Gab at the Lab: Kodi Nemunaitis-Monroe

Kodi Nemunaitis-Monroe, NOAA Sea Grant Weather & Climate Extension Specialist    (OU CIMMS)


Background:B.S. Meteorology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2001
M.S. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
Ph.D., Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 2014
What She Does: Kodi oversees NOAA’s Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project. This research is aimed at predicting total water levels (rainfall + river flows + waves + tides + storm surge) in watershed coastal regions. More than half of the nation’s population is affected by coastal flooding, and CI-FLOW aims to reduce impacts to life and property. As storms approach, National Weather Service forecasters provide feedback on how well the CI-FLOW system performs.
Favorite Things: Spending time with her daughter, watching “House of Cards” and “Sherlock”
Trivia:At the University of Nebraska, she was a cheerleader for the Cornhuskers!
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Gab at the Lab: Pam Heinselman

Pam HeinselmanPam Heinselman came to the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory in 1995 as a scientist with the University of Oklahoma’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. She grew up in Westminster, Maryland, and completed her meteorological studies at the University of Saint Louis. After joining CIMMS and living in Norman for several years, she made the decision to continue her education and pursue a Ph.D. at OU. Pam was awarded her Ph.D. in May of 2004. Five years later, in 2009, she became a full-time NOAA employee, and she has continued to make important contributions to the Lab in this role.

Heinselman is the leader of the phased array radar and meteorological studies team. She coordinates the Phased Array Radar Innovative Sensing Experiment with OU PhD student Katie Bowden, who is funded through the OU Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. PARISE is conducted through the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed, and investigates scientific and operational applications of rapid-scan data sampled by NSSL’s phased array radar. This research improves understanding of hazardous weather and develops methods to use rapid-scan radar data in forecasting operations

In her personal time, Pam enjoys exercising outdoors and especially looks forward to trips home to the East Coast, where she can dine on her favorite Maryland crab cakes. She also enjoys the company of her dog, Rolli.

We’re glad to have Pam here at NSSL!

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Read more about Pam’s research here.

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Gab at the Lab: Darrel Kingfield


He’s been around the National Weather Center since 2007, but you might not know everything he’s been up to! Darrel earned his bachelor’s degree in 2006 from Purdue University. After college, he was outsourced to India (seriously!) before making his way to Norman and and the NOAA National Weather Service’s Warning Decision Training Branch (now Division) as a CIMMS employee in 2007. At WDTB, he was responsible for warning decision training and simulations in AWIPS. It was during this time he decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Geospatial Science, which he earned from The University of Oklahoma in 2010.

In 2012, he joined us here at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, becoming a CIMMS researcher in the Warning Research and Development Division. He worked on research to operations projects, algorithm development, and technology transfer, leading to his eventual decision to become a Ph.D. candidate at OU. His field of study is “terrestrial and spaceborne applications to thunderstorm and attendant hazard identification.”

These days, Darrel does his best to prepare National Weather Service forecasters for the future. He evaluates existing algorithms for strengths and weaknesses using large-scale radar and satellite climatologies. He develops new algorithms and builds displays for evaluation. And he evaluates new applications in NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed.

And, just in case you were wondering, his three biggest fears are: spike strips, sporting events with flying objects (think hockey, baseball, etc.), and haunted houses!



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NSSL researcher honored by AMS

Jack_Kain_for_AMS_awardsNSSL’s John S. Kain was honored at the 90th American Meteorological Socity (AMS) Awards Banquet Meeting in Atlanta, GA on January 20, 2010.  Kain received an Editor award “for constructive and timely reviews that improved the quality of papers published in the AMS journal, “Monthly Weather Review.”  Kain is a research meteorologist in the Forecast and Warning Research and Development Division at NSSL.

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Two NSSL Scientists Named Presidential Early Career Award Recipients

Michael C. Coniglio and Pamela L. Heinselman, NSSL research scientists studying improvements in tornado forecasting and new radar systems were named as recipients of the 2008 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

The award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. An award ceremony is planned in Washington, D.C. in the fall.

“It is quite remarkable to have two researchers from NSSL win this prestigious award in one year,” said James Kimpel, National Severe Storms Laboratory Director. “It speaks well for the future of our lab to have these outstanding young people on board.”

Worki090613_Texas3_Conigliong in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed, Coniglio is a key player in collaborations to evaluate experimental numerical weather models and bring that cutting edge research to forecasters, ultimately improving forecasts. This spring he helped set up the Operations Center and joined scientists in the field for VORTEX2, the largest and most ambitious field experiment in history to explore tornadoes.

Heinselman_Pam20043Heinselman has led the National Weather Radar Testbed Phased Array Radar Demonstration project for several years. Her research focuses on the use of radar data to improve tornado warning lead times. She has served as a mentor to numerous undergraduate and graduate meteorology students, encouraging the next generation of scientists.

“In honoring these scientists early in their careers, we recognize both their achievements to date and the promise of their continued contributions to the nation,” said Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. “NOAA takes great pride in these individuals and in its entire complement of stellar science.”

NSSL scientist David Stensrud and former NSSL researcher Erik Rasmussen are past recipients of the honor.

The Presidential Early Career Awards embody the high priority the Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the nation’s goals and contribute to all sectors of the economy. Nine federal departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious young scientists and engineers — researchers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for strengthening America’s leadership in science and technology and contributing to the awarding agencies’ missions.

The awards, established by President Clinton in February 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach. Winning scientists and engineers receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions.

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NOAA Hollings Students present Summer Research Projects

Eight undergraduate students from around the U.S. are presenting the results of their summer research projects this week as part of the NOAA Hollings Scholars program.  The prestigious opportunity is designed to help encourage students to pursue a future career in atmospheric science research.

Ten NSSL and NSSL/Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies researchers and four Storm Prediction Center forecasters have donated their time to mentor a student through the research process.  The scientists and students choose a project and end their experience with a formal presentation on their results.  Students are also treated to tours, field trips, and lectures.

2009 NOAA Hollings Scholars and projects:

Madison Burnett, University of Missouri

Mentors: Travis Smith, Valliappa Lakshmanan, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies/National Severe Storms Laboratory

“Improvements to Cluster Identification and Tracking in a Circulation Detection Algorithm”

Elizabeth Thompson, Valparaiso University

Mentors: Ken Howard, NSSL and Katherine Willingham, CIMMS/NSSL “Characteristics of Microbursts in Central Arizona”

Darren Snively, Ohio University

Mentors: Richard Thompson, Jeremy Grams, Storm Prediction Center

“Synoptic Environments and Convective Modes Associated with Significant Tornadoes in the Contiguous United States – A Null Case Dataset”

Aaron “Ari” Preston, University of Michigan

Mentors: Don MacGorman, NSSL and Terry Schuur, CIMMS/NSSL

“Study of 3-D Total Lightning Activity Relative to Radar-Inferred Storm Parameters”

Rockwell Schrock, University of Connecticut

Mentor: Daphne Thompson, CIMMS/NSSL

“Creating a Tornado Presentation for Science on a Sphere”

Tomas Castellanos, Cornell University

Mentors: Bryan Smith, David Imy, SPC

“A Surface Observing System Measured Severe Convective Wind Analysis, 2005-2008”

Douglas Crauder, Columbia University

Mentor: Kevin Manross, CIMMS/NSSL

“Examining Polarimetric ZDR Signatures on Isothermal Surfaces Relating to Severe Hail”

Preston Carter, University of Oklahoma

Mentors: Don MacGorman, Harold Brooks, NSSL

“Five Year Lightning Climatology using the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array”

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NSSL Retiree added to the COMET Hall of Fame

IMG_0259_1Don Burgess, retired NSSL and NWS research meteorologist, now part-time with OU/CIMMS was recently honored by COMET, the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training with an induction into the COMET “Hall of Fame.”  Burgess’ award was in recognition of outstanding contributions to professional training.

The award states:  “Don Burgess’ exceptional leadership of many professional training efforts, including his scientific expertise for our first distance learning module (1990), have contributed significantly to the success of UCAR’s COMET Program.  His tireless dedication and enthusiasm as a lead instructor for residence courses and as a subject matter expert for multimedia distance learning resulted in high-quality, state-of-the-art training that has allowed many operational weather forecasters to greatly enhance their understanding of mesoscale processes and radar meteorology.  Thank you, Don, for the wisdom and expertise you have brought to our training endeavors.”

Burgess joins three other members, Fred Carr, Ken Crawford, and Brad Coleman.

COMET supports, enhances, and stimulates learning about atmospheric and related sciences.

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