In 52 years with CSU, Thomas Vonder Haar has taken atmospheric science to new heights
University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Thomas Vonder Haar’s 52-year career at Colorado State University has had many high points – both figurative and literal. As chair of the Department of Atmospheric Science, he led the graduate program to its ranking as one of the top three in the U.S., and as the founding director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, he oversaw satellite research and a NASA mission.
Vonder Haar’s interest in meteorology took off when he got his pilot’s license at 19 and accelerated in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin under the guidance of Verner Suomi, who is considered the father of satellite meteorology. Since then, Vonder Haar has made CSU a recognized leader in satellite meteorology.
Participating in Northern Colorado’s emergence as a nexus for science and technology has been most satisfying as he looks back on decades of remarkable accomplishments as a researcher, educator and leader in the field. This has been his goal since joining CSU in 1970.
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