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.
Emma Kuster is the University Assistant Director for the South Central CASC. Emma received her undergraduate degree in Meteorology and M.A. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma. 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.
Stephen T. Jackson is USGS Director of the Southwest and South Central CASCs, where he works to foster effective engagement between researchers and resource-management decision-makers. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Geosciences and of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Arizona. Jackson also pursues the history of science with two finished English translations of classic works by Alexander von Humboldt and a third nearing completion.
USGS Deputy Director
Dr. Mike Langston currently serves as the Deputy Director of the South Central CASC. Dr. 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.
New Mexico Tribal Liaison
Cynthia Naha is our New Mexico Tribal Liaison & Science Communications Specialist. Cynthia is based out of the University of New Mexico and will work to provide scientific knowledge, workshops, and trainings to support climate-resilient communities, economies, and peoples in Indian Country. Before coming to the South Central CASC, Cynthia worked as the Director of Natural Resources for the Santo Domingo Pueblo. There she managed federal grants, was the USEPA Region 6 Tribal Representative on the E-Enterprise for the Environment Leadership Council and was the Regional Tribal Operations Committee Secretary. Cynthia is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe and is Tewa and Ihanktowan Dakota Oyate, currently residing in OgaPogehOwingeh (Santa Fe) New Mexico.
April Taylor is a Tribal Liaison. She 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.
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.
Rio Grande Program Manager
Genevieve Johnson leads CASC activities in the Rio Grande Basin, one of our three focal geographies. Genevieve has extensive experience in the region having served as the Coordinator for the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative from 2012-2018, which includes much of the Rio Grande Basin. Genevieve holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology and a Masters of Science in Urban and Environmental Planning, both from Arizona State University. Get to know Genevieve better by checking out her video here.
Assistant 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.
Dr. Derek Rosendahl is a Postdoctoral 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.
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. 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.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr. Caitlin Rottler joins the South Central CASC as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Cait will be working at the CASC for the next two years 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!
USGS Operations Assistant
Codie Winn is the USGS Operations Assistant. 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 IDing plants and animals.