conduct social, financial, and economic impacts analysis related to severe weather events and climate change. Her current research project explores how to improve governance and collaborative capacity to identify fiscal strategies for climate adaptation in communities. 

Renee McPherson

University Director and Associate Professor
South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center
University of Oklahoma
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Renee McPherson

University Director and Associate Professor
South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center
University of Oklahoma
Dr. Renee A. McPherson is Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma and University Director of the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S, M.S., and Ph.D. in Meteorology. Her research includes the societal and ecological impacts of climate variability and change, regional and applied climatology, and severe local storms. She teaches classes in climatology and physical geography, advises graduate students in their research and education, and mentors undergraduate students who are interested in research opportunities. Formerly, she was State Climatologist of Oklahoma and Acting Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. In January 2019, she received the Charles E. Anderson Award from the American Meteorological Society for her “extraordinary, sustained efforts to broaden participation of traditionally underrepresented individuals in STEM research and education, particularly women and Native Americans.” She serves as Lead Author of the Southern Great Plains chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment.
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Lauren Mullenbach

Co-PI, Assistant Professor
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma
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Lauren Mullenbach photo

Lauren Mullenbach

Co-PI, Assistant Professor
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma

Dr. Lauren Mullenbach is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at OU. She is a scholar of urban environmental justice, focused on climate adaptation, green space development, gentrification, and wellbeing. Her current work focuses on equitable green space planning, city climate change planning, and homelessness.

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Randy Peppler

Associate Director
NOAA Cooperative Institute for Severe & High-Impact Weather Research & Operations
University of Oklahoma
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Randy Peppler photo

Randy Peppler

Associate Director
NOAA Cooperative Institute for Severe & High-Impact Weather Research & Operations
University of Oklahoma
Randy Peppler is Associate Director of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations (CIWRO) at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Dr. Peppler holds a M.S. in Meteorology and a Ph.D. in Geography. His research focuses on local knowledge of weather and climate, particularly related to how such knowledge is used in agriculture and to tornado risk perception. Dr. Peppler also is the manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Data Quality Office and is a lecturer in the OU Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. 
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Sascha Petersen

Co-PI, Co-Founder, Director
Adaptation International
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Sascha Petersen

Co-PI, Co-Founder, Director
Adaptation International

Sascha is the Director of Adaptation International and has been working specifically on climate change for more than 15 years. He has direct experience bridging the gaps between climate change science, policy, management, and action. He has partnered with and supported dozens of communities across the country as they work to build climate resilience. Sascha was a Lead Author for the Great Plains Region of the National Climate Assessment (2014), the Pacific Northwest Region of the 2018 National Climate Assessment, and the Southwest Region of the upcoming 2023 National Climate Assessment. He lives in Austin, TX, has a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and a master’s degree focused on climate change science and policy from the University of Washington in Seattle. Before shifting his focus to climate change, he trained astronauts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Graduate Research Assistants

Jordan Fazio

M.S. Student
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Cameron Goff

M.S. Student
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Marissa Karpinski

Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Anna Sitzman

M.S. Student
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Derek Thompson

Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Olivia VanBuskirk

Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma

Ellie Weaver

Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Political Science
University of Oklahoma

Amy Wold

M.S. Student
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Alumni

Dolly Na-Yemeh

Ph.D. 2022
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma

Anna Wanless

M.S. 2021
School of Meteorology
University of Oklahoma

Ashlee Autore

M.S. 2021
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Jacob Marchlinski

M.A. 2020
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma

Penn Pennell

MUP 2020
Urban Planning Program
University of Kansas

Vincent Brown

Ph.D. 2019
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
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Vincent Brown

Ph.D. 2019
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
Dr. Vincent Brown is SCIPP's Climate Research Director and is located at Louisiana State University (LSU). Dr. Brown is an Assistant Professor-Research in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at LSU. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from LSU, a M.S. in Geography from the University of Tennessee, and a B.S. in Geography from Salisbury University. His research interests include climatology, precipitation, climate change, and statistics. His current research focuses on precipitation extremes, particularly in the Southeast United States.

Nicholas Grondin

M.S. 2019
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Rudy Bartels

Ph.D. 2018
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
Louisiana State University

Darrian Bertrand

M.S. 2017
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma
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Darrian Bertrand

M.S. 2017
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma
Darrian Bertrand is SCIPP’s Climate Assessment Specialist and is located at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Through engagement with a variety of stakeholders, her work focuses on the assessment of stakeholder risk and vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events in the south central U.S. and how the use of climate hazard data can better meet the needs of users in decision-making and adaptation efforts. Darrian received a B.S. in Meteorology (2015) and a M.S. in Geography (2017) from OU, where she worked for SCIPP as a Graduate Research Assistant. Previously, Ms. Bertrand worked for the State Climate Office of North Carolina, where she developed a heat stress forecast tool for high school athletes, engaged with Cooperative Extension agents, and led the climate segment of the NC Drought Management Advisory Council.

Coryn Collins

M.S. 2017
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Josh Gilliland

Ph.D. 2017
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Jennifer Le

MPA 2017
Department of Political Science
University of Oklahoma

Jonathan Denham

Ph.D. 2014
Dept. of Communication Studies
Louisiana State University

Carrie Pavlowsky

M.A. 2014
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma

Carly Kovacik

M.S. 2013
School of Meteorology
University of Oklahoma

Amanda Lewis

M.S. 2013
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Lu Liu

M.S. 2012
School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science
University of Oklahoma

Wanyun Shao

Ph.D. 2012
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Anna Trevino

Ph.D. 2012
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Robert Gottlieb

M.S. 2011
School of Meteorology
University of Oklahoma

Heather Campbell

M.S. 2010
School of Meteorology
University of Oklahoma

Michael Roberts

M.S. 2010
Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Amanda Schroeder

M.S. 2010
School of Meteorology
University of Oklahoma
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