The High Plains Regional Climate Center has an experienced team of climatologists, technical staff members, interns, and graduate students that are all committed to serving the region. On this page you can learn more about the hardworking personnel that are on the center's team.

Rezaul Mahmood


Phone: (402) 472-6166
Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Rezaul

B.S. University of Dhaka
M.S. University of Dhaka
M.A. State University of New York, Albany, NY
Ph.D. University of Oklahoma


Dr. Rezaul Mahmood is a Professor in the School of Natural Resources and specializes in climate and weather. He is also the Director of the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC). Rezaul has received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and joined UNL in 2018. He has published nearly 75 peer-reviewed papers in highly respected journals. Rezaul’s research focuses on meso-scale meteorology, climatology and observations, regional climate, modeling atmospheric impacts of land use land cover change, modeling impacts of soil moisture on weather and climate, and air quality meteorology. Before joining HPRCC and UNL he was a professor at Western Kentucky University (2001-2018) and provided leadership in development of the Kentucky Mesonet, WKU’s High Performance Computing Center, and Meteorology Program. His research has been funded by the NSF, NOAA, USDA-ARS, and others. Since 2009, Rezaul has been the Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘Earth Interactions’, jointly published by the American Meteorological Society (AMS), American Geophysical Union (AGU), and American Association of Geographers (AAG). Rezaul was a member of the National Climate Assessment and Development Committee (NCADAC) during 2011-2014 and guided completion of the 3rd National Climate Assessment Report. Right after finishing his PhD., Rezaul was a postdoctoral research scientist at the HPRCC between 1999 and 2001.

Climatology Staff

Natalie Umphlett

Regional Climatologist

Phone: (402) 472-6764
Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Natalie

B.S. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
M.S. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Ms. Umphlett serves as the climate services manager and public liaison for the Center. She works closely with stakeholders and partners from across the region on climate monitoring for enhanced decision making. Ms. Umphlett is currently serving a three-year term on the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Applied Climatology and is a Great Plains Fellow. Additionally, she is pursuing a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences with a specialization in Climate Assessment and Impacts here, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Crystal Stiles

Applied Climatologist/Assistant Geoscientist

Phone: (402) 202-3320
Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Crystal

B.S. Western Kentucky University
M.S. Western Kentucky University
Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Dr. Stiles directs the HPRCC's stakeholder engagement program for the High Plains region and surrounding areas. She coordinates with regional climate partners, evaluates climate data and information needs for stakeholders in the region, identifies and exercises opportunities to grow awareness and use of HPRCC's climate data and information, and provides expertise and assistance on National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) projects related to Drought Early Warning Systems. In particular, Dr. Stiles has engaged with several Native American tribes in the High Plains region on capacity-building projects that use climate information to enhance on-reservation decision making.

Paul Flanagan

Postdoctoral Researcher

Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Paul

B.S. Florida State University
M.S. University of Oklahoma
Ph.D. University of Oklahoma


Dr. Paul Flanagan is a post-doctoral research associate for the HPRCC completing various research tasks related to land-atmosphere interactions, land-use land-cover impacts on climate and weather, and Great Plains precipitation variability. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and joined the HPRCC in 2019.

Technical Staff

Shellie Hanneman

Data Quality Technician

Phone: (402) 472-6706
Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Shellie

Mrs. Hanneman is responsible for quality control monitoring of incoming data, assisting in the preparation of data requests, data entry, and the retrieval of climate information.

Jamie Lahowetz

AWDN Manager

Phone: (402) 472-6786
Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Jamie

B.S. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mr. Lahowetz is responsible for the management and development of the Automated Weather Data Network. Many of his tasks include addition and removal of new stations, maintenance of storage and retrieval system, and corrections to current data archive. Mr. Lahowetz stays in contact with state mesonets in order to keep data and specifics of stations up-to-date.

Warren Pettee

Applications Programmer

Phone: (402) 472-8885
Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Warren

B.S. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
M.S. University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Mr. Pettee develops new products for end-users by developing custom software solutions to fit center needs. He works with HPRCC staff to turn research and stakeholder needs into modern tools for end-users. He is also responsible for the development of the HPRCC website.

William Sorensen

Senior Applications/Systems Programmer

Phone: (402) 472-8767
Fax: (402) 472-2946
Contact Bill

B.S. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mr. Sorensen is responsible for development and maintenance of software for acquiring, managing, and distributing climate data. He is also involved in development of climate applications and is the HPRCC's representative on the software development team for the Applied Climate Information System project.


Interns are responsible for aiding technical and research staff members in various projects. This includes applied climate research, data processing, and web development. They are also responsible for the preparation of data requests and the retrieval of climate information.

Emily Brown

Gannon Rush

Dalton Van Stratten

Graduate Students

Kierstin Blomberg

PhD. Student

Kierstin's research focuses on the land-atmosphere interactions and land use land cover change and their impacts on weather and climate.

Emilee Lachenmeier

M.S. Student

Emilee's research focuses on the impacts land use/land cover change has on local and regional climate. Specifically, by looking at the 2018 GRAINEX project data and comparing measured site variables from irrigated vs. non-irrigated corn and soybean crop scenarios.

Disclaimer on the Use of Data and Products from the HPRCC

Climate products and tools are developed by the HPRCC and its partner Regional Climate Centers to provide users with a means to routinely access recent weather and climate data. While applied research has demonstrated that the use of such data in decision making can reduce risk and lower a user's cost, it must be pointed out that near-real-time data are preliminary in nature and sometimes contain errors. Although care is taken to remove known errors, it is possible that some data will change after receipt of written records and final quality control steps. Users are therefore forewarned to consider any negative impact that errant data might have on their business and use preliminary data and information at their own risk.

The HPRCC is not responsible for the misuse or abuse of data provided through our services, both online and full-service.

Through use of the data services through the HPRCC website, you automatically agree to the terms of use and disclaimer.