Roger Wakimoto to lead NCAR’s Earth Observing Laboratory

wakimotoRoger Wakimoto (University of California, Los Angeles) has been tapped to head NCAR’s new Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL). Wakimoto will take the NCAR associate director post in July, succeeding interim EOL chief William “Al” Cooper. Created as part of NCAR’s recent reorganization, EOL incorporates the former Atmospheric Technology Division. The new lab expects to take on other initiatives and to participate in more interdisciplinary work. Wakimoto is no stranger to NCAR. He’s been making frequent visits since 1982, when he studied wind shear in the landmark project JAWS (Joint Airport Weather Studies). “Throughout my career I’ve spent so much time in Boulder that I feel like it’s my second home,” says Wakimoto.

At EOL, “I’ll certainly be bringing in an outside perspective,” he says. “From my experience on the [UCAR] University Relations Committee and the Board of Trustees, I’m certainly not bashful about bringing up concerns or things we ought to think out.” As a vehicle to solicit community input, Wakimoto expects to form an external advisory committee with a diverse range of community members.

Wakimoto says he took a chance when he joined UCLA: “There were essentially no observationalists in this department. It was very heavy on modeling and theory. That did not bother me in the slightest. I felt it was a challenge, and I embraced it. They welcomed me and said, ‘build your own program.’ I’ve loved my years at UCLA.”

See the next issue of the UCAR Quarterly for news of several other NCAR appointments being finalized in late 2004.