Benjamin Toms

  • Program Year: 1
  • Academic Institution: Colorado State University
  • Field of Study: Atmospheric Science
  • Academic Advisor: Susan van den Heever
  • Practicum(s): Practicum Not Yet Completed
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Civil Engineering, and B.S. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 2016

Summary of Research

Tropical atmospheric waves influence weather across the globe -- but pinpointing their origins and cross-scale interactions has proven difficult. A few key questions have arisen: How are deep convective clusters linked to tropical intraseasonal variability? Can we successfully simulate tropical intraseasonal oscillations down to the cloud-scale, or is the tropical atmosphere chaotic and indeterministic? Many tools can be used to answer these questions, although I am currently using cloud-resolving numerical weather models to simulate a specific type of tropical wave: the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

As I progress throughout my PhD, I will branch out from PDE-solving models and include machine learning and nonlinear dynamical analysis in my research.


Toms, B. A., J. M. Tomaszewski, D. D. Turner, and S. E. Koch, 2017: Analysis of a lower-tropospheric gravity wave train using direct and indirect measurement systems. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 2791-2812,

Toms, B. A., J. B. Basara, and Y. Hong, 2017: Usage of existing meteorological data networks for parameterized road ice formation modeling. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 56, 1959-1976,


National Awards:

(2017) DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
(2016) American Meteorological Society Graduate Fellowship - Lockheed Martin Sponsorship
(2016) National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention
(2015) Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Scholar
(2015) American Meteorological Society Named Scholar - Orville Family Endowment
(2015) Barry M. Goldwater Scholar
(2014) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Fellow

University Honors:

(2017) Mark and Kandi McCasland Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Paper
(2016) Letzeiser Honorable Mention - OU's 13 Most Outstanding Men
(2016) Outstanding Senior in Civil Engineering - OU CEES
(2014/2015) OU School of Meteorology Undergraduate Academic Achievement Award

Presentation Awards:

(2017) 1st Place Oral Presentation; 2017 AMS Meeting: 33rd Conf. on Environmental Information Processing Technologies
(2016) Outstanding Poster Presentation Honorable Mention; 3rd Conference on Atmospheric Biogeosciences
(2015) Best Student Presentation Award; 2015 AMS Meeting: 10th Symposium on Societal Applications
(2014) Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation; NWA 39th Annual Meeting