School of Meteorology announces new Faculty Members, Director of CIMMS, and Research Scientists

School of Meteorology announces new Faculty Members, Director of CIMMS, and Research Scientists

It’s been an exciting Summer for the School of Meteorology. We are proud to announce that we have two new faculty members, a new director of CIMMS, and two new research scientists that will be joining our team!

The first of our two faculty hires is Dr. Naoko Sakaeda. Dr. Sakaeda is currently part of the NOAA/ESRL Physical Science Division in Boulder and will be joining us in early October. Naoko received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Albany in August of 2015. Her research interests include the Madden Julian Oscillation, equatorial waves, tropical-middle latitude interactions, and processes at the intersection of weather and climate. Among her several honors, Naoko received the Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation award from the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Albany. She also received a NOAA/CPO grant that will be transferred to OU in time for her arrival.

The second of our two faculty hires is Dr. Scott Salesky. Dr. Salesky is currently a postdoc in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia and will be joining us in early August. His research focuses on the fluid dynamics of turbulent flows using a combination of theory, observational data, and numerical simulations. His specific topics of research interests include Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Surface Hydrology, Atmospheric Boundary Layer, Large Eddy Simulation, Turbulence, Evaporation, Land-Atmosphere Interactions, and Snow and Sediment Transport, Multiphase Flows. Scott received his Ph.D. from Penn State in 2014 and was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award by the Penn State Alumni  Association. Scott’s background also includes receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Science Education.

The School of Meteorology is also proud to announce a new director for the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies! (CIMMS) Dr. Greg McFarquhar, an Atmospheric Sciences professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, completed his degrees in Mathematics, Physics, and Atmospheric Physics at the University of Toronto. He will assume director duties this fall. Learn more about the transition here:

The School is also adding two research scientists to our team! The first of these two is Dr. Junshik Um. He will be joining the scientific staff at CIMMS. Junshik received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2009 and is currently a Research Scientist at the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is a member of the AMS Committee on Cloud Physics and has received two Ogura Awards at the University of Illinois for Outstanding Research Papers. His research interests include precipitation and hydrometeorological processes, cloud physics and cloud processes, cloud and aerosol radiative processes and satellite and radar remote sensing.

In addition, Dr. Ben Schenkel will come to us from Princeton University where he is currently an Associate Research Scholar within the Hurricane Hazards and Risk Analysis Assessment Research Group. He is affiliated with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Schenkel will be joining us in early October and will have a split appointment within the School and CIMMS. His research topics include the role of tropical cyclones in climate, factors controlling tropical cyclones, instances of multiple simultaneous tropical cyclones, and the fidelity of tropical cyclone representation in models. He received his Ph.D. from Florida State University in 2012. Dr. Schenkel has been awarded a National Science Foundation Post-Graduate Fellowship and a NASA Graduate Fellowship. He has extensive teaching experience, including a holding a lecturer position at Florida State University.

These are exciting times, to be sure! We are looking forward to seeing all that these capable individuals will bring to the table and encourage you to take the time to meet them as they join the community here in the National Weather Center over the next few weeks.