What it means to be a FELLOW ...

The Fellows of CIRA are a distinguished group of scientists whose expertise and experience represent a key underpinning to the success of our research organization.
The Fellows advise CIRA leadership in all scientifi c matters including concept development, program strategy, annual research plans, peer review, resource allocation, research and technology coordination, and achieving the overarching goal of regional and disciplinary integration.
Although not all are employees of CIRA, Fellows are offered this honorary post by the Director in recognition of their prominence in the field and in acknowledgment of their collaborative work with the Institute.


Fellows Of CIRA

Christian Kummerow, Director CIRA
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1987
Director, CIRA and Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Research Interests:

Radiative Transfer; Satellite Remote Sensing; Precipitating Cloud Characteristics; Climate Trends in the Hydrologic Cycle.

Current Research Projects:

Using satellite data to understand the relationship between environmental variables and precipitation at global as well as regional scales. Merging multiple satellite data streams to infer precipitation properties such as rainfall efficiency, the interaction of aerosols with clouds and precipitation and the relationship between water vapor and the morphology of clouds. Developing a physical framework to compare remotely sensed precipitation from surface and space-based observations with cloud resolving model output – and using these tools to develop better rainfall products for applications such as agriculture and extreme precipitation forecasts.

Steven D. Miller, Deputy Director CIRA
B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, 1995
M.S. and Ph.D., Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, 1997, 2000 Senior Research Scientist and Deputy Director, CIRA
Research Interests:
Satellite-based remote sensing from a wide assortment of sensor technologies including active and optical spectrum passive systems. From 2000 to 2007, Miller worked at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, Calif., in the Satellite Meteorological Applications Section, where he developed numerous value-added satellite multi-spectral, multi-sensor, and model-fusion tools for operational forecasters (including lofted dust and ash, snow cover, cloud detection and optical/ microphysical/geometric properties, fog, fires, natural color, aircraft contrail, and nocturnal low-light visible applications). His mineral dust detection algorithms for SeaWiFS and MODIS were among the first to exploit blue-light silicate absorption properties. In 2005, Miller published the first satellite detection of a widespread oceanic bioluminescence phenomenon (the fabled ‘Milky Sea’) using the DSMP Operational Linescan System. In 2012 he reported on the Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership Day/Night Band sensor’s unanticipated and unprecedented capability to resolve atmospheric nightglow signals at high spatial resolution from a nadir-viewing system, offering a new way to detect low clouds on moonless nights as well as the fine-scale structure of mesospheric gravity waves. In 2013 he presented a satellitebased derivation of trajectory for 2013 Chelyabinsk Meteor. Miller joined CIRA in 2007 as deputy director, where he continues work in developing satellite algorithms with practical applications geared toward the operational end-user.
Current Research Projects:
Mahmood R. Azimi-Sadjadi
Ph.D., Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, UK, 1982
Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Colorado State University
Research Interests:
Digital signal/image processing, detection and estimation theory, distributed sensor networks, machine learning and adaptive systems.
Current Research Projects:
Acoustic inversion problem for temperature and wind velocity estimation, acoustic noise monitoring in national parks, inference in multichannel disparate sensor platforms, underwater target detection and classification from sonar imagery, distributed acoustic sensor networks for gunshot localization and UAV tracking.
Daniel Birkenheuer
Ph.D., University of Denver, 1982
Meteorologist and Section Leader for Analysis, NOAA/ESRL/GSD Forecast Analysis Branch, Boulder, Colorado
Research Interests:
Meteorological analysis including forward model and adjoint application and development for variational analysis, utilization of satellite data in innovative ways to mesh with forecaster needs, data error reduction, humidity analysis, adaptation of local techniques to global problems, radar reflectivity assimilation.
Current Research Projects:
GOES and GOES-R moisture assimilation and calibration/validation, GPS total precipitable water assimilation, assisting in the development of the new variational Local Analysis and Prediction System (vLAPS) using 3(4)-DVar multi-grid techniques, assisting in foreign and domestic projects including: CWB Taiwan, China’s Heavy Rain Institute, NOAA’s GPM mission, and lightning research, along with US National Weather Service interactions.
V. Chandrasekar
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Colorado State University, 1986
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, University Distinguished Professor
Research Interests:

Polarimetric radar observations, radar system design, radar network development, image processing, neural network applications, large scale system simulation. Chandra has made pioneering contributions in the area of “polarimetric radar observations of the atmosphere.” He has extensive experience in radar system design, radar network development, DSP design as well as RF communication systems. Chandra has contributed significantly to the areas of weather radar and applications to atmospheric sciences and also conducts research on related topics including image processing, neural network applications and large-scale system simulation. He has organized and participated in six large multi-agency, national level experiments involving many radars, aircraft and ground instrumentation and is an avid experimentalist conducting special experiments to collect in-situ observations to verify the new techniques and technologies. Chandra is co-author of two textbooks: Polarimetric and Doppler Weather Radar (Cambridge University Press) and Probability and Random Processes (McGraw Hill). 

Current Research Projects:

Co-PI of the CSU-CHILL radar facility where he plays an important role in maintaining it as one of the most advanced meteorological radar systems in the world available for research. Chandra works actively with the CSU-CHILL radar supporting its research and education mission. He is also Co-PI and the associate director of the NSF Engineering Research Center, CASA (Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere), where he provides leadership for the sensing research.

Jeffrey L. Collett, Jr.
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1989
Professor and Department Head, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Research Interests:

Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Quality.

Current Research Projects:
Examining sources, atmospheric transformation, and deposition of reactive nitrogen in the Rocky Mountain Region; characterizing emissions and air quality impacts from oil and gas development, studies of interactions of clouds and fogs with particle and gas phase pollutants; characterizing aging of atmospheric organic matter including smoke from wild and prescribed fires, and development of new approaches for real-time aerosol composition measurement. Recent funding for this research has come from a variety of sponsors including NSF, NPS, NIH, USDA, CDPHE, Garfield County, and a variety of energy exploration and production companies.
Collett collaborates closely with federal and CIRA scientists on air quality topics, including studies of pollution impacts on visibility and nitrogen deposition. He is also a member of the CIRA Executive Board.


William R. Cotton
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1970
Professor Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University Fellow AMS, AGU
Research Interests:
Clouds and storms; mesoscale meteorology; aerosol impacts on clouds, hurricanes, and precipitation; mesoscale numerical weather prediction.
Current Research Projects:
Co-Investigator on NOAA project: i Use of the Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Model (OLAM) with Cloud System-Resolving Refined Local Mesh to Study MJO Initiation.
Cotton recently completed the supervision of Ahmad Sammon for his M.S. degree.
Mark DeMaria
Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1983
NWS/NCEP/National Hurricane Center/Technology and Science Branch Chief
Research Interests:

Tropical meteorology, forecast applications, satellite meteorology.

Current Research Projects:
Managing the National Hurricane Center (NHC) Technology and Science Branch, including tropical cyclone forecast application development, transition of research to the operational environment, and oversight of the NHC Information Technology infrastructure. DeMaria is also involved in the satellite proving ground where new satellite data and products are provided to NHC forecasters for evaluation and feedback, applied research to improve tropical cyclone intensity forecasts, and estimation of forecast uncertainty.
DeMaria collaborates extensively with CIRA and the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and is a member of several graduate student committees. He also coordinates with other agencies, including the NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research in Camp Springs, the OAR Hurricane Research Division in Miami, Fla., and other NOAA cooperative institutes.


Scott Denning
Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1994
Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Research Interests:

Global Carbon Cycle; Land-Atmosphere Interactions.

Current Research Projects:
Forward and inverse modeling of atmospheric CO2 at local, regional, and global scales; Use of satellite imagery and numerical models to diagnose sources and sinks of CO2 from measurements of atmospheric constituents; Development of carbon data assimilation system for analysis of column CO2 mixing ratio from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory; Collaboration and modeling support for field projects as part of the North American Carbon Program; Development of algorithms for simulation of phenology and physiology of crops, grasslands, and forests; Coordination of scientific guidance for federal agencies regarding carbon cycle research in North America.
Denning collaborates closely with federal and CIRA scientists on land-atmosphere interaction, carbon data assimilation, and inverse modeling. He supervises several students and scientists supported on projects administered through CIRA.
Graham Feingold
Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, 1989
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, Colorado
Research Interests:
Aerosol-cloud interactions; numerical modeling of aerosol effects on cloud radiative properties and precipitation; in situ observations and remote measurement of aerosol, clouds, and aerosol-cloud interactions; cloud processing of aerosol; self-organization in aerosol-cloud precipitation systems; stability of mixed-phase Arctic stratus.
Current Research Projects:
Modeling of aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions and their radiative properties (NOAA, DoE), modeling of biomass burning and its influence on cloud-field properties (NASA), remote sensing of aerosol-cloud interactions (DoE), scale dependence of aerosol-cloud interactions (NOAA and NSF).
Douglas G. Fox
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1968
Senior Research Scientist Emeritus, CIRA, Colorado State University Chief Meteorologist & Program Manager, Global Change, USDA, Forest Service (retired)
Research Interests:
Climate change, wildland fire and smoke management.
Current Research Projects:
Coordinating wildfire smoke science research for the US Joint Fire Science Program (consultant to US DOI, JFSP); climate change impacts on mountain landscapes (University of Turin & UN FAO Mountain Partnership).
Jay Ham
Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1990
Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University
Research Interests:
Environmental physics and micrometeorology, effects of animal feeding operations on air and water quality, long-term CO2 and H2O flux monitoring by eddy covariance, global climate change and field-scale carbon budgets, instrumentation development, remote sensing, soil-plant-water relations, irrigation management.
Current Research Projects:
1) Water, Carbon, and Global Climate Change – Starting in 1997, operated a network of long-term eddy covariance sites as part of DOE’s Ameriflux Program. These towers, which provided yearround hourly measurements of carbon flux and ET, have been deployed on prairies, a cedar forest, and at livestock operations. New research is aimed at characterizing spatial variations in ET and net carbon exchange so that research done at tower sites can be scaled up to make watershed- and regional-scale estimates of water and carbon cycles; 
2) Research on Animal Feeding Operations – His research group developed instrumentation to measure ammonia/ammonium (NHx) fluxes from feedlots using a micrometeorological technique called relaxed eddy accumulation (REA). Ultimately, research could lead to improved practices for reducing NHx losses by allowing us to measure directly how a change in diet or waste management affects emissions. Anaerobic lagoons are widely used at AFOs to store and treat waste. His research team has been a leader in developing methods for measuring seepage losses and predicting the effects on groundwater quality;
3) Instrumentation Development – looking to improve measurement capabilities such as new sensor technologies, including sap flow gauges, soil moisture probes, various chamber designs for measuring whole-canopy gas exchange, techniques for measuring seepage and gas fluxes from animal waste lagoons, new micrometeorological techniques for measuring fluxes of NH3 and other trace gases from cattle feedlots, and more recently the development of low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for remote sensing of vegetation.
Scott Hausman
Ph.D., Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, 2001
Chief, Support Services Division, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, N.C.
Research Interests:

Numerical weather prediction, tropical cyclone dynamics, climate studies.

Current Research Projects:
Archival system architectures, data stewardship.
Hausman started his career with NOAA as the deputy director for the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in 2009. In this role, Hausman helped NOAA establish its regional climate services by fielding the Regional Climate Reference Network and deploying the Regional Climate Service Directors across the U.S. He also managed NOAA’s newest satellite archive in support of Suomi-NPP, JPSS and GOES-R, and oversaw stand-up of the Climate Data Records (CDR) reprocessing program. During his career with NOAA, Hausman has also served as the acting director of both NCDC and the Global Systems Division of the Earth System Research Laboratory
Prior to joining NOAA, Hausman served in the United States Air Force for 24 years as a weather officer. During his military career, he commanded the sole climate support squadron supporting Air Force (AF) and Army operations, and managed 2 of the top 135 supercomputers in the world for AF Weather Agency, producing global and regional numerical weather forecasts for combat operations around the world. He also led meteorological support to AF Research Laboratory, and oversaw the Environmental Scenario Generator (ESG), which provided modeling and simulation support to DoD field exercises and acquisition programs.
Richard H. Johnson
Ph.D., University of Washington, 1975
Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Research Interests:
Current Research Projects:
Observational, theoretical, and modeling – contributed to improved understanding of atmospheric moist convection, both on regional and global scales. Particular emphasis has been given in recent years to convection within the region of the Asian monsoon. In 2008, participated in the Terraininfluenced Monsoon Rainfall Experiment (TiMREX) conducted in Taiwan. Studies are underway to determine the mechanisms for extreme monsoon rainfall in a region where the monsoon flow interacts with steep topography. More recently, participated in the 2011-12 DYNamics of the MjO experiment (DYNAMO) which is directed at investigation of the initiation of the Madden- Julian Oscillation (MJO) over the Indian Ocean. Involved with the sounding measurements during DYNAMO, with the goal of characterizing the moistening effects of the cloud populations during the MJO initiation phase. A further area of research on tropical and monsoon convection involves the validation of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) estimates of latent heating profiles due to convection using observations from field campaigns.
Andrew Jones
Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1996
Senior Research Scientist, CIRA, Colorado State University
Research Interests:
Coordinating, communicating, and implementing new transdisciplinary technologies using innovative remote sensing, data assimilation methodologies, and cloud computing, focusing on application areas of high impact to our sponsors. This includes cross-sensor remote sensing techniques, satellite/model data assimilation for analysis of hydrological processes, microwave emissivity analysis, land surface characterization, remote sensing of soil moisture, inversion theory, error propagation analysis, spatial filter analysis, and cross-sensor data fusion techniques. Aerosols, clouds, coupling of land/atmospheric processes, and atmospheric profile estimates are also broad scientific interests. Jones is an editor of the AMS Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.
Current Research Projects:
Army soil moisture downscaling research; DoD Center for Geosciences/Atmospheric Research (CG/AR) – soil moisture research; NESDIS Blended Rainfall Rate product development; NESDIS Blended Total Precipitable Water product development; NSF Non- Gaussian Data Assimilation Research – 1DVAR satellite retrievals, 3DVAR WRF developments; Rocky Mountain Consortium for Global Development (RMCGD): food security, water limited environments; USAF cloud advection satellite systems development.
Pierre Y. Julien
Ph.D., Civil Engineering (hydraulics), Laval University, Canada, 1983
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University
Research Interests:
River morphology, sediment transport, sedimentation, stream rehabilitation and flood control; computer modeling of floods, soil erosion and sediment yield from large watersheds; two-dimensional modeling of flash floods from moving rainstorms using GIS data bases and radar precipitation data; hydraulic geometry of stable alluvial channels and aquatic habitat; hyperconcentrated sediment flows, mud flows and debris flows; local scour downstream of grade-control structures and headcut migration; river morphology and formation of sediment plugs in rivers. http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~pierre/
Current Research Projects:
Flood control research using the model TREX with applications to the PMP and PMF conditions in tropical climates, mountain flood and slope stability modeling during extreme rainstorms, turbidity currents in large reservoirs as a result of excessive upland erosion during typhoons, development and applications of the models CASC2D and TREX for the simulation of two-dimensional surface runoff from spatially-distributed rainfall on complex watersheds, river restoration and erosion control on large rivers, the analysis of large concentrations of sands in suspension and sediment plug formation in large rivers.
Stanley Q. Kidder
Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, 1979
Senior Research Scientist, CIRA, Colorado State University
Research Interests:

Application of satellite data to meteorological problems. http://cat.cira.colostate.edu/kidder/

Current Research Projects:
The use of constellations of satellites for meteorological observations, operational blended total precipitable water and blended rain rate products, layer precipitable water products, ensemble tropical rainfall potential (eTRaP) improvement, Imagery products from the Suomi NPP VIIRS instrument.
Sonia M. Kreidenweis
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1989
Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University - University Distinguished Professor
Research Interests:

Atmospheric chemistry and air quality; aerosol optical properties; aerosol-cloud interactions.

Current Research Projects:
Studying the impacts of dust on visibility, air quality, and precipitation, characterization of physical and optical properties of biomass burning emissions and estimating their effects on visibility, cloud formation and climate, understanding biological particles in the atmosphere and their role in cloud evolution. Recent funding for this research has come from a variety of federal and state agencies including the National Science Foundation, DOE, the National Park Service, the Joint Fire Science Program, NASA, NOAA, and CG/AR.
Kreidenweis’ research contributes to CIRA’s mission to furthering understanding of weather and climate. Her group’s work on atmospheric particulate matter has been applied to studies as diverse as elucidation of the conditions conducive to mixedphase cloud formation, and the apportionment of visibility reduction in remote areas to natural and man-made causes, including forest fires.


Glen Liston
Ph.D., Montana State University, 1991
Senior Research Scientist, CIRA, Colorado State University
Research Interests:
Research and parameterization of land-surface hydrology and boundary layer processes for localregional- and global-scale land-atmosphere interaction models operating at climate, and shorter, time scales. Particular emphasis is on process studies and modeling of snow and ice found in high-latitude and high-elevation environments. Author of the MicroMet, SnowModel, SnowTran-3D, and SnowAssim Snow Evolution Modeling System.
Liston has considerable experience in cold-regions field research, leading and participating in snow and glaciological research expeditions around the world. These projects involve multi-day, multi-week, and multi-month field programs; over the last 30 years he has spent over 5 years in the field. In 1982-83 he wintered over at the United States Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station, Antarctica, where he received a United States Congressional Service Medal. In recognition of his field research and related publications, in 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York. On October 18, 2011, the “Liston Glacier” in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica was named for him by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names for his work on Antarctic glacier and ice sheet melt processes. He has over 100 refereed journal publications on snow-related topics.
Current Research Projects:
NSF: Collaborative Research-AON: A Snow Observing Network to Detect Climate Change – SnowNet II; NSF: IPY: Collaborative Research: Linking Inuit Knowledge and Local-Scale Environmental Modeling to Evaluate the Impacts of Changing Weather on Human Activities at Clyde River, Nunavut; NASA: Snow on Sea Ice: Data Fusion using Remote Sensing and Modeling; NASA: Blending Fine-Scale Terrestrial Snow Information with Coarse-Scale Remote Sensing Data Using Inferential and Modeling Methods.
Alexander E. "Sandy" MacDonald
Ph.D., University of Utah, 1975
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Chief Science Advisor; NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Director; President-Elect, American Meteorological Society
Research Interests:
Atmospheric modeling, atmospheric observing systems, advanced geophysical computing, interface of science and public policy.
Current Research Projects:
Development of a global non-hydrostatic finite-volume icosahedral cloud-resolving atmospheric model, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems program of NOAA, new techniques for assimilation, and global education such as the Science On a Sphere® program.
William Malm
Ph.D., University of Missouri, 1972
Senior Research Scientist, CIRA, Colorado State University; Research Physicist, National Park Service Air Resources Division (retired)
Research Interests:
Dr. William C Malm is a research scientist/scholar at CIRA and a recently retired research physicist in the National Park Service Air Resources Division where he was program coordinator for the visibility/particulate research and monitoring program. He has previously worked as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research scientist and as a professor of environmental science at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He is a member of the Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). He has served as an organizing chair for special sessions in each of these associations and as a guest editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) and the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (JAWMA). He is also a topic editor for environmental monitoring for the Encyclopedia of Earth. He has received a number of awards for outstanding lectures and various research activities. In 2009 he received the George Wright Society 2008 Director’s Award for Natural Resources, the EPA Thomas W. Zosel 2008 Outstanding Individual Achievement Award, and the Air & Waste Management Association’s Frank A. Chambers Excellence in Air Pollution Control Award for his research contributions in the areas of visibility and air quality. He serves as a science advisor to the EPA as a member of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.
Dr. Malm’s expertise is in the general area of visibility and related topics. He made some of the first visibility and air quality measurements in the National Park Service system at the Grand Canyon in 1972. Since then he has designed and built instrumentation to measure the effects of atmospheric aerosols on the scenic qualities of landscape features, as well as their optical and chemical properties. He has formulated radiation transfer algorithms that allow pictorial visualization of aerosol scattering and absorption effects on scenic landscape features. He pioneered studies of visibility perception that elicit human responses, in terms of both psychophysical and value assessment, to changes in scenic quality as a function of aerosol optical properties. He has initiated and carried out large field campaigns to better characterize aerosol physical and optical properties, especially as they relate to aerosol hygroscopic properties, and to assess the relative contributions of various source types to visibility impacts in a number of national parks and wilderness areas. He has also pioneered a number of back-trajectory receptor modeling methodologies that allow estimates of the relative contributions of source areas to aerosol concentrations or visibility effects at selected receptor sites. Many of the results from this work have been incorporated into the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program and the EPA Regional Haze Rule (RHR).
Current Research Projects:
Roger A. Pielke, Sr.
Ph.D., Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, 1973
Professor Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric Science Department, Colorado State University Senior Research Scientist, CIRES, University of Colorado-Boulder Senior Research Associate, The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) University of Colorado-Boulder
Research Interests:

Climate; Weather; Mesoscale and Regional Modeling; Atmospheric Dynamics.

Current Research Projects:
Mesoscale and regional atmospheric modeling, assessment of environmental contextual vulnerability with a focus on climate, integrated regional climate assessment with a focus on the effects of land-use land-cover change on weather, analysis of global radiative imbalance using ocean heat changes. Recent research is funded through the National Science Foundation and the University of Colorado at Boulder.


James F.W. Purdom
Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1986
Senior Research Scientist Emeritus, CIRA, Colorado State University
Research Interests:

Satellite Meteorology; Global Observing Systems; Integrated Satellite Products; Severe Weather.

Current Research Projects:
Currently consults on a limited basis. Purdom retired from the capacity of special advisor to the WMO’s Observations Department at the end of 2013. In that capacity he advised WMO on:
1) integrated observing systems addressing both current and future surface and space based observing systems;
2) a space-based architecture for climate monitoring;
3) observations as a part of the WMO’s Global Framework for Climate Services;
4) and capacity building. He served his final term as Chair of the International Conference Steering Committee of the Asia/Oceania Meteorological Satellite Data Users’ Conference at the end of 2013, having been its chair since the conference’s inception in Beijing in 2010, Tokyo 2011, Jeju Island Korea in 2012, and Melbourne Australia in 2013.
Robert M. Rabin
Ph.D., University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, 1987
Research Meteorologist, NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)
Research Interests:
Applications of satellite observations in thunderstorm research and in weather forecasting, use of Doppler radar for measurement of winds and stability changes in the clear air prior to thunderstorm development, the effects of surface wetness and vegetation patterns on cumulus cloud formation, medium- and long-range weather forecasting of extreme weather.
Current Research Projects:
Research meteorologist with NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Okla., working collaboratively with the NOAA/NESDIS Advanced Satellite Products Team in Madison, Wis., and the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch (RAMMB) at CIRA . The collaboration has led to several innovative research projects involving satellite measurements of mesoscale winds, surface wetness, and the monitoring convective storm clouds and trends in moisture and stability. Rabin also collaborates with the NOAA-Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (CREST) at the City College of New York on GOES-R related research, and has been teaching online climate and weather classes at Ilisagvik College in Barrow, Alaska.
Steven A. Rutlege
Ph.D., University of Washington, 1983
Professor and Department Head Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
Research Interests:

Cloud Physics; Radar Meteorology; Cloud Electricity and Lightning; Tropical Meteorology.

Current Research Projects:
Scientific Director of the CSU-CHILL National Radar Facility; Analysis of TRMM precipitation radar data to study the characteristics of tropical rainfall; analysis of DYNAMO ship radar data to study the convective characteristics of the Madden Julian Oscillation; production of NOx by lightning in the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry project; study of regional and global lightning in relation to instability and aerosols; DOE ASR support to analyze Doppler and polarimetric radar data for improving numerical models; participation in ground validation field experiments for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission.
John Schneider
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, 1985
Chief, Technology Outreach Branch, NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, Global System Division, Boulder, Colorado
Research Interests:
Leads NOAA’s efforts to bring its Science On a Sphere® technology to the world, expand NOAA’s relationships in weather forecast improvement to Taiwan, creates forecast tools for use in wildfire planning and response, and is developing next generation systems to distribute, display and manipulate global environmental information. Schneider began with NOAA as the Deputy Director for the Global Systems Division (then Forecast System Laboratory) in 2004. From 2008 to 2013 he was the deputy director of the Earth System Research Laboratory. In that role, he led efforts to expand NOAA’s role in renewable energy weather forecasting, added a group to lead NOAA’s efforts within the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF) and associated projects, negotiated a regulatory settlement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and led efforts regarding numerous leadership and management challenges. Schneider is also adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado-Boulder in Mechanical Engineering.
Prior to his time with NOAA, Schneider was a lead federal executive for a $4B contract to close the DOE’s Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility south of Boulder. In that role, he led efforts to successfully dispose of tons of weapons grade plutonium, the disposal of 250,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste, and the cleanup and demolition of over 800 facilities, while developing a wide array of oversight, reporting and tracking methods to evaluate and document project performance and progress. The $10B dollar, ten year closure plan that he helped develop for this project in the mid-90s completely rethought and compressed the former plans timeline which called for a 65 year $37B closure. This new plan was formally given a 1% chance of success by the General Accounting Office. Despite this GAO prediction of failure, the closure project was complete in 7 years for $6.5B dollars with the unusual feature of being a large-scale Government contract finished ahead of schedule and under budget. Prior to his time with DOE, Schneider developed innovative defensive systems, smoke and obscurants for the US Military as a civilian equipment designer for the US Army and was a contract auditor for the Department of Defense.


Current Research Projects:
George Smith
B.S., Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.E. and Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Florida
Research Interests:
Smith spent 33 years with NOAA supporting and leading the Hydrology and Water Resources Program, NWS river forecast system development, and NOAA strategic planning and programming for weather and water initiatives, before joining Riverside Technology, Inc. as a senior program manager. Smith currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Hydrologic Sciences, the American Meteorological Society Board on Enterprise Planning, and the National Hydrologic Warning Council Executive Program Committee.
Current Research Projects:
Graeme L. Stephens
Ph.D., Meteorology, University of Melbourne, Australia, 1977
University Distinguished Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University; Director, Center for Climate Sciences, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Research Interests:
Current research is divided into three broad, overlapping areas funded by various agencies. Over the years, the accumulated understanding of the interactions between solar and infrared radiation and the terrestrial atmosphere has led to research addressing: energetics issues that relate radiative transfer to dynamical systems such as climate and numerical weather prediction, the remote sensing of the atmosphere by spaceborne platforms (e.g., the CloudSat Program), and measurement programs that are aimed at testing theoretical developments by using observational data gathered from instruments designed and constructed within the Stephens Group.
Current Research Projects:
Stephens is currently the principal investigator on the CloudSat Mission, director of the Center for Climate Sciences at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and co-Investigator of the CALIPSO Mission, member – NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center Climate Panel, member – National Academy of Sciences Climate Change Feedbacks Working Group, member – NOAA’s Climate and Global Change Advisory Panel, member of the U.S. National Academy of Science – Committee on Earth Sciences (CES), and has remained as a member on several other advisory panels for over a decade through his dedication to the atmospheric science community. Stephens is also co-chair of the WCRP GEWEX Program.
Stephens teaches graduate level courses and laboratory exercises (view at http://langley.atmos.colostate.edu/classes.html). This includes a publication of a classroom project that exposes students to research data collected during the CIRRUS II First ISCCP Regional Experiment from Parsons, Kansas, entitled FIRE in the Classroom (Stephens, G. L., S. K. Cox, P. W. Stackhouse, Jr., J. Davis and the AT622 Class, 1993: Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 74, 2375-2383; a graduate-level textbook entitled Remote Sensing of the Lower Atmosphere: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1994); development of a Doppler radar used for hands-on teaching the laboratory; and recently the CloudSat Education Network (CEN) Outreach Program to incorporate scientific hands-on real data in the curriculum of elementary and secondary schools.
Stephens collaborates closely with CIRA through research projects and the CloudSat Data Processing Center (DPC) and in developing new satellite missions that seek to use these CIRA facilities. The DPC is currently examining and validating the data retrieved from the CloudSat Satellite which was launched April 28, 2006.
Pieter Tans
Ph.D. University of Groningen (the Netherlands), 1978
Senior Scientist, NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory
Research Interests:
Biogeochemical cycles, atmospheric chemistry, climate and global change, isotopic ratios, paleoclimate.
Current Research Projects:
Global atmospheric measurements of CO2, CH4, CO, H2, N2O, SF6, and isotopic ratios in several of those species; Inverse models to infer patterns and trends of emissions/removals that are optimally consistent with the atmospheric observations; Development of new measurements methods, such as AirCore, and combining multiple methods to quantify regional emissions from oil and gas fields, the Arctic, urban areas.
Thomas H. Vonder Haar
Ph.D., Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, 1968; Minor: Astrophysics
University Distinguished Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University Founding Director Emeritus, CIRA, Colorado State University Member, National Academy of Engineering
Research Interests:

Satellite Meteorology; Atmospheric Radiation; Climate Studies.

Current Research Projects:
Vonder Haar is the Principal Investigator on a multi-million dollar contract in support of the Department of Defense Geosciences research as well as other grants from organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Air Force, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Vonder Haar has more than 40 years of research and teaching experience in the field of Satellite Meteorology. He has co-authored the first textbook in this area: Satellite Meteorology – An Introduction (Academic Press, 1995). In addition to the textbook, he has authored/coauthored more than 550 publications and presentations in his field. Currently, he is University Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and Chairperson of the CSU UDP group comprising 1% of the faculty. He is a charter member of the CloudSat Mission Science Team and active on several National Academy Advisory Committees. In his years at Colorado State University, he has served as the M.S. advisor for 83 students and Ph.D. advisor for 29 students, most of whom are now professionals in Satellite Meteorology and related areas of Atmospheric Science. Among other national and international honors and awards, he was elected in 2003 to the National Academy of Engineering.


Fuzhong Weng
Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1992
Acting Chief of Satellite Meteorology and Climatology of NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and Research and also Senior Scientist of Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA), and JPSS Sensor Science Chair
Research Interests:
Fuzhong is a leading expert in developing various NOAA operational satellite microwave products and algorithms such as the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) cloud and precipitation algorithms, land surface temperature and emissivity algorithms. These products are increasingly being utilized by the international communities to validate the numerical weather prediction model outputs and provide real-time monitoring of various severe weather events.
He has contributed extraordinarily to the advances in satellite data assimilation. He developed a comprehensive technique for simulating microwave land, snow and sea ice emissivity. These emissivity models have significantly improved uses of satellite sounding data in models and have impacted the high latitude weather forecasts.
Fuzhong is developing innovative techniques to advance uses of satellite measurements under cloudy and precipitating areas in models. As a doctoral advisor at the University of Maryland, he has supervised students on using satellite microwave measurements from NOAA operational satellites in mesoscale models. He developed a new initialization for hurricane simulation models, using satellite-derived profiles of temperature and water vapor. His method yields balanced fields of atmospheric mass and motion. The technique can now replace the bogus method in hurricane forecast models.
Current Research Projects:
Milija Zupanski
Ph.D., University of Oklahoma,1990
Senior Research Scientist, CIRA, Colorado State University
Research Interests:
Ensemble data assimilation, nonlinear and nondifferentiable optimization and preconditioning, non-gaussian probability assumptions, predictability and chaos theory, applied mathematics focusing on weather and climate. Milija is a principal developer of the Maximum Likelihood Ensemble Filter (MLEF).
Current Research Projects:
1) Ensemble Data Assimilation for Nonlinear and Nondifferentiable Problems in Geosciences (NSF): Extend the applicability of ensemble data assimilation to nonlinear and nondifferentiable processes, such as cloud and precipitation, by developing/adopting nondifferentiable minimization algorithms. This research is done in collaboration with Michael Navon of Florida State University;
2) Ensemble-based assimilation and downscaling of the GPM-like satellite precipitation information: Further development and improvements of WRF-EDAS. Develop a level-4 precipitation product for NASA GPM satellite, by downscaling precipitation observations via ensemble data assimilation;
3) Advancing Coupled Land-Atmosphere Modeling with the NASA-Unified WRF via Process Studies and Satellite-Scale Data Assimilation. Improve NASA coupled land-chemistry-atmosphere modeling system by assimilating cloud and precipitation information;
4) Utility of GOES-R instruments for hurricane data assimilation and forecasting (JCSDA): Evaluate the impact of the future GOES-R ABI and GLM observations on hurricane data assimilation, using the NCEP’s operational HWRF system. This research is done in collaboration with Jun Li of CIMSS, University of Wisconsin-Madison.