Mikael Hiestand is a postdoctoral researcher and USGS Mendenhall fellow at the UCSB Climate Hazards Center. Mikael completed his M.S. and Ph.D. Geography and Climate Science at The Pennsylvania State University. His dissertation work focused on how differences in moisture fluxes from midwestern croplands and forests interact with synoptic patterns to influence spatial patterns in convective cloud systems. Mikael is currently working on using remotely sensed vegetation data for enhanced drought monitoring and evapotranspiration prediction. Mikael is also an outdoors enthusiast and enjoys hiking and rock climbing on weekends.