UCAR Staff Notes masthead
Home Our Organization Research News Center Education Community Tools Libraries
About Staff Notes
Past Issues
Favorite Photos
How to Subscribe


staff notes header

July-August 2006

NCAR names five new senior scientists

The UCAR Board of Trustees appointed five new senior scientists in July. Senior scientists provide NCAR with long-term scientific leadership. The position is analogous to that of full professor at a tenure-granting university. Selections are based on individual competence in research and activities that enhance NCAR's interaction with scientists in the broader community.

Following are brief profiles of the new senior scientists.

Chris Davis
Chris Davis.

Chris Davis

Chris Davis (MMM/RAL) heads MMM's Prediction Diagnostics Group. A meteorologist by training, he studies the systems that lead to thunderstorms and other heavy rainfall events, including squall lines and tropical cyclones. In particular, he uses observations and sophisticated computer models, such as the PSU/NCAR mesoscale model (MM5) and the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), to construct a basic understanding of the evolution of such systems. He also looks for new methods for evaluating mesoscale models.

Chris made significant contributions toward understanding thunderstorms during the summer of 2003, when he was a co-lead scientist during BAMEX (Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex Experiment), an ambitious field project to study giant clusters of thunderstorms. Findings from the project will eventually lead to better forecasts of severe wind and rainfall in thunderstorm complexes.

Chris came to NCAR in 1990 as a postdoctoral fellow after completing his Ph.D. in meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He leads the WRF testing and evaluation working group. His honors include NCAR Outstanding Publication awards in 1993 and 2005.

Beth Holland
Beth Holland.

Beth Holland

Beth Holland (ACD) is a biogeochemist who studies the link between the chemistry of the atmosphere and ecosystems on Earth, with an emphasis on how air pollution, climate change, and ecosystems interact. As leader of NCAR's Biogeosciences Initiative, she brings a biological perspective to geophysics and atmospheric research. Some of her specific research topics include the regional and global nitrogen cycles and their interactions with the carbon and water cycles; interactions between terrestrial carbon and nitrogen deposition; and the use of nitrogen deposition measurements to understand the global nitrogen cycle.

Beth was a lead author on the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment and will serve as a lead author on the upcoming 2007 report. She is on the graduate faculties of CU and Colorado State University, and helped found SOARS (Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science).

Beth came to NCAR in 1989. She holds a doctoral degree in ecology and environmental sciences from CSU.

Gang Lu
Gang Lu.

Gang Lu

Gang Lu (HAO) specializes in space physics, with an emphasis on high-latitude ionospheric electrodynamics and the coupling of the solar wind with the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere. In particular, she analyzes and interprets space- and ground-based observations of ionospheric and magnetospheric electrodynamic quantities, and models and interprets disturbances in the ionosphere and thermosphere.

One of Gang's most significant accomplishments was to obtain the first quantitative assessment of interhemispheric asymmetry of high-latitude ionospheric convection configuration, which she achieved by combining and analyzing a large set of multi-instrument data. This collaborative study formed the backbone of the NSF-sponsored Global Environment Modeling Boundary Layer Campaigns.

Gang came to NCAR in 1992. She holds a Ph.D. from Rice University in space physics. She is currently the scientific secretary of the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics, which is an interdisciplinary body of the International Council for Science.

Stan Solomon
Stan Solomon.

Stan Solomon

Stan Solomon (HAO) specializes in the physics and chemistry of Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere, with an emphasis on theoretical modeling and data analysis to investigate the impacts of solar output on the atmosphere. His interests also include solar-terrestrial physics and satellite system design.

Stan serves as an interdisciplinary scientist for NASA's TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics) satellite mission. Launched in 2001, TIMED is performing measurements of upper-atmosphere winds, temperature, and composition; the aurora; and the solar ultraviolet emissions that cause much of the variability in the thermosphere and ionosphere. Stan is working in particular on using solar and auroral measurements in NCAR general circulation models to understand solar-cycle–related and long-term changes in the upper atmosphere.

Currently deputy director of HAO, Stan holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Michigan. He came to NCAR as a postdoctoral researcher in 1987, before working as a research associate at CU's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics from 1990–2000. In addition to his research, Stan has served as a lecturer at CU, teaching subjects ranging from solar-terrestrial physics to satellite system design.

Jothiram Vivekanandan
Jothiram Vivekanandan. (Photos by Carlye Calvin, ©UCAR.)

Jothiram Vivekanandan

As manager of EOL's Remote Sensing Facility, Jothiram (Vivek) Vivekanandan (EOL/RAL) specializes in the theory, modeling, and observational aspects of atmospheric remote sensing. In particular, he works on interpreting the responses of remote sensing instruments to clouds and precipitation using mathematical models and actual field observations.

Vivek led further development of NCAR's S-Polka radar, which combines two existing radars that use different wavelengths. By studying the differences between the images that are reflected back to each radar, scientists find tiny water droplets that are difficult to distinguish using either radar alone. Also notable are Vivek's efforts to classify radar echoes into precipitation type by utilizing polarimetric radar measurements, and his work on a cloud microphysical retrieval technique using radar and radiometer/satellite observations.

Vivek has been at NCAR since 1991. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Colorado State University. He holds several patents and won the NCAR Outstanding Publication Award in 2000. He is currently an associate editor for the journal Radio Science of the American Geophysical Union.

Scientists III

Five NCAR researchers have been promoted to the Scientist III level, which is one step below senior scientist. They are Roberto Casini (HAO), Hanli Liu (HAO), Natalie Mahowald (CGD), Henry Tufo (SCD), and Tammy Weckwerth (EOL).

by Nicole Gordon

In this issue...

A new eye on storm formation

NCAR names five new senior scientists

New Delphi coordinator takes over

SOARS and RESESS protégés busy with research

Less load for the landfill: FREEcycle stores; ACD's "green" move

Short Takes

Delphi Question: Public events in the FL0 courtyard

Just One Look


Staff Notes home page | News Center