Dr. Renee McPherson is the University Director of the South Central CASC and an Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. McPherson’s background includes two B.S. degrees: Meteorology and Mathematics, as well as both M.S. and Ph.D. in Meteorology. Prior to overseeing consortium-related activities at the South Central CASC, she was the State Climatologist of Oklahoma and Acting Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Outside of the world of weather and climatology, Dr. McPherson is a proud co-owner of the Green Bay Packers (Go Pack Go!). Learn more about Renee by checking out her video here.
University Assistant Director
Emma received her undergraduate degree in Meteorology and M.A. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma and is currently working on a Masters in Adult Education. Her role at the CASC includes being the point of contact between stakeholders and researchers, working with stakeholders on climate adaptation, assisting the University Director and event planning for the center. Outside of work, Emma can be found at the archery range, hiking, fishing, photographing wildlife or enjoying a pleasant ride on horseback. Get to know Emma more by checking out her video here.
USGS Acting Director
Dr. Mike Langston’s educational background includes a B.S in Wildlife Ecology from Oklahoma State University (OSU), a M.S. in Ecology from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from OSU. When Dr. Langston isn’t working with stakeholders, he can be found weightlifting, fishing, backpacking and spending time with his wife Jeri Fleming and their children and grandchildren. Get to know Mike better by taking a look at his video here.
April Taylor received her B.S. from Texas A&M University in Marine Science and a M.S. from the University of South Carolina in Earth and Environmental Resource Management. At the South Central CASC, April works with the goal of building research relationships with the 68 tribes in the South Central region. She is actively involved with the training and development of resources for tribal health and vulnerability assessments. Aside from the climate world, April is an avid ballroom dancer and loves painting. Get to know April more by checking out her video here.
Climate Adaptation Planner & Research Scientist
Dr. Sharon Hausam’s professional practice and research focus on climate resilience strategies, community-based and collaborative planning, and tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Prior to joining the CASC, Sharon served as the Planning Program Manager for the Pueblo of Laguna, where she initiated work on climate adaptation planning. She is adjunct faculty in the Community and Regional Planning Department at the University of New Mexico. Sharon holds a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Biology and Art, a Master of Environmental Studies, and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning. She lives between the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande on traditional Southern Tiwa Pueblo land, currently known as Albuquerque, where she enjoys gardening, foraging for wild plants, canning and drying food, walking her dog, and hiking.
Research Associate and Tribal Liaison
Yvette Wiley is the Assistant Tribal Liaison and brings 20 years of experience working for tribes in the natural resources and environmental sectors. She focuses on the intersection of water, climate change and ecological systems by researching how harmful algal blooms may affect tribal resources. She is Muscogee and worked for her tribe in the environmental department on streams and wetland protection. She also served as the Director of the Environmental Department for the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. She earned a M.S. in Environmental Science from Oklahoma State University with a focus on watersheds and wetlands. Outside of work, Yvette enjoys giving new life to dilapidated furniture by repairing and refinishing. She also loves solo camping, hiking, and kayaking. She shares her home with a bunch of rescued cats who keep her two dogs in check.
Financial Administrator & Office Manager
Noetta Harjo holds a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies, both from the University of Oklahoma (OU). After finishing her Master’s degree, Noetta began working at OU in 2014 as a Staff Assistant in the Architectural and Engineering Department and the American Indian Institute. When Noetta is not working, she volunteers at OU Native Community events, mentors her Native sorority Gamma Delta Pi, makes jewelry (mostly earrings) and enjoys writing. Noetta also loves movies and associates as a Ravenclaw from Harry Potter! Get to know Noetta more by checking out her video here.
Dr. Adrienne Wootten is a research scientist who specializes in downscaling and climate modeling, the uncertainty and accuracy associated with the appropriate use of climate projections and data impact assessments and planning. Additionally, she helps stakeholders with technological assistance and the appropriate use of climate projections for decision making processes. She received her B.S. in Meteorology with a minor in statistics, M.S. and Ph.D in Atmospheric Science from North Carolina State University. When she isn’t working, she enjoys being a stained-glass crafter. Get to know Adrienne more by taking a look at her video here.
Dr. Derek Rosendahl is a Research Associate at the South Central CASC. Dr. Rosendahl received his B.S., M.S., and PhD. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. His research role at the South Central CASC focuses on assessing uncertainties in future climate projections from global climate models and their subsequent use in statistical and dynamical downscaling over North America and the south-central U.S. He works closely with downscaling experts at the South Central CASC and helps with communicating uncertainties in future climate projections to the scientific community, decision makers, and the general public. His passion for meteorology and climatology truly shine as he enjoys storm photography and being out in the elements. Get to know Derek more by checking out his video here.
Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) Participant
Codie Winn is an ORISE Participant. She assists with the annual Award Competition, the tracking of funded projects, coordination of the advisory committees, and the coordination of the Southern Plains Climate Science Webinar Series. She holds B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors with her child, along with photographing and ID-ing plants and animals.
USGS Research Coordinator
Marina Cucuzza is the USGS Research Coordinator at the South Central CASC. Her background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, and dual Master’s Degrees in Marine Biology and Marine Policy from the University of Maine. Prior to joining the CASC, Marina completed a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where she served as a climate and fisheries specialist. Outside of work, Marina enjoys hiking, cooking, and gardening.
Science Translator and Communications Specialist
Jenifer Henslee Peck holds a B.S. in Meteorology from The University of Oklahoma. She assists with internal and external communications across the South Central CASC as well as producing various media content to showcase the collective knowledge of the center. When not at work you can find her exploring with her child, learning about the world, and volunteering with Alpha Sigma Kappa – Women in Technical Studies.
USGS Data Steward
Sarah Burton is a USGS Data Steward serving the South Central CASC as well as the North Central and Pacific Island CASCs. She is responsible for overseeing data management activities for all projects from their onset through publication. Sarah received her Masters of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University in 2019 where she studied the role of social networks in partnership development with state wildlife agencies. Her professional interests include the use of GIS for resource management, natural resource ecology, and conservation and quantitative & qualitative social science.
New Mexico Program Manager
Sarah Branum has over 20 years experience managing environmental contracts and agreements for the federal government after receiving a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Portland State University. She works with the CASC under an intra-agency agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation, where she has worked since 2016. Sarah is a volunteer deejay at her local low-power, non-profit radio station and also volunteers on a project to improve pedestrian and bike safety in her small community.
Climate Adaptation Specialist
Dr. Caitlin Rottler joins the South Central CASC as a Researcher and Climate Adaptation Specialist. Cait is working on a project called the Ogallala Data Directory, which will be a searchable directory of datasets in the Ogallala Aquifer region, including a number of visualization tools. Cait received her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of New Mexico and holds a Ph.D. in Ecology. When Cait isn’t working on research, she enjoys riding and spending time with her numerous pets, including cats, a dog, a snake, and her horse, Rocket. Rocket is 21 years old and though they don’t compete seriously, they have fun, as jumping is a good challenge!
Climate Adaptation Specialist – Post doctoral Associate
Dr. Dolly Na-Yemeh’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Economics from the University of Education, Winneba, an MA in Geography from the University of Cape Coast, an MS in Geoscience with a graduate certificate in GIS at Western Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Dolly enjoys volunteering for community service events and outreach, Zumba, teaching, traveling, and hanging out with family and friends.
Dr. Irenea Lodangco is a research scientist specializing in drought forecasting for the South Central CASC. Dr. Lodangco holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Central College of the Philippines, a M.S. in Remote Sensing from the University of the Philippines and a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. In the past, she has conducted research on the El Nino Southern Oscillation, tropical cyclones, rainfall variability, historical drought analysis, climate classification through cluster analysis, and satellite-derived rainfall estimates. When not working, she enjoys gardening, cooking and traveling the world.