Media Briefing:
The Role of Climate in Heat, Fire & Floods

Panelist Biographies

Dr. Timothy Brown

Timothy Brown.png

Timothy Brown is a Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Brown also is graduate faculty in the University of Nevada, Reno Atmospheric Science Program and current affiliate at the Monash University School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Science Faculty in Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

His primary academic interests include wildland fire-climate-weather connections; the wildfire environment; applications development for wildland fire management planning, decision-making and policy; and the interface between science and decision-making. He is Director of the Western Regional Climate Center and the Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) at DRI.

Dr. Stephanie Herring


Stephanie is a scientist and senior advisor with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Center for Weather and Climate in Boulder, Colorado, where she specializes in extreme weather and weather-related events and climate services. She is the lead editor of the annual Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society report, Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective, which is aimed at understanding the physical drivers behind extremes and how risk exposure to extremes events is changing over time. Before coming to NOAA, she was an American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Chemical Society Congressional Policy Fellow, working for Congressman Edward Markey on the American Clean Energy and Security Act as well as on climate change and public health, energy and environmental issues.

Herring completed postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health in the malaria and vector research laboratory. She received her doctorate from Yale University in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and holds a B.A. in biochemistry from Swarthmore College

Dr. Marshall Shepherd


Marshall is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia and director of the university’s Atmospheric Sciences Program. A past president of the American Meteorological Society, he has focused his research on hydrometeorological extremes, urban climate, and the intersections of atmospheric sciences with society. He uses remote sensing, weather-climate modeling, and risk-vulnerability approaches to address challenges such as urban flooding, energy-food-water nexus, weather-climate risk, and communication-warnings. A strong proponent and practitioner of science communication and public engagement, he also serves as host of the Weather Channel’s award-winning show and podcast Weather Geeks, is a contributor to Forbes magazine, and co-authored a children’s book on weather and weather instruments.

Marshall earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in physical meteorology from Florida State University (becoming the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from the Meteorology Department) and served as a research meteorologist at the NASA Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Rick Weiss (moderator)


Rick Weiss is the Director of SciLine.

He has more than three decades of experience in journalism and public affairs, including 15 years as a science reporter at the Washington Post and more than a decade leading strategic communications and media relations activities around issues of science and technology in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. While at The Post, Rick wrote more than 1,000 news and feature articles about advances in science and technology and their economic, societal, and ethical implications. His awards include the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing’s Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting and the National Association of Science Writers’ Science and Society Award.

Rick earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a license in medical technology with the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife Natalie Angier, the New York Times science writer and author.


About This Media Briefing

Extreme weather is on the rise. But to what extent are these record-breaking events directly related to climate change? The emerging science of climate attribution is revolutionizing scientists’ understanding of the relationships between various extreme weather events and climate change. Our August 13 panel discussed the latest findings in climate attribution science and provided tips for reporters on how to communicate accurately about these complex relationships.