UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > July-August 2002 Search

July-Aug 2002

NCAR boosts six to senior scientist ranks

Six NCAR researchers were appointed senior scientists at the July meeting of the UCAR Board of Trustees. Senior scientists, who provide the center with long-term scientific leadership, are selected on the basis of individual competence in research and other activities that enhance NCAR's interaction with scientists elsewhere. The position is analogous to that of full professor at a tenure-granting university.

Gordon Bonan. (All photos by Carlye Calvin.)

Gordon Bonan heads CGD's Terrestrial Sciences Section. His research focuses on how natural and human changes to land-cover affect the atmosphere, and he is one of a growing number of researchers looking into how terrestrial ecosystems, through their cycling of energy, water, chemical elements, and trace gases, shape climate patterns in significant ways. He incorporates land-atmosphere interactions into climate models, and he is the co-chair of the land model working group of the Community Climate System Model. He is also interested in more traditional ecological research topics, such as forest dynamics and ecosystem theory.

Gordon did his undergraduate work in environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, where he also earned a doctorate in environmental sciences in 1988. In between, he received a master's degree in forest resources from the University of Georgia. He came to NCAR as an ASP postdoctoral fellow in 1989, then was hired as a scientist and worked in CGD's Climate Modeling Section, developing the land-surface component of the Community Climate Model and then the Community Climate System Model. He is the author of the book Ecological Climatology, which examines the physical, chemical, and biological processes by which terrestrial ecosystems affect climate—and are in turn affected by it. Gordon has served on the editorial advisory board of Global Change Biology since 1994, and he is also serving a five-year term as an editor of Journal of Climate. He serves on the Climate Research Committee of the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He was a member of the NASA Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study science team and currently is a member of the NASA Land Cover Land Use Change Program science team.

Danny McKenna

Danny McKenna is the director of ACD. Although his principal duties are providing scientific leadership, he also hopes to pursue some of his research interests, particularly reactive flows. Danny came to Boulder in 2000 from the Research Center Jülich in Lammersdorf, Germany, where he was the founding director of the Institute for Stratospheric Chemistry. He also served for several years as the executive director of the broader Institute for Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere, and he was a professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of Bonn.

A native of Clydebank, Scotland, he received an honors degree in chemical physics from the University of Glasgow and a doctorate in theoretical chemistry from the University of Glasgow. After receiving his Ph.D., he spent more than a decade with the U.K. Meteorological Office. During that time, he flew on the first research aircraft missions that made in situ measurements of the plumes created by the Gulf War—venturing into what was, technically, still a war zone. His research interests include diagnosis and simulation of Arctic ozone depletion, exchange processes between the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere at midlatitudes, and the interplay between chemical and dynamical processes in the atmosphere.

Linda Mearns

ESIG deputy director Linda Mearns, who earned her doctorate in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles, came to NCAR as an ASP graduate student in 1985. Her dissertation focused on wheat, climate variability, and technological change in the Great Plains. That topic led to her research into how well climate models reproduce climate variability on time scales ranging from daily to interannual, and how that variability might change in the future. She worked in CGD until 1997, when she moved to ESIG.

Linda has researched several areas, including crop-climate interactions, climate change scenario formation, and climate change impacts on agricultural ecosystems. Recent accomplishments include leading a multimillion-dollar program on the impact of climate change on agriculture in the southeastern United States. She was a major participant in the recent Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as in the 1992 and 1995 IPCC reports. Linda is co-leader of the NCAR Weather and Climate Impact Assessment Initiative, and she has served on several National Academy of Sciences panels related to climate and health. Her academic background includes a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a master's in geography from UCLA.

Dave Parsons

Dave Parsons is the manager of ATD's Research Technology Facility, a position he assumed last year when the division merged the Remote Sensing Facility and the Surface and Sounding Systems Facility. The new facility develops and deploys a wide range of instrumentation for the NSF research community. Dave's research interests include developing remote and in-situ instrumentation, as well as studying mesoscale circulation in the tropics and midlatitudes, and the dynamics of convective systems.

Dave first came to NCAR as a visiting scientist in 1983, fresh from working as a postdoctoral fellow for the National Research Council. He has a bachelor's degree in meteorology from Rutgers University and a doctorate in atmospheric science from the University of Washington. Over the years, he has played a major role in several large international field projects, including the Taiwan Mesoscale Experiment (known as TAMEX) and the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Program's Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). At present, he is the co-lead investigator for the massive International H2O Project (IHOP 2002), which is seeking to determine how water vapor varies in three dimensions over time and to use that knowledge to improve warm-season precipitation forecasts. Dave also served as the editor of the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, and he was general co-chair for the International Committee on Tropospheric Profiling.

Roy Rasmussen

Roy Rasmussen divides his time between RAP, where he conducts 75% of his research, and MMM. He has a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College in physics and mathematics, and a master's and doctorate in atmospheric science from the University of California, Los Angeles. After earning his Ph.D. in 1982, he spent three years in ASP studying hail formation in convective storms and airflow around the island of Hawaii. He left NCAR for three years to work as a research scientist in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Denver before returning as a scientist II in 1989. Roy's primary research interests are basic studies of winter weather associated with aircraft icing or deicing, developing winter weather nowcasting systems, and inventing new instruments to measure snow or artificially produce it. His paper on the use of visibility to estimate snow intensity, which won the NCAR Outstanding Publication Award in 2000, shows that visibility-based estimates of snow intensity can mislead pilots and have probably been a factor in some ground deicing accidents.

Roy belongs to the American Meteorological Society, Sigma Pi Sigma (the National Physics Honor Society), the Society of Automotive Engineers Ground Deicing Subcommittee, and the Aircraft Icing Research Alliance Advisory Subcommittee. The Weather Support to Deicing Decision Making (WSDDM) winter weather nowcasting system, for which he led the development, won the 1999 Government Technology Leadership Award from Government Executive magazine.

Geoff Tyndall

Geoff Tyndall heads up ACD's Kinetics Laboratory. His research interests include photochemistry of the upper and lower atmosphere, measuring the rate coefficients of atmospheric reactions, and investigating atmospheric chemical processes. These studies range from measuring fundamental molecular properties such as extinction coefficients to elucidating the oxidation mechanisms of complex organic compounds. The studies are designed to figure out how long compounds stay in the atmosphere and what new compounds may be produced when they react.

Geoff received a doctorate in physical chemistry in 1983 from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, where he also did his undergraduate work. He then spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, and another couple of years as a postdoc at the NOAA Aeronomy Lab. He came to NCAR in 1988 to work in Jack Calvert's Laboratory Kinetics and Photochemistry group. In the last ten years or so, Geoff has worked with ACD's John Orlando to make significant headway in understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic compounds, particularly at low temperatures. Many of the compounds they study are biogenic emissions from plants and trees, which can have an impact on air quality on a regional scale.

In addition, three NCAR researchers are being promoted to the Scientist III level. They are Steve Thomas (SCD), Bette Otto-Bliesner (CGD), and Steve Massie (ACD). • David Hosansky

In this issue... Other issues of Staff Notes Monthly

UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > July-August 2002 Search

Edited by David Hosansky, hosansky@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Carlye Calvin
Last revised: Mon Aug 19 17:08:40 MST 2001