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December - January 2008

NCAR pioneer Will Kellogg,
1917–2007

will kellogg

Former senior scientist and NCAR associate director William Kellogg, 90, died on December 12 in Boulder.

Will was central to the fields of both satellite meteorology and climate change. He was a leader in his profession, serving as president of the American Meteorological Society (1973) and on countless professional committees and boards. He was also a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Colleagues remember him as thoughtful and visionary. “His door was always open,” recalls Mickey Glantz (SERE/CCB), adding that Will was a mentor to generations of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students.

Will was born in 1917 in New York Mills, New York, and attended Yale University. When his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, were interrupted by World War II, he served in the U.S. Air Force’s new meteorological program. A pilot and weather officer with a passion for flying, he performed groundbreaking research on the dynamics of thunderstorms.

While working on a doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles, Will began his career at the Rand Corporation, where he was instrumental in establishing the potential value of satellites in meteorological research. He chaired the committee that set the specifications for TIROS-1, the first operational weather satellite. In a 1951 study for Rand coauthored with Stanley Greenfield, he demonstrated that satellite images would provide information not only on broad-scale synoptic weather patterns but also on variables such as wind direction, degree of atmospheric stability, and horizontal and vertical wind shear.

Will came to NCAR in 1964, retiring in 1987. Over the years, he served as director of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences, a predecessor of CGD. He was also part of the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group, which paved the way for SERE and ISSE.

An early interest in climate theory led Will to ponder how humans might have begun changing Earth’s climate. He was a chief organizer of the international Study of Man’s Impact on Climate, held in Sweden in 1971. As debate grew about the planet’s future, he published and lectured frequently on the topic, advocating strenuously to educate the world about climate change. He ­particularly enjoyed giving talks to the nonscientific public.

“Will was a wonderful colleague and contributor to NCAR and he will be much missed,” says NCAR director Tim Killeen. “Over the past several years, I had a chance to get to know him and appreciate both the twinkle in his eye and his kind and supportive attitude.”

Will is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and five children and their families: Karl Kellogg and his wife Nancy Kellogg of Boulder, Judith Kellogg and husband Bruce Liebert of Honolulu, Joe Kellogg and wife Lauren McCalley of Lafayette, Jane Kellogg and husband John Cowdry of Lyons, and Tom Kellogg and wife Margaret Kellogg of Louisville. He has eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.•


In this issue...

2007 Outstanding Accomplishment Awards

NCAR pioneer Will Kellogg, 1917–2007

Random Profile: Emily Laidlaw

COMET writer wins AAAS science journalism award

Weather forecast goes global

New director for UCAR Child Care Center

Delphi Question

Holiday greetings!

Just One Look


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