Staff & Students


Aaron Sims

Dr. Aaron Sims

Interim Director / Associate State Climatologist
149 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-513-2101
Email: aaron_sims@ncsu.edu

Originally from Raleigh, Aaron Sims joined the State Climate Office of NC as an environmental meteorologist in 2004. He is interested in furthering the applied climate research and extension activities of the office. Building off the ECONet program, he plans to continue to maintain this unique high-quality observational dataset and better integrate these data into the research activities of the SCO. His other interests include combining observational and modeling datasets in comprehensive web-based applications and products. Aaron designs, develops, and manages all of the operational modeling systems. These efforts support weather- and climate-impacted sectoral-based applications and are integrated into several online decision support systems. He is involved in continuing to improve the SCO’s operational capabilities and creating new avenues for accessing and distributing environmental data. These environmental systems continue to provide support for extension efforts and serve the broader public as resources for applied weather and climate information in NC and across the Southeast US.



Heather Dinon Aldridge

Heather Dinon Aldridge

Interim Assistant Director / Assistant State Climatologist
153 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-513-0244
Email: heather_aldridge@ncsu.edu

Heather is a native New Englander, growing up close to Boston and attending Plymouth State University where she received a B.S. in Meteorology in May 2008. She then ventured to North Carolina to pursue an M.S. in Atmospheric Science from North Carolina State University and graduated in May 2011. During her graduate studies, she explored climate variability for crop management in the Southeast US and really embraced applied climate research through her interactions with the Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC). She also developed a decision support tool with reference evapotranspiration estimates, which was adapted for SECC’s open source version of their decision support system, AgroClimate.

In August 2011, she started working as an Applied Climatologist for the State Climate Office and currently leads the office’s interactions with the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation Project, or PINEMAP. Her main duties on this project include developing a decision support system for forest landowners, presenting climate information and the impacts to forest systems through written and oral communication, and providing climate data to support PINEMAP researchers. Heather also has a passion for outreach and is currently serving as the co-state coordinator for NC CoCoRaHS, a volunteer network of precipitation observers.



Ashley Hiatt

Ashley Hiatt

Applied Meteorologist
145 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-515-1440
Email: ashley_hiatt@ncsu.edu

Ashley Hiatt was born in Burlington, NC. In 2005, she received a B.S. in Meteorology at NCSU, with a minor in statistics. Ashley became an employee of the SCO after graduation, and was initially involved in creating statistical evaluation tools of the SCO's operational model. She has also researched climate change in NC for the Global Climate Change Commission, and worked to expand the CRONOS database to include data from various water sites (streamflow, groundwater, reservoir, etc.) across the Southeast. Ashley's main duties are to maintain the SCO website, develop decision-based support tools for climate-sensitive communities, and assist in data retrieval services. In the future, Ashley hopes to continue work with state agencies and institutions in developing science applications.



Sean Heuser

Sean Heuser

ECONet Manager
143 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-515-0411
Email: spheuser@ncsu.edu

Sean Heuser was born in Raleigh, NC. He received a B.S in Atmospheric Science with a minor in Mathematics from UNC-Asheville in 2005. He then completed a M.S. in Atmospheric Science from NC State in 2010. Sean's masters work involved modeling the effects of land use with regards to the glacial mass at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Today, Sean helps maintain the North Carolina ECONet stations as well as updating the quality control procedures for all data coming into the SCO. Furthermore, Sean is now helping with the National Mesonet Program in updating metadata for all ECONet stations. In the future, Sean hopes to begin development of regional seasonal forecasts for North Carolina and the southeastern US.



John McGuire

John McGuire

Applied Meteorologist and Environmental Data Manager
147 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-515-0412
Email: jamcguir@ncsu.edu

John joined the State Climate Office (SCO) in 2009 as an Applied Meteorologist and Web Developer. Some of his early projects included developing and optimizing weather-based products for the SCO and the NOAA Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC). In 2018 John added the role of the Environmental Data Manager, where he is currently responsible for overseeing all meteorological databases, environmental datasets and services managed by the SCO. Some of his more recent projects include web development work for SERCC's Climate Perspectives, data quality control monitoring interfaces, the SCO Weather Map interfaces, gridded data visualization, and mobile website development. Currently, John is working on the creation of a new application programming interface (API) for accessing State Climate Office data and development web services for water and weather data for the NC Division of Water Quality.

John has a B.S. in Meteorology (2008) and a M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences (2013), both from NC State. His master's research focused on weather model data assimilation and freeze risk associated with cold-air drainage in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina. Originally from Chicago, John grew up in Cary where he currently lives with his wife and twin daughters.



Rebecca Cumbie

Rebecca Cumbie Ward

Extension Climatologist
151 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-513-2444
Email: rvcumbie@ncsu.edu

Rebecca is a native to North Carolina and grew up in the town of Newport, not far from the coast. There she experienced a wide variety of weather, from hurricanes to snowstorms, and developed an interest in North Carolina’s unique weather and climate. After earning B.S. Degrees in Meteorology and Applied Mathematics from NC State University in 2011, Rebecca began pursuing a M.S. in Atmospheric Science. In 2013 Rebecca began working for the NC State Climate Office as an Extension Climatologist, and in 2014 she obtained her M.S. Degree. In fall 2017, she began pursuing a PhD in Learning and Teaching STEM Education, with a concentration in Science Education.

Most of Rebecca’s work is split between two areas: drought and education. She researches ways to monitor and measure drought using both objective and subjective means. She is also a member of the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council and participates in weekly technical team calls. As the outreach coordinator for the State Climate Office, Rebecca leads numerous educational outreach events, both at the State Climate Office and in other areas of the state. Understanding how North Carolina’s weather and climate influences the various sectors within the state, such as agriculture and natural resources, and sharing this knowledge are some of the things Rebecca finds most enjoyable about her work with the NC SCO.



Nathan Parker

Nathan Parker

Systems Programmer / Analyst
135 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-513-0927
Email: nwparker@ncsu.edu

Born in New Bern, NC, Nathan was raised in Albuquerque, NM, where he received his BBA from the University of New Mexico in 2007. Nathan moved to Raleigh in 2008 after accepting a position with North Carolina State University. He works with both the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences as well as the State Climate Office doing computer infrastructure support. Nathan strives to contribute to the goals and aspirations of each department by providing quality support for both educational and research needs. His job duties for the State Climate Office are to ensure that the servers that are used to serve our resources are operating efficiently while working to ensure all the products we use are available and up to date.



Corey Davis

Corey Davis

Applied Climatologist
141 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-513-1390
Email: cndavis@ncsu.edu

Corey is a lifelong North Carolina resident originally from the Triad town of Kernersville. In 2009, Corey received his B.S. in Meteorology with a minor in Journalism from NC State, and in 2014, he received his M.S. in Atmospheric Science from NC State after studying fire risk climatology and predictability in North Carolina. Since joining the SCO in 2008, Corey has developed a number of web products including the Fire Weather Intelligence Portal, contributed to the SCO's Climate Blog and other outreach activities, and researched the influence of global climate patterns on North Carolina's weather. Corey joined the SCO staff as an Applied Climatologist in 2014 and will continue developing web tools such as the decision support system for the PINEMAP project and helping the SCO in its science communication and outreach efforts.



Darrian Bertrand

Darrian Bertrand

Applied Climatologist
137 Research III Building, Centennial Campus
Box 7236, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7236
Telephone: 919-513-7065
Email: dmbertra@ncsu.edu

Darrian is a native Oklahoman and grew up in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa. She received a B.S. in Meteorology with minors in mathematics and GIS from the University of Oklahoma in 2015 and a M.S. in Geography in 2017, also from OU. During her graduate studies, she used statistically downscaled climate projections to analyze the future frequency of heavy rainfall and severe drought events in the south-central U.S. Other studies she has completed include a fire weather climatology of prescribed fire in the south-central U.S. and a visual drought scale. She is currently an Applied Climatologist at the SCO, working on products for the Fire Weather Intelligence Portal and assessing wet bulb globe temperature in relation to heat-related illness.



Aurelia Baca

Aurelia Baca

Research Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056
Email: adbaca@ncsu.edu

Aurelia was born in Santa Monica, California and grew up in Cary, North Carolina. Aurelia graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a bachelor's of science in Atmospheric Sciences and a minor in mathematics. She recently completed her Master's in Climate Change and Society at North Carolina State University. Currently a climate specialist for the USDA Southeast Regional Climate Hub, Aurelia is researching how climate variability impacts working lands and develop relevant tools to assist land managers.



Veronica Fall

Veronica Fall

Research Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056
Email: vmfall@ncsu.edu

Veronica Fall grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. She received a B.S. in Meteorology from Valparaiso University in 2013, followed by a M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 2017. Veronica is currently a student in the Professional Science Master's degree program in Climate Change and Society at NC State. She is working on a project partnered with NCSU's Bio and Ag Engineering Department to develop a web-based decision tool to assist with determining agricultural pond size requirements.



Kelley DePolt

Kelley DePolt

Undergraduate Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056

Kelley is originally from Massachusetts, but has lived in Kentucky and Florida before finally moving to North Carolina. She is a rising sophomore pursuing a bachelor's degree in Meteorology at North Carolina State University. Currently, her work at the State Climate Office includes updating station metadata for the CRONOS database by cross-referencing the Historical Observing Metadata Repository (HOMR). After finishing her degree, Kelley hopes to continue to explore the field of research while attending graduate school.



Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Undergraduate Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056

Andrew was born in Greenville, South Carolina and grew up in Clayton, North Carolina. He is currently a Junior majoring in Meteorology at North Carolina State University. After completion of his undergraduate career, Andrew plans to continue studying meteorology in graduate school. His favorite weather phenomenon is lightning, and he hopes to conduct research on the formation and occurrence of lightning at some point in his career. Over the summer, Andrew will be undertaking a project analyzing the different soil classes found in North Carolina in addition to gathering local streamflow data in the field. He will also conduct a controlled laboratory experiment comparing the performance of various soil moisture sensors in an effort to improve quality control of soil moisture data that is collected at the State Climate Office.



Anisha Gupta

Anisha Gupta

Undergraduate Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056

Anisha grew up in Cary, NC and is a rising sophomore majoring in Statistics at North Carolina State University. Her current work at the State Climate Office entails analyzing the accuracy of a mathematical model that estimates black globe temperatures through comparison against data from select ECONet stations across North Carolina. After graduation, Anisha hopes to continue studying statistics and applying the methods of data analysis to scientific research.



Anthony Charlonis

Anthony Charlonis

Undergraduate Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056

Anthony grew up in Charlotte, NC and is now a Senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology and a double minor in Computer Science and Environmental Science at North Carolina State University. Currently, his work at the State Climate Office includes developing a Growing Degree Day tool for North Carolina. After finishing his degree, Anthony hopes to commission in the United States Air Force as a Weather Officer.



Mike Rehnberg

Mike Rehnberg

Undergraduate Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056

Mike grew up in Shelby, North Carolina and is currently a rising junior in Meteorology at NC State University. He is currently a student intern and is researching correlations between severe weather events and fatalities in North Carolina. Upon graduating from NC State, Mike plans to travel abroad for graduate school and pursue an applied research career in aerosol science.