NCAR welcomes new researchers
In what is one of NCAR’s larger classes of new hires
in recent years, the center has hired seven Scientists I
and one Research Engineer I. Interests range from computer
science to air pollution to the interior of the Sun.
“This group of remarkable researchers will complement
our existing staff with a diversity of strengths and talents,” says
NCAR director Tim Killeen.
A search committee from across NCAR, headed by ASP director
Maura Hagan, helped select the new scientists from a large
pool of applicants.
Following are brief profiles.
Judith Berner (ESSL/CGD)
Judith is interested in nonlinear
processes and multi-scale interactions in short-range weather
forecasts and climate models.
As a student and ASP postdoctoral fellow at NCAR, she studied
weather regimes and transitions in observations and models.
She then became interested in the stochastic (random) parameterization
of unresolved processes and their impact on model variability
and model error. Other research interests include tropical
variability, cellular automata, and the optimal representation
of atmospheric dynamics in truncated models.
Judith currently works at the European Centre for Medium-Range
Weather Forecasts in Reading, United Kingdom, on the representation
of model error in ensemble systems by stochastic kinetic
energy backscatter schemes. She first came to CGD on an internship
She has a Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Bonn.
Alma Hodzic (ESSL/ACD)
Alma’s goal is to improve the way models represent
the formation and evolution of aerosols and how they interact
with gas-phase chemistry and meteorology. She’s especially
interested in modeling aerosols on urban and regional scales,
characterizing the composition and origin of aerosol pollutants
by improving the representation of aerosol emission sources
and their formation processes, and studying interactions
between aerosols, gases, and clouds. She’s involved
with the development of CHIMERE, a multi-scale air quality
model, and WRF-Chem, a model for real-time predictions of
Alma has been an ASP postdoctoral fellow in ESSL/ACD since
2005, focusing on modeling of aerosol properties and processes
in highly polluted conditions such as megacities and wildfires.
She participated in MIRAGE, last year’s field project
that examined the chemical and physical transformations of
gases and aerosols in Mexico City’s air pollution.
Alma has a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from France’s École
Polytechnique and a master’s degree in meteorology
from the National School of Meteorology in Toulouse.
Peter Lauritzen (ESSL/CGD)
Peter’s research centers on improving our understanding
of the global atmosphere through better numerical algorithms,
with a focus on representing the dynamics of the atmosphere
using numerical methods that respect important physical properties.
Peter has been an ASP postdoctoral fellow in CGD since 2006,
where he has worked on finite-volume methods as well as conservative
regridding algorithms. He started his fellowship by co-authoring
a review chapter on “Finite-Volume Methods in Meteorology” for
a handbook on numerical methods used in the atmospheric and
oceanic sciences. He has also collaborated with CISL/IMAGe,
contributing to NCAR’s HOMME (High Order Method Modeling
Environment) project through a new shape-preserving and conservative
interpolation method between the cubed-sphere and regular
longitude grid systems.
Peter has a Ph.D. in climate and environment and a master’s
degree in geophysics from the University of Copenhagen.
Mark Miesch (ESSL/HAO)
Mark is interested in astrophysical and geophysical
fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, with particular
emphasis on the solar interior. He has created models that
simulate subsurface solar processes in unprecedented detail,
providing insights into such problems as how the Sun generates
the magnetic fields that lie at the root of solar variability
and space weather, and why the Sun has a differential rotation
with the equator spinning faster than the poles. His work
also sheds light on the stability and dynamics of the layer
at the base of the convection zone known as the tachocline.
Mark’s interests in space weather extend to the far-flung
impact of solar storms. He is working with HAO colleagues
to develop a numerical model that will simulate the propagation
and evolution of coronal mass ejections, which are eruptions
of large amounts of matter from the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
His goal is to simulate the ejections from their origins
in magnetic structures beneath the surface of the Sun to
their interactions with the plasma and fields that comprise
the Earth’s magnetosphere and uppermost atmospheric
Mark has a Ph.D. from CU-Boulder in astrophysics. He came
to NCAR in 2001 as an ASP postdoctoral fellow, later becoming
a project scientist.
Hugh Morrison (ESSL/MMM)
Hugh’s research interests are cloud microphysics and
the development and testing of cloud parameterization in
models. An ASP postdoctoral fellow in ESSL/MMM since 2005,
he’s been focused on developing a new approach for
treating ice microphysics and interactions between the microphysics
and turbulent mixing in cloud models.
Hugh has also studied Arctic clouds and is a member of the
American Meteorological Society’s Cloud Physics Committee.
He’s co-chair of the GEWEX (Global Energy and Water
Cycle Experiment) Cloud System Study Polar Cloud Working
Group, helping foster relationships with the international
Hugh has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from CU-Boulder
in astrophysical, planetary, and atmospheric sciences.
Synte Peacock (ESSL/CGD)
Synte’s research focuses on using large-scale global
ocean circulation models to investigate the uptake and redistribution
of natural and anthropogenic trace gases. Her oceanic interests
extend to the characterization of age distributions, the
use of tracers to infer rates of deep convection, radiocarbon
in the ocean from both natural sources and nuclear bombs,
and better characterization of the ocean as a source/sink
for methyl chloroform. She is also interested in the causes
of long-term glacial and interglacial cycles in atmospheric
Synte has been at NCAR since April on an ASP faculty fellowship,
undertaking high-resolution ocean modeling. She comes
to NCAR from the University of Chicago, where she was an
assistant professor in the department of geophysical
Synte has a master’s degree and Ph.D. in geochemistry
and physical oceanography from Columbia University, as well
as a master’s in geology and geophysics from Oxford
Scott Spuler (EOL)
Scott is EOL’s technical lead for
active optical remote sensing instruments. He played a key
role in researching and designing the Raman-shifted Eye-safe
Aerosol Lidar (REAL), a tool that emits pulses of light
to measure airborne particles and clouds. REAL is considered
a substantial advance because it can be deployed in populated
areas to track the movement of pollutants and other atmospheric
Scott is working on improvements to REAL that will reveal
characteristics such as the shapes of particles, and he’s
calibrating the signal to a molecular reference. He is also
working on a new instrument to measure wind velocities in
undisturbed flow ahead of the Gulfstream-V aircraft.
Scott has a Ph.D. in engineering systems from the Colorado
School of Mines, where his focus was on applied optics and
the development of in situ laser measurement tools for airborne
trace species. He came to NCAR in 2002 as an optical
Matthew Woitaszek (CISL)
Matthew’s research interests include the computational
systems, software, storage, and infrastructure required to
support high-performance science; Grid services that reduce
the technical complexity of conducting collaborative research;
and federated data storage between collaborative institutions.
Matthew has been involved with the use of Grid technology
to support Earth science workflows since he became an NCAR
student assistant in 2003, working on a project with colleagues
to develop infrastructure to run the Biome-BGC (BioGeochemical
Cycles) simulation as a Grid service so that scientists from
institutions outside NCAR can participate.
The objective of his storage research is to demonstrate that
reliable archival storage systems can be built upon a
suite of emerging technologies such as massive arrays of
spinning disks, data grid tools, and block-level LDPC
(low-density parity check) erasure coding techniques called
Tornado Codes. He’s also interested in supercomputer
system design and performance.
Matthew has a Ph.D. in computer science from CU-Boulder.
Four NCAR scientists have been promoted to the Scientist
III level, which is one step below senior scientist.
Sarah Gibson (ESSL/HAO)
Marika Holland (ESSL/CGD)
Matthias Steiner (RAL)
The UCAR Board of Trustees has also approved the
appointment of five new senior scientists. 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.
Jeff Anderson (CISL)
Chris Cantrell (ESSL/ACD)
David Edwards (ESSL/ACD)
Tom Horst (EOL)
Bette Otto-Bliesner (ESSL/CGD)
In this issue...
welcomes new researchers
protégés in the thick of another summer
winds damage hangar roof at Jeffco
Randel to lead ESSL/ACD
Just One Look
Staff Notes home page | News Center