Ken Dewey

Ken Dewey

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Title Regional Climatologist
Address 925 Oldfather Hall
660 N 12th Street
Lincoln NE
Phone 402-472-2908
Contact Preference

Hi, I'm Ken Dewey, and I'm a professor of climatology in the School of Natural Resources.

My main research and outreach interests are in severe storm climatology, climate variations, snow and ice studies, and drought impacts. My primary outreach activity is to bring information on severe weather and related safety tips to the public, in order to help them survive the storms. I do a large amount of this through information posted on various web sites and through the Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium. It's a free public event that draws up to 3,000 people to hear storm experts and see many weather-related presentations and displays. I also do numerous interviews with the media and make public presentations across the state.

I maintain and produce the content for the Lincoln Weather and Climate web site. This is a location that offers timely regional weather information, so the public can keep up-to-date on droughts, major weather events and trends, etc. and make better decisions related to weather and climate. Storm reports and numerous weather-related photo galleries are some of its most popular products. I produce content for various web sites that receive more than 12 million visits per year.

I am also monitoring the on going drought in Nebraska and the western United States, delivering the latest information on the magnitude and trend of the current drought. This drought is severely affecting the agricultural community and water resources across much of the western part of the country.

Selected Publications

Dewey, K.F. 2001. Climate and the West. Journal of the West. 6-9 .
Dewey, K.F. 2001. Weather in the West (volume editor). Journal of the West. 40(3): .
Dewey, K.F. 2001. Weather of the West. Journal of the West. .40(3):31-38.
Dewey, K.F. and S. Meyer 2000. Active Learning in Introductory Climatology. Journal of College Science Teaching. 29:265-272 .
Leathers, D.J., M.A. Palecki, D.A. Robinson, and K.F. Dewey. 1998. A climatology of the daily temperature range annual cycle in the United States. Climate Research. 9:197-211. Online
Dewey, K. 1996. The Weather and Climate of Nebraska. NEBRASKALand Magazine. 138.
Robinson, D.A., D.J. Leathers, M.A. Palecki, and K.F. Dewey 1995. Some observations on climate variability as seen in daily temperature structure. Atmospheric Research. 37:119-131.

Educational Background

  • BS - Elmhurst (Ill.) College (1969)
  • MS - Northern Illinois University (1970)
  • PhD - University of Toronto (1973)


  • 2018 – Public Education Award awarded by National Weather Association 
  • 2015 – Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students awarded by UNL Parents Association 

SNR Program Area(s)

  • Applied Climate and Spatial Science

Affiliations (index)

Professional Organizations

  • American Meteorological Society (AMS)
    • On National AMS Membership Committee 2009 to present

Notable Websites

Areas of Interest

Regional and global climate variations and climate change;

Severe weather climatology and safety;

Media and public weather and climate education through the Lincoln Weather and Climate Internet site (http:/;

UNL Speakers Bureau public lectures;

Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium, Weatherfest, and Summer Weather Camp

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant Title NaturePalooza
Starting Date 6/1/2013
Principal Investigators
Lisa Pennisi
Ken Dewey
Ending Date 6/1/2014
Funding Level $2,725.00
Funding Source Nebraska Academy of Sciences

Grant Title Best Buy Tag Team Award
Starting Date 4/1/2010
Principal Investigators
Ken Dewey
Ending Date 8/30/2011
Funding Level $1,000.00
Funding Source Best Buy


Graduate Program(s)

Master of Arts in Geography

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography

Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences

Courses Taught
Course Number Course Title Fall Even Years Fall Odd Years Spring Even Years Spring Odd Years Summer Session Cross Listing
GEOG 155 Elements of Physical Geography X X X X None

SNR Speakers Bureau

What I can speak about:

Talks about climate and severe weather. Specialty for Lincoln Climate

When I am most available to speak:

Based on my schedule of classes

What target audiences I am most comfortable speaking to:

  • Pre-K/Elementary School
  • Middle/High School
  • College
  • General Public
  • Families
  • Technical


Outreach Activities

Weather and Climate in the Classroom

What is this activity about:

Simple experiments and hands-on demonstrations of how to encorporate weather and climate in many classroom subjects.

Who sponsors this activity:

School of Natural Resources

What target audiences is this activity most geared towards:

  • Middle/High School
  • College
  • General Public
  • Families
Weather and Climate in the Classroom


Outreach Events

Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium and Weatherfest

When: Early Spring
Where: Hardin Hall, East Campus, UNL

What is this event about:

The first Symposium was held on Aug. 29, 1999, in Omaha, Nebraska. The event was then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and has been organized by Dr. Ken Dewey, High Plains Regional Climate Center, School of Natural Resources, UNL, since 2000. The symposium is now offered on an annual basis in Lincoln. The popularity of the event has been phenomenal. About 500 people attended the first symposium in 1999, and about 4,000 attended in 2005. The number of exhibits has increased from five in 1999 to 37 in 2005. National and local experts will be invited to talk about how to better prepare to mitigate injuries and loss of life and property from all forms of severe weather. The exhibitors also provide brochures and handouts that help the public better plan to "survive the storms."

Who sponsors this event:

High Plains Regional Climate Center, School of Natural Resources, Lancaster County Office of Emergency Management, National Weather Service, Omaha/Valley Nebraska, University of Nebraska Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society

What target audiences is this event most geared towards:

  • Pre-K/Elementary School
  • Middle/High School
  • College
  • OLLI - lifelong learning for adults 50 years and older
  • General Public
  • Families
outreach event

UNL Summer Weather Camp

When: One week in June
Where: Hardin Hall, East Campus, UNL with field trips to area locations

What is this event about:

Weather Camp is a week-long day camp for students who are ages 11-14 at the time of the camps. The camp will take place Monday - Friday and will run from 9am - 5pm each day. On Friday, in the evening, we will have a picnic for our campers and their families followed by a program in Hardin Hall where awards will be given and campers will be able to showcase their activities from the weather camp week. During the week, campers will get to use instruments to make their own weather observations, meet forecasters at the National Weather Service, learn about the local weather of Nebraska from tornadoes to blizzards, visit the office of Emergency Management, learn about storm preparedness, learn about weather and climate related careers, and visit a TV weather studio to watch the news and weather live in the studio.

Who sponsors this event:

School of Natural Resources

What target audiences is this event most geared towards:

  • Middle/High School
outreach event
I didn't know there were other kids like me out there.Camp Participant