Growing up near Ft. Worth, TX I experienced a variety of weather phenomena from an early age- everything from severe thunderstorms and tropical cyclone remnants to extreme drought and flooding. While I can’t cite any single event that pushed me to wanting to study weather and climate the culmination of these events drew me into the field and I enjoy the challenges that come with studying our evolving Earth system.
I attended the University of Louisiana-Monroe from Fall 2013 to Spring 2016 where I obtained my B.S. in atmospheric sciences while minoring in history. While there I experienced several significant weather events that enforced my choice of major and research interests.
In October 2014, a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) with embedded supercells produced an EF-2 tornado that dissipated just a few blocks west of campus. While spared from a tornado, campus and the immediate surrounding areas sustained significant straight-line wind damage with uprooted trees and broken branches falling on power lines and into houses. Classes were cancelled the rest of the week due to the lack of power on and around campus.
Catastrophic flooding across north Louisiana occurred in March 2016. Several days of heavy rainfall led to Ouachita parish receiving the most precipitation from this event at over 20 inches. Bayous and rivers overflowed, levees broke, and many homes and buildings flooded, displacing thousands. Classes were cancelled for a week due to impassible and washed out roads and bridges. Following the rains, many levees were still in danger of breaking. Our ULM Chapter of the American Meteorological Society took an afternoon to fill sandbags at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry center just outside of town.
Witnessing the effects of the flooding on our local community enforced why I study atmospheric sciences and why I want to contribute to the scientific research in precipitation physics. Not only do I want my work to improve our understanding of precipitation processes, but also I want to have a significant impact in helping people, such as improving forecasts.
The NWS Shreveport office provided overviews for both events: https://www.weather.gov/shv/event_2014-10-13_tornadoes (October 2014 tornadoes) and https://www.weather.gov/shv/event_2016-03-09_flooding (March 2016 flooding)
Throughout my time at ULM I was an active member in the ULM Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), serving as secretary (2014-2015) and president of the chapter (2015-2016). In response to the devastating flooding that took place our chapter volunteered at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry center in town, filling over 2000 sandbags to help protect homes against flooding from breached levees. Once flood waters had receded chapter members were trucked into a neighborhood to help gut homes. In recognition of this dedicated response as well as our commitment to professional development, our chapter was awarded the AMS Local Chapter of the Year Award.
I have served as an elected representative on multiple committees and organizations while at UIUC both at the department and university level that have allowed me to promote the welfare of graduate students, work on student success initiatives, and work on initiatives relating to DEIA. Along those lines I am also a member of the AMS Board on Representation, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity (BRAID) that helps AMS meet its goal of becoming a more inclusive society.
Over the past several years I have also helped plan multiple conferences, including the 2019, 2020, and 2021 AMS Student Conferences and was one of the chairs for the 1st annual Midwest Student Conference on Atmospheric Research. This inter-disciplinary conference allows for students from schools across the Midwest to receive feedback on their research and presentation skills before attending the major annual meetings held in the winter as well as provide opportunities for networking and collaboration.
Through this, I hope to help younger scientists be exposed to different career paths, areas of research, listen and ask questions to professionals, and give them the opportunity to present their work.
I have participated in multiple field campaigns and research internships (for more detailed information about these, see the “Research” tab). Taking part in a diverse suite of research has allowed me to explore various topics and discover my interests and what I’m passionate about studying. To this end, I have found my primary research interests to be in cloud and precipitation physics, convective storms, and numerical modeling.