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​GSL welcomes our 2024 summer intern cohort!

June 26, 2024


Map in shades of blue of the U.S. with photos of GSL interns pinned to the location of their university. Blue strings stretch from the student to a red pin identifying GSL in Boulder, CO.

Meet our summer interns!

Photo of Chuck Baker

Chuck Baker (University of Maryland) (Dave Turner, Jason English)
My path to GSL has been shaped by extensive work in atmospheric research, particularly on the planetary boundary layer (PBL). At NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory (ARL), I developed strong skills in data analysis and model validation. During my PhD studies at the University of Maryland, I specialized in parameterizing the PBL and applying computational fluid dynamics to extreme weather events. These experiences have prepared me to leverage advanced techniques and modeling to enhance our understanding of atmospheric processes and improve weather forecasts. At GSL, I'll characterize PBL height evolution using AMDAR profiles. This involves comparing PBL heights from AMDAR data at U.S. airports with HRRR model outputs, refining data acquisition and processing methods, and enhancing parameterizations for more accurate boundary layer dynamics. I bring a unique blend of expertise to the table as an atmospheric physicist, mathematician, aviator, disaster response specialist, certified Bar-B-Que judge, and globetrotter.

Photo of Daniel BonillaDaniel Bonilla (Pitzer College - Claremont, CA) (Ravan Ahmadov)
Hi everyone, my name is Daniel Bonilla and I am a proud first-gen college student and rising senior at Pitzer College where I study Environmental Science with a research focus on atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Additionally, I am super interested in the intersection of Environmental Science and Public Health. This summer I am a 2024 William M. Lapenta Intern and am excited to join GSL and make my return back to Boulder, after previously interning at NCAR the summer of 2023 working in the Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling Lab. This summer I am working with Ravan Ahmadov, Jordan Schnell, and Johana Romero-Alvarez refining NOAA's RRFS-SD model on MELODIES-MONET and doing case-study work on wildfire forecasting.

Leah Shipley (Front Range Community College - CO) (Alex Hewett and Laura Melling)Photo of Leah Shipley
Leah is a first generation, first year community college student. She is currently pursuing an associate of science degree with computer science designation, and plans to transfer to a four year university to complete a bachelor of science degree. Leah has always had a love for science, especially astronomy and atmospheric science. During her high school years, she was a member of a local astronomical society and often used their dark sky site’s 10-inch reflector telescope to observe the night sky, and read many books about science. While Leah is not yet decided on a career, her favorite aspects of computer science include the ability to apply those skills to a wide range of fields, and the constantly changing nature of advancing technology. Leah’s values include resourcefulness, fairness, and service. In her free time, Leah enjoys studying maps, hiking, traveling, and watching Star Wars.

Photo of MaKenna CollinsMaKenna Collins (Jackson State University - Jackson, MS) (Eric Hackathorn and Susan Cobb)
When I was first introduced to NOAA at my university, I started looking into the line offices/ program offices and was drawn to the work done in OAR/GSL. The professor who introduced me to NOAA pushed me to apply to the NCAS-M ETSP internship for rising sophomores. After that program, I was accepted into EPP/MSI and knew where I wanted to go for my summer internship. At the time, I didn't know it would lead me to communications/ social science, but I have found a passion and a place to explore the two. This summer, I will be working with Susan Cobb and Eric Hackathorn on creative communications for policymakers and the public. The goal is to conduct interviews with community members and community leaders to hear their insights on extreme heat in their community. Another part of this project is to perform a content analysis of existing materials about extreme heat and associated impacts. By gathering insights from the community, we aim to identify recurring themes regarding extreme heat. Through thematic analyses, we will gain key insights to advise recommendations for improved extreme heat communications. I'm a rising senior at Jackson State University studying Earth System Science with a minor in sociology. I am a NOAA EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholar and an NCAS-M II fellow. My research and career interests are in climate justice, environmental literacy, education, social science, public policy and administration, citizen science, community engagement, etc.

Photo of Ashley Fanning

Ashley Fanning (University of Miami - Coral Gables, FL) (Amanda Back)
I am a rising senior at the University of Miami with a major in meteorology and minors in spanish, math, and climate science and policy. After receiving the NOAA Hollings Scholarship in April 2023, I was drawn to Boulder and the projects being offered at GSL and decided to apply! I will be working on a project under mentor Amanda Back as part of the AVID division's "PMP" (Probable Max Precipitation) project. I love hiking, photography, and all things outdoors!

Photo of Rae MachadoRae Machado (University of Oklahoma - Norman, OK) (Eric Hackathorn and Susan Cobb)
I’m a rising senior at the University of Oklahoma in environmental sustainability (planning and management concentration) with minors in meteorology and professional writing. My path to GSL began in April 2023, when I was accepted as a Hollings Scholar in the NOAA Hollings Class of 2023. At the time, I knew I wanted to do a project more focused on communication and storytelling, as I have been a creative writer since the 6th grade and I wanted to be able to incorporate my creative skills into my internship. So, when I saw the posting for a communication-focused project here at GSL, I knew I had to learn more! After some conversations with Susan and Eric, I decided that GSL and the project would be a good fit for me, as I could push my communication skills and creativity in ways I couldn't do in my classes. At GSL, I will be working on a project to communicate the current fire weather research with policymakers and the public, with a focus on research funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). I will be using multimedia storytelling techniques to communicate the current state of the research and where there are still gaps to be filled, along with why fire weather research is so important for the United States.

Photo of Karsh IyerKarsh Iyer (Hampton University - Hampton, VA) (Dave Turner and Amanda Back)
I am a CESSRST-II Cohort 2 Fellow attending Hampton University. As part of my fellowship, I must complete a "NERTO" internship. This Summer, my NERTO will be taking place at the GSL. I will be working under Dr. Turner analyzing WFIP-3 data by comparing it to different model outputs. I will be looking closely into patterns and tying them into specific meteorological events to better understand their impacts on wind energy forecasting. Ultimately, my interest is in wind energy and providing better wind forecasts. I am an adventurous person who loves to travel. I also like to keep myself busy. In my free time I enjoy creative writing including both story writing and songwriting. I also love to sing and produce my own songs. I have experience in graphic design as well which I like to utilize as a scientist. I'm passionate in making communication of serious issues (relating to my fields of expertise) more simplistic and digestible. I am a tea fanatic and collect teas from all around the globe. I am excited for a fun Summer in Boulder and will be hiking a lot.

Photo of Lily CollinsLily Johnston (Colorado College - Colorado Springs, CO) (Anders Jensen and Dustin Swales)
I just graduated from Colorado College in May with a degree in Environmental Science and am pursuing a PhD in Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami in the fall. I worked at GFDL last summer on the SHiELD prediction system doing model verification and evaluating how varying horizontal resolution impacts the accuracy of cloud and precipitation prediction in SHiELD. I absolutely loved interning there which is why I applied to the Lapenta Internship to work at GSL this summer! I am working with Anders Jensen and Dustin Swales doing research on improving UFS model simulations of clouds over the Southern Ocean by enhancing the microphysical parameterization in a single column model. I am working to evaluate the SCM’s ability to represent aerosols, radiation and clouds as vertical columns and to improve the physical properties in the SCM and apply these changes to the UFS. In my free time I love to run, crochet, bake and read.

Photo of Aiden PapeAiden Pape (Middlebury College - Middlebury, VT) (Terra Ladwig and Guoqing Ge)
I applied to the NOAA Lapenta Program as a rising senior and was accepted to the program! I am a computer science major at Middlebury College in Vermont. Before this program, I did summer research at the University of Delaware on generating synthetic populations for climate disaster models. I have also done research at Middlebury on modeling glaciers and am a fellow in the Climate Action Capacity Program. I will be working with mentors Terra Ludwig and Guoqing Ge on data assimilation monitoring, creating data visualization for real time and retrospective scenarios to help catch problems in the process quicker. I'm interested in pursuing grad school in the geosciences and am really excited to learn more about that and about post-grad careers at NOAA. I am so excited to be in Boulder and love doing outdoors activities!

Photo of Alycia TriplettAlycia Triplett (Howard University - Washington D.C.) (Jamie Vickery and Cole Vaughn)

I am a 2nd year PhD student at Howard University studying Atmospheric Sciences. I am also a Cohort I Fellow in NOAA’s Cooperative Science Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M) II. My research interests include risk perception, decision-making, and risk communication associated with severe weather events in vulnerable communities, so an internship at GSL was a no-brainer! I will be working with Jamie Vickery, Cole Vaughn, and the SBS branch on ongoing projects, including the Fire Weather Testbed. I was born and raised in Memphis, TN and I like to play video games!

Photo of Annabel Wade

Annabel Wade (University of Washington) (Jebb Stewart, Christina Kumler, Rey Koki)
I am a rising senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in Applied Mathematics: Data Science with a minor in Oceanography. My previous research experience involved estimating global ocean currents with autonomous float and satellite data, but I wanted to try something new this summer. So, upon receival of the NOAA Hollings Scholarship, I connected with Christina Kumler and Rey Koki at GSL, and I will be working with them this summer on improving machine learning-based detection of smoke with ensembling methods. I am thrilled to be applying such powerful modeling techniques on such an urgent problem like wildfire smoke. In my free time, I love to hike, cook, and hang out with my pets. Anyone is welcome to stop by my office 2C301 to chat about machine learning, smoke detection, or the stunning Pacific Northwest!

Photo of Miranda WhiteMiranda White (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi) (Jebb Stewart)
I am a Coastal and Marine System Science Doctoral Candidate at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, working at the intersection of artificial intelligence, risk communication, coastal science, and uncertainty quantification within NOAA-CCME, NSF-AI2ES, and the Conrad Blucher Institute. I received my Integrated Environmental Science Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL, while also playing Division I-Volleyball. I am currently working with Jebb Stewart, WIZARD Chief and NSF-AI2ES Scientist, on quantifying and visualizing uncertainty of machine learning-derived ensemble predictions. Jebb is one of my incredible dissertation committee members and invited me to work with him this summer on my newly developed ensemble model that predicts water temperatures in Texas. I will also be working with amazing Risk Communication scientists, Drs. Julie Demuth, Chris Wirz, and Mariana Cains, at NCAR this summer. These uncertainty quantifications and associated visualizations will be used to assess the usefulness, trustworthiness, and reliability of these uncertainty estimations for coastal stakeholders who manage diverse impacts of Texas cold-stunning events. In my career, I plan to continue to promote user-inspired AI development in research and operational realms to increase implementation and trust in reliable AI and ML tools for critical environmental applications such as managing and mitigating impacts caused by extreme events. In my free time, I like to listen to music, drink and make tea, and watch interesting movies and animes. Excited to continue networking and learning more about the awesome work that NOAA-GSL has to offer!