South Central CASC University Director Renee McPherson receives AMS Charles E. Anderson Award

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Dr. Renee McPherson, University Director for the South Central CASC, has been selected to receive the Charles E. Anderson Award by the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Renee McPherson, University Director for the South Central CASC, has been selected to receive the Charles E. Anderson Award by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

The award is given to individuals who exemplify “extraordinary, sustained efforts to broaden participation of traditionally underrepresented individuals in STEM research and education, particularly women and Native Americans.

Renee McPherson

Throughout more than three decades of her career, Dr. McPherson has worked to create opportunities for students, researchers, and other staff from under-represented minorities. She infuses the principles of inclusivity and equity into her daily life and into every new initiative that she undertakes, creating diverse spaces in which all participants can contribute and thrive as equals.

During her time at the South Central CASC, Dr. McPherson has established a number of programs to support the education and training of students and researchers, including an undergraduate internship program for students from minorities underrepresented in STEM fields. These students are provided the opportunity to spend three weeks traveling across the South Central U.S. visiting university campuses and field locations to observe the direct impacts of climate variability and change on landscapes, ecosystems, and people. In addition, Dr. McPherson has initiated a bi-annual weeklong training for early career researchers, hired underrepresented students to complete capstone research projects for the South Central CASC, established two scholarship programs at the University of Oklahoma where she is based, and hosted multiple underrepresented students through the National Weather Center’s NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates. She has also worked to initiate dozens of new training and outreach activities for the South Central’s native and indigenous communities.

Dr. McPherson will receive her award at the 99th AMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

Biography

Dr. Renee A. McPherson is Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma and University Director of the SC CASC. She oversees the Consortium-related activities of the SC CASC, as a co-governing partner of the USGS.

Dr. McPherson holds a B.S. in Mathematics and B.S, M.S., and Ph.D. in Meteorology. Her research includes regional and applied climatology, mesoscale meteorology, severe local storms, land-air-vegetation interactions, surface observing systems, applied meteorology, and societal and ecological impacts of climate variability and change. She teaches classes in climatology and physical geography, advises graduate students in their research and education, and mentors undergraduate students who are interested in research opportunities. Formerly, she was State Climatologist of Oklahoma and Acting Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. She has been principal or co-investigator on over $40 million of grants and contracts from federal and state agencies, universities, private companies, or non-governmental organizations. She was co-recipient of the Innovations in American Government Award (Harvard University) and Environmental Achievement Award (U.S. Department of the Interior), and she received the Vice President for Research Norman Campus Outstanding Research Engagement Award.