Roger Riggin (Ph.D., INES)
I am a native of Crisfield, MD (The Crab Capital of the World), a small coastal community along the southwestern fringe of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, well known for both seafood and sunsets. I’ve been fascinated with extreme weather events for as long as I can remember. The cult classic “Twister” (1996) definitely piqued my interest. Ironically, I saw my first tornado the same evening I saw it at our local theater. My mom has often reiterated that my career path was set in stone that night. Some of other, more notable, weather-related events that I’ve lived through include: Hurricanes Floyd, Isabel, Sandy, Snowmageddon 2010, Jan 3-5, 2018 Bomb Cyclone, and the June 29, 2012 North American Derecho.
I began amateur storm chasing after I got my driver’s license, albeit I had no clue what I was doing back then. Still, I had a lot of luck (largely attributed to optimal vantage points along the Chesapeake Bay) which further-enhanced my interests in pursuing a formal meteorological education. It took a while to build up the confidence and skills needed to tackle the advanced-math and physics pre-requisites, but I final achieved my academic goals in May of 2020, receiving my B.S. in Geography (GIS and Meteorology Tracks) from Salisbury University (SU). During my time at SU, I discover that I had a particular interest in convective storm dynamics and also enjoyed conducting research. Accordingly, I decided to further my education, ending up here at Charlotte in the Fall of 2020 for my M.S. in Earth Science. Under Dr. Davenport’s supervision, I conducted numerous idealized simulations of supercell thunderstorms that interacted with the Appalachians Mountains for my M.S. Thesis. These simulations were useful to identify terrain-induced environmental heterogeneities that presented attendant impacts on supercell morphology.
Now, I am returning to Charlotte to complete a PhD in the Infrastructure and Environmental Systems (INES) program under Dr. Davenport’s supervision. Specifically, I plan to continue exploring how severe convective storms respond to environmental heterogeneities. My current thoughts include exploring marine-induced heterogeneities from large bodies of water (e.g., the Chesapeake Bay). The Delmarva Peninsula has its own unique microclimate being sandwiched in between the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. There is often substantial weather-related variability occurring on either side of the bay. I hope to use both observational and modeling-based analyses to better understand how this variability influences severe local storms across the Mid-Atlantic region.
Outside of weather, I enjoy traveling, photography, gaming, and finding the best restaurants in town. I prefer to spend my time with family, friends and/or Sadie, my beagle/collie mix. I am a beach bum at heart. However, my time in Charlotte has made me rather fond of the mountains as well.