Climate Dynamics Alumna Returns as Professor

Dr. Kathy Pigeon riding a bike

In Fall 2014, Dr. Kathy Pegion, who completed a PhD in Climate Dynamics with a dissertation on “Potential Predictability of Tropical Intraseasonal Variability…” in 2007, has joined the AOES faculty as an assistant professor of Climate Dynamics.  Dr. Pegion rejoins the department after working as a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a joint institute of NOAA and University of Colorado.

Dr. Pegion remembers that “One thing that I loved as a graduate student is the dynamic and collaborative environment amongst Climate Dynamics faculty” and hopes that “current students will benefit as much as I did from such a great environment.”  She remarks that, “The biggest differences since I graduated are how much the program has grown and that the program is now located on campus, both of which I see as positive changes.”

Dr. Pegion’s research is aimed at aspects of the climate system that may be predictable on timescales of 2-weeks to a few years.  This includes extending predictions of El Nino and La Nina to longer lead times using information from precursors.  Other research of Dr. Pegion is aimed at understanding predictability at weeks 2-4 and improving predictions. This research includes work with the American Multi-model Ensemble project, a collaboration among several national laboratories and universities to improve climate prediction.

Dr. Pegion earned a BS in Meteorology and Computer Science, and an MS in Meteorology, from Florida State University.  She is interested in how scientific results are utilized by experts in other fields.  “The biggest challenges are that the kinds of climate information that are most relevant to people and decision makers are often the most difficult to predict (e.g. local, regional, extremes).  How can we provide useful information even in low predictability situations?”