UCAR/NCAR Participants


We divide UCAR participants to 5 groups based on research area:

(1) air quality and health;

(2) climate;

(3) land and water;

(4) weather;

(5) capacity building, education, training, community support, and outreach.

Below is the list of participants and their expertise by groups.


(1) Air quality and health

Name Labs Key words Short description
Wenfu Tang ACOM air quality; emissions, fire (1) Lead of the UCAR Africa Initiative; (2) Research on air quality and atmospheric chemistry modeling; (3) Research on satellite applications in atmospheric composition over Africa.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/wenfut
Rajesh Kumar RAL air quality; modeling (1) Monitoring, Analysis, and Prediction of Air Quality (MAP-AQ); (2) leading a NASA SERVIR project – building an air quality forecast system for East Africa.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/rkumar;  https://community.wmo.int/en/monitoring-analysis-and-prediction-air-quality-map-aq
Roelof Bruintjes RAL air quality; observations https://staff.ucar.edu/users/roelof
Benjamin Gaubert ACOM carbon cycle, data assimilation, emissions; air quality (1) Research related to the African CO2 cycle using NASA ATom airborne field campaign to evaluate the flux models driven by ground and OCO-2 observations; (2) Inversions of anthropogenic and wildfire emissions using satellite data to improve atmospheric chemistry models.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/gaubert
Pieternel Levelt ACOM air quality; satellite https://staff.ucar.edu/users/levelt
Louisa Emmons ACOM air quality Using multi-scale global atmospheric chemistry models, along with existing ground-based, aircraft and satellite observations, to improve understanding of the contributions to air quality from urban, biogenic and biomass burning sources.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/emmons
Helen Worden ACOM air quality; satellite https://staff.ucar.edu/users/hmw
Rebecca Buchholz ACOM air quality atmospheric composition – cloud/precipitation interactions using CESM and satellite observations over the Gulf of Guinea.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/buchholz
David Edwards ACOM air quality; satellite https://staff.ucar.edu/users/edwards
Forrest Lacey ACOM air quality; health Involved in a NASA SERVIR project – building an air quality forecast system for East Africa.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/lacey
James Hannigan ACOM air quality In situ observations.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/jamesw
Behrooz Roozitalab ACOM air quality; modeling https://staff.ucar.edu/users/behroozr
Sara-Eva Martinez-Alonso ACOM air quality; satellite https://staff.ucar.edu/users/sma
Kelley Barsanti ACOM air quality; emissions, fire https://staff.ucar.edu/browse/people/6859
Shima Shams RAL air quality working on stakeholder engagement for a SERVIR AQ AST project; air quality data analysis over Africa using satellite data.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/sshams
Stefano Alessandrini RAL analog ensemble, probabilistic forecasting, bias correction, air quality, PM25 forecasting, Ozone forecasting improving air quality forecasts output from models through post processing. In particular, we have applied a technique called analog ensemble to bias correct and add uncertainty quantification to PM25 and Ozone forecasts.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/alessand
Maryam Abdi-Oskouei JCSDA Data assimilation Involved in the effort for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).   https://www.jcsda.org/maryam-abdioskouei
Cheng Hsuan (Sarah) Lu  JCSDA air quality https://staff.ucar.edu/users/clu
Danny Leung ACOM Dust, air quality and climate Research on global dust modeling development in ESMs such as CESM2. Also investigate effects of meteorological, emissions, and climate changes on PM2.5 air quality over East Asia.  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Danny-Leung-3

(2) Climate

Name Labs Key words Short description
Isla Simpson CGD climate; Global scale Climate Variability and Change Research of relevance to Africa. https://www2.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/islas/
John Fasullo CGD climate  the role of Pinatubo on the 1991/1992 drought.  https://www2.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/fasullo/
Anna-Lena Deppenmeier CGD climate variability, air-sea interactions, ocean, upwelling Using a hierarchy of climate models from single column to coupled global configurations and observations to improve our understanding of air-sea coupled and ocean and atmosphere processes that give rise to sea surface temperature variability in the tropical Atlantic.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/deppenme
Justin Small CGD ocean; coastal upwelling; climate My work is related to coastal upwelling (very important for fisheries) and includes the Benguela system off Angola, Namibia, South Africa. There is another upwelling system off North-west Africa (Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco).  https://www2.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/jsmall/; http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0192.1; https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-00681-0
Kamila Kabo-bah UCP Earth Observation, Cartography, GIS, Satellite Technology and Mathematical Modelling Scientist, educator and researcher in the area of Earth Observation, Cartography, GIS, Satellite Technology and Mathematical Modelling in environmental sciences. Long experience with academia, policy makers and stakeholders in the area of climate changes as well as  translating complex science in a simplified and interactive way to children and youth in the form of Science (STEM) Festival within West African countries. National expert and advocate for STEM education and job creation. Her current research area is space weather in the African sector.
Melissa Moulton CGD physical oceanography; coastal hazards coastal physical oceanographer interested in various coastal hazards from storms and climate change, has worked previously on physical oceanography relevant to coral reefs and coastline erosion in Tanzania.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/mmoulton
Benjamin Stephens CGD climate modeling; anthropology and international relations https://www.cgd.ucar.edu/people/benjamin-stephens
Dave Lawrence CGD land; carbon cycle Project on tropical carbon cycle interannual variability which includes tropical Africa among its study domains.  Also work on land use change and CO2 Removal has a focus on Africa where there is a lot of anticipated land use change and where there is significant potential for afforestation of reforestation for carbon mitigation.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/dlawren
Monica Morrison CGD

education, training, community support and outreach

Program specialist for the growing convergence research project looking at combined solution for climate change—responsible for community partner outreach, development, and enagement, and co-lead of CESM task force on climate justice; works also on 1) the adequacy of ESMs for adaptation, resilience and vulnerability, 2) actionable information and co-production, 3) climate justice in the context of scientific processes and practices
Jonathan Vigh RAL   my Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project (TCGP) and HurricaneRiskCalculator projects are already providing TC guidance products and wind hazard products for Madagascar and Africa. I've done climate risk work in the past and is being used by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and WorldBank.  https://staff.ral.ucar.edu/jvigh/;  https://wxrisk.io/; http://hurricanes.ral.ucar.edu/
Adriana Raudzens Bailey EOL water cycle, moisture transport, cloud and precipitation processes, atmospheric mixing, water isotope ratios, airborne research Adriana Bailey is an atmospheric scientist who studies the processes that control humidity, cloudiness, and precipitation. Part of her work uses satellite retrievals of water isotope ratios to assess the atmospheric water balance over tropical land and oceanic regions.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/abailey
Simone Tilmes ACOM geoengineering; climate Research collaborator with different teams in Africa (Benin, South Africa etc) on work by the DEGREES Modeling Fund (DMF) focusing on assessing the impacts of stratospheric aerosol interventions on the regional impacts in the Global South and Africa.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/tilmes
Kwesi Quagraine ACOM and CGD regional climate modeling, climate extremes, solar radiation management My research focuses on regional climate modeling and impacts across Africa with specific focus on climate extremes and solar radiation management. I also have further interest in regional climate variability and change in a warming climate.

(3) Land and water

Name Labs Key words Short description
Fei Chen RAL Land; urbanization; hydrometeorology (1) NASA IDS-sponsored project focuses on the extreme precipitation and urbanization; (2) A new WCRP initiative, called My Climate Risk (MCR, https://www.wcrp-climate.org/my-climate-risk); (3) The NCAR Water System Program.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/feichen
Cenlin He RAL Land; hydrometeorology; air quality https://staff.ucar.edu/users/cenlinhe
David Gochis and the WRF-Hydro team RAL Hydrology our impending work in Rwanda would be a great launching point for water forecasting/water sustainability efforts in Africa.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/gochis;            https://ral.ucar.edu/projects/wrf_hydro
Zhe Zhang RAL land surface model, regional climate, food and water security My research focuses on the food-water nexus, and their connection with climate and human management. Specifically, I am working on modeling the climate impacts on agricultural production and irrigation water use, and exploring potential adaptations to such impacts.   https://zhe-zhang.me/ 
Amy DeCastro RAL   https://ral.ucar.edu/directory/amy-decastro
Andy Wood RAL Hydrology helping lead a global effort for WMO to stand up a global operational system for estimating current status and future (S2S) outlooks for hydrology and water.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/andywood;   https://community.wmo.int/en/activity-areas/global-hydrological-status-and-outlook-system-hydrosos
Jennifer Boehnert RAL GIS; water developing a website for Ethiopia and East Africa for hydropower.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/boehnert;                                         https://nasa-ucla.rap.ucar.edu/ 
Kimberly Fewless RAL water resources/water reuse/sanitation; food-energy-water systems background in water resources/water reuse/sanitation and food-energy-water systems research that I enjoy applying to climate adaptation and mitigation.   https://ral.ucar.edu/directory/kimberly-fewless
Samar Minallah CGD Terrestrial Hydrology, Hydrometeorology, Limnology, GIS

Research on the African Great Lakes: 1) Lake-atmosphere interactions                                                                           2) Lake representation in models.     https://staff.ucar.edu/users/minallah

*Also in the climate group

Ronnie Abolafia-Rosenzweig RAL Drought; fire; Hydrologic modeling; Irrigation modeling; Machine learning I am interested in applying my expertise associated with monitoring and predicting hydrologic states and fluxes associated with drought and flooding to better inform management decisions that can reduce risks associated with these extremes. https://staff.ucar.edu/users/abolafia
Arezoo RafieeiNasab RAL   https://ral.ucar.edu/directory/arezoo-rafieeinasab

Yifan Cheng

Surface hydrology; water quality; land-atmosphere interaction

My interests lies in the regional applications of high-resolution modeling and studying the water availability and water quality over Africa.   https://ral.ucar.edu/directory/yifan-cheng

*Also in the climate group

(4) Weather

Name Labs Key words Short description
Jimy Dudhia MMM numerical weather prediction https://staff.ucar.edu/users/dudhia
Anna Del Moral Mendez EOL severe weather, radar, nowcasting, mesoscale meteorology Studying severe convection in Lake Victoria Basin; Nowcasting and Early Warning for the fishing industry; radar and nowcasting training in East Africa.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/delmoral
Kelly Núñez Ocasio MMM African weather and climate; numerical weather prediction; tropical cyclone genesis My research focus is on understanding African easterly waves (AEW), mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), tropical cyclone genesis, and African weather and climate including monsoonal interactions with ITCZ and AEWs-MCS systems, using both observations and numerical weather prediction.  An urgent need in Africa, especially over regions where livelihood depends on crops, is to try to understand extreme events (MCSs, AEWs, etc.), their relation to the monsoon, and how they will change with the changing climate. I'm interested in leading research to help answer these questions as well as informing the resulting science to the African community (both general and scientific) through this project as well as communicating the potential impacts and threats to help them better prepare.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/knocasio
Paul Kucera UCP   weather radar applications, precipitation estimation/validation, polarimetric weather radar, hydro-meteorology, model verification, and weather modification assessment programs. https://staff.ucar.edu/users/pkucera
Chris Davis MMM weather; early warning systems from WMO/WWRP perspective and an emerging effort involves satellite-based nowcasting for severe storms and flooding with the University of Leeds, and a partnership with EUMETSAT.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/cdavis
Jaya Singh RAL Weather Forecast, Extreme Weather Research Interest: My interest is in numerical weather predictions, turbulence modeling.
Erin Dougherty RAL extreme rainfall, flooding https://staff.ucar.edu/users/doughert
Thomas Hopson RAL forecast; water; weather connections and past World Bank and NASA-funded efforts in Ethiopia and Sudan.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/hopson
Kelly Werner MMM   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/kkeene
Alexandra Ramos Valle MMM weather; forecast participated in COP and sees the priority given to research in these kinds of regions from that perspective.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/aramos
Wojciech Grabowski MMM   https://www.mmm.ucar.edu/about/people/wojciech-grabowski
Tammy Weckwerth EOL Instrumentation mesoscale meteorology, organized structures within the planetary boundary layer, and initiation of thunderstorms.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/tammy
Rita Roberts EOL severe weather; Early Warning System PI for the HIGHWAY field campaign run over Lake Victoria Basin in East Africa; Goal of HIGHWAY was to develop an Early Warning System for EA, and improve resilience and reduce loss of life and property in LVB; Research has focused on using dual-polarimetric radar to understand storm initiation and evolution in the LVB region and train local forecasters from TMA, UNMA and KMD on interpretation and use of radar for nowcasting severe weather.    https://staff.ucar.edu/users/rroberts; https://catalog.eol.ucar.edu/highway; https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/bams/103/2/BAMS-D-20-0290.1.xml
Jim Wilson EOL weather; forecasting previous contact point with EA through HIGHWAY project,with years of experience in Radar and Nowcasting training for Africa countries. https://staff.ucar.edu/users/jwilson
Ulrike Romatschke EOL radar used to work with radar onboard the GPM satellite data over Lake Victoria.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/romatsch
Soudeh Kamali HAO computational fluid dynamicist  working with some researchers at NCAR on creating a Middle East and North Africa affinity group.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/skamali
Weiwei Li RAL subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) forecasting One of my previous works was to diagnose model physics related problems in the ECMWF forecasting system with respect to the representation of the African Easterly Waves (AEWs).  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/weiweili
Jason Knievel RAL Mesoscale and microscale meteorology; technology transfer; scientific communication Mesoscale and microscale meteorology over complex terrain and land surfaces; urban meteorology; moist convection and its effects, including convective vortices, density currents, and gravity waves; tropical cyclones; wildfires; ensembles and probabilistic prediction; weather and decision-making; model verification; Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model; Cloud Model 1 (CM1); technology transfer; scientific communication; field campaigns; management.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/knievel
Rachel McCrary RAL precipitation focused on dynamical precipitation processes over West Africa - so I have some experience working in the area.  In my work now, I am much more interested in environmental sustainability and climate change issues.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/rmccrary
Sue Dettling RAL software engineer; ML; storm renewable energy forecast I am a software engineer IV with experience in ML applications in renewable energy forecasting (solar power, wind) and developing storm forecasting software components and systems.  https://ral.ucar.edu/directory/susan-dettling
James Pinto RAL UAS data assimilation, thunderstorms, outflows data assimilation studies to assess the impact weather observations collected with commercial Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) performing medical supply deliveries in several countries in Africa with a current focus on short-term predictions of thunderstorm and thunderstorm outflows in Ghana.  https://ral.ucar.edu/directory/james-pinto
Sue Ellen Haupt RAL sustainable energy; meteorology helped provide a few WMO-sponsored workshops on developing renewable energy for the developing world, including Africa and we had some Africans participate in these workshops. That ties in with the UN developmental goal on sustainable energy development as well as improving air quality.  I would love to help embed something of the sort in what NCAR develops.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/haupt
Lulin Xue RAL   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/xuel
Scott Landolt RAL   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/landolt
Tara Jensen RAL   https://ral.ucar.edu/directory/tara-jensen
Sarah Tessendorf RAL   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/saraht
Jenny Sun RAL   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/sunj
Christina Kalb RAL convective weather, forecast verification, thunderstorms, subseasonal to seasonal verification https://staff.ucar.edu/users/kalb
Alex Rugg Stebbins RAL mathematics, statistics, cloud microphysics, satellite remote sensing, and surface hydrology modeling

My interests pertaining to Africa include changes in convection, precipitation, and water resources under climate change as well as heat mitigation. https://staff.ucar.edu/users/arugg

*Also in the climate group

Beth Mason UCAR public health; international development; field work (1) Managed international public health and international development projects in Africa for USAID; (2) done field work in Kenya and Tanzania, including creating and presenting capacity building workshops on US grant and cooperative agreement best practices.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/bmason

(5) Capacity building, education, training, community support, and outreach

Name Labs Key words Short description
Daniel Howard CISL HPC; training Involved in STEM-Trek, EarthSci@SC22 program. This program provided an opportunity for HPC professionals to interact with and support other professionals from EPSCoR as well African research institutions in the Earth sciences.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/dhoward
Agbeli Ameko CISL weather forecasting, renewable energy, sensors, education, outreach, and field programs weather forecasting, international business development, renewable energy, sensors, and data science,user-friendly 3D Printed Weather Station platform with Raspberry Pi embedded weather forecasting for use in education, outreach, and field programs. 
Michael Henry UCAR President's Office Government Relations https://staff.ucar.edu/users/mhenry
Bonnie Meinke UCAR President's Office external engagement and business development https://staff.ucar.edu/browse/people/37826
Julie Prestopnik RAL METplus Verification System; Documentation; Community Support; Release Engineering METplus Verification System; Documentation automation, organization, and management GitHub Process ; Workflow management; Community Support.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/jpresto
Silvia Agnona UCP Dir financial planning and business development  I used to work with GLOBE Africa country coordinators with regard to regional planning and translation. https://staff.ucar.edu/users/sagnona
Tsvetomir Ross-Lazarov COMET   Development of instructional material and training for African initiatives. https://staff.ucar.edu/users/tlazarov
Tracy Martinez COMET   Works with the ASMET team supporting three centers of excellence ( Niger, Morocco, S. Africa) as they work to develop online learning that is regionally focused. I'm interested in capacity development and using my skills in ways that support people in developing their own skills.  https://staff.ucar.edu/browse/people/35889
Lee-ann Simpson COMET   forecasting and training experience work at the South African Weather Service
Keliann LaConte COMET   Interested in developing educational training materials for African communities.  https://staff.ucar.edu/browse/people/35039
Kwabena Denkyi GLOBE   having worked on the continent on education and TVET projects.  https://www.globe.gov/web/kadenkyi
Karl C. Clarke GLOBE   GLOBE's Community Engagement Coordinator
Tony Murphy GLOBE   https://www.globe.gov/web/apmurphy
John Ristvey GLOBE   https://www.globe.gov/web/jristvey
Denise "Skye" Yost  GLOBE   https://www.globe.gov/web/denisey
Simon Castro-Wooldridge GLOBE   working experiences in Africa (based in Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia). https://www.globe.gov/web/sjwooldridge
Jan Heiderer GLOBE   produced the GLOBE film about your 3D weather stations in Kenya and am interested in expanding GLOBE in Africa.  https://www.globe.gov/web/janeth
Drew Camron UNIDATA   Meteorological Python software development and education; firmly rooted in the open development, data, and science space and would love to open those doors as wide as possible.
We can provide software tools and education in this area.   https://staff.ucar.edu/users/dcamron
Ryan May UNIDATA   Meteorological Python software development and education; firmly rooted in the open development, data, and science space and would love to open those doors as wide as possible.
We can provide software tools and education in this area.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/rmay
Yuan Ho UNIDATA   The GFS or ECMWF model output can be easily subset across the zero longitude in the Africa region. This feature has a lot of potential for  researchers and education institutes from Africa using the global forecast model output. I am looking for  the opportunity to promote and further enhance this feature in the IDV to better serve the community.  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/yuanho
Dawn Mullally CPAESS   CPAESS used to have a team at the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) African Desk, who worked closely with regional weather authorities in Africa, and they were starting to reach out to hospitals and healthcare centers (if predictions were showing a likely increase in malaria, etc).  https://staff.ucar.edu/users/mullally
William Gullotta COSMIC    
Nicholas Rome COL   work at the Center for Ocean Leadership.  https://col.ucar.edu/directory/nicholas-rome
Tiffany Fourment UCAR Community engagement; science education, outreach and communication Experience with international NGOs, community engagement and outreach, communication and education planning and program development. Previous work and lasting connections with community-driven sustainability organizations in Cameroon and Ghana. Interest in human-centered design for social innovation/change. 



In addition, we also made 4 other groups by research tools since tools are cross-cutting and can bridge different research areas:

(1) Modeling, (2) Measurements, (3) Remote sensing, and (4) Application Develop in Africa. Application Develop in Africa includes capacity building activities such as field campaign or in situ measurements design and building forecasting systems.

Below is lists of participants by research tools.

(1) Modeling:

Wenfu Tang,    Rajesh Kumar, Benjamin Gaubert,     Louisa Emmons,          Rebecca Buchholz,

Forrest Lacey,  Behrooz Roozitalab,    Kelley Barsanti,           Shima Shams,  Stefano Alessandrini,

Maryam Abdi-Oskouei,           Isla Simpson,   John Fasullo,   Anna-Lena Deppenmeier,

Justin Small,    Melissa Moulton,        Benjamin Stephens,    Dave Lawrence,

Monica Morrison,       Simone Tilmes,           Fei Chen,         Cenlin He,       Zhe Zhang,

David Gochis and the WRF-Hydro team,        Samar Minallah,          Ronnie Abolafia-Rosenzweig,

Yifan Cheng,    Jimy Dudhia,   Anna Del Moral Mendez,        Kelly Núñez Ocasio,     Weiwei Li,

Lulin Xue,        Tara Jensen,    Alex Rugg Stebbins,       Danny Leung,       Cheng Hsuan (Sarah) Lu

(2) Measurements:

Paul Kucera;    Isla Simpson,   Anna-Lena Deppenmeier,       Adriana Raudzens Bailey,       

Anna Del Moral Mendez,        Alex Rugg Stebbins

(3) Remote sensing

Wenfu Tang,    Benjamin Gaubert,     Rebecca Buchholz,      Kamila Kabo-bah,

Adriana Raudzens Bailey,        Samar Minallah,          Ronnie Abolafia-Rosenzweig,

Anna Del Moral Mendez,        Ulrike Romatschke,     Alex Rugg Stebbins

(4) Application Develop in Africa:

Paul Kucera,    Wenfu Tang,    Monica Morrison,       Jonathan Vigh,

Jennifer Boehnert,      Yifan Cheng,    Anna Del Moral Mendez,        Weiwei Li,

Lulin Xue,        Beth Mason


Please direct questions/comments about this page to:

Wenfu Tang

UCAR Africa Initiative