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Graduate Students 2013-2014

Student Publication Page

Soumik Basu

Atmospheric Sciences: Arctic Climate Variability (Ph.D.) (X. Zhang)

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.

Cecilia Borries

Atmospheric Sciences: Moisture trends and variability in the Pacific(M.S.) (X. Zhang)

Text to come...

Mary Butwin

Atmospheric Sciences: M.S. (Nicole Mölders)

I grew up in central New York and completed my undergraduate studies at SUNY Oswego in May 2013. It was there that I studied Meteorology and Geology with a concentration in environmental earth science. Living and studying in Central New York provided me numerous opportunities to experience and analyze an array of weather phenomena from severe thunderstorms to heavy lake effect snow events. In addition, through Oswego I was also able to participate in a storm forecasting and observation program in the Great Plains, and interned as an air technician where I took and analyzed air samples at asbestos removal sites. In fall 2013 I started my masters in atmospheric sciences at UAF. I will be working with Dr. Mölders to model methane release using the WRF-Chem. In my spare time I can usually be found outside camping, hiking and taking photographs.   

Bithi De

Atmospheric Sciences: Arctic Spring Transition (PhD) ( X. Zhang)
email id: bde 'at'

I was born and brought up in West Bengal, INDIA. I have completed my B.S. with honors in Physics in 2009 and Masters with major in Atmospheric Science in 2011 from University of Calcutta, India. During my masters program my thesis was on comparative study of tropical and extra tropical cyclone. Then I joined in a research project sponsored by Indian Space research Organization (ISRO) as a junior research fellow and during this period I worked on atmospheric attenuation on radio wave propagation in tropical region. I began my PhD program at UAF under supervision of Prof. X. Zhang in climatology from fall 2012. My current research topic is related on Arctic Spring Transition. I enjoy traveling, photography, reading different types of books and listening to music.

Gregory Deemer

Atmospheric Sciences: Bering Sea Ice Forecasts (M.S.) (U. Bhatt & H. Eicken)

I was born and brought up in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia. I completed my B.S. degree in Meteorology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2011. During that term, I interned through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) at the Southeast River Forecast Center in Peachtree City, Georgia where I functioned as hydrometeorological analysis and support. My responsibilities included quantitative precipitation forecasting and quality controlling multi-sensor precipitation estimates across the southeast U.S. for use in ensemble stream flow predictions as well as many public html products. I began the M.S. program at UAF in August 2011 under Dr. Uma Bhatt and Dr. Hajo Eicken with a research focus on high resolution sea-ice modeling in the Bering and Chukchi seas. This research aims to both decrease the error in sea-ice forecasts and better disseminate products to local populations along the western Alaskan coastline. Outside of my studies I enjoy a variety of activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, tennis, racquetball, basketball, golf, guitar, and bass guitar.

Abraham Endalamaw

Atmospheric Sciences: Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) mesoscale hydrological modeling, (PhD) (William Bolton/Jessica Cable)

I completed my B.Sc degree in Meteorology Science at Arba Minch University, Ethiopia in 2005. I was working at Arba Minch University as a graduate assistant and assistant lecturer in the department of meteorology from 2005-2007. Then I received my masters through Cornell University in integrated Watershed management and Hydrology, which was offered at Bahir Dar University from 2007-2009. From August 2009 to Fall 2012 I have been working as a lecturer at Arba Minch University. Currently, I am studying for my PhD in atmospheric science and working on “Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) mesoscale hydrological modeling. I am working with the International Arctic Research Center research faculty- Dr Bob Bolton and Jessica Cable. The emphasis of my study is to quantify the relative roles of vegetation water use and soil storage dynamics associated with permafrost presence/absence in determining the water pathways in the sub-Arctic boreal forest, and to aid in regional model parameterization by providing an integrated eco-hydrology model.

Amy Hendricks


Atmospheric Sciences: "“Past, Present and Future States and Variations of the late Quaternary Permafrost Subsystem"
(MS) John Walsh/Kazuyuki Saito

I was raised in Minnesota and received my B.S. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology (tornado country!). With Dr. John Walsh as my advisor, we are working in a group under Dr. Kazuyuki Saito on a project titled “Past, Present and Future States and Variations of the late Quaternary Permafrost Subsystem”. We will work to validate simulated permafrost distributions against proxy data, understand how permafrost might change under different climate conditions, as well as understand the consequences of those changes. My interests include polar and tropical climates, atmosphere-ocean interactions, and climate change.

Vinay Kumar Kayetha

Atmospheric Sciences: PhD (Ken Sassen)

I was born and raised in Hyderabad (India) where I received BS in Civil Engineering. I had my MS 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 in 2008, where I worked as lecturer teaching Image Processing and ArcGIS. My research work includes satellite and ground-based data analysis studying cloud parameters. I enjoy reading books, music in my leisure time.

Hélène Lescure (right)

Antoine Lescure (left)

Atmospheric Sciences: Visiting MS students (Mölders)

We are Hélène and Antoine, 2 pilots officer-cadets at the French Air Force Academy, located in Salon de Provence near Marseille. After graduation, we will go to our military pilot training as First Lieutenant of the French Air Force. We are currently doing an individual research in order to be delivered both an engineering diploma and a master's degree back in France. UAF is an excellent opportunity to study abroad on a subject that really matters in our future job : icing weather conditions. Our research is specifically oriented toward small aircraft and wind turbines in Alaska, a country which we are very eager to discover in that changing season. Our office is the Computer Room 343, feel free to visit us anytime you want.

Jintai Li

Atmospheric Sciences: PhD (Richard Collins)

I am a graduate student from Hebei, China. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Geophysics at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), one of the best universities in China. During my undergraduate education, I did research about the Temperature, Dust and Water-ice in the Martin Atmosphere in the group of Professor Tao Li. Besides, I attended a few meetings about space physics during my undergraduate years. I joined UAF in the fall of 2013 to purse my Ph. D in Atmospheric Science. My current research includes operating the Sodium Lidar and analyzing data of the Lidar to achieve the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere.

Richard Lader

Atmospheric Sciences: Alaska Reanalysis (M.S.) (U. Bhatt)

I was born and raised in Ithaca, New York, where I earned my first B.S. at Cornell University in Communication.  I subsequently received a second B.S. at the State University of New York at Oswego in Meteorology.  At Oswego, my research centered on the creation of a Z-R relationship for major lake-effect snowstorms, which was generated, in part, by using melted liquid equivalent data.  Here at UAF, I am working with Dr. Uma Bhatt and my research is currently focused on the evaluation of reanalysis data sets that are available for Alaska.  Other interests of mine almost inevitably include the outdoors and endurance activities.  I am a state champion two miler from New York and ran track and field for Division 1 Cornell.

Ketsiri Leelasakultum

Atmospheric Sciences: (Ph.D.) (N. Mölders)

Ketsiri Leelasakultum, Ph.D. graduate student, since fall 2010. Email: ketsiri "at" Ketsiri studied environmental sciences in Thailand and graduated with a MS from the Asian Institute of Technology. At UAF, she examines the impact of the use of fuel with reduced sulfur content on the PM2.5 concentrations in Fairbanks and Alaska.

Ipshita Majhi

Atmospheric Sciences: (Ph.D.) (U. Bhatt)

I have enrolled in the atmospheric science program from the spring semester of 2013. I grew up in India, and through the course of childhood moved to various places in India and finally have a home in the city of Pune. I finished my undergrad in Chemical engineering from Pune University, and joined UAF to pursue my master’s in environmental engineering where I studied release of sequestered metal (Cd) under warming climate. I augmented it with another master’s degree in atmospheric science where I, evaluated a Hydro-thermodynamic Soil Vegetation Scheme using observations in Alaska and the Baltic Region. I started my PhD working on discharge analysis of various Siberian rivers, investigated uncertainties in arctic precipitation and will work under the able guidance of Dr. Uma Bhatt on analyzing extreme precipitation events using downscaled data. I enjoy playing with daughter, who is presently 4, like to read books and try various sports on and off.

James M. Madden (Mike)


Atmospheric Science: 'WRF/Chem for better forecasting of smoke/aerosol' (MS) Nicole Mölders

I graduated from the University of Missouri (Mizzou) with honors in atmospheric science in 2012 where I researched and presented studies relating to the weather of important Civil War battles.  I have also researched events caused by atmospheric rivers.  I was an executive board member of the Residence Halls Association (RHA) on campus and I started video game festivals for charity and campus debates between political leaders and campus activists. During my studies at Mizzou, I attended the University of Reading (U.K.) for a semester.
I joined UAF to pursue an M.S. in atmospheric science.  During my stay, I will be researching ways to improve the modeling of wildfire plumes through WRF/Chem in order to provide better resources to smoke/aerosol researchers and fire fighter crews.  I was born in Joplin, Missouri and raised on US Route 66 in Carterville, Missouri.  I enjoy reading, trivia contests, community service, following world affairs, and piano composition.

Michael Pirhalla


Atmospheric Science: "Atmospheric Sciences: Ship Emission Impacts in Glacier Bay" (M.S.) (Nicole Molders)

I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology from Plymouth State University in May 2012. Plymouth State is a small university located between the Winnipesaukee Lakes Region, and the foothills of the White Mountains in central New Hampshire.   During my undergraduate education, I completed a three week winter internship on the summit of Mount Washington, the tallest mountain in the northeast US, with an elevation of 6,288 feet. It is also home to the "World's Worst Weather," frequently experiencing wind gusts well over 100mph.   I worked with another student to analyze the ageostrophic wind pattern and lapse rate associated with the mountain's Auto Road vertical profile.   I also interned at a TV station during the winter of 2011-12 in New Haven, CT, only a few miles from my hometown in southwestern Connecticut.   I joined UAF in the fall of 2012 to pursue my Masters in Atmospheric Science.   My current research involves analyzing ship emissions in Glacier Bay for the 2008 tourist season.   My hobbies include travel, downhill skiing, hiking, and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.

Alexander Semenov

Atmospheric Sciences

(Ph.D) ( X. Zhang)

I joined UAF in fall 2011 after graduating from Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), Russia majoring in meteorology and climatology. While studying at MSU, I had four summer internships both in field doing meteorological measurements and in laboratory. For my third and fourth year course work I was doing research at Hydrometeological Centre of Russia on verification of ensemble modeling. In my last year at MSU in collaboration with researchers of Institute of Geography Russian Academy of Sciences I was working within the scientific project regarding climate change in Antarctic: the interdependence between sea ice in Antarctic and snow accumulation based on ice core data. At UAF under the supervision of Dr. Xiangdong Zhang, I’ll be researching the sea ice – atmosphere –ocean interactions in Arctic, different aspects of climate change that have become reasons for the decrease of sea ice in the Arctic ocean.My hobbies are swimming, downhill skiing, travelling, listening to music, kayaking and watching basketball.

Derek Starkenburg

Atmospheric Sciences

(Ph.D) ( J. Fochessato/A. Prakash)

My original degree is a Masters of Architecture from North Carolina State University (1999). I praticed architecture at Fentress Architects in Denver, CO, for about ten years, where I had many wonderful experiences and learned from many great talents. My passion for earth sciences and meteorology has promted a shift in my career.  After earning my MA in Earth Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado (2011), with a specialty interest in the Arctic, I now seek to use the spatial, three-dimensional training from architecture to analyze and understand our earth-atmosphere-ocean system from a multi-scaled climatic, dynamic, and micro-scale viewpoint.

Colin Triplett

Atmospheric Sciences

(Ph.D) (K. Sassen)

I'm originally from Portage Michigan which is outside of Kalamazoo.  I went to the University of Michigan, College of Engineering where I earned a BSE in Earth System Science in Engineering.  While there I did a REU at the CU Boulder working at HAO doing model comparison with their Ionospheric/Magnetospheric model.  After undergraduate, I went to the Florida Institute of Technology where I earned my MS in Space Science. I came to UAF for my PhD in 2011 and work with Dr. Sassen.

Joshua Walston

Atmospheric Sciences: Arctic Climate Variability (M.S.) (G. Gibson & J. Walsh)

I am originally from San Diego, California. I attended the University of Nevada Reno where I received my bachelors degree in Atmospheric Science. While attending UNR I was the president of the American Meteorological Society Student Chapter and lead forecaster for the University's newspaper "The Sagebrush". I enjoy being outdoors: snowboarding, fishing, camping, hiking and climbing. I came to Fairbanks to pursue my M.S in Atmospheric Science. I am researching under Dr. Georgina Gibson and Dr. John Walsh of IARC on a new project entitled “Ecosystem Impacts of variability and extreme events in the Arctic”

Robin Wing

Robin Wing

Atmospheric Sciences: LIDAR studies of Arctic atmospheres (Ph.D.) (R. Collins)

I graduated from The University of Western Ontario in 2010 with an Honours Specialization in Physics and a Major in Biology. Following graduation I joined the Purple Crow Lidar Observatory and completed a M.Sc. in Physics in 2012. My thesis work was focused on lidar systems development and calibration with the aim of measuring trace water vapour in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere using Raman scattering techniques.
I began my Ph.D. at UAF under the supervision of Prof. R. Collins in the spring of 2013 with a research focus on lidar studies of non-linear waves and turbulence in the middle and upper atmosphere. My hobbies include reading, biking, politics, and gardening.

Reynir Winnan

Atmospheric Sciences: MS

I am originally from West Windsor, New Jersey. I graduated from Rutgers University, with a BS in Meteorology. While attending Rutgers I did an internship with the Icelandic Met Office, testing a sea ice model on frazil ice formation. After Rutgers, I went to Columbia University to earn my MA in Climate and Society, trying to bridge the gap between climate science and public policy. I am at UAF to study atmospheric dynamics pertaining to climate.


Past Student Pages


2011-2012, coming soon