Maiana Hanshaw


Maiana first joined the CSWR team back in 2004 as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young intern (aka groupie of Josh Wurman and Herb Stein). Having had the time of her life helping out with storm chasing for Project ROTATE (Radar Observations of Tornadoes And Thunderstorms Experiment) during her summers of 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 she somehow thought she had to grow up, which apparently meant pursuing other ventures. So, after graduating from Duke University with a B.S. in Earth & Ocean Sciences, she first dabbled in oceanography with a fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, after which she embarked upon an early career as a research geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA. Here she investigated landslides and debris-flows in response to heavy rains post-wildfires in Southern California. After four years at the USGS she decided to continue her schooling, pursuing a Master's degree in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she used remotely sensed satellite imagery to investigate how glaciers in the Andes have fared since this imagery became available in the 1970s.

Meteorology, oceanography, geography…. oh my! What to pursue?! So instead of really making a decision on that one, Maiana figured it was time to skip the country for a while and see what might turn up… she originally comes from Scotland and Europe was calling her back so she upped and moved to Switzerland. Between enjoying the wonderful mountains and ample vacation time to pursue travelling, she worked at the Swiss Federal Center for Geoinformation (Swisstopo), putting her ArcGIS and remote sensing skills to good use mapping out Switzerland in 3D. But after five years the U.S. and other exciting career opportunities pulled her back, because who in their right mind would turn down a job offer from CSWR where you get to spend more than 50% of your time travelling, including at least five weeks of your summer sitting in a radar truck watching the corn grow in eastern Nebraska?..... Wait?!!....

So somehow she has come full circle and is now enjoying being a severe weather researcher and fully-fledged DOW operator! She now spends her time driving the DOWs literally back and forth across the country for various field projects in addition to education projects and outreaches, but also gets to pursue interesting ArcGIS and MatLab analyses when back at the office in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

When not sitting in the DOW driver or operator seat, Maiana loves to get out and about in Colorado, hiking, biking, putting her salsa dancing shoes on, or travelling anywhere and everywhere.

For more information you can find Maiana’s CV here.

LinkedIn profile: here.