Director, Colorado Climate Center and Colorado State Climatologist
Russ joined the faculty at Colorado State in the fall of 2011. He received his B.S. with majors in meteorology and humanities from Valparaiso University in Indiana in 2001, and earned his M.S. in 2003 and Ph.D. in 2008 from the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.
Russ received an Advanced Study Program Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and spent 2008-2009 at NCAR in Boulder. From 2009-2011, Russ was assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. He received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 2010, and was selected as Outstanding Professor of the Year by the students of the department in 2012. He was selected to receive the Editor's Award for the journals Monthly Weather Review and Weather and Forecasting in 2015. Russ was promoted to Associate Professor at CSU in July 2016 and to Professor in July 2022. In October 2017, Russ was appointed the director of the Colorado Climate Center and the Colorado State Climatologist. He received the Clarence Leroy Meisinger early-career research award from the American Meteorological Society in 2021.
Current Graduate Students
M.S., Colorado State University, 2009
Eric joined the research group in the fall of 2018. He works at NOAA's Earth System Research Lab in Boulder in the group that develops the RAP and HRRR models, and will be working on his PhD while continuing that role. His research will bring together observations and models with an aim at guiding improvements to operational modeling systems.
B.S., University of Georgia, 2019
Allie joined the research group in the fall of 2019 from the University of Georgia. She received the prestigious American Meteorological Society graduate fellowship. Allie is conducting interdisciplinary research on hazardous weather in landfalling tropical cyclones, in conjunction with the VORTEX-SE program.
B.S., Texas A&M University, 2019
Jacob joined the research group in the fall of 2019 from Texas A&M University. Jacob is working on a research project involving evaluating and improving probabilistic forecasts of excessive rainfall.
B.S., Iowa State University, 2019
M.S., Iowa State University, 2021
JT joined the research group in the fall of 2021 after completing his M.S. degree at Iowa State University. JT's research involves applying machine learning methods to radar observations and other datasets to better understand the storm structures associated with severe weather and heavy rainfall.
B.S., Iowa State University, 2011
M.S., Air Force Institute of Technology, 2019
Casey is a Captain in the US Air Force, and joined the research group in the fall of 2021 to pursue his Ph.D. Casey is interested in using machine learning to improve weather prediction in operational settings.
B.S., Florida State University, 2017
Ayesha is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, and joined the research group in the fall of 2021 to pursue her M.S. degree. Ayesha's research will relate to the weather and climate of Colorado, with a likely focus on drought and wildfire.
Former Graduate Students
M.S., 2018; Ph.D., 2023
Nathan completed his M.S. thesis in the spring of 2018, analyzing the atmospheric conditions associated with extreme rainfall in different parts of the world. He completed his PhD in 2023, which was based on observations and model simulations of organized convective systems in Argentina, following from the RELAMPAGO field campaign. Nathan is now a meteorologist and developer for DTN.
M.S., 2017; Ph.D., 2020; postdoctoral researcher, 2020-21
Sam defended his M.S. thesis in June 2017, using methods from multiple disciplines to study cold-season tornadoes in the southeastern US. Sam received the Herbert Riehl Award from the department in 2018 for outstanding paper resulting from an MS thesis. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in 2020, analyzing severe weather and its risk in eastern Colorado. Sam is now a research meteorologist with the U.S. Air Force.
Jeremiah Otero Piersante
Jeremiah completed his M.S. in summer 2020 after completing his thesis on evaluating forecasts and observations associated with convective storms during the RELAMPAGO field campaign in Argentina. He was co-advised by Russ Schumacher and Kristen Rasmussen. Jeremiah is now a Ph.D. student in atmospheric science at the University at Albany.
Faith received her M.S. in December 2019 after completing her thesis on gravity waves generated by mesoscale convective systems, in collaboration with Becky Adams-Selin of AER, Inc. She is now an atmospheric scientist with CPP Wind in Windsor, Colorado.
M.S., 2015; Ph.D., 2019; postdoctoral researcher 2019-20
Erik received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in our research group in 2015 and 2019, respectively. Erik's MS thesis was titled "Using convection-allowing ensembles to understand the predictability of extreme rainfall." For his Ph.D. research he used both observations and models to study the dynamics of storms that produce extreme short-term rainfall rates. He has also led research on concurrent tornado and flash flood hazards, known as "TORFFs". Erik continued this research as a postdoctoral researcher from 2019-20. Erik is now an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University.
Stacey received her Ph.D. in December 2018 after completing her dissertation that used observations and numerical simulations to better understand nocturnal convective systems. Stacey collected data in several field campaigns during graduate school, and her research carefully analyzed observations obtained during the PECAN field campaign in 2015. Stacey is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
M.S., 2015; Ph.D., 2018
Greg received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the research group in 2015 and 2018, respectively. He developed new methods to integrate atmospheric science concepts with machine learning, aimed at improving probabilistic forecasts of extreme precipitation. Greg is now a research scientist at Amazon.com in Seattle.
Bob received his Ph.D. in August 2016 after completing his dissertation exploring the influences of land-surface characteristics, and particularly soil moisture, on mesoscale convective systems in the central U.S. He is now an Assistant Professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
John received his Ph.D. in May 2015 after completing his dissertation on the dynamics of mesoscale convective systems that produce heavy precipitation. John was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, and remained in our research group at CSU to conduct his postdoctoral research from 2015-2017. John began an appointment as assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2017.
Peter received his M.S. in August 2016 after completing his thesis on connections between soil moisture and drought in Colorado and surrounding areas. During his time as a graduate student, he also worked for the Colorado Climate Center, and upon completion of his M.S. he started a position as associate scientist with the CCC.
Annareli received her M.S. in December 2014 after completing her thesis on mesoscale aspects of the September 2013 extreme rainfall and flooding in Colorado. Annareli was co-advised by Russ Schumacher and Sonia Kreidenweis, and went on to complete her Ph.D. in atmospheric science at the University of Michigan. She is currently an Advanced Study Program Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Vanessa earned her M.S. in May 2014 after completing her thesis, which included a multi-disciplinary study of heavy precipitation along the Front Range of Colorado. Vanessa was one of the students supported by CSU I-WATER, an interdisciplinary program training graduate students in hydrology, atmospheric science, and ecology. She is now a meteorologist with the COMET program.
Charles earned his M.S. in the spring of 2013 after completing his thesis on displacement biases in numerical forecasts of convective systems. He currently works for OneRain in Longmont, CO.
Sammy earned her M.S. in December 2012 after completing her thesis that involved ensemble synoptic analysis of widespread extreme rain events, including the Nashville, TN flood of 2010. Sammy currently works for Warner Chilcott Corporation.
Kelly (Keene) Werner
M.S., 2011 (from Texas A&M University)
Kelly earned her M.S. in August 2011 after completing her thesis on the "bow and arrow" phenomenon. She is currently an Associate Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.
Visiting Ph.D. student from Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, 2017-2019
Liu was a visiting student in our research group from 2017-2019, after receiving a prestigious China Scholarship Council award to study in the United States. He conducted research on extreme-rain-producing mesoscale convective systems in China. Upon completion of his visit, Liu returned to Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology to finalize his Ph.D.
Former Research Staff and Postdocs
Postdoctoral researcher, 2019-2021, Research Scientist 2021-2023
Aaron was the lead developer of the http://schumacher.atmos.colostate.edu/hilla/csu_mlp/ forecast system as a postdoctoral researcher and research scientist from 2019-2023. Aaron made numerous advances in the application of machine learning to high-impact weather prediction, and received the "Rising Star" award from the College of Engineering in 2023. Aaron is now an assistant professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.
Postdoctoral researcher, 2022-23
IT joined the research group as a postdoctoral researcher after completing his PhD at the University of Illinois. IT conducted research on the interactions between convection and the larger-scale circulation in South America, based on data from the RELAMPAGO field campaign. IT has now joined the van den Heever group in the Department of Atmospheric Science, working on simulations supporting the INCUS satellite mission.
Visiting scientist from Jiangsu Institute of Meteorological Sciences, 2019-2020
Yi visited our group during 2019-20, conducting collaborative research on observations and modeling of heavy rainstorms in China.