Your Name
Friend's Email Address


Dr. Jeff Trapp Professor of Atmospheric Sciences

Dr. Trapp is a Professor with the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University. Before joining Purdue, he was a research scientist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (through the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies) in Norman, Oklahoma. Four years of his tenure with NSSL were spent as a visiting scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Trapp received his B.S. degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, M.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and Ph.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma. He was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow.

Curriculum Vita (PDF)


Nathan Hitchens Ph.D. Student

I joined the Severe Weather Research Group as a Ph.D. student in the fall of 2006. Before coming to Purdue I studied geography at Ball State University, with a focus on meteorology and climatology. For my M.S. I investigated relationships between atmospheric teleconnections and severe thunderstorms in the United States.

My present research focuses on understanding and characterizing extreme sub-diurnal precipitation events in the Midwestern United States. Extreme events are defined and identified using data from the Hourly Precipitation Dataset, and hourly stage II/IV precipitation data is used with Michael Baldwin's object identification algorithm to gather quantitative characteristics for the systems that produce these events. Once I characterize the systems that produce extreme sub-diurnal precipitation I will use the WRF model to simulate selected events.


Eric Robinson Ph.D. Student

I joined the Severe Weather Research group as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2008 after completing my undergraduate work in Applied Physics at Purdue University. My current interests are climate and severe mesoscale convection. Most of my work in the past has focused on using numerical modeling to understand what severe weather patterns will look like in the future. I have also worked to develop an interface through which forecasters can gain access to high resolution model output that can aide severe weather forecasting. My current research focuses on using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model to compile high resolution climatologies for severe weather events that might include phenomena such as hail, severe winds, and tornadoes. We hope to apply our methodology to output from General Circulation Models (GCMs) in order to better understand what severe weather patterns will be like in the future.

Curriculum Vita (PDF)


Mallie Toth M.S. Student

I joined the Severe Weather Research Group in the fall of 2009 as an M.S. student. My undergraduate work was completed at the University of Virginia where I received my B.S. in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Atmospheric Sciences. My previous research involved radar analysis of mesoscale convective systems in West Africa; my future work will also involve radar analysis of extreme convective events, especially supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes.



Brooke Halvorson M.S., 2006

Brooke (Halvorson) Myer earned a B.S. degree in Synoptic Meteorology from Purdue University in May 2004 and continued her graduate work at Purdue under Dr. Trapp earning a M.S. in Atmospheric Science in August 2006. Brooke's thesis is entitled A Modeling Methodology to Address the Effects of Climate Change on Extreme Convective Storms and final results of this research were published on October 20, 2007 in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. Currently, Brooke is an Air Quality Specialist with August Mack Environmental in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Dustan Wheatley M.S., 2004; Ph.D., 2007

Dusty joined the Severe Weather Research Group as an M.S. student in the summer of 2003. Before coming to Purdue, he studied mathematics at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dusty earned his M.S. degree in 2004, and then continued to complete his in 2007. His dissertation is entitled: The Effect of Mesoscale Heterogeneity on the Initiation and Evolution of Simulated Convective Systems.

Dusty is now a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.


Kent Knopfmeier M.S., 2007

Kent completed his B.S. in Synoptic Meteorology from Purdue University in the spring of 2005. In May 2007, he successfully defended his M.S. thesis entitled: Real-Data and Idealized Simulations of the 4 July 2004 Bow Echo Event. Kent is now a research scienist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.




Karen Kosiba Ph.D., 2009

Karen joined the Severe Storms Research Group as a first year Ph.D. student in the fall of 2003. Prior to attending Purdue University , she earned a B.S. in Physics from Loyola University and a M.S. in Physics from Miami University. Additionally, she earned a M.A.T. from Miami University and holds an Ohio teaching license in Physics and Earth Science.

Karen earned her Ph.D. degree in 2009. Her dissertation is entitled: A Comparison of Radar Observations to Real Data Simulations of Axisymmetric Tornadoes.

Karen is now a senior meteorologist with the Center for Severe Weather Research, Boulder, Colorado.


Feedback | E-mail Webmaster

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 496-6661, E-mail:
© 2010 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university