Featured DRI Graduate Students

Nyssa Perryman, June 2013 Featured DRI Graduate Student

june-featured-gradMeet Nyssa Perryman, a Ph.D. student working in Atmospheric Sciences as a part of the Climate Modeling Team. Her research focus is understanding how global climate models, when transformed and applied to the complex terrain of the Western U.S., characterize atmospheric rivers and their consequential environmental and human impacts.

What brought you to DRI?

I graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Geology, and received my M.S. in Atmospheric Science from Mississippi State University. When looking for a Ph.D. program, I was drawn to the University of Nevada Reno because of its connection to DRI and the supportive network of scientists all collaborating in a research environment.

What are you studying? What research projects are you working on? And who at DRI are you working with?NyssaPerryman-poster-thbNyssa Perryman

I’m a part of the Climate Modeling Team, working primarily with Dr. John Mejia. Our main research goal is to understand how global climate models, when transformed and applied to the complex terrain of the Western U.S., characterize atmospheric rivers and their consequential environmental and human impacts. One major impact associated with these atmospheric rivers is flooding, and we’re working with Dr. Justin Huntington to use climate model datasets in a USGS coupled surface/ground-water flow model for several Western U.S. river basins in order to assess future hydrological conditions.

What are your short-term and long-term goals while at DRI?

In the short-term, I hope to gain the computer modeling experience that will better prepare me for a career in the atmospheric sciences, culminating in my long-term goal of achieving a Ph.D. 

Tell us about yourself. What do you do for fun?

NyssaRunningGroup-thbNyssa with her running groupTo cope with the stress of graduate school, I enjoy reading supernatural novels and running. I’ve run multiple 5Ks, 4 half marathons, and a full marathon. I completed the American Parkway Half in Sacramento this past May, and am now training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco this coming October.

What problem in the world would you like to solve? And if given the chance and unlimited resources, how would you go about solving it?

I think a big issue plaguing all S.T.E.M. fields is the gender divide, and I’m passionate about showing young women that careers in science and math are attainable for them. We need to encourage these young women to not be intimidated by technical equations, so that they will be more likely to pursue fields like atmospheric science and can then voice innovative ideas to help solve the major scientific problems plaguing our planet. 

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