With the retirement of Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Brian Kerschner is stepping up to temporarily serve as the Illinois State Water Survey’s point person on weather and climate issues while a search is conducted for the new full-time Illinois State Climatologist.
Kerschner has been with the Water Survey since September 2011; he is currently an assistant climatologist and hydrological researcher and previously worked with the Central Analytical Laboratory and the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. He received a master’s degree in geography, with a focus on geographic information systems and climatology, from the University of Delaware in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 2009.
What tasks will you be taking on in this new role?
Kerschner: I am looking forward to increasing and maintaining contact and personal relationships with stakeholders throughout the state, including improving weather readiness and awareness with a focus on social media and online communications. I’m also interested in studying how weather and climate impact the economies of agriculture, fishing, transportation, and tourism in Illinois so stakeholders can have the data they need to make informed and timely decisions.
What are your main research interests?
Kerschner: My main interests are in the climatological history of Illinois and looking at what past weather data can tell us about the future, using GIS to map weather phenomena and data, mesoscale meteorology, and severe thunderstorm research and trends.
What is interesting about Illinois weather and climate?
Kerschner: I am most excited about the wide range of weather Illinois experiences throughout the year—from lake effect snow, blizzards, and sub-zero temperatures to severe weather including tornadoes and hail to heat waves, extreme droughts, and flooding events. There is always something interesting going on in Illinois weather and climate.
Where can people find out more about Illinois’ weather and climate?
Kerschner: The Illinois State Climatologist website at go.illinois.edu/climatologist is a good source of information and data. People can also follow the State Climatologist on Twitter at @ILClimatologist. And of course people can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 333-0729.