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September 7, 2017

Maria Silva Dias chosen as 2017 ATS Outstanding Alum

Prof. Maria Silva Dias of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been selected as the 2017 CSU ATS Outstanding Alum. Maria received her Ph.D. from CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science in 1979. She was the first woman to graduate with a Ph.D. from the program.

Following her bachelor’s degree, Maria was tasked with developing the recently created Department of Meteorology at the University of Sao Paulo. Maria, along with her husband, Pedro da Silva Dias, came to CSU in 1975 to pursue graduate studies in our department. Following completion of her Ph.D., Maria returned to Brazil and served as one of the main pillars in the development of that country’s best undergraduate and graduate programs in atmospheric sciences.

Maria is well known for her atmospheric science research in Brazil and internationally. She has led numerous major field campaigns in Brazil, especially in the Amazon. Many of these have focused on improved understanding of the complex coupling between forest landscapes and rivers, aerosols and biomass burning, clouds and precipitation, and South American climate. Her research has examined mesoscale circulations and cloud and rain organization, the role of clouds in transporting gases and particles, the diagnosis of severe storms in Brazil, and effects of climate change on precipitation.

Maria has served as president of the Brazilian Meteorological Society, is a fellow member of the Brazilian Academy of Science, and a fellow of the AMS, among other acknowledgements. In addition to her academic leadership at USP, Maria served for several years as director of the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies of the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research.

For her many achievements, Maria will be honored as the ATS 2017 Outstanding Alum during an award presentation and reception Friday, Sept. 15. She also will present a colloquium, “Clouds in the Amazon.” Refreshments will be served starting at 10:45 in the weather lab, and the award presentation and colloquium will begin at 11:15 a.m. in 101 ATS.

Maria Silva Dias, center, with her whole family, including six grandchildren.

Outstanding Alum Award reception and colloquium announcement