Staff & Students


Aaron Sims

Aaron Sims

Interim Director / Associate State Climatologist
151 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 Climate Office as an environmental meteorologist in 2004. Aaron designs, develops, and manages all of the computing infrastructure and modeling systems. Aaron is always striving to improve our operational capabilities and continues to develop in-house model evaluation tools. He is engaged in the development and implementation of quality control procedures and also aids our instrumentation meteorologists in ECONet site selection, installation, and maintenance. He is continually working with other staff members and students to develop new applications for agriculture and other weather-sensitive sectors. Aaron is also working to explore and build new avenues for accessing and distributing environmental data.

 



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
137 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 Web Developer
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 was born in Chicago and grew up in Raleigh. In May 2008, he graduated from NC State with a B.S. in Meteorology with a mathematics minor. Hired in January 2009, John's primary role for the State Climate Office is developing and optimizing weather-based products for the SCO and the NOAA Southeast Regional Climate Center, with a heavy involvement with database, website, and system management. He also assists instrumentation meteorologists with ECONet maintenance. John's day-to-day activities includes researching, developing, and supporting server-side and client-side products designed to help other staff, students, researchers and the public. In December 2013, John received his M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from NC State, where his research focused on data assimilation and freeze risk associated with cold-air drainage in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina.

Some of his recent projects include SERCC's Climate Perspectives, data quality control monitoring interfaces, new CRONOS web mapping interfaces, gridded data visualization and mobile development. In the past, John has worked at the SCO as an undergraduate researcher creating a sea surface climatology, evaluating the peanut disease advisory product with model forecast data, and performing an analysis on the intensification of winter coastal storms for the 2005 and 2006 seasons.





Rebecca Cumbie

Rebecca Cumbie Ward

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

Rebecca Cumbie grew up in the town of Newport on the coast of North Carolina. 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. Much of her current work focuses on understanding and measuring drought. Of note, she developed an operational, high-resolution Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) product based on radar-derived precipitation estimates to measure drought for the contiguous US. The resolution of this product is approximately 5km and has the ability to capture significant spatial variation in drought severity. She also is a member of the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council and participates in weekly technical team calls.

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 is one of the things Rebecca finds most enjoyable about her work with the NC SCO. Rebecca also interacts with the public daily by answering phone calls or emails from people interested in obtaining weather data or learning more about North Carolina’s climate. Additionally, she helps give tours of the State Climate Office and nearby ECONet stations as well as assisting in routine maintenance to ECONet stations.





Nathan Parker

Nathan Parker

Technology Support Specialist
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.





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.

 





Kelley DePolt

Kelley DePolt

Undergraduate Assistant

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

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.

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Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Undergraduate Assistant

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

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.

 





Karl Schneider

Karl Schneider

Undergraduate Assistant

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

Karl grew up in Raleigh and is now an NC State senior studying Applied Mathematics and Statistics. He enjoys working with data from a variety of domains, including climate and weather, and agrees with statistician Dr. John Tukey who stated that ‚Äúthe best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone‚Äôs backyard.‚ÄĚ His research evaluates community-based drought monitoring reports and supports Rebecca Ward's work on high-resolution gridded drought indices.

 





Lexia Williams

Lexia Williams

Undergraduate Assistant

130 Research III Building
Telephone: 919-515-3056
Email: lwillia9@ncsu.edu

Lexia was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. Currently a Senior, she is majoring in Meteorology and is planning on continuing her education on tropical meteorology during Graduate School. Lexia’s two projects include analyzing daily Emergency Department visits with their corresponding heat index across North Carolina in comparison to modeled Emergency Department visits along with comparing NDFD and RTMA/URMA forecast temperature and relative humidity to calculate daily maximum heat index values across the southeast to determine forecast accuracy.

 





Lexia Williams

Alex Mitchell

Undergraduate Assistant

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

Alex grew up in Ahoskie, NC and is currently a rising senior studying Meteorology at North Carolina State University. Currently, his work at the State Climate Office includes aiding in the development of a new climate overview page and exploring different ways to convert hourly cloud cover observations into solar radiation values for the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS). After finishing his degree, Alex hopes to continue exploring the field of research for tropical meteorology while attending graduate school..

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