Research Team and Partners

Dr. Bradley G. Illston

Senior Research Scientist; Mesonet Research Team Lead

B.S. Meteorology (2000), University of Oklahoma; M.S. Meteorology (2002), University of Oklahoma; Ph.D. Meteorology (2016), University of Oklahoma

Brad Illston is interested in surface and subterranean observational and climate data, urban/atmospheric interactions, boundary layer processes, and land surface interactions. His past research has led to the development of a soil moisture climatology of Oklahoma and a better understanding of the impacts droughts have on soil moisture conditions. Additionally, he created the Long Term Averages (link) of Oklahoma Mesonet data that can be utilized to compare current and past trends of weather data. He is also working on experiments to study alternate methods for measuring soil temperature from existing soil moisture sensors, anti-icing technology on wind sensors, and vertical soil temperature variability.

Dr. Christopher Fiebrich

Executive Director of the Oklahoma Mesonet, Associate Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey

B.S. Meteorology (1998), University of Oklahoma; M.S. Meteorology (2000), University of Oklahoma; PhD Meteorology (2007), University of Oklahoma

Dr. Fiebrich’s research focus involved improving our climate data through the use of automated weather stations.  He has also published papers on data quality assurance, the history of weather observations, and meteorological instrumentation.  Chris is currently the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Mesonet and Associate Director at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Chris works with all aspects of the Mesonet, from laboratory calibrations to site maintenance to Mesonet websites and outreach to teachers and emergency managers.

Research Partners

The Oklahoma Mesonet partners with many local, state, and federal agencies on a variety of research projects including small experiments, research grant studies, and large on-going projects.

USDA/ARS Grazinglands Research Lab (GRL), El Reno, OK

The Oklahoma Mesonet operates and maintains two micronets for the Grazinglands Research Lab (see The Mesonet also collaborates with the GRL on groundwater research across the Fort Cobb watershed.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB), Oklahoma City, OK

The Oklahoma Mesonet operates and maintains the Fittstown station for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. The Mesonet also collaborates with the OWRB on groundwater research across Oklahoma.

National Weather Service (NWS), Norman and Tulsa, OK

The Oklahoma Mesonet partners with the National Weather Service on a number of research projects across Oklahoma. Most recently, the Mesonet has installed an experimental wet bulb globe temperature sensor at the Norman site and a road pavement sensor at the Tulsa site to help the NWS develop and verify forecasts for heat stress and pavement temperatures. The Mesonet also partners with the NWS Arkansas-Red River Forecast Center to provide rainfall data to be used to calibrate radar estimates of rainfall, which are then input into NWS hydrologic models.

Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program

The Oklahoma Mesonet data are transferred to the ARM External Data Center located at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The data are then provided to ARM Science Team members who utilize the data to plan site activities and monitor the quality of ARM instruments.

Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK

The Oklahoma Mesonet operates and maintains the Newport station for the Noble Foundation. This site provides data from the pasture demonstration farm for research projects at the Noble Foundation.