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Institute of Atmospheric Sciences                           

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Rapid City, South Dakota USA


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Current ATM Students

Two new students joined the department in the Fall of 2009 - Joshua Brewer and Shawn Honomichl. They join current M.S. degree students Kathleen Carroll, Jon Meyer, Lisa Phillips, Phillip Stauffer, and Sikchya Upadhaya, and Mebratu Abessa in the Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences PhD program (atmospheric emphasis).

Josh Brewer
Josh is from Stanwood, Washington.  He received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  During a year of graduate study in Atmospheric Science at the International Arctic Research Center, he was privileged to be an observer on a NASA ARCTAS Mission to the North Pole and a technical assistant for the IARC Summer School on the Modeling of Arctic Climate in Fairbanks and Barrow. Josh will be working to complete his degree under the direction of Dr. Bill Capehart.
Shawn Honomichl
Shawn is from Wagner, South Dakota. He spent six years in the Air Force at Ellsworth AFB working on Rockwell B1B Electronics and Environmental Systems before coming to SDSMT in 2005. He received his B.S. from SDSMT in Atmospheric Sciences/Meteorology in 2009. Shawn was the recipient of the 2008 Nelson Fellowship and a participant in the 2008 NCAR Leadership Workshop in Boulder, CO. Shawn is a member and treasurer of the Black Hills Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. During his last two years as an undergrad, he worked as a Lab Technician in the Dept of Atmospheric Sciences' Biogeochemistry Core Facility.  Shawn co-authored on the paper "Nature vs. Nurture" in Geophysical Research Letters as a result of the work he has done. He will be completing his thesis work on the A-10 storm penetrating aircraft project under the guidance of Dr. Donna Kliche.
Jonathan Meyer

Jonathan Meyer
Jonathan is from Greeley Colorado. He received his B.S. degree in Meteorology with a minor in mathematics from the University of Northern Colorado. He was the recipient of the College of Natural and Health Sciences Student Research Award and the Hunter Foundation funding for presentation of student research at the 88th Annual AMS meeting. He was a collaborator in several AGU and AMS presentations on Red Sprites, and served as an intern with Dr. Walter Lyons on Red Sprite research. He served as president of the UNC chapter of the American Meteorological Society.


Lisa Phillips
Lisa is from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. She received her B.S. in Meteorology from Saint Cloud State University. Lisa was an undergraduate research intern in an REU program in Fairbanks, Alaska, working on a collaborative research project related to global warming. She was co-author on a paper published in Computing in Science and Engineering as a result of this research. After graduation, Lisa was employed by a private firm in Burnsville, MN, preparing weather forecasts for a wide variety of clientele across the U.S. While at SDSM&T, Lisa will be working under the direction of Dr. Mark Hjelmfelt.


Phillip Stauffer
Phillip is from Denver, Colorado. He received a B.S. degree in Meteorology from the Metropolitan State College of Denver. While pursuing his bachelor degree, he worked as a scientific data analyst for Science and Technology Corp., a contractor for NOAA. He has done research work on a field experiment in the Bahamas, and completed analyses of infrasonic data on tornadoes, mountain winds, and tropical cyclones. He was co-author on a paper presented at the ISTP 2006 symposium. He was also the recipient of the Colorado Scholarship in 2001 from Colorado Mountain College. Phillip will be completing his graduate research work under Dr Capehart.

Sikchya Upadhayay
Sikchya is a Master’s Degree student from Kathmandu, Nepal. She received her B.S. in Science and an M.S. in Meteorology from the Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Prior to entering SDSMUT, Ms. Upadhayay has conducted research for the Nepal Research and Education Network, EnvironmentNEPAL, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF), and also worked as a part-time meteorological assistant at the Integrated Research Application and Development (IRAD) in Kathmandu. She has also served as a weather reporter for “Nepali Times”, was the conference manager for the SCALLA2004 International Conference in Kathmandu, and assisted in the translation of two books into Nepali (“Fluid Mosaic” and “Human Choice and Climate Change”). She attended the 22nd Postgraduate International Course on “Groundwater Exploration, Water Resources Exploitation and Conservation” in Israel. Sikchya is a life member of the Society of Hydrology and Meteorology (SOHAM) and Women in Science and Technology (WIST), both in Kathmandu, and a life member of the International ‘Shalom’ Club of Israel. She has published several research papers in her native country, and was the recipient of several scholarships throughout her university studies. While at SDSM&T, Sikchya will study and complete research work under the guidance of Dr. P.V. Sundareshwar.

New AES Student – 2008

Mebratu Abessa

PhD candidate, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Mebratu comes to us from Ethiopia. He obtained his B.S. degree in Meteorology from the Arba Minch University, Water Technology Institute in Ethiopia, and his M.S. degree from the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, majoring in earth system physics. He completed his thesis under the direction of Professor Joseph Neimala in the Italian Multidisciplinary Synchrotron Light Laboratory at the section Fluid Dynamics and turbulence lab . While at Arba Minch he taught studies in air pollution & atmospheric chemistry, boundary layer meteorology, and cloud physics. Mebratu was the recipient of scholarships from both the Emperor Haile Selassie Memorial Scholarship and the Abdus Salam ICTP Scholarship. While at SDSM&T, he will be continuing research under the direction of Dr. P.V. Sundareshwar.


For more information about the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at SDSM&T, please visit the website at: http://www.ias.sdsmt.edu/dept.