REU SITE in CLIMATE SCIENCE AT COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
We were very much looking forward to this summer’s cohort of ESMEI interns. In February, we reviewed over 100 applications and conducted phone interviews with our top 15 candidates. From there we selected the 10 students who would have joined us this summer.
These students appear below.
Given the continued spread of COVID-19 and the increasing uncertainty across our country and the world, the decision was made to suspend our REU program for summer 2020. This was a very difficult decision as we recognize that this program provides valuable outside-the-classroom learning, direct research experience, financial support, community, and career development for the future of our field. We are inviting the 2020 cohort to defer their acceptances to summer 2021 if that is of interest to them.
What is REU?
REU stands for Research Experiences for Undergraduates and is a National
Science Foundation sponsored program.
ESMEI offers paid summer undergraduate research internships at Colorado State
University in the Department of Atmospheric Science. Interns participate in a
10 week program from late May through early
August. This is an exciting research opportunity in beautiful Fort Collins,
Colorado. Join world-class atmospheric scientists investigating the science of
clouds, climate and climate change, weather, and modeling. During our program
interns have the opportunity to attend scientific seminars, visit national
scientific laboratories, and participate in a variety of professional
See what our past
CMMAP interns and
ESMEI interns have done!
Meet our 2020 ESMEI Summer Interns! (We hope to see you in 2021)
Mandy Bowden is from Norcross, Georgia. She attends the University of Georgia
where she is a senior in Atmospheric Science and Geography. Her research
interests include tropical meteorology, modifying meteorological scales, and
studying vulnerable communities impacted by weather events. Mandy enjoys
golfing, writing stories, fishing and hiking.
Becca Checkoway calls Buford, Georgia home. Like Mandy, she also attends the
University of Georgia, majoring in Atmospheric Science and Geography. She is
a senior interested in mesoscale meteorology, climate change and its impacts,
and machine learning. In her spare time, Becca enjoys playing flute, band,
Moab, Utah is the hometown of Thomas DeWitt. Thomas is a senior at Weber
State University, majoring in Physics. His research interests include cloud
physics, atmospheric fluid dynamics, urban heat islands, orographic effects.
His hobbies include cycling, sewing backpacks, skiing, cooking and
Billy Faletti is from Granville, IL. He is a senior majoring in Meteorology
at Northern Illinois University. Billy is interested in severe convective
storms and mesoscale meteorology. His hobbies include storm chasing, nature
and landscape photography, gardening, and playing guitar.
Centreville, MD is the hometown of Gillian Felton. Gillian is a junior at the
University of Northern Colorado studying Meteorology. Socioeconomic impacts
of weather, how to improve warning systems for various forms of severe
weather, and supercell processes are research interests. Gillian enjoys
hiking, writing poetry, playing the Sims 3, spending time with her cat, and
playing lacrosse with her family.
Sam Lesmerises is from Loudon, NH. She is a senior at Northern Vermont
University-Lyndon where she is majoring in Climate Change Science &
Environmental Science. Sam's research interests include climate science,
chemistry, and the natural world. She enjoys Animal Crossing, running,
skiing, and participating all around campus as a Campus Activities Board
member, student ambassador, and more!
Emily Luschen is from Oklahoma City, OK. She is a senior majoring in
Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. Emily's research interests
include cloud physics, synoptic, and mesoscale meteorology. Her hobbies
include reading, cooking, watching plays, telling good jokes.
Anushka Narayanan is a junior at Cornell University majoring in
Mathematics with an Earth & Atmospheric Science Minor. Anushka calls both
Chennai, India and Chicago, IL home. Her research interests include
atmosphere/ocean dynamics, climate modeling, numerical weather prediction and
paleoclimate. Anushka enjoys hiking, baking, singing in her acappella group,
travelling and watching movies and TV shows.
Eagleville, PA is Ashley Sebok's hometown. She is a senior majoring in
Meteorology with Math and Geology minors at the University of Pennsylvania -
Millersville. Ashley's research interests are tropical meteorology, severe
weather, cloud physics, and remote sensing. Her hobies include reading,
hiking, painting and woodworking.
Got a question?
Contact Melissa Burt, our internship specialist!
What Have Our Past Interns Done?
- A Comparison Study of Mei-Yu
Front Structure and Impacts on Extreme Precipitation over Taiwan
is the title of Jaime Anderson's research poster this summer. She was mentored
by Dr Michael Bell and Dr. Jennifer DeHart.
Jaime Anderson is from Akron, Ohio and attends Ohio University where she
is a senior majoring in Meteorology. Jaime enjoys exercising, watching
movies and baking.
- The Meridional Structure of
the Effects of Global Warming on Atmospheric Radiative Cooling and Precipitation
is the title of Charlotte Connolly's research poster this summer. She was mentored
by Dr Dave Randall and graduate student Alex Naegele. Charlotte Connolly is from
is a senior majoring in Geography. Charlotte enjoys crocheting, vioin and
art. She was happy to have the
opportunity to conduct and complete a research project this summer.
- Instrumentation for the Measurement of PANs in Carlsbad Caverns National Park
is the title of Elana Cope's research poster this summer. She was mentored
by Dr Emily Fischer along with Iilana Pollack, Julieta Juncosa Calahorrano and
Jakob Lindaas from the Fischer group.
Elana is from Cortez, Colorado. She attends Colorado State University and is a
senior studying Chemistry with an ACS Concentration. Elana's research interests
include climate change, atmospheric chemistry, sustainable energy and air
pollution. Her hobbies
include drawing & painting, running, hiking, playing music, swimming and reading.
- Using Machine Learning to Improve Sub-Seasonal Climate Prediction
is the title of Richard Garmong's research poster this summer. Richard was
mentored by Dr. Russ Schumacher and Becky Bolinger.
Richard is a senior attending the University of Georgia. He is an
Atmospheric Science / Geography major. Richard calls Marietta, Georgia home
and enjoys hiking, photography, video games and cooking.
- Wildfire-driven changes in the
abundance of gas phase pollutants in the city of Boise, ID during summer 2018
is the title of Emily Lill's research poster this summer. She was
mentored by Dr. Emily Fischer and a number of other graduate students and
Waynesville, Ohio is Emily Lill's home town. She attends The Ohio State
University majoring in Atmospheric Sciences with a minor in Earth Sciences
and Music. Emily is a Junior. Her hobbies include singing, dancing and
- El Niño-Southern Oscillation
Teleconnections in a Warming Climate
is the title of Brandon Molina's research poster this summer. Brandon was
mentored by Dr. Eric Maloney and graduate student Michael Natoli.
Brandon Molina is a senior at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor studying
Climate / Meteorology. His hometown is New Orleans, Louisiana. Brandon
enjoys travel, photography, jigsaw puzzles, model building and is a railfan.
- Evaluating patterns of Volatile Organic Compounds in Broomfield, Colorado before and after oil and
natural gas drilling
is the title of Alexandra Ng's research poster this summer. She was
mentored by Dr. Jeff Collett, Arsineh Hecobian and Yong Zhou.
Alexandra attends The Ohio State University. She is an Environmental
Engineering major in her junior year. Alexandra is from Katy, Texas. She
enjoys beach volleyball, climbing and hiking.
- Comparison of California Atmospheric River Flood Events in a Current and Future Climate
is the title of Erin Sherman's research poster this summer. Erin was
mentored by Dr. Kristen Rasmussen and graduate student Erin Dougherty.
She is from Denver, Colorado and attends Texas A&M University. She
is a junior majoring in Meteorology. Erin's hobbies include baking, reading,
hiking and road-tripping.
- The Human Dimension of Drought Monitoring
is the title of Abby Stokes' research poster this summer. She was
mentored by Dr. Patrick Keys and Tomas Pickering.
Abby Stokes hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She attends the University of
Notre Dame and is a junior majoring in Applied and Computational Mathematics
and Statistics, and Anthropology. She loves the outdoors and prefers to
spend weekends rock climbing, camping and hiking. She also enjoys playing
guitar, yoga and reading.
- Reevaluation of Tropical Cyclones and Environmental Parameters
is the title of Justin Stow's research poster this summer. Justin was
mentored by Dr. John Knaff and Chris Slocum.
Southbury, Connecticut is Justin Stow's hometown. Justin is a senior at
Florida State University majoring in Meteorology and Physical Science. His
hobbies include hiking mountain ranges, science fiction reading, engaging in
politics, exploring cafés and local shops, listening to electronic
dance music, skiing, soccer, bowling and admiring nature.
- The Madden-Julian
Oscillation moist static energy budget in CMIP5 models
is the title of Shannon Bohman's research poster this summer. She was mentored
by Dr Charlotte DeMott in Prof Dave Randall's group. Shannon is majoring in
Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences and Applied Math & Physics at Stony Brook
University. Her research
interests include atmospheric and oceanic physics, tropical
cyclones and climate modeling. She enjoys painting, drawing,
cooking, running and yoga.
- Monsoons and drought affect all aspects of life, especially
agriculture. Emily Fletcher's ESMEI research attempted to answer questions
about the monsoon and affects a warming climate may have on it. Her poster,
Changes in North American
Monsoon: precipitation in a warmer climate may be found here.
Emily, a senior at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, has a
double major of Meteorology-Climatology and German.
Her research interests include climatology in general, severe
tropical weather and cloud seeding. She enjoys
hiking, reading, cooking and playing with her dog.
- Samantha Gillette worked with one of the CSU Atmospheric Science chemistry
groups looking at how "Arizona Test Dust" acts in a water droplet and ice
formation. Her poster,
Investigating Ice Nucleation
Activity of Arizona Test Dust displays her summer research and
Samantha calls Portland, Oregon her home. She attends
Portland State University and is a senior majoring in
Chemistry. Her research interests are anything environmental
but especially anthropogenic pollutants and their effects on air
quality and climate. Samantha enjoys bicycling, hiking and
- Ruby Nelson's work this summer focused on the difference between film and jet
drop aerosol production and how this controls the amount and size of Ice
Nucleating Particles (INP) in Sea Spray Aerosols. Her research poster,
The Efficiency of INP Release
Through Sea Spray Aerosols from Various Bubble Sizes may be found here.
Majoring in Chemistry, Ruby Nelson is a junior at the University
of Massachusetts, Amherst. She calls San Anselmo, California home.
Ruby's research interests are environmental chemistry, climate
research, and chemical characterization. She enjoys reading,
hiking, and fitness.
- Convective storms is a passion of Christiaan Patterson's and her summer
research at ESMEI was right up her alley. She researched a hotspot of intense
lightning and destructive hail in a mountain range in the Andes called the
Sierras de Cordoba. Her research poster,
Topographical Influences on a
Subtropical South American Mesoscale Convective System is here.
Christiaan is from Oklahoma City by way of Los Angeles. She
is currently a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma studying
meteorology. She already has a BA in Journalism! She is interested
in mesoscale meteorology (tornadoes), lightning and climate. Her
hobbies include figure skating, learning languages, archery, dance,
traveling the world, reading, writing, and photographing storms.
- Marquin Spann's ESMEI summer research centered on Baengnyeong Island
(BYI) located on the western side of the Korean peninsula. Marquin studied
and identified pollutants and their sources -- mainly from the China
mainland -- from the IMPROVE experiment. His research poster,
Source Apportionment of Asian
Pollutants at Baengnyeong Island is here.
Calling Burlington, NC home, Marquin is a sophomore at North
Carolina A&T where he is majoring in Physics. His research
interests are aerosol chemistry and physics. Marquin enjoys
basketball, jogging, hiking and fishing.
- Ammonia Measurements From the
NSF/NCAR C-130 Research Aircraft Using a TILDAS Spectrometer with Active
Passivation During the WE-CAN Field Campaign was the title of Emily
Wein's research poster this summer. The NCAR C-130 was used to measure
emissions of wildfire smoke from Boise, ID during the summer of 2018. Emily
researched how to more accurately measure NH3 from the spectrometer.
Emily joined us this summer from Novato, California and is heading to the
University of California - Santa Barbara in the fall where she is studying
Chemistry. Her research interests are atmospheric
chemistry and wildfires. Emily enjoys hiking, biking, running, and
- Nighttime heat waves are uncomfortable and known to kill people. Savanna
Wolvin's research sought to answer the questions: Can global climate models
simulate regional variations in nighttime heat waves; and if not, what
processes are being modeled incorrectly? Her research poster,
Using Clustering to Evaluate the
CESM1 Large Ensemble's Ability to Simulate Regional Variations in Heat
Waves may be found here.
Majoring in Meteorology where she is a junior, Savanna Wolvin
attends St. Cloud State University. Her hometown is Nowthen,
Minnesota. Savanna is interested in numerical weather
prediction, computer modeling and winter weather. Her hobbies
include rock climbing, camping and programming for fun.
Caleb Wood's research investigated the strengths of IMERG, Intgrated
Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM, in estimating precipitation across large
regions and difficult terrain in the semi-arid Western United States. His
An Evaluation of IMERG Orographic
Precipitation during the 2017-18 Cool Season may be found here.
Caleb Wood is from Tolono, Illinois and is studying Meteorology at Iowa
State University where he will be a senior. His research interests
include cloud microphysics, precipitation physics, winter weather
systems and atmospheric thermodynamics. Caleb enjoys running, reading,
and following Chicago Cubs baseball.
- Comparison of Convective
Aggregation in Cloud-Resolving Models is what Alison Banks studied her
summer with ESMEI, mentored by Dr. Dave Randall and Alex Naegele..
Alison came from Salisbury University in Maryland with a major in
Geography - Atmospheric Science and a minor in Computer Science. Her
hometown is Cambridge, Maryland. Her research interests are climate
modelling, neural networks, forecasting, and severe weather. In her free
time she enjoys fencing, yoga, rading, cooking, programming and listening
- Alex DesRosiers came to us from the University of Florida where he is
majoring in Environmental Engineering. His hometown is Tampa, Florida.
Alex's research interests as a senior are tropical cyclones. With Dr. Michael
Bell, Alex' summer research was
Multi-Doppler Radar Analysis
of Hurricane Matthew's Eyewall Replacement Cycle. He enjoys
hiking, fishing and music.
- Isaac Fagerstrom calls Bemidji, Minnesota his hometown. He is a junior in
Environmental Science at Hamline University in Minnesota. His research
interest is climate change in the Arctic. His research with ESMEI focused on
Amazonian Carbon Flux
Sensitivity to Soil Depth with Dr. Scott Denning And Ian Baker. He enjoys
the outdoor hobbies of rock climbing, kayaking, hiking and camping.
- Impacts of Aerosols on Deep
Convective Storms was Joseph Moody's research focus this summer, working
with Dr. Chris Kummerow and Paul Brown. Joe is
attending the University of Northern Colorado majoring in Meteorology with a
Math minor. Joseph's research
interests include atmospheric chemistry and aerosols, and remote sensing. He
enjoys hiking, biking, SCA medieval armored weapon fighting and Dungeons &
- Danny Rodriguez joined ESMEI from Colorado College, majoring in
Environmental Science. He worked with dr. Emily Fischer in taking
A closer look at the
abundance of oxygenated VOCs in the Colorado Front Range during spring and
His hometown is Great Falls, Virginia. His research interests
include atmospheric chemistry, toxicology and clouds. His hobbies are
climbing (frozen things), reading, ultimate frisbee and photography.
- Gabe Rodriguez worked with Dr. Jathar at the CSU Powerhouse Energy
Institute this summer. His poster is entitled,
Fresh Off the FIRE: A look
into the particle density, dynamic shape factor, & refractive index of aerosol
particles from wildfire emissions. Gabe calls Highlands Ranch, Colorado
his home and attends nearby
University of Colorado in Boulder. He is a junior majoring in Mechanical
Engineering. His research interests are climate science and clean energy.
Gabe enjoys photography, graphic design and tennis.
- Jessica Solomon came from Humboldt State University
where she was a senior majoring in Environmental Science: Climate and Energy
with a minor in Oceanography and Applied Mathematics. She worked with Dr.
Eric Maloney and Scott Powell this summer on her ESMEI project,
Atmospheric Rivers over the Pacific Ocean from Pre-Industrial to a 4xCO2
Climate. Her hometown is
Moorpark, California. Her research interests include climate
dynamics, ocean and atmosphere interactions, and atmospheric chemistry. She
enjoys running, rock climbing, hiking, biking, soccer and drawing.
- Samantha Zito calls Plainview, New York her hometown. She attends Stony
Brook University where she is a senior majoring in Atmospheric Sciences. Her
research interests are radar meteorology, remote sensing, and wind energy.
Working with Dr. Libby Barnes, she researched
Advancing Convective Severe
Weather Outlooks into Subseasonal-to-Seasonal Timescales.
Sam enjoys sailing, petting dogs, and watching bad movies with good friends!
- Quantifying Future Health
Effects due to Changes in US Wildfire Frequency was Sarah Zelasky's
research effort this summer working with Drs. Jeff Pierce and Emily Fischer.
Sarah was a senior BSPH Environmental Health Sciences major at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is minoring in Music and
Math. She is from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her research interest is
atmospheric chemistry as it relates to human health by tropospheric pollution
or climate change. Sarah enjoys singing in choir, playing violin/piano, rock
climbing, power yoga and new adventures.
- Assessing the Impact of
Uncertain Brightness Temperatures on the Goddard Profiling Algorithm,
Steven Cavazos, mentored by Dr. Christian Kummerow. Steven attended
University of the Incarnate Word with a major in Atmospheric Science. His
hometown is McAllen, Texas. Steven's research interests are atmospheric
dynamics, remote sensing, modeling and space weather. In his free time he
plays bass guitar, enjoys astrophotography, hiking and visiting new
- Response of Stratospheric
Ozone to Sudden Stratospheric Warmings, Rachael Coons, mentored by
Dr. Thomas Birner. Rachael is from Latham, New York and was studying
Atmospheric Science at the University of Albany. She is interested in
Lake Effect precipitation and cold season mid-latitude cyclones. In her
spare time she enjoys refereeing and playing lacrosse, camping and
- Factors that Influence the
Growth of Supercells into MCSs after Sunset, Keenan Eure, mentored
by Dr. Russ Shumacher and Dr. John Peters. Keenan's hometown is Bethesda,
MD. He is a junior Atmospheric and Oceanic Science major at the University
of Maryland, College Park. He is interested in Numerical weather
prediction, synoptic and mesoscale meteorology. He enjots Football,
track/running, skiing, basketball, and watching Netflix.
- Sensitivity of the
Hydrologic Cycle to Surface Flux Enhancement by Convection, Ann Casey
Hughes, mentored by Dr. David Randall. Ann attended Wofford College where
she studied Applied mathematics and French. Her hometown is Birmingham,
Alabama. She is interested in climate change, climate modeling and
atmospheric chemistry. Ann enjoys hiking, binge-watching Netflix, meeting
new people and exploring new places.
- Is Wildfire Smoke Going to
Ruin Your Blue Sky? An Evaluation of a Wildfire Smoke Forecasting
Tool., Maryssa Loehr, mentored by Dr. Emily Fischer and Dr. Jeff
Pierce. Maryssa is from Kansas City, Missouri and was a junior
Environmental Engineering major at the Missouri University of Science and
Technology during her time at ESMEI. Her research interests include
chemistry within meteorological systems, cloud processes, and chemistry
changes due to lightning. In her free time she enjoys playing violin,
sports exercise, painting her nails and spending time with her family.
- Modeling the
Concentration Distribution of Benzene from Flowback using AERMOD,
Khalil McMillan, mentored by Dr. Jeffrey Collett. Khalil is from
Charlotte North Carolina and was attending North Carolina Agricultural and
Technical State University (NC A&T) while an intern at ESMEI studying
Engineering Physics. His research interests include atmospheric chemistry,
material science and mechanical engineering. He enjoys dancing, hiking,
traveling and learning languages.
- Quantifying the Transport
of Air into Mesoscale Convective System Updrafts, Rachel Phinney,
mentored by Dr. Susan van den Heever. Rachel is from Grand Island,
Nebraska. She was a junior studying Meteorology-Climatology at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln before her internship at ESMEI. Her
interests are weather impacts, climate variability, cloud processes and
severe weather. She enjoys Husker sports, storm chasing, reading and
- Examining the State of
the Tropopause During Rossby Wave Breaking Events Using COSMIC,
Alexia Prosperi, mentored by Dr. Elizabeth Barnes. Alexia, a Meteorology
major at Valparaiso University calls Des Plaines, Illinois her hometown.
She is interested in climate dynamics, climate variability, chemistry &
climate interactions, and teleconnection patterns. She enjoys soccer,
basketball, working out, listening to Beyoncé, Twenty One Pilots
and Lil' Wayne.
- Case Study Analysis of
Easterly Wave Formation in the East Pacific, Kevin Zolea, mentored
by Dr. Eric Maloney. Kevin is from Sayreville, New Jersey. He came to
us as a junior at Kean University where he was studying Earth
Science/Geo-Science. His research interests included tropical meteorology,
radar meteorology, mesoscale dynamics and severe weather. He enjoys
skateboarding, snowboarding, spending time with family and friends and