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Welcome to the A&GS News Site!

Below you will find stories highlighting our college's student, staff, and faculty accomplishments.

May 29, 2020

A&GS Unveils New Online M.S. Program


Geographic technologies are revolutionizing the way business, science, and government policy is carried out. If you are looking to enter this growing field or looking to gain a competitive edge, we have exciting news to share with you. We are now offering our M.S. in Geospatial Technology in an online, accelerated format that can be finished in as little as 18 months. This program will prepare you for geospatial technology-related career opportunities in fields as diverse as agriculture, public zoning, ecology, and financial services. If you would like to learn more about the program, please visit https://ougeospatialonline.com/

May 22, 2020

A&GS Spring 2020 Convocation

Congratulations to all of our 2020 A&GS Graduates! Their hard work and dedication are inspiring and we look forward to staying in contact with them! You can celebrate with them and see virtual commencement by clicking the button below:

Virtual Commencement 2020

Special congratulations to Maya Henderson (BA in ES with Special Distinction, 4.0, spring 2020) who was invited to join PE-ET. This is a big honor and very few A&GS students have ever been asked to joining this prestigious group.

New Requirements for DGES B.S. Degrees

We would like to announcement the new course requirements for Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability (DGES) Bachelor of Science degrees. If you would like more information on the recent changes to these requirements, please contact Jamie Steele via email: jamie@ou.edu

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Bluestein Awarded New NSF Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Howie Bluestein on his 2-year grant to further investigate tornado structure! His graduate students, including Ph.D. candidate Dylan Reif, will be able to continue their studies with support from this NSF grant. Two researchers from OU's Advanced Radar Research Center (ARRC), Dr. David Bodine and Dr. Boon Leng Cheong, serve as investigators on the project.

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Martin Awarded NSF Career Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Elinor Martin on receiving an NSF CAREER grant!  Dr. Martin plans to advance the understanding and ability to predict precipitation variability. The educational component of the project  focuses on students' identities to built a diverse, equitable, and inclusive STEM community. Dr. Martin and her team have been awarded nearly one million dollars to fund this project.

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Professor Xuguang Wang Selected to Join WMO Working Group

Congratulations to Dr. Xuguang Wang and her recent invitation to join the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) working group focused on Predictability, Dynamics, and Ensemble Forecasting. This working group promotes research on weather, and the impact it has on society today. Dr. Wang’s expertise in the field of data assimilation and predictability will be a valuable addition to this group.

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SOM Student Awarded Best Student Paper (AMS ARAM 2020) Nathan Lis

Congratulations to Nathan Lis on receiving the Best Student Paper Award at the 2020 AMS Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology! Nathan is a current M.S. student in the School of Meteorology, and is mentored by Dr. Heather Reeves (NOAA) and Dr. Guifu Zhang (OU).

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Faculty Member and Alumnus Droegemeier Named Head of NSF

Congratulations to Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier who was named the National Science Foundation’s acting director effective March 31, 2020. Dr. Droegemeier took a leave of absence from OU's School of Meteorology, on being named Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy by President Trump.

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Meteorology Assistant Professor Scott Salesky Awarded NSF Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Salesky on receiving a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant! His grant supports research focused on turbulence and cloud microphysics in collaboration with Michigan Tech in Houghton, MI. Dr. Salesky and a graduate student plan to spend two summers at Michigan Tech conducting research in a unique cloud laboratory.  NSF has awarded over $220,000 for this research.

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Meteorology Ph.D. Student Receives Provost’s Teaching Award

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Jordan Christian for being recognized as an outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant! His dedication to teaching labs is very evident, and he will receive a $1,000 prize with his certificate award.

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Recent Ph.D. Graduate Xu Lu Wins Provost’s Dissertation Prize

Congratulations to Dr. Xu Lu on being awarded the University of Oklahoma Provost’s Dissertation Prize! Dr. Lu’s work with Dr. Xuguang Wang, involving tropical cyclone prediction using data assimilation, was rewarded with a $1,000 prize as well as an award certificate.

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Ph.D. Students Awarded Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Congratulations to Addison Alford (left) and Jordan Christian (right) on receiving the Mergler Fellowship, and the Bullard Fellowship, respectively. These fellowships mark the final stages of dissertation writing for Ph.D. candidates, and recognize outstanding research projects. Alford is advised by Dr. Mike Biggerstaff, and Christian is advised by Dr. Jeff Basara. These hand-selected candidates will receive financial assistance as they work to finish their dissertation writing.

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OU Awards A&GS Faculty

Dr. Guifu Zhang is a professor in the School of Meteorology, as well as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His primary research focus is radar polarimetry and interferometry for weather quantification and forecasting. Zhang’s colleagues agree that he is a rare breed of theoretical and experimental researcher alike. He has ingenious inspiration when it comes to the design of novel hardware, the implementation of new calibration techniques and the development of new inversion algorithms for these observation systems. Since joining OU in 2005, Zhang has published over 100 referred journal articles with his students and colleagues. His efforts as a PI or Co-PI have resulted in more than $19 million in research funds to the University, and nearly $4 million total personal research expenditures.


Dr. Amy McGovern joined the OU faculty in 2005 in the School of Computer Science and became an adjunct faculty member of the School of Meteorology in 2006. She consistently excels in teaching, service and interdisciplinary research, primarily between Computer Science and Meteorology and was the 2019 recipient of the Vice President for Research Award for Interdisciplinary Scholarship. Her research focuses on developing machine learning and data science techniques that enable scientists to fundamentally transform their understanding and prediction of complex phenomena. She and her students work on improving the prediction of tornadoes, hail, severe wind, aircraft turbulence, floods, and droughts. McGovern has been PI or Co-PI on over $11.5 million of external funding since arriving at OU.

List of All OU Award Recipients

2020 A&GS Student Awards

The tradition of recognizing the academic achievements of students majoring in geography, geographic information science, environmental sustainability, and meteorology began in 1999, when the first awards celebration took place in the college.  This annual event formally honors undergraduates and graduate students who have won scholarships, fellowships, or other academic honors during the previous year. 

We are deeply grateful to all our donors and supporters for providing scholarship opportunities to our students.  These funds have a direct and noticeable impact on students’ lives.

Please join us in congratulating our honorees!

List of 2020 Honorees