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Graduate Students 2014-2015

Student Publication Page

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.   


Maryam Bu khader

Atmospheric Sciences: Ph.D (U.Bhatt)

I'm originally from Al Ahsa, located in the east of Saudi Arabia. I completed my M.A degree in Geography of Environment and Nature at King Saud University (2011), my research was about surface winds and dust storms in Al-Hafouf city represented in Al-Ahsa region and its impact in spreading asthma which was based on the daily climatic data during 24 years from the year 1985-2008. I joined UAF in the fall of 2014 to pursue my Ph.D  in Atmospheric Science with focus on climate change.
I'm interested in what is going on in the world. 


Lei Cai

Atmospheric Sciences: Ph.D (V. Alexeev)


Atmospheric Sciences: Climate Modeling (Ph. D.) (V. Alexeev)

I graduated and gained B.S. degree in Atmospheric Science from Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology in 2011. Then I went to University of Kansas and got M.S. degree from there in Atmospheric Science in 2014. I have been doing research on extreme climatic events by dynamical downscaling simulation products. I came to UAF in fall 2014 pursuing Ph. D degree and working with Prof. Alexeev on projects focusing on the north slope of Alaska, including the climatic impact and the land-atmospheric interaction changes under global warming. Also, I have been excited for all the amazingness in Alaska.

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.

Stanley Edwin
Atmospheric Sciences: Cold Air Funnels (MS) (N. Mölders)

My name is Stanley Gene Edwin. I started my graduate studies in the fall of 2014, and am fortuitous to study and research under the tutelage of Dr. Nicole Molders. My research is centered on an atmospheric phenomenon that has become more noticed and observed in Alaska, namely Funnel Clouds. The primary goal is to understand if this is a new atmospheric occurrence in Alaska or one that has always occurred, and then why are they occurring.
I am Gwich’in, an Alaskan Indian, from the Yukon Flats, Fort Yukon and Chalkyitsik. My father and mother is Paul Ben Thomas, Bessie Elisabeth Biederman. The region of my ancestral homeland and hunting grounds is the Yukon Flats and the head waters of the Salmon River and The Black River. I am the youngest of seven children, but the last of two.
I am Veteran, US Army, a 16 year veteran forest fire fighter, 3rd generation. My undergraduate study was in Applied Physics: BS, and I also have two other degrees, one a AAS and other a AS degrees. I was raised as my ancestor were, hunting and gathering within my culture, and this is what I bring to physics and atmospheric science.

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 (R. Collins)

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.

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.

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.


Liran Peng

Atmospheric Sciences: Ph.D. (X. Zhang)

I was born and raised in Beijing (P. R. China). I received my bachelor degree in meteorology from the Nanjing University. Later, I received my M.S degree in the University of Wyoming. I analyzed airborne measurements to study ice nucleation process in middle-tropospheric wave clouds. In the fall 2014, I started my Ph.D. study at UAF working with Dr. Xiangdong Zhang at the International Arctic Research Center. My current research is to investigate the sea ice change by using the Community Earth System Model. I enjoy playing violin, traveling, camping, cycling, and outdoor photography. 

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.

Peter Stammer

Atmospheric Sciences

(student intern) (J.Fochesatto)

"I recently finished my B.Sc. in Meteorology in Leipzig, Germany. Originally from northern Germany I also spent a large part of my childhood in the US. During my B.Sc. program I became interested in the fields of aerosols and atmospheric radiation. Since may and until september I am using the opportunity of an internship here at UAF to gain working experience in research and to be abroad amid the fantastic Alaskan landscape. For the next months my focus will be on lidar measurements. Come fall I will enroll in the M.Sc. program in Meteorology back in Leipzig."

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) (R. Collins)

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. Collins.

Reynir Winnan

Atmospheric Sciences: MS (U. Bhatt)

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.

Yang Yang     

Atmospheric Sciences: Arctic climate change (Ph.D.) (X. Zhang)

I graduated in Atmospheric Sciences from Nanjing Institute of Meteorology and got my M.Sc. from University of Wyoming. I have done research in boundary layer turbulence and wintertime orographic precipitation. I started my Ph.D. study in UAF in Spring 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Xiangdong Zhang. My current research topic is about the connection between Arctic climate change and Mid-latitude cyclones. I was born and raised in Shenyang, a large industrial city in northeast China. In my spare time, I enjoy mountain biking and cooking.


Past Student Pages



2011-2012, coming