Senior Scientists

Cameron C. Lee, Ph.D. | PI & Lab Director

Dr. Cameron C. Lee

Scott C. Sheridan, Ph.D. | Professor & Associate Provost

Dr. Scott Sheridan is a professor in the Department of Geography at Kent State University in Ohio, USA.  He has served as Department Chair since 2015, and currently is an AGU Landing Fellow.  He also sits on the University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council; and its Anti-Racism Task Force.  His is educational background includes BS and MS degrees in Meteorology from Rutgers and Texas A&M, respectively, followed by a Ph.D. in Climatology from the University of Delaware.  He has co-authored 124 peer-reviewed publications, and has been an investigator on grants totaling over $4 million.  He is also currently Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Biometeorology and Associate Editor of Science of the Total Environment

Dr. Sheridan’ scholarship focuses on the areas of Applied Climatology and Human Biometeorology. His applied climatology expertise stems from his development and implementation of novel techniques in synoptic climatology, a method in which atmospheric parameters are categorized into discrete categories.  This applied research has focused most substantially on human biometeorology, in particular, the impacts of extreme heat on human health.  He has worked extensively on heat warning systems, heat perception, urbanization and heat vulnerability, and trends and projections of heat-related mortality.  Further, he has focused on applying synoptic climatological techniques to global change issues, including analyses of atmospheric teleconnections and their impact on mid-latitude weather, water clarity, as well as sea-level variability. Scott frequently involves his students in his research and encourages their professional development and publishing.  He has graduated 10 PhD and 12 MA students.

Scott Rudlosky, Ph.D. | NOAA Collaborator

Dr. Scott Rudlosky is a Physical Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) co-located with the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS) in College Park, Maryland.  Dr. Rudlosky graduated from Ohio State University in 2004 and presently has an affiliate appointment at Kent State University.  His research has focused on the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) since NOAA began supporting his doctoral work at Florida State University in 2007.  He serves as the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) subject matter expert on lightning and GLM science lead.  Scott was awarded the prestigious NOAA David Johnson Award in 2018 and both the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and NOAA Administrator’s Awards in 2020.  He taught a course on mesoscale meteorology for 5 years at the University of Maryland, and has mentored dozens of scholars at various stages of their high school, undergraduate, graduate, and/or postgraduate studies.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Chibuike Ibebuchi, Dr. rer. nat. | Lab Manager

Dr. Chibuike started with us in January 2023. Chibuike’s main research interests are the application of synoptic classifications in improving the understanding of the physical mechanisms driving regional climate variability and change. He applies the concept of climate classifications in diagnosing the misrepresented synoptic-to-large scale physical processes in climate model simulations. Chibuike also applies circulation typing and other downscaling methods to determine the regional responses to global climate change, with a special focus on the mechanisms driving changes in the magnitude and frequency of occurrence of climate extremes. He is equally keen to optimize the existing statistical methods used in characterizing atmospheric circulations, towards a better representation of the actual circulation variability, as well as to foster the application of deep learning algorithms in improving the physical understanding of the climate system. His subsequent research interests will include investigating the physical and transition risks that climate extremes pose to the economy; application of deep learning in climate science, synoptic scale weather impacts on day-to-day variability in coastal sea levels, and temperature-related human health. Chibuike’s current research, which is funded by NOAA, focuses on establishing a unified duration-intensity extreme temperature monitoring product for defining extreme temperature events in North America. Chibuike has authored review articles on climate classifications, weather variability, and climate model developments. Chibuike has authored review articles on climate classifications, weather variability, and climate model developments. He also serves as an editor at Theoretical and Applied Climatology

Doctoral Students

Ryan Adams | Ph.D. Candidate (ABD)

Ryan is a Ph.D. Candidate in the geography department whose primary dissertation research subject imatter is explosive cyclones. He obtained his B.S. in meteorology from California University of Pennsylvania in 2014, before moving to Kent to continue his interests in the climate sciences. Bridging his time as an undergraduate at CalU and time as a Masters student at Kent, he participated for three summers (2014-16) in the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) Internship program hosted by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado. Here, he expanded his network, collaborated with peers and climate scientists on research projects, expanded his research and programming skills, all while starting into the niche study of synoptic climate classification of explosive cyclones where he continues his work today in his dissertation.

Ryan has many scholarly interests and intrigues, even beyond those topics specific to the climate and atmospheric sciences, including: statistics, data analytics and visualization, education, astronomy, psychophysiology and psychiatry, phenomenology and philosophy, among others. In the climate and atmospheric sciences, his subfields/topics of interest include: synoptic-scale climatology and circulations, applications of self-organizing maps in classifications, climate modeling, statistical downscaling and bias corrections, mid-latitude cyclogenesis, teleconnections and other related methodological pursuits linking phenomena of different space- and time-scales  extreme/high-impact events, effects of weather and climate on populations, and effects of populations on weather and climate (e.g. anthropogenic climate change, urban heat islands, etc).

His dissertation work explores a framework to estimate proportions and other descriptive measures of explosive cyclones in future climate model simulation emission scenarios, the governing synoptic-scale circulations and forcings for these future storms, and how both the explosive cyclones and driving circulation regimes look in our current/present-day observations. Global climate model outputs are typically of coarser resolution and future simulation timeseries are not considered in a prognostic sense; thus, objectively tracking these storms in future climate model output is inadequate and requires an alternate perspective/approach to improve our  understanding of them – this is explored in his dissertation work and seeks to expand the growing body of literature concerning circulation pattern frameworks in estimating explosive cyclone probabilities.

Omon Obarein | Ph.D. Candidate (ABD)

Omon is a 3rd Year Doctoral Student in the Department of Geography at Kent State University. He holds a Master of Science in geography from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and earned a Master of Arts in geography from Kent State University in 2020. His current research focus is at the junction of two almost independent subfields of climate science, where he has done some work: tropical and synoptic climatology. With tropical climatology, he is mainly interested in understanding present and future tropical precipitation variability and change. Synoptic climatology is a much recent interest that stemmed from research assistantship duties in our ClimRISE group. For his doctoral dissertation, he intends to draw upon acquired knowledge in those two subfields by investigating synoptic air mass drivers of precipitation on regional and global scales. Also, Omon is very interested in the broader field of data science, particularly Earth science data analysis using remote sensing techniques, programming languages, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He currently teaches a course on physical geography.

Alindomar Silva | Ph.D. Student

Alindomar is a Ph.D. student in the Geography Department at Kent State (class of 2026). He holds a geography degree by the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil (2010-2016), with an interchange period at Indiana University Bloomington, USA (2013-2014) and a master’s degree in remote sensing by the National Institute for Space Research (2016-2018). His interests lie within the climatology domain, especially extreme events and health (e.g., heat and cold waves and mortality).

For his Ph.D., he wants to make an analysis of heat and cold wave events for cities with different sizes, to see how differently they will be impacted by such extreme events. He would like to draw a comparison between the cities in the US and in Brazil to see how the differences in infrastructure and resilience will impact human mortality. He wants to determine the return period of such events and estimate how many people could lose their lives in the future (considering the AR-6 IPCC report scenarios). Further, he wants to propose mitigation strategies, raise awareness and preparedness to extreme events impacts in Brazil.

He has experience in teaching geography in middle and high school (2011-2013) and English as a second language (2015). After finishing his masters, he worked with urban planning from 2018-2020 and with land use and land cover change monitoring across Brazil from 2020-2021, where he used satellite images to detect deforestation, illegal mining and forest fires.

Currently, Alindomar plays volleyball and is a new member of the Kent State Male Volleyball Club. He is excited for his four years of PhD at Kent State. Once he finishes, he wants to become a Geography Professor and researcher at a higher education institution. He strongly believes in the power of education to change lives.

Seth Rainey | Ph.D. Student

Seth Rainey is a first-year Ph.D. Student, while finishing up his master’s thesis/degree in the Department of Geography at Kent State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Kent State in 2022. His research focus is on applied climatology with interests ranging from weather and transportation to human-environment interactions. Currently, for his thesis, Seth is investigating the spatiotemporal relationship between lake-effect snow and motor vehicle accidents in Northeast Ohio, specifically looking at the quantifiable differences in the frequency of car crashes over time and space among varying winter season weather types.

Master’s Students

Oluwaferanmi Akinyemi | M.S. Student

‘Feranmi is a first-year master’s student in the geography department. He earned a Bachelor of Technology in Geography (Meteorology) from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria. His undergraduate research focused on aero-meteorology (examining climate extremes and how they affect flight operations).

His current research interests lie around climate change, natural disasters, and disaster risk reduction strategies. He intends to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) to detect, monitor, predict, and map disaster-prone areas. His research involves applying artificial intelligence (AI) to global natural hazard risk assessment and management, including forecasting extreme weather events, developing hazard maps, detecting events in real-time, providing situational awareness, and assisting in DRR decision-making.

Kaylie Craft | M.S. Student

Kaylie will be starting as a first year Master’s student in the Department of Geography at Kent State University in Fall 2024. They recently completed their Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Geography, in 2024 at Kent State. Their research interests focus on the impacts of sea-level rise on communities and the application of geospatial techniques in this analysis. They are currently exploring potential topics for their thesis.

Michael Crowell | M.S. Student

Michael Crowell, is a 2nd year masters student at Kent State University, in the department of geography. His concentration is climate change and severe weather, with a focus on tornadoes. Thunderstorms and severe weather have always been a special interest for him, and he has been fascinated with atmospheric processes since elementary school. He received his bachelor’s degree in Earth Science at Kent State University, with a minor in climate change, and graduated in spring of 2021.

Convective mechanisms contribute to atmospheric instability and allow for the formation of tornado-favorable environments. These events can cause a massive loss of life, materials, agriculture, and habitat. Michael takes special interest in how these atmospheric events are changing as global average temperatures continue to rise. Currently, Michael works closely with Dr. Cameron Lee, who operates as his advisor. In 2019, as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research program, Michael worked with Dr. Cameron Lee, and Dr. Scott Sheridan on a research project that used MATLAB to study how clusters of tornado-favorable environments are shifting spatially, across the eastern United States. Similarly, his master’s thesis aims to use ERA V data to not only show these environments are changing in space, use the latest CMIP models to attempt to predict where high levels of convection will be present, given the varying degrees of radiative forcing that is a consequence of a changing climate.

Michael has 1 year teaching experience, conducting physical geography lab, as well as experience working in several rock chemistry labs during this undergraduate degree.  He hopes to continue his higher education journey and pursue his Ph.D., to eventually become a professor and conduct research. 

Courtney Hrubik | M.S. Student

Courtney is a first year Master’s student in the Department of Geography at Kent State University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 2023 at Kent State. Her research interest focuses on climate change and its relationship to human behavior. She is currently exploring this relationship for a possible thesis proposal. Courtney intends on pursuing a career in environmental protection/policy.

Undergraduate Students

Larissa Sperk | Postgraduate Researcher

Larissa Sperk is an instrument rated private pilot working on her commercial pilot license. She has fulfilled her Aeronautical Studies Major and Aviation Weather Minor requirements as of 2022. Larissa is finishing up her commercial pilot license for her Professional Pilot Minor at Kent State University’s Airport (1G3). She also studied abroad in Florence, Italy in 2022. She was involved in an Aeronautics Career Program through her highschool (2016-2018), which got her interested in aviation weather early on. After pursuing an Aviation Weather Minor in college, she wanted to pursue a pilot career that focuses on climate and weather. Larissa aspires to fly for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Corps one day. She is currently interning with Dr. Scott D. Rudlosky, a NOAA Physical Scientist that has focused on using Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). Larissa is working on Aeronautical GLM projects and fire weather analysis. She is incorporating GLM into aviation tools to allow for safer and more efficient means of travel.