Dr. Renee McPherson

EPSCoR Research Focus: 
Forecasting System * Decision-Support System
Associate Professor
Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability
University of Oklahoma
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B.S. | Mathematics and Meteorology with Honors | University of Wisconsin-Madison | 1987
M.S. | Meteorology | University of Oklahoma | 1991
Ph.D. | Meteorology | University of Oklahoma | 2003
Research Interests: 

Dr. Renee McPherson serves as the OU lead researcher on the Oklahoma EPSCoR Adapting Socio-Ecological Systems to Increased Climate Variability RII award.  

Her research foci include land-air-vegetation interactions, regional and applied climatology, surface observing systems, meteorology, and societal and ecological impacts of climate variability and change.  She teaches classes in climatology and physical geography, advise graduate students in their research and education, and mentor undergraduate students who are interested in research opportunities.

Her research on the Oklahoma EPSCoR project addresses the following research objectives:

  • Development of a fully integrated socio-ecological modeling and prediction system that is designed to integrate qualitative and quantitative approaches and to systematically examine insights from both disciplinary and integrated perspectives;
  • Development of a pilot decision-support system that provides researchers, educators and practitioners with data, models, tools and scenarios that are needed to explore and understand the social and ecological impacts of management and policy decisions.  

As Director of Research, Dr. McPherson oversees the consortium-related activities of the South Central Climate Science Center, as a co-governing partner of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Activities include coordination with USGS Headquarters, the USGS Director and Consortium (Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Louisiana State University, and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory), the six Landscape Conservation Cooperatives within the region, and seven other Climate Science Centers.

She is also an adjunct associate professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and member of the American Association of State Climatologists. She serves on the AMS Commission on the Weather and Climate Enterprise and AMS Water Resources Committee. 

Dr. McPherson was co-recipient of the Innovations in American Government Award (Harvard University), Technical Innovation Award (Oklahoma Public Works Association), and several AMS awards.

Much of Dr. McPherson's career has been devoted to directing activities at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey (http://climate.ok.gov), including successful implementation, maintenance, and innovation of the Oklahoma Mesonet (http://weather.ok.gov).  As State Climatologist, Dr. McPherson conducts research and develops research programs that are relevant to the historical and future climate of Oklahoma.  Although some of the research is focused on basic climatological processes, many studies examine the applications of climatic knowledge to weather- and climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, energy, and water resources.

Pictured (above/right): Dr. Renee McPherson poses in Croatia, where she recently worked on a research project

Teaching Responsibilities: 
GEOG 1114: Introduction to Physical Geography
GEOG 4273: Regional Climatology
GEOG 4970: Applied Climatology
Research Assistants Funded by EPSCoR: 

Aparna Bamzai (Staff)
Dept. of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma 
Research Focus:  Working on South Central Climate Science Center initiatives in conjunction with OK NSF EPSCoR.
Email:  aparna@ou.edu


Xiamoning Hu (Staff)
School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
Research Focus:  Generating a high-resolution regional climate simulation, with focus on the Great Plains; diagnosing the model precipitation bias, particularly in terms of the location of precipitation.
Email:  xhu@ou.edu


Toni Klemm (Graduate Student)
Dept. of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma 
Research Focus:  Studying agricultural decision-making to improve seasonal climate forecasts for winter wheat producers in the U.S. winter wheat belt (TX, OK, KS, CO).
Email:  toni@ou.edu


Kim Merryman (Staff)
South Central Climate Science Center, University of Oklahoma
Research Focus:  Facilitating planning and organization of outreach initiatives, including grant-writing workshops and presentations for Native American tribes in our region and New Mexico.
Email:  kmerryman@ou.edu


Esther Mullens (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
South Central Climate Science Center, University of Oklahoma
Research Focus:  Developing datasets for freezing precipitation; participating in outreach, including hosting a booth at the EPSCoR Women in Science Conference.
Email:  esther.white@ou.edu


Derek Rosendahl (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
South Central Climate Science Center, University of Oklahoma
Research Focus:  Assessing uncertainties in the Global Climate Model (GCM) future climate change projections to inform regional climate modeling and local/regional impacts research; managing climate data for EPSCoR and other researchers across the South-Central US.
Email:  drose@ou.edu


April Taylor (Staff)
South Central Climate Science Center, Chickasaw Nation
Research Focus:  Assisting with and participating in outreach, including the Climate Science Grant Writing Workshops for Tribal Professionals, Tribal College Conference Series on Climate Change, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Jones Academy STEM camp, and developing a guidebook for Working in Indian Country.
Email:  april.taylor@chickasaw.net

Key Publications: 
  • Klockow, K. E., and R. A. McPherson, 2013: A spatio-temporal analysis of tornado warning response: Potential implications of Warn-on-Forecast. Appl. Geog., in review.
  • Klockow, K. E., and R. A. McPherson, 2013: Tornado risk perception in space and time. Wea., Clim. Soc., in review.
  • Klockow, K. E., R. Peppler, and R. A. McPherson, 2013: Tornado folk science in Alabama and Mississippi in the 27 April 2011 tornado outbreak. GeoJournal, in review.
  • McPherson, R. A., 2013: Vegetation-atmosphere interactions: Impacts of Oklahoma’s winter wheat crop on temperature and moisture fields. J. Appl. Meteor. Clim., in review.
  • Qiao, L., Y. Hong, R. McPherson, M. Shafer, S. Chen, D. Williams, D. Gade, and D. Lilly, 2013: Climate change and hydrological response in the trans-state Oologah Lake watershed – Evaluating dynamically downscaled NARCCAP and statistically downscaled CMIP3 simulations with VIC model. Water Resour. Manag., in review.
  • McPherson, R. A., C. Fiebrich, K. C. Crawford, R. L. Elliott, J. R. Kilby, D. L. Grimsley, J. E. Martinez, J. B. Basara, B. G. Illston, D. A. Morris, K. A. Kloesel, S. J. Stadler, A. D. Melvin, A.J. Sutherland, and H. Shrivastava, 2007: Statewide monitoring of the mesoscale environment: A technical update on the Oklahoma Mesonet. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 24, 301–321. (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JTECH1976.1)
  • Fiebrich, C. A., D. L. Grimsley, R. A. McPherson, K. A. Kesler, and G. R. Essenberg, 2006: The value of routine site visits in managing and maintaining quality data from the Oklahoma Mesonet. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 23, 406–416. (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JTECH1852.1)
Curriculum Vitae: