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July - August 2005

Six new senior scientists named

The UCAR Board of Trustees has appointed six new senior scientists. The annual selections are based on individual competence in research and other activities that enhance NCAR's interaction with scientists elsewhere. Senior scientists provide the center with long-term scientific leadership. The position is analogous to that of full professor at a tenure-granting university.

Following are brief profiles of the new senior scientists.

Andrew Crook

Andrew Crook. (Photos by Carlye Calvin.)

Andrew Crook

Since coming to MMM as a visiting scientist in 1987, Andrew has focused on weather phenomena, with a special interest in forecasting weather hazards through data assimilation and numerical modeling. Because of his expertise in both the theoretical research focus of MMM and the observational and applied research of RAL, he splits his time between the two divisions and provides a link between them.

One of Andrew's main interests has been the assimilation of radar data into models to improve short-term forecasting. He participated in two groundbreaking studies that examined the ability of cloud-scale numerical models to analyze and forecast weather hazards. Building on these, he collaborated with MMM's Juanzhen Sun to develop the Variational Doppler Radar Analysis System, which incorporates data from radars, lidars, and other instruments to produce an analysis of winds and other low-level atmospheric variables. The system is used in real time by operational radar networks.

Andrew's research has also extended into such areas as the influence of terrain and heat islands on low-level wind and the reasons for the onset of convection. One of his main interests at present is the improvement of short-term forecasting of convective storms.

A native of Melbourne, Australia, Andrew has a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics from Imperial College in London. He has received two UCAR Outstanding Publication awards, is a member of the Nowcasting Working Group of the World Weather Research Programme, and is chair of the WWRP Symposium on Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting.

Clara Deser

Clara Deser.

Clara Deser

In CGD, Clara analyzes climate variability, including the interplay among the atmosphere, oceans, and sea ice. She has also studied upper-ocean dynamics and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

One of her main research interests is the Arctic Oscillation, a phenomenon that consists of opposing atmospheric pressure patterns at higher latitudes. The AO in recent decades has tended to tighten around the North Pole, often preventing cold air from moving south. Clara's research indicates that greenhouse gases may be affecting the AO and enhancing global warming in the Northern Hemisphere.

Clara's interests extend to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, an El Niño–like pattern of climate variability that affects the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans. Another research topic is understanding the variability of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, as well as how changes in sea ice affect atmospheric and oceanic circulations and global climate. She is evaluating the simulation of ENSO in the latest version of the Community Climate System Model.

Clara came to NCAR in 1997 from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at CU. She holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington. In 1999, she won the prestigious Meisinger Award from the American Meteorological Society. She is a member of the National Research Council Climate Research Committee.

Wojciech Grabowski

Wojciech Grabowski.

Wojciech Grabowski

At MMM, Wojciech (or Wojtek, as his friends call him) studies a wide range of topics, including cloud microphysics, convective cloud systems, the effects of convection on large-scale processes, and numerical methods for geophysical fluid dynamics with the emphasis on moist processes. He has pioneered the use of cloud-resolving numerical models to represent convection and clouds, a technique known as super-parameterization. The technique relies on coupling numerical models with large-scale circulation features and seeks to explicitly represent clouds in models instead of estimating, or parameterizing, them.

After Wojciech arrived at NCAR as an ASP postdoc in 1987, he became involved in small-scale modeling studies of convective dynamics and microphysics. He later developed a novel approach to simulations that has been verified by observations and used to develop representations of clouds for climate models. Another focus for Wojciech has been developing and refining models of cloud microphysical processes (for instance, condensational and collisional growth of cloud droplets). Some of his current interests include creating super-parameterization techniques for modeling water and energy budgets over North America and modeling the effects of aerosols on trade wind cumulus clouds.

Wojciech has a doctorate in geophysics from the Polish Academy of Science. Five of his papers have been nominated for UCAR Outstanding Publication awards. He is past chair of the GEWEX (Global Energy and Water-cycle Experiment) Cloud System Study Working Group on Precipitating Convective Cloud Systems and a member of the International Commission on Clouds and Precipitation, one of the bodies of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. He is an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware and a member of the affiliate faculty at Colorado State University.

Greg Holland

Greg Holland.

Greg Holland

Greg arrived at NCAR in January to direct MMM. He brings over 30 years of experience in forecasting, research, and technology development, much of it in his native Australia.

Greg's science career has focused on tropical cyclones. After earning his bachelor's degree in meteorology at the University of New South Wales, Greg joined Australia's Bureau of Meteorology as a tropical forecaster. He faced the wrath of Cyclone Tracy when it slammed into the northern city of Darwin on Christmas Day 1974, killing dozens and destroying thousands of homes.

Moving to the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre (BMRC) in Melbourne, Greg shifted from forecasting to studying tropical cyclones. He also spent time in Fort Collins during the early 1980s, completing master's and doctoral degrees in atmospheric science. In 1993 Greg became the founding director of BMRC's mesoscale meteorology group, leading it for the next six years. He is a fellow of both the American and Australian meteorological societies.

During the 1990s, Greg became interested in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a way to observe weather in challenging and remote settings. He directed development of the Aerosonde, one of the first lightweight UAVs suitable for weather research, and from 1999 to 2004 he held several leadership positions at the company Aerosonde.

Bill Skamarock

Bill Skamarock.

Bill Skamarock

With a background in fluid mechanics and numerical analysis, Bill focuses on convective and mesoscale processes in MMM. He has helped explain many important phenomena, such as the evolution of squall lines over the Midwest and coastal disturbances off the West Coast.

Bill is a leading contributor to the multiagency Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) and the chair of the WRF Working Group on Model Numerics and Dynamical Cores. He coordinated the research and project planning to develop the dynamical model solver, which is at the heart of WRF. He also helped develop and implement the fundamental algorithms used in the model, and he has worked to couple WRF to data assimilation systems at NCAR.

Bill's far-ranging research also encompasses new numerical techniques to improve the efficiency of air quality and atmospheric chemistry models. He has collaborated with ACD to explore the impact of deep convection on atmospheric chemistry.

Bill joined MMM in 1987 as an ASP postdoc. He has a doctorate in computational fluid dynamics from Stanford University.

Roger Wakimoto

Roger Wakimoto.

Roger Wakimoto

After 22 years of teaching and research at the University of California, Los Angeles, Roger joined NCAR in July as the first permanent director of the Earth Observing Laboratory. He's been a familiar face in Boulder throughout his UCLA years, serving on the UCAR Board of Trustees and the University Relations Committee and collaborating often with NCAR scientists.

Roger earned his bachelor's degree in meteorology at San Jose State University and went on to graduate school at the University of Chicago. He completed his doctorate in 1981 under the famed severe weather researcher Ted Fujita, joining UCLA shortly after. During the early 1980s, Roger took part in two NCAR-led studies that confirmed the risk of wind shear to aircraft and laid the groundwork for today's wind shear warning systems.

Much of Roger's recent work has involved observations of tornadoes and severe storms collected by the Electra Doppler Radar (ELDORA). He's interested in the dynamics that generate mesocyclones and supercell tornadoes, as well as the processes that lead to nonsupercell "landspout" tornadoes, which are common across northeast Colorado. Roger is one of the organizers of the second VORTEX experiment (Vertification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes), planned for spring 2007–08.

A fellow of the American Meteorological Society, Roger received the AMS Meisinger Award in 1992 for "significant contributions to the understanding of mesoscale phenomena through insightful and detailed analysis of observations."

Four NCAR researchers have been promoted to the Scientist III level, which is one step below senior scientist. They are Roy Mauldin (ACD), Peter Sullivan (MMM), Jielun Sun (MMM), and Juanzhen Sun (RAL).

• by David Hosansky and Bob Henson

Also in this issue...

A global view

Six new senior scientists named

SOARS marks 10th anniversary

Engaging science students

Pedaling for a cause

New SERE center emphasizes climate education

Fellowship honors a unique research partnership

HAO moves to CG1

Just One Look


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