Please resize your screen in order to view site.

A group of numerous CIWRO researchers conversing during an All-Hands Meeting.

Diversity and Inclusion

The D&I Committee consists of 3 members, who represent the wide range of positions available at CIWRO. Committee members include undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-, mid-, and late-career scientists. CIWRO and the committee are dedicated to the cause of diversity and inclusion, and all CIWRO employees are able to contact a member of the committee at any time to discuss potential issues that they might be facing in the workplace. If a situation arises, the member contacted will make the committee aware of the issue, while keeping the individual's identity confidential. Employees are also able to report items of contention directly to CIWRO's anonymous comment box. All comments are visible solely to the director of CIWRO, Greg McFarquhar. OU also has official reporting platforms: you may report incidents of bias, harassment or discrimination via OU's hotline phone number (844) 428-6531, or at If you ever feel unsafe, threatened, or witness any behaviors from a third party conducive to hostility or endangerment you can call OUPD's emergency line at (405) 325-1911, or for less dangerous situations, OUPD's non-emergency number at (405) 325-2864. More information about contacting OUPD may be found at

The D&I Committee was created in Fall 2018 by soliciting CIWRO volunteers. We aspire to recruit and retain a diverse group of researchers, research associates, administrative staff, and students to create a mutual climate of respect in our workplace. This is critical for our organization to become the best it can be, as such the committee is charged with helping CIWRO to develop diversity and inclusion guidelines, as well as programs that support our commitment to excellence and respect. In this way, we ensure that CIWRO promotes a culture that encourages widespread interactions to express appreciation of all. We will always aim to promote ideas and events furthering the spirit, conversation, and mindsets of diversity and inclusion, to thoroughly appreciate and celebrate our differences.

Meet the Committee

Greg McFarquhar

Q: How did you get into your field?

A: I was studying mathematics and physics as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto when I got a summer job at the end of my second year at Environment Canada studying how the width and speed of motion of a rain/snow boundary evolved over time. That summer I learned that I could apply my knowledge of math and physics to tangible problems of benefit to society, and hence ultimately decided to pursue a Ph.D in cloud physics.

Q: What is it about your job that interests you?

A: My job is my hobby. I love coming to work every day facing new challenges and learning new things. My job is the perfect mix of being able to do research, mentor graduate students, teach, and provide support and long-term direction for CIMMS to accomplish its research goals.

Q: What is one thing you couldn’t live without at work?

A: All of the wonderful employees at CIMMS who make it possible for us to accomplish our mission goals.

Q: Why volunteer for the Diversity & Inclusion committee?

A: I felt it very important to establish a D&I committee in CIMMS. I wanted to make sure that CIMMS is providing a welcoming and all-inclusive environment so that every CIMMS employee feels valued, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, age, background, etc. That is the best way to ensure that we are able to draw from the most qualified candidates to make sure we continue to maintain an excellent staff for accomplishing our mission.

Q: What do diversity and inclusion mean to you?

A: Inclusion means that everyone regardless of their background is welcomed and valued within CIMMS. Diversity means we assemble a group of people with different backgrounds and thoughts within our workplace. Diversity can take on a variety of forms: not only race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, and age, but also the diversity of thought, economic background, personal and family educational background, interests, and many other factors. Studies have proven that assembling a diverse group inevitably leads to faster progress as complementary thoughts and ideas usually allow one to produce a better end solution.

Q: What is the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome in life thus far?

A: I had difficulties finding positions after completing my Ph.D. I applied for countless faculty positions (I think I have been rejected by almost every university in North America, including the first time I applied to Oklahoma!) and received no offers for many years, so was concerned that I would not be able to pursue the career that I was most interested in pursuing.

Q: If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

A: I am doing the perfect job. I would want to do no other job!

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?

A: Leadership means promoting the people around you and letting them develop their careers to the maximum extent possible so they can excel in their positions. A leader provides whatever resources are needed for their counterparts to do their jobs and provide them the freedom to do their job, offering additional feedback when required.

Nusrat Yussouf

Q: What is it about your job that interests you?

A: My job responsibilities include the development of a Warn-on-Forecast system that will enable the National Weather Service to issue advisories and warnings of high-impact weather much earlier than is possible today. What interests me most about this work is the potential to reduce loss of life, injury, and damage to the economy.

Q: What is one thing you couldn’t live without at work?

A: The one thing I couldn’t live without at my workplace is the interaction with the wonderful people I work with.

Q: Why volunteer for the D&I committee?

A: I volunteered to serve in the Diversity and Inclusion committee to help CIMMS in creating a more diverse workforce and foster an inclusive work environment where all employees have the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

Q: What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

A: To me workplace diversity means a diverse workforce with differences in education, skill sets and experiences from different races, ethnicities, genders, social class, ages, religions, disabilities, and sexual orientations. Inclusion means a collaborative, supportive, and respectful work environment that increases the participation and contribution of all employees. Research repeatedly shows a diverse and inclusive workforce leads to greater productivity and increased innovation in thinking compared to those with a homogeneous workforce.

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?

A: To me true leadership means creating more leaders, not just followers.

Melissa Lamkin

Q: What is it about your job that interests you?

A: Working with the National Weather Service Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD) is very rewarding because we get to work with hundreds of new NWS forecasters every year, and it is always encouraging seeing the enthusiasm and excitement they have while doing our trainings and going through our workshops.

Q: Tell us something that might surprise us about you?

A: Something that may be surprising about me is that I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and I have three kidneys.

Q: Why Volunteer for the D&I committee?

A: I volunteered for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee because I know what it is like feeling excluded from different groups or experiences just because of your background, and I want to assist CIMMS as it continues to work toward a more inclusive environment. I also volunteered because I want to be an advocate for the idea that Diversity can come in many different shapes and sizes.

Q: What is the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome in life thus far?

A: The greatest challenge I have faced so far in life would have to be getting my American citizenship. The immigration process was very difficult for my family, and the path to obtain my American citizenship was no different. Thankfully after five long years, I was able to take my oath to be an American Citizen in December 2014. The best part of being an American citizen is being able to vote and feeling like my voice matters.

Q: If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

A: If I could do another job for a day, I would like to be a pastry chef because I would get to create beautiful and delicious desserts all day long.

Greg McFarquhar - CIMMS Director and School of Meteorology ProfessorNusrat Yussouf - CIMMS Research ScientistMelissa Lamkin - CIMMS Research Associate