Becoming a climate scientist

I am Palestinian and Lebanese, and I grew up in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Cyprus, and spent most summers in Lebanon with my extended family. I moved to the United States for college, and received my B.S. and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. After two years of conducting climate change research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, I joined the Earth System Science PhD program at Stanford University, working with Dr. Noah Diffenbaugh. My PhD dissertation focused on quantifying the characteristics of extreme precipitation and drought events in observational data and climate model simulations. I then continued on to UC Santa Barbara, where I was a postdoctoral scholar, working with Dr. Samantha Stevenson on the influence of anthropogenic climate change and climate variability on wildfire risk and post-fire hydrologic risk. After Santa Barbara, I received the Advanced Study Program (ASP) Postdoctoral Fellowship and spent two years working with Drs. Clara Deser at NCAR and Jim Hurrell at CSU on extreme fire weather risk under different climate scenarios.

Serving my community

Throughout my career, I have been adamant about serving local and international communities. As an active member of Engineers Without Borders-NCSU, I was part of a team that designed and implemented a water sanitation and collection system for a small school in a remote village in the Bolivian Andes. In graduate school, I focused on encouraging K-12 students to engage in STEM fields. I did so by leading workshops and classes on climate science for multiple outreach events around the San Francisco Bay Area. In Santa Barbara, I have participated in the FUSE program, which hosts an after school workshop to teach middle and high school students about various scientific concepts.

Bits and bobs

During my spare time I love the outdoors and being active by hiking, doing yoga, scuba diving, and walking. I also love word games and I have a daily routine that includes the NYT crossword, NYT Spelling Bee, wordle, waffle, and NYT connections. I enjoy reading murder mysteries and historical fiction, and listening to fictional podcasts. I also love hanging out with the two best and silliest cats in the world, Pesto and Parsley.