201 Stephenson Parkway, Suite 2100 Norman, OK 73019

Main Office Staff

South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center 

University Director

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

Assistant Director

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 as Program Coordinator 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 Director

Stephen T. Jackson is Acting 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.


Science Translator

Christiaan Patterson will be working with us to help translate our science for management and stakeholder decisions. Christiaan holds two Bachelor degrees: Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and Journalism from California State University Northridge. She also served in the United States Navy as a Sonar Technician. Christiaan began working for the South Central CASC as a student Communications Specialist in the Fall of 2018. Today, as our Science Translator, Christiaan uses her blend of science and journalism to further relay the urgency of a changing climate in our region to stakeholders and resource managers. When she isn’t working, Christiaan enjoys traveling the world, archery, puzzling and rooting for the Green Bay Packers.

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.


Tribal Liaison

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.

New Mexico Tribal Liaison

Maurice Cruz is an enrolled member of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, and received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Geographic Information Science from the University of New Mexico. With a background in team leadership, rangeland management, and remote sensing using GIS, Maurice facilitates tribal planning and decision-making by providing the connection to data and resources in coordination with Indigenous ways of knowing. Outside of work, Maurice spends his time biking, skiing, and rock climbing. Get to know Maurice more by checking out his 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.

Research Scientist

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.


Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Adrienne Wootten is a postdoctoral researcher 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.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Caitlin Rottler joins the South Central CASC as our latest 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!