Department of Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Students 2009-1010

soumik Soumik Basu
Atmospheric Sciences: Arctic Climate Variability (Ph.D.) (X. Zhang)
sbasu 'at'

I graduated in Chemistry (Honors) in 2006 from University of Calcutta, India. I completed my M.Sc. in Atmospheric science in 2008 from University of Calcutta. I have done research in University of Calcutta on the dependence of onset of Indian Summer Monsoon on the amount of rainfall associated with pre monsoon Thunderstorms in Kolkata and on the dependence of intensity and frequency of tropical storms in North Indian Ocean on the onset of Indian Summer Monsoon. I joined UAF in summer 2009 for my PhD in Atmospheric Science. My current research is related to Climatic Variability in Arctic region. I was born and grew up in Kolkata, India. My hobbies are reading fictions, watching movies and playing cricket.

Peter Bieniek Peter Bieniek
Atmospheric Sciences: Climate Variability of Alaska (Ph.D.) (U. Bhatt)
peter 'at'

Peter graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from Valparaiso University in 2005 and an M.S. in Atmospheric Science from UAF in 2007. He is currently a PhD student in the atmospheric science program at UAF working with Dr. Uma Bhatt. His current research focuses on climate predictability and variability in Alaska. Peter grew up in Detroit, Michigan and his many hobbies include: playing music on the cello, piano, and organ, hosting radio programs on KUAC, and going for walks.

Dyre Damman

Dyre Oliver Dammann
Atmospheric Sciences: Impact of Sea Ice on the Atmosphere in GCMs (M.S.) (U. Bhatt)
Email: dodammann 'at'

I'm a Norwegian citizen and grew up in the capital. I received my undergraduate degree in meteorology from the University of Oslo after participating in an exchange program at the University of Washington. I have since had two internships at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research; I studied the effects of amines in water droplets and helped improve weather models for the Norwegian Met Office. I am working towards my master's as a research assistant supervised by Professor Bhatt. My research focuses on using climate models to study the influence the arctic sea ice has on global climate and weather. Main hobbies include: tenting trips, photography, traveling, watching movies, cross country skiing and rowing.

Ted Fathauer Ted Fathauer
Atmospheric Sciences: (M.S.) (N. Mölders)
Ted will be updating his bio soon.

Oceana Francis Oceana Francis
Atmospheric Sciences: Alaska coastal climatology and modeling (Ph.D.) (D. Atkinson)

Oceana graduated from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a BS degree in Physics and Astronomy, and the University of Alaska Anchorage with a BS degree in Civil Engineering, and a MS degree in Civil Engineering. She has eight years in research and five years professional engineering work experience. Her professional engineering experience includes work in consulting and government where she did project engineering and design work in water/wastewater, transportation, civil site, and coastal engineering. She holds a PE with the State of Alaska. Her research work experience includes work in extreme statistical analysis, astrophysics, and atomic & molecular physics. She joined UAF Atmospheric Science department as a PhD student in 2005. Her PhD research focuses on estimating wind and wave engineering design parameters for the Chukchi Sea region through analysis of models, observational data, directional wind wave spectra, extreme events, and historical data to estimate future projections. Oceana Francis was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and has been in Alaska for 13 years. She enjoys traveling, motorcycling, scuba diving, hunting, fishing, camping, gaming, watching Star Trek and hanging out with friends.

Brita Irving
Physics (B.S.),
Atmospheric Sciences M.S.(Richard Collins)

I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and graduated with honors from West Valley High School in 2006. My freshmen year I went to Lake Forest College in Illinois to play Division III hockey and rugby but decided to come back to Fairbanks my sophomore year. I have been in the physics program at UAF since fall 2007 and am graduating May 2010 as an Honors Thesis Scholar. I am the vice president of the Society of Physics Students and vice president and team captain of the Division II UAF Women’s Hockey team. In December 2007 I was hired as a student research assistant working with Dr. Richard Collins in the atmospheric science department and have been working with him and the LIDAR team ever since. My current research is on Mesospheric Inversion Layers and their relationship to planetary wave activity. After graduating I am taking a year off before going to graduate school to pursue a PhD in either space physics, atmospheric science, or a field closely related. My hobbies include hockey, camping, hiking, traveling, school and science.


Vinay Kumar Kayetha
Atmospheric Sciences: PhD (Ken Sassen)

I was born and raised in Hyderabad (India) where I received bachelor degree in Civil Engineering. I had my master’s degree in Engineering Geosciences from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (2007). Later I worked as research associate in IIT Kanpur for few months during which I worked on remote sensing data analysis to study the effect on dust storms on atmospheric and oceanic parameters over the Arabian Sea. I entered Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad (JNTUH) in 2008, where I worked as lecturer teaching Image Processing and ArcGIS. Presently at UAF, I am heading towards my doctoral degree in Atmospheric Sciences and working with Professor Kenneth Sassen. My research work includes satellite and ground-based data analysis studying cloud parameters. I enjoy reading books, music in my leisure time.

Legatt Becki Legatt
Atmospheric Sciences: North Atlantic Air-Sea Interaction (M.S.) (I.Polyakov)

I grew up in central Minnesota and completed my B.S. in Atmospheric Science at the University of North Dakota in 2008. During my undergrad I completed internships at AHPCRC in MN, at the NOAA Mauna Loa Observatory in Hilo, HI, at Studio One in ND, and at NASA Langley Research Center in VA. I am currently in my 2nd year of study at UAF working on my Master's degree under the supervision of Dr. Igor Polyakov at the International Arctic Research Center. My research includes developing a coupled ocean-atmosphere box model of the North Atlantic Oscillation to investigate air-sea interactions and feedbacks. Other research interests include the Atlantic water, sea ice, climate change, education/outreach, and polar biology and ecosystems. This past summer I participated in the IPY polar field school at UNIS in Svalbard, and also assisted with oceanographic measurements on the Kapitan Dranitsyn during the 2009 NABOS expedition. My hobbies include photography, travel, camping, and fishing.

Agatha Light

Agatha Light
Atmospheric Sciences: (M.S.) (R.Collins)

I was born and raised in northwestern Montana, where I received my B.A. in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Montana, Missoula, in 2006. I conducted undergraduate research on long-period variable stars (with Dr. David Friend) and subsurface convection on Mars (with Dr. Maureen McGraw). After completing my B.A., I worked for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Montana for a year as adjunct faculty teaching laboratory courses in astronomy and general physical and chemical science. I also worked with NSF/EPSCoR as an outreach coordinator and educator. At UAF, I am working toward my MS degree in Atmospheric Science as a research assistant for Dr. Richard Collins. My research area is lidar studies of aurorally excited N2+. In my free time, among other things, I enjoy canoeing, Tae Kwon Do, knitting, watching Star Trek, cooking, and reading.

fuhong Fuhong Liu
Atmospheric Sciences:Chukchi/Beaufort Seas Mesoscale Meteorology Modeling Study: Sea Breeze and Topographic Effects (Ph.D.) (J. Zhang)

I was born in west part of China. And I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology in 2006 and a M.S. in Meteorology in 2009 from Nanjing University. I'm currently pursuing my Ph.D degree at UAF working for Dr. Jing Zhang. And I'm working on Chukchi/Beaufort Seas Mesoscale Meteorology Modeling Study. My interests include reading News online, cooking and listening to music.

Julie Malingowski Julie Malingowski
Atmospheric Sciences: (M.S.) (D. Atkinson)

Julie graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology and a minor in Geographic Information Science from Penn State University in December 2007. She is currently working on her M.S. with David Atkinson. Julie's thesis focus is on the evolution of surface-based radiation temperature inversions. She is also working part-time for the National Weather Service as a SCEP student. When she's not in IARC, you'll find Julie on her bicycle or wandering around in the mountains.

Jennifer March
Atmospheric Sciences: Glacier Meteorology (M.S.) (D. Atkinson)
Jenny will be updating her bio soon.

John Mayfield
Atmospheric Sciences: (M.S.) (J. Fochessato)

John graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Meteorology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott Campus. He interned for the chief meteorologist, Tom Skilling of Chicago’s WGN-TV in the summer of 2008. In the summer of 2009 he worked with Dr. Israel Jirak, Professor of Meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on the orientation of Mesoscale Convective Systems. John is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Atmospheric Sciences and is currently a research assistant under the guidance under Dr. Javier Fochesatto concentrating on micrometeorology and boundary layers in Alaska. John grew up in Kenilworth, Illinois north of Chicago. He is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, an Eagle Scout, and a student member of the American Meteorological Society. John’s interests include: camping, hiking, exploring, and raquetball.

Michel Mesquita
Atmospheric Sciences: High Latitude Storm Dynamics (Ph.D.) (D. Atkinson)

I am from Brazil, and it is there I received my B.A. in Meteorology. I have a Masters in Geophysics and Climatology from the University of Bergen, Norway. There, I conducted research on storm track climatology in the Northern Hemisphere and the North Atlantic. I speak five languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, Norwegian and Italian. At UAF, I am working toward my PhD degree in Atmospheric Sciences. I work as a research assistant for Dr. David Atkinson at the International Arctic Research Center. My research area is on the climatology of storm tracks in the North Pacific. I also work as a Journalist/Contributing Editor to the American Geophysical Union Atmospheric Sciences Section Newsletter. My hobbies are reading, watching good movies, riding my bicycle, listening to music (from classical to R&B), speaking different languages and being in touch with my family.

Paula Moreira
Atmospheric Sciences
(M.S.) (Dr. Xiangdong Zhang)

I completed my undergrad studies in Dec 2009 with a B.S. degree in Meteorology from Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Brazil. During this period, I was part of an education/research group that performed many kinds of meteorology-related activities, was an intern at a state forecasting center (CIRAM) and participated of workshops and congresses (national and international). I started my M.S. program at UAF in Jan 2010 and I’m focusing my research on extreme wind events in the arctic region and working with Dr. Xiangdong Zhang at IARC. I was born and raised in the southernmost state of Brazil, which borders Uruguay and Argentina – a beautiful place to live and travel! My major interests besides atmospheric sciences are traveling, dancing, doing Yoga and learning languages (I’m a French literature/poetry lover!).

stegall Steve Stegall
Atmospheric Sciences:Climatology, Interannual Variability, and Long-term Change of the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas Surface Wind (Ph.D) (J. Zhang)
I Graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology in 2000 and a B.S. in Applied Math from Metro State College of Denver while working for the EPA-NEIC as a Physical Science Technician. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a M.S. in ATmospheric Science in 2006 where I researched the climatology of specific humidity inversions. My research here at the UAF as a Ph.D student is currently on analyzing the extreme surface winds in the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas using NARR/WRF data and model output. My interests are cooking, walking/hiking, and reading.

Kara Sterling
Atmospheric Sciences: (Ph.D) (U. Bhatt)
Kara will be updating her bio soon.

Jeanie Talbot Jean K. Talbot
Atmospheric Sciences: Characterization of Climate Variability in Observations and GCMs using methods from nonlinear dynamics (M.S.) (U.Bhatt)

I was born and raised in Fairbanks Alaska. For my undergraduate degree, I attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon, and in 2007 received my bachelor's in physics. I completed an internship for undergraduate research in mathematics, investigating spectral geometry with Dr Liz Stanhope. I have returned to Fairbanks to pursue my M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences at UAF under Dr. Uma Bhatt, and my research investigates the nonlinear dynamics of climate systems. I enjoy playing music, board games, and outdoor sports.

Hui N. Q. Tran
Atmospheric Sciences: (Ph.D) (N. Mölders)

I was born and grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Southern part of Vietnam. I graduated with a B.E. in Environmental Engineering from HCMC University of Technology in 2004, and then finished my M.E. in Environmental Engineering and Management at Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand) in 2008. I?m currently doing my PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at UAF working with Prof. Nicole Mölders. My research focuses on simulating air quality, particularly is PM2.5, in the Fairbanks and adjacent areas (Alaska).

Trang Hui Trang Tran
Atmospheric Sciences: (Ph.D) (N. Mölders)

I was born in the north of Vietnam but grew up in the south. I received my B.S. in environmental science at HCM University of Natural Sciences, 2005, and then received my M.S. in the same field at Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, 2008. Now I am doing my PhD degree under the guidance of Prof. Nicole Mölders in Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks. I am performing investigations on the impact of emissions from wildfires, ship traffic and Alaska anthropogenic sources and of long-range transport of pollutants on air quality and deposition of atmospheric contaminants into Alaska coastal regions. When I am not working, I enjoy reading news, cooking or watching movies with my husband.

Brentha Brentha Thurairajah
Atmospheric Sciences: (Ph.D) (R.Collins)

I am from Sri Lanka and have also lived in India where I received a B.E degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I have a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Montana State University, Bozeman. I am currently enrolled in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Under the guidance of Dr. Richard Collins my research work includes lidar measurements of the Arctic stratosphere and mesosphere to study the impact of waves on the polar stratospheric vortex. My hobbies include photography and reading books.

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