While the threat of severe weather may strike fear into the hearts of most people, Lena Heuscher is not most people. In fact, as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Atmospheric Science at UAH, she sees the arrival of high-impact events as an opportunity to learn more about how they can be characterized to improve prediction models and better protect both life and property. "I have always enjoyed the weather – all weather," says Heuscher, who grew up in the small town of Choteau, Mont. "Living in a rural community where agriculture is the main part of life, it was easy to see the devastation caused by weather. Whether it’s a hail storm wiping out farmers’ crops three years in a row while the other fields remain untouched or a 100-year flood sweeping by and changing people’s lives forever, it becomes very real."