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April 9, 2018

Thomas Vonder Haar co-authors book on founder of satellite meteorology

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Thomas Vonder Haar has co-authored a book about Verner Suomi, the founder of satellite meteorology. Vonder Haar and six other authors drew on personal letters and oral histories of the Finnish-American educator, inventor and scientist to piece together Verner Suomi: The Life and Work of the Founder of Satellite Meteorology.

The book’s abstract explains how Suomi forever changed the field of meteorology:

“In the early days of space science, Suomi brought his pragmatic engineering skills to bear on finding ways to use our new access to space to put observational instruments into orbit. In 1959, his work resulted in the launching of Explorer VII, a satellite that measured Earth’s radiation budget, a major step in our ability to understand and forecast weather. Today, NOAA’s GOES system continues his legacy by providing a continuous stream of environmental data from space.”

“It was a pleasure to work with lead author and historian John Lewis and other colleagues on the new book,” Vonder Haar said. “[Suomi] was my Ph.D. advisor at the University of Wisconsin, and I worked closely with him on several research projects for 15 years beginning in 1963. Professor Suomi was a natural engineer and inventor with a deep understanding of global and local atmospheric systems.”

You can read more about the book or purchase it at the AMS Bookstore.