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November 28, 2023

CSU Well-Represented in National Weather Association Elections

Our department was well-represented in recent elections of the National Weather Association (NWA). ATS M.S. graduate Becca Mazur was chosen as President-elect/Board Director. She will begin a term on January 1, 2024, and assume the role of President in 2025. Becca received her M.S. degree from the department in 2007 under the guidance of Professor Tom Vonder Haar. Becca’s thesis was entitled “Observations of inflow feeder clouds and their relation to severe thunderstorms.” Current ATS graduate student Katurah McCants was elected director for the year 2024. Advised by ATS Professor and CIRA Director Steve Miller and mentored by John Haynes, Katurah is working on anticipating the capabilities/limitations of the forthcoming GeoXO 0.91 micron shortwave vapor band. Congratulations to both Katurah and Becca! The NWA is a professional association supporting and promoting excellence in operational meteorology and related activities.

Photo caption:  Katurah McCants (left) and Becca Mazur (right).

Justin Hudson receives award at Graduate Student Showcase

Justin Hudson, Ph.D. candidate advised by Steve Miller, received a scholarship award from the Graduate Student Council at the 2023 Graduate Student Showcase. The showcase was held on November 15.

The Graduate Student Council, one of many sponsors of the showcase, selected five graduate students to receive their scholarship. Hudson was selected for his project focused on milky seas, a rare form of large-scale bioluminescence where the ocean can glow for days to months at a time over areas up to 100,000+ km2. Milky seas “represent a unique interaction between the atmosphere, ocean, and biosphere,” Hudson explained. “Using a simple model based on known air-sea-biosphere interactions, a milky sea was successfully predicted for the first time. This represents a crucial first step towards eventually being able to study milky seas in person and understanding what causes them,” he said.

Hudson said that participating in the showcase was a great experience overall, and that he “personally got a lot out of presenting [his] work and chatting with people in other departments.” He added that it would be a great experience for ATS students in the future.

Congratulations, Justin!

Prof. Maria Rugenstein Wins EGU Early Career Award

We are excited to announce that Prof. Maria Rugenstein has been awarded the 2024 Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award by the Climate:  Past, Present & Future Division of the European Geosciences Union.  This award recognizes Maria for her important contributions to the Earth sciences in the area of climate.  Maria has contributed fundamental and widely recognized research on understanding climate sensitivity and feedbacks, including the role of SST pattern changes for understanding the future climate response to greenhouse gas forcing.  This award will be celebrated during the 2024 EGU General Assembly, which will be held from 14–19 April in Vienna, Austria.  The full list of individuals recognized by EGU can be found here:

Congratulations Maria!  This is well-deserved.

November 10, 2023

CSU researcher wins DOE funding to improve modeling of atmospheric ice nucleation

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Russel Perkins, a research scientist in CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science, funding to advance our understanding and modeling of the role that a class of atmospheric aerosols known as ice-nucleating particles play in cloud formation. Perkins and co-investigator Sonia Kreidenweis, a University Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, will investigate how different aerosols affect cloud properties like ice/water ratio, average droplet size, and other factors. More information about this award and the research being funded can be found in the following Source article written by Rich Young:

Alex DesRosiers first recipient of the William M. Gray Award

Graduate student Alex DesRosiers was honored on November 3 as the first recipient of the William M. Gray Award, a newly established honor that recognizes outstanding published research into fundamental tropical meteorology and climate. Alex received the award at a special department event and presented his recognized research. He is a Ph.D. candidate advised by Michael Bell entering the final year of his research, which involves the vertical structure of tropical cyclones and how that relates to their intensity as well as their intensification rate. Sarah and Janet Gray attended the ceremony, where Bill Gray’s legacy in tropical meteorology research and contributions to the department were also discussed. Congratulations Alex! More details on the event and Prof. Gray can be found in a Source article written by Josh Roten:

November 2, 2023

We Are Water project receives Governor’s Award, CoCoRaHS a partner

We Are Water, an NSF-funded project focused on water issues in the Four Corners Region, received an 2023 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research earlier in October. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (known as CoCoRaHS) is a partner on the project.

Water is an incredibly important, complicated topic in the Four Corners Region. We Are Water was started with the hope of providing community members with a place to discuss and understand the many water issues affecting this regionThrough a collaboration between CIRES Education & Outreach, Western Water Assessment, Indigenous education organizations, local libraries, and climate scientists, We Are Water created a traveling exhibit for rural libraries to host at their locations for two to three months at a time. The exhibit highlights different themes tying water with life, landscape, community – all shared through hands-on activities or games.

“It’s been one of the most professionally satisfying projects CoCoRaHS has been a part of,” Noah Newman, education and outreach coordinator for CoCoRaHS, said. Newman attended the awards ceremony at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on October 11. “I’ve learned so much about collaborating with different groups and the sharing of knowledge, but getting to interact and learn from the community members themselves has been the best part of it all.” 

Photo caption:  We Are Water team accepts their Governor’s Award; CoCoRaHS Education and Outreach Coordinator Noah Newman (fourth from right) attended. Photo by Stephanie Maltarich. 

November 1, 2023

Graduate Student Lilly Naimie Receives NAPD Presentation Award

Lilly Naimie won the Best PhD Student Oral Presentation Award at last week’s National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) Scientific Symposium held in Madison, Wisconsin, October 25-26. Lilly’s presentation was entitled “Contributions of Ammonia Dry Deposition to Excess Nitrogen Deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park.” Lilly is advised by Jeff Collett.

Started in 1977, NADP was created to measure atmospheric deposition and study its effects on the environment. Today, the program is a “a cooperative effort between many different groups, including federal, state, tribal and local governmental agencies, educational institutions, private companies, and non-governmental agencies.” It is housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and now has about 356 different site locations with more than 37,000 users.

October 20, 2023

Graduate Student Jamin Rader’s ML Research Featured by the DOE CSGF Program

ATS graduate student Jamin Rader’s Ph.D research that applies machine learning to climate prediction was featured by DOE in the 2023 edition of the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Program DEIXIS magazine. The article follows the arc from Jamin’s early interest in weather to his recent work using ML to explore predictability in weather and climate. The article highlights the power of interpretable AI for climate research, which Jamin says “comes from the idea that we can make neural networks think a little bit like us.” The piece describes Jamin’s success in applying interpretable ML to understand preconditions for the formation of El Niño. The entire DEIXIS volume can be found here:

October 17, 2023

Graduate Student Angelie Nieves Jiménez Flies into a Hurricane

The Colorado Sun wrote an article on ATS graduate student Angelie Nieves Jiménez, who recently flew on a NOAA Hurricane Hunter mission into Hurricane Franklin. The story recounts Angelie’s experiences during her undergraduate studies in Puerto Rico, when a major hurricane devastated the island and severely affected the health and livelihoods of her family and friends. The article also discusses the motivation she gained from this experience to help make better hurricane predictions, which she is now doing as a student in ATS under the advising of Prof. Michael Bell. The link to the Colorado Sun article can be found here:

September 15, 2023

Sonia Kreidenweis Recognized with the AGU Kaufman Outstanding Research and Unselfish Cooperation Award

It was announced on September 13 that Prof. Sonia Kreidenweis has been recognized with the Yorum J. Kaufman Outstanding Research and Unselfish Cooperation Award by the Atmospheric Sciences section of the American Geophysical Union. According to AGU, this award is presented yearly to recognize a senior scientist’s broad influence in atmospheric science. “Notable contributions can include the awardee’s exceptional creativity, inspiration of younger scientists, mentoring, international collaborations, and unselfish cooperation in research.” This award was established in 2008 in honor of Yoram J. Kaufman, a researcher who served as a mentor and devoted his career to international collaborations on atmospheric aerosols that influence the climate. The award will be presented at the atmospheric science section dinner at the upcoming Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco. Congratulations Sonia!

September 11, 2023

CSU ATS welcomes applications for an Assistant Professor in Surface-Atmosphere Interactions

The Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University has announced an opening for a tenure-track faculty position at the assistant professor level.  We solicit candidates in the research area of surface-atmosphere interactions.  Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, land-atmosphere interactions, atmospheric boundary layer, carbon cycle, and cryosphere-atmosphere interactions.  Applications are requested by October 31, 2023.

The job posting is here: 

September 10, 2023

Climate conditions ripe for more grape-growing regions in Colorado, new CSU study finds

A study led by CSU climatologist Peter Goble, who is based in the Colorado Climate Center and ATS, showed that climate conditions that enable grapes to thrive in Palisade also exist in other parts of Western Colorado and near Cañon City. This could lead to expansion of the state’s wine industry according to the article published in Journal of Applied and Service Climatology. More details can be found in a CSU Source article written by Emily Wilmsen, which can be found here.

Photo caption:  Horst Caspari, viticulture professor at CSU’s Western Colorado Research Center.

Chris Kummerow named Professor of the Year

The Atmospheric Science graduate representatives selected Professor Chris Kummerow as the Professor of the Year, an award announced during the New Student Welcome Picnic at Spring Canyon Park on September 5. Graduate Representative Angelie Nieves Jiménez announced the honor. The awardee is selected based on the individual who received the strongest feedback for teaching excellence on student course evaluations.

The graduate representatives shared some of the praise for Chris’s teaching of ATS 652 Atmospheric Remote Sensing:

Chris’s teaching ability is incredible and his classroom engagement is unparalleled. Despite having an extremely busy schedule, he always takes time with his students and is happy to give a listening ear.”

“[Chris] explains complex topics like scattering of electromagnetic radiation with a strong focus on physical principles, which makes them easier to understand.”

“Dr. Kummerow’s lectures usually make complicated things simple and easy to understand with enough details and in-depth insights, even though this course is the first atmospheric course I have taken.”

Students also commented on Chris’s efforts to instill the importance of work-life balance in their careers.

Congratulations to Chris on this accomplishment!

September 5, 2023

ATS faculty, research staff, alumnus receive AMS awards

The American Meteorological Society announced this week the recipients of its 2024 awards and honors. The recipients include several current and recent members of the department.

Professors A.R. Ravishankara and David Thompson were named as Fellows of the AMS. The nomination is open to all 13,000 or so AMS members, and a select few are elected as new fellows each year by the Society’s governing body. AMS Fellows have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years.

Professor Christine Chiu was awarded the David and Lucille Atlas Remote Sensing Prize. This prize is given biennially in recognition of advances in the science and technology of remote sensing and its application to knowledge of the earth, oceans, and atmosphere.

Professor Dave Randall was selected for the Warren Washington Research and Leadership Medal. The Medal honors the recipient’s outstanding research and leadership in the science of modeling weather and climate, with an emphasis on the role of clouds.

Randy Chase, research scientist with CIRA and Professor Sue van den Heever’s group, and Aaron Hill, recent research scientist with Professor Russ Schumacher’s group, were named AMS editor’s award winners. Hill recently began an assistant professor position with the University of Oklahoma.

Alumnus Mark DeMaria (M.S. 1979, Ph.D. 1983), a CIRA Fellow and senior research scientist, received the Banner I. Miller award for contributions related to understanding rapid TC intensifications. DeMaria was named an AMS Fellow last year.

All of this year’s recipients will be recognized at the 104th AMS Annual Meeting in Baltimore in January 2024.

Photo caption (left to right):  A. R. Ravishankara, David Thompson, Christine Chiu, David Randall, Randy Chase, Aaron Hill, and Mark DeMaria.

September 1, 2023

Department AI Research Featured in CSU Source Article

Some of the Department’s innovative research using artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle complex problems in weather and climate was featured in a recent Source article by Jayme DeLoss. In particular, the article highlights the work being done in the research teams led by Professors Elizabeth Barnes and Russ Schumacher using machine learning to gain insights into the inner-workings and prediction of climate and weather. The article also features work by ATS graduate student Allie Mazurek and former CSU research scientist Aaron Hill, as well as CIRA scientist Imme Ebert-Uphoff. More information can be found here:

August 27, 2023

Colorado Climate Center Organizes the 2023 Colorado Climate Services Summit

The Colorado Climate Center organized the Colorado Climate Services Summit, held August 8-9 at the CSU Spur campus in Denver. The goal of the summit was to bring together providers and users of climate services to build partnerships and relationships, communicate existing tools and products, and identify new opportunities. Participants included the National Weather Service, U.S. Forest Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More details can be found in a Source article, including discussion on Colorado climate from Assistant State Climatologist Becky Bolinger and State Climatologist and Atmospheric Science faculty member, Russ Schumacher.

July 26, 2023

CSU partners in NSF-funded airborne radar designed by National Center for Atmospheric Research

Colorado State University researchers are partners in a project that could revolutionize our ability to observe, understand and ultimately predict high-impact weather events.  The National Science Foundation has awarded $91.8 million in funding for a next-generation airborne radar designed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and CSU will contribute to the radar’s research and development.  Atmospheric Science Professor Michael Bell is a co-investigator on this effort.  This work is described in more detail in a CSU Source article written by Jayme DeLoss, linked here.

Photo caption:  The NSF/NCAR C-130 sits in its hangar at the Research Aviation Facility in Broomfield. NCAR’s new Airborne Phased Array Radar (APAR) will be mounted on this C-130 and made available to the university research community. Credit: UCAR

June 27, 2023

Cooling the planet: Work doesn’t stop at net zero, scientists say

ATS faculty members Elizabeth Barnes and Patrick Keys were involved in a study that sheds new light on how quickly Earth’s temperature moderates in response to dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Earth’s global temperatures would need at least a decade to stabilize after the entire globe cuts carbon emissions to zero, according to new research that involves Colorado State University’s world-renowned atmospheric scientists. This work is described in more detail in a CSU Source article written by Emily Wilmsen, linked here.

June 13, 2023

Smoke in the air? Beware, and don’t trust your nose

Jayme DeLoss asked Atmospheric Science Professor Jeff Pierce, an atmospheric chemist who studies air pollution and health, a few questions about the health implications of breathing wildfire smoke and resources that can help keep people safe. The CSU SOURCE article with this interview can be found here.

June 6, 2023

Welcome to the 2023 REU interns gaining atmospheric science research experience

CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science welcomed a new class of summer interns this week. Through a National Science Foundation grant, the REU Site in Earth System Science offers paid summer undergraduate research internships in the department, where the students join world-class atmospheric scientists investigating clouds, climate, weather, and modeling. The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program also gives interns the opportunity to attend scientific seminars, visit national laboratories and participate in professional development training. The program spans 10 weeks from late May through early August.

Front row (Left to right): Bailey Kropp, Debanajali Pathak, Juliette Rocha.  Back Row (Left to Right): Alyssa Belanger, Doug Falter, James Miezejeski, Mitchell Green.

May 22, 2023

Five current and incoming students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, DOE Computational Graduate Fellowship

Five current and incoming students have received prestigious graduate fellowships. Current student Angelie Nieves Jiménez and incoming students Delián Colón Borgos, Killian McSweeney, and Nick Mesa have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF GRFP). Current student Amanda Bowden was awarded the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF).

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support.

Nieves Jiménez proposed modeling rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones in environments where the dynamics that affect rainfall location can be modified. Her drive to study tropical cyclones stems from a desire to give back to the community and the island of Puerto Rico where she grew up. During her first year in the master’s program, her work focused on analyzing a devastating hurricane that made landfall in Puerto Rico, with rainfall being the major impact.

“This award allows me to continue this research and my studies in this area while also gaining field experience and collaborating with renowned scientists,” said Nieves Jiménez. “Receiving this award would not have been possible without the support of my advisor Dr. Michael M. Bell, and my mentors, Dr. Rosimar Rios-Berríos and Dr. Joshua J. Alland. I particularly want to extend my gratitude to my Mom, Dad, brother, and friends, who constantly support and reassure me, from Puerto Rico.”

Incoming student Colón Burgos is also from Puerto Rico and wanted her proposal to directly support research on the threats the island faces from the rainfall of tropical cyclones. The impacts of inland flooding can be very localized and difficult to predict due to the varying topography of islands, and the goal of her proposal is to better the interactions that take place between Puerto Rican topography and tropical cyclones at landfall. Colón Burgos said, “This includes understanding the dynamics and thermodynamic processes of how the topography and surface enthalpy fluxes in the island of PR influence the structure of TCs from observations and model output; and examining how these changes in structure modulate the rainfall in the island.”

Colón Burgos will be advised by Bell and will work with him to design a project inclusive of her proposal as well as the Bell research group’s goals. She has deferred her NSF GRFP for a year so that she can receive a Walter Scott, Jr. Graduate Research Assistantship.

McSweeney, also starting in the master’s program this fall, submitted a research proposal focused on better understanding the relationship between snow cover extent, the timing of snow melt, and the circulation in the Arctic atmosphere in the following summer. His proposal was also interested in understanding how a large ensemble of global climate models compares to observations/reanalysis data in representing this.

“My preliminary results relied primarily on understanding the change to the vertical temperature gradient between 700 [hPa] and 850 [hPa] from the ‘present’ period of 2000-2020 to the ‘future’ of 2080-2100,” McSweeney explained. “There was introductory evidence linking snow cover change to these vertical temperature gradient changes, which is a promising start for trying to understand the influence of snow cover on the following summer’s Arctic atmospheric circulation.”

McSweeney earned a BS in Atmospheric Science from the University of Georgia-Athens and will join Maria Rugenstein’s group.

Mesa wants to tackle two critical challenges in the field of tropical meteorology with his NSF GRFP proposal: how do tropical cyclones (TCs) overcome moderate vertical wind shear to intensify, and how can we resolve the gaps in temporally and spatially varying observations of TCs? To answer these questions, his proposal sought to compile near-coincident observations from various instruments to conduct a novel, multi-scale, composite analysis of TCs facing moderate vertical wind shear. Multiple diagnostic products were proposed to be derived from these near-coincident observations to determine patterns such as trends in mid-level relative humidity in the upshear quadrants of the storm and the distribution of different types of convection. “This proposal served as a continuation of my work as a NOAA William M. Lapenta Scholar with the Hurricane Research Division in 2021, where I worked with Drs. Robert Rogers and Jonathan Zawislak.”

Mesa will join Michael Bell’s group this fall and has also chosen to defer his NSF GRFP to accept an American Meteorological Society Graduate Fellowship for his first year. In the future, his GRFP funding will help support “my research and collaboration on this topic with scientists from CSU, CIRA, CIMAS at the University of Miami, and the Hurricane Research Division,” Mesa said. He received a BS in Atmospheric Science from the University of Florida.

Bowden was awarded the DOE CSGF. Per the official press release announcing the 2023-24 class, this fellowship provides outstanding benefits and opportunities renewable up to 4 years to students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields that use high-performance computing to solve complex science and engineering problems. Bowden and her cohort will also have the opportunity to intern at any DOE laboratory during their fellowships. Bowden is currently advised by Eric Maloney but will work on her proposed doctoral research at the University of Colorado at Boulder under the guidance of Dr. Kris Karnauskas. She will be co-advised by Maloney.

Bowden’s proposed research is to evaluate how Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) activity change in a future climate impacts atmospheric rivers (ARs) and tropical cyclones (TCs) using Community Earth System Model 2 (CESM2). The MJO becoming stronger in a warmer environment could result in stronger enhanced and suppressed phases, which causes its modulation of ARs and TCs to become stronger, as well as its impact on vulnerable communities . Areas of interest include the societal impacts on tropical islands and coastline communities, which are vulnerable communities to the effects of climate change and intense storms.

Congratulations to all fellowship recipients!

Photos from left to right: Angelie Nieves Jiménez, Delián Colón Borgos, Killian McSweeney, Nick Mesa, Amanda Bowden.

May 18, 2023

Congratulations to our 2022/2023 graduates!

The department celebrated fall graduates at a ceremony on December 2, 2022, and spring and summer graduates on May 12, 2023. Advisers shared information about each graduate, and family and friends were able to attend.

We asked our graduating students about their plans following graduation and the most important thing they learned at CSU. Here are their responses.

Tyler Barbero

“I am continuing on for the PhD here at CSU!”

“The most important thing I’ve learned is to have confidence in myself!”

Ting-Yu Cha

“I will be going to NCAR in January 2023 for the Advanced Study Program (ASP) postdoctoral fellowship.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned at CSU is the power of resilience.”

Anindita Chakraborty

“I am going to join the Energy Institute of CSU as a Simulation Software Engineer in July.”

“CSU has given me the opportunity to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives which has broadened my understanding of the world.”

Charlie Connolly

“I will be sticking around, working to get my PhD and continuing to grow and strengthen CAMP.”

“You do not have to know everything in order to be a good scientist.”

Luke Davis

“Norwich England to start a postdoc on links between the circulation/the carbon cycle at the University of East Anglia with Corinne Le Quéré.”

Ivy Glade

“I am staying at CSU to do my PhD!”

“Going through my master’s at CSU showed me how important it is to be kind to myself.”

Chih-Chi Hu

“I am going to start my post-doc at GFDL/Princeton at the end of September.”

“The skill to communicate science.”

Daniel Hueholt

“I am staying at CSU to continue on to my PhD with Jim and Libby working on Earth system science under scenarios of climate change and climate intervention.”

“I think the most important thing I’ve learned at CSU is how to work sustainably in a way that helps me both challenge myself and thrive in science while avoiding burnout and building a life outside of work. The potential to attain this balance was one of the reasons I chose CSU for grad school, and I’ve been so happy that I’ve been able to live that out!”

Joe Kelly

“I am planning on working at a research laboratory.”

“I learned how to approach problems analytically and the importance of collaborating with peers.”

Nathan Kelly

“Working for DTN on Quantitative Precipitation Estimation from Fort Collins.”

“How to overcome adversity in research and on the roads of Argentina.”

Bee Leung

“I’m staying here at CSU to finish my Ph.D. working with my advisor, Sue.”

“I learned how important it is to ask for help when I need it and offer others help when I can—science (and life) is a team effort!”

Kirsten Mayer

“I am a Project Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).”

“To always double triple check your code but also that I picked the perfect place for graduate school :)”

Chandra Pasillas

“I am now an assistant professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology teaching dynamics, satellite, and circulation to masters’ students in Dayton Ohio.”

“It takes a village…We are not meant to do things alone. This would not be possible without the help of others.”

Marqi Rocque

“I will be working at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as a radar scientist.”

“The most important thing I learned at CSU is the importance of collaboration and not being afraid to ask for help.”

Kyle Shackelford

“I am still at CSU and continuing on for my PhD.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned so far at CSU is the importance of organization!”

Madison Shogrin

“Staying here for my PhD!”

“No one really has it figured out, we’re all just winging it.”

Alex Sokolowsky

“I will be starting as a Scientist I on Extreme Event Solutions/Verisk’s Midlatitude Perils Team on 7 December!”

“The two most important things I’ve learned at CSU are time management and stress management. In my experience, you can’t have one without the other, especially in finishing a Ph.D.”

Dhyey Solanki

“I will be staying here at Atmos for my Ph.D. research and am very excited and looking forward to it.”

“I think my biggest learning in the last 2 years is to view science as a philosophy and method of translating imagination into knowledge.”

Shim Yook

“I will continue working with Dave as a postdoc at CSU.”

“The most important thing I learned at CSU is to have a good balance between work and life.”

Photo collage, from left to right, top to bottom row: Tyler Barbero, Ting-Yu Cha, Anindita Chakraborty, Charlie Connolly, Luke Davis, Ivy Glade, Chih-Chi Hu, Daniel Hueholt, Joe Kelly, Nathan Kelly, Nick Leitmann-Niimi, Bee Leung, Kirsten Mayer, Chandra Pasillas, Marqi Rocque, Kyle Shackelford, Alex Sokolowsky, Dhyey Solanki, Shim Yook.

Fall 2022 Graduates

Daniel Hueholt MS Adviser: Jim Hurrell
Bee Leung MS Adviser: Sue van den Heever
Kirsten Mayer PhD Adviser: Libby Barnes
Sagar Rathod * PhD Advisers: Jeff Pierce and Tami Bond
Alex Sokolowsky PhD Adviser: Sue van den Heever

* Recognized at previous event

Spring 2023 Graduates

Ting-Yu Cha PhD Adviser: Michael Bell
Charlie Connolly MS Adviser: Libby Barnes
Joe Kelly MS Adviser: Christine Chiu
Nathan Kelly PhD Adviser: Russ Schumacher
Nick Leitmann-Niimi MS Adviser: Chris Kummerow
Chandra Pasillas PhD Advisers: Michael Bell and Chris Kummerow
Kyle Shackelford MS Advisers: Peter Jan van Leeuwen and Charlotte DeMott
Madison Shogrin MS Adviser: Emily Fischer
Dhyey Solanki MS Adviser: Christine Chiu

Summer 2023 Graduates

Tyler Barbero MS Adviser: Michael Bell
Anindita Chakraborty MS Advisers: Jim Hurrell and Kristen Rasmussen
Luke Davis PhD Adviser: Dave Thompson
Ivy Glade MS Adviser: Jim Hurrell
Chih-Chi Hu PhD Adviser: Peter Jan van Leeuwen
Marqi Rocque PhD Adviser: Kristen Rasmussen
Shim Yook PhD Adviser: Dave Thompson
May 17, 2023

Postdoctoral Fellow Alyssa Stansfield Named SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellow

Twenty early career scientists, including ATS postdoctoral fellow Alyssa Stansfield, were named SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows for the 2023-2024 academic year. Congratulations Alyssa! Alyssa’s research in collaboration with Prof. Kristen Rasmussen is focused on how climate change impacts hurricane precipitation. Fellows were drawn from sixteen departments and units and six colleges across CSU. As discussed in the official announcement, the program equips future leaders in the sustainability space with state-of-the-art science communication tools and training in career development. This will help foster careers built on engagement and interdisciplinary work. You can read more in the announcement located here.

May 5, 2023

ATS Student Marc Alessi Named 2024 VPR Fellow

Fifteen new students, including ATS student Marc Alessi, have been selected to the prestigious VPR Graduate Fellows program for 2023-24, a program sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The program accelerates excellence in research by engaging top students from programs across the University. VPR Fellows are eligible to receive up to $4,000 each in scholarships and travel support to present at academic conferences and will attend professional development workshops to help them successfully transition to their careers after graduation. Now in its eighth year, the program is designed to be a transformative scholarly experience for the students as well as for faculty to mentor next-generation talent. The new cohort represents 14 departments and units and seven colleges at CSU. You can read more in the CSU Source article located here.

Text courtesy of Patti Nash

April 20, 2023

ATS graduate student Madison Shogrin from Boulder County highlighted by CSU

During the 2022-23 academic year, CSU is highlighting one Colorado State University student or alum from each of Colorado’s 64 counties. The Centennial State’s land grant university has a connection to the diverse lands and people from the counties of Moffat to Baca, Montezuma to Sedgwick and everywhere in between. This week, ATS graduate student Madison Shogrin from Boulder County was featured! Madison is part of Dr. Emily Fischer’s research group, and her story can be found here.

March 27, 2023

Impoverished, underserved school populations more exposed to air pollutants

U.S. schools located in impoverished areas or districts that represent historically underserved students are more likely to suffer from poor air quality, a team at Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science has found. This team was led by Professor Jeff Pierce and included Associate Professor Emily Fischer, Research Scientist Bonne Ford, and doctoral student Michael Cheeseman.

This research appeared in the fall in GeoHealth, the American Geophysical Union’s research journal that marries human and planetary health for a sustainable future, and was also recently highlighted in a CSU Source article located here.

Photo caption:  Lead author Michael Cheeseman inspects devices built by John Volckens’s group in Mechanical Engineering that measure PM2.5 particulate pollution.

March 9, 2023

ATS students and a REU intern earn awards at AGU and AMS conferences

Several ATS students and a REU intern earned awards from the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society at their recent annual meetings.

  • Kimberley Corwin – AMS first-place Best Student Poster Presentation for her poster “Historical Exposure of U.S. Solar Energy Potential to Smoke-Driven Changes in Shortwave Irradiance” for the 14th Conference on Weather, Climate, and the New Energy Economy.
  • Eric Goldenstern – AMS second-place Student Poster Presentation Award for his poster “Predicting Biases in a Simple Infrared Precipitation Retrieval Using Ancillary Information” for the 37thConference on Hydrology.
  • Emily Gordon – AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) for her talk “Identifying State-Dependent Predictability in Near-Term Climate Evolution.”
  • Christine Neumaier – AMS Outstanding Student Presentation Award for her talk “Transport and Mixing of Bioaerosols by Successive Cold Pools” for the 15th Symposium on Aerosol–Cloud–Climate Interactions.
  • Olivia Sablan – AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award for her talk “Monitoring smoke from landscape fires in the Flint Hills region of Kansas during the 2022 burning season.”
  • Kyle Shackelford – AMS honorable mention Student Poster Presentation for his poster “Feedbacks of Rain-Induced SST Gradients to Atmospheric Convection Over the Tropical Indian Ocean Using a Regional Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Model” for the 11th Symposium on the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Sub-Seasonal Monsoon Variability.
  • Visiting student Jingxuan Cui – AMS third-place Poster Presentation Award for her talk “Changes in MJO Teleconnection in the PNA Region under Global Warming” for the 11th Symposium on the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Sub-Seasonal Monsoon Variability.
  • REU intern Hanna McDaniel – AMS Outstanding Student Conference Poster Award for her poster “Investigating Predictor Importance for a Next-Day Severe Weather Hazard Random Forest Model.”

Congratulations, all!

Caption for photo collage:  From left to right, top to bottom row:  Kimberley Corwin, Eric Goldenstern, Emily Gordon, Christine Neumaier, Olivia Sablan, Kyle Shackelford, Jingxuan Cui, and Hanna McDaniel.

February 28, 2023

CSU machine learning model helps forecasters improve confidence in storm prediction

When severe weather is brewing and life-threatening hazards like heavy rain, hail or tornadoes are possible, advance warning and accurate predictions are of utmost importance. Colorado State University weather researchers have given storm forecasters a powerful new tool to improve confidence in their forecasts and potentially save lives.

Over the last several years, Russ Schumacher, professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science and Colorado State Climatologist, has led a team developing a sophisticated machine learning model for advancing skillful prediction of hazardous weather across the continental United States. First trained on historical records of excessive rainfall, the model is now smart enough to make accurate predictions of events like tornadoes and hail four to eight days in advance – the crucial sweet spot for forecasters to get information out to the public so they can prepare. The model is called CSU-MLP, or Colorado State University-Machine Learning Probabilities.

Led by research scientist Aaron Hill, who has worked on refining the model for the last two-plus years, the team recently published their medium-range (four to eight days) forecasting ability in the American Meteorological Society journal Weather and Forecasting. You can read more in a CSU Source article located here.

February 7, 2023

Department honors 2022 Outstanding Alum Walt Petersen

Dr. Walt Petersen of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center visited the department on Thursday, February 2 to be honored as the 2022 ATS Outstanding Alum.

Department Head Eric Maloney provided some background on the honor, and bestowed on Walt the trophy and an honorary bound copy of his sizeable Ph.D thesis, before Prof. Steve Rutledge formally introduced him.

Walt gave a talk that traced his career path from the Navy to CSU to his current leadership position at Marshall Space Flight Center. He not only talked about his scientific journey in field research and radar meteorology related to deep convection, but also relayed to students and others in the department the life lessons he learned along the way.

You can read more about Walt Petersen’s career and the thoughts he shared with the department here.

January 19, 2023

ATS Faculty Featured on the Impact Map at CSU Spur

The bilingual CSU Impact Map highlights the impactful work of researchers, alumni, and students at CSU. Located online and at the CSU Spur campus in Denver in a large, touch screen format, the map features some of the people at CSU who are working to address global challenges. University Distinguished Prof. Sonia Kreidenweis, Prof. Russ Schumacher, Prof. Steve Miller, and Prof. Kristen Rasmussen are each featured in the map. Click on their names to listen to their stories.

December 7, 2022

Gabrielle Leung and Wei-Ting Hsiao awarded Dietrich and Shrake-Culler Scholarships

It was announced at a department ceremony on November 18 that Gabrielle (Bee) Leung has received the 2022 David L. Dietrich Honorary Scholarship, and Wei-Ting Hsiao was awarded the 2022 Shrake-Culler Scholarship. Prof. Susan van den Heever and Department Head Eric Maloney presented these awards to Bee and Wei-Ting, respectively, at a midday ceremony today in ATS 101. Wei-Ting and Bee also provided brief presentations of their recent research.

Jessica Ward, Gabrielle "Bee" Leung, and Sue van den Heever.

2022 David L. Dietrich Honorary Scholarship Award: Air Resource Specialists Vice President Jessica Ward, Gabrielle “Bee” Leung (recipient), and Sue van den Heever (adviser).

Wei-Ting Hsiao and Eric Maloney.

2022 Shrake-Culler Scholarship Award: Wei-Ting Hsiao (recipient) and Eric Maloney (adviser).

Students receiving the Dietrich Scholarship have demonstrated outstanding research and education in air quality.

Sue, who nominated Bee for the Dietrich award, cited her for “very novel and extensive work in aerosol cloud interactions and their implications for air quality” that is contained within three first-author publications and four other papers. Sue noted that Bee’s work has implications for air quality, clouds and precipitation processes around urban regions, smoke plumes, and over tropical maritime and continental regions. The Dietrich Scholarship is funded by Fort Collins-based Air Resource Specialists Inc. each year in honor of retired ARS President David Dietrich.

The Shrake-Culler Scholarship is given annually to a senior Ph.D. student who has passed their preliminary exam, has a GPA of 3.5 or above, and has demonstrated a strong work ethic and enthusiasm for higher education.

Wei-Ting was cited by Eric Maloney as advisor for his work ethic as typified by four first author publications, participation in the PRECIP field campaign, and leadership in the governance of the Atmospheric Science International Student and Scholar Association, among other duties. Wei-Ting has demonstrated excellence in education through his role as TA in ATS 150, the Science of Climate Change, where he developed extensive course content and provided well-received course lectures, in addition to his other duties as TA. Wei-Ting generally studies tropical meteorology, climate dynamics, and subseasonal prediction. 

Congratulations Bee and Wei-Ting! The Department is proud and privileged that you are part of ATS.

Top photo:  Group photo of both award recipients and their advisers.  Eric Maloney (adviser), Wei-Ting Hsiao (Shrake-Culler recipient), Gabrielle “Bee” Leung (Dietrich recipient), and Sue van den Heever (adviser).

November 7, 2022

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.

Read the full Source article, “In 52 years with CSU, Thomas Vonder Haar has taken atmospheric science to new heights.”

November 2, 2022

CSU atmospheric scientists leading or co-leading six NOAA-funded research projects

A federal agency awarded 12 Colorado State University researchers more than $3.1 million for such innovative science as improving how satellites show smoke plumes, using AI to predict precipitation, and, perhaps for the first time, evaluating how individual storms could change with climate intervention.

The three-year grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, are aimed at scientists studying climate science and community resilience.

Nearly all CSU recipients are based in the Department of Atmospheric Science, which is considered among the best graduate programs in the nation.

Read more about the projects here.

October 17, 2022

CSU hosts science team meeting for NASA satellite mission INCUS

Before there can be NASA satellite launches, there are planning meetings. Lots of planning meetings.

The first such all-hands meeting for the Colorado State University-led INCUS mission, awarded by NASA last year, took place on the Fort Collins campus Oct. 11-13. The event brought together scientists, engineers and students from CSU, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NOAA, many other universities, industry partners and international collaborators who are all working together on the $177 million NASA Earth Venture mission.

INCUS, or Investigation of Convective Updrafts, is expected to launch three small weather satellites into low-Earth orbit in 2026. With their unique flight formation and miniaturized instrumentation, the satellites will measure the motions of large, damaging storms that can reach into the upper troposphere of the planet.

INCUS’ principal investigator is Susan van den Heever, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science. She leads the 100-plus person team.

Read the full Source article, “CSU hosts science team meeting for NASA satellite mission INCUS.”

Photo by John Eisele: Susan van den Heever welcomed science team attendees to a celebratory dinner at Canvas Stadium.

October 10, 2022

Walter Petersen named 2022 Outstanding Alum

Walter Petersen, chief of the Science Research and Projects Division at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, has been selected as the department’s 2022 Outstanding Alum.

Petersen received his M.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (1997) from the department, studying with Professor Steven Rutledge. His dissertation was “Multi-Scale Process Studies in the Tropics: Results from Lightning Observations.”

Petersen continued as a research associate in the department until 2002, when he accepted a position as senior research scientist in the National Space Science and Technology Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Petersen served as science director for the UAH ARMOR dual-polarimetric Doppler radar facility.

In 2008, he became a physical scientist at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and in 2011, he became a supervisory research physical scientist and the branch chief of the Earth Science Field Support Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility. Petersen returned to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville as division chief in 2015, where he leads 200 scientists, engineers and technical specialists.

Petersen’s research spans many topics in cloud physics, mesoscale meteorology and radar meteorology, and he has made seminal contributions in remote sensing of tropical convection, the relationship between lightning and updraft strength, and how cloud-to-ground lightning relates to convective rainfall.

Among his many leadership roles, Petersen has been a principal leader of the calibration and validation of the NASA Global Precipitation Mission (GPM), providing an essential and sustained contribution to a major program of NASA’s Earth Science Directorate. He led the NASA-JAXA GPM ground validation program from 2011-2019 and helped organize eight associated field programs.

Petersen has authored or coauthored at least 105 peer-reviewed journal publications, which have been cited more than 11,000 times. He is well known for his dedicated service to the atmospheric science community, including as chair of the AMS Committee on Atmospheric Electricity. 

Petersen was elected an AMS Fellow in 2020 and has received numerous other awards, including the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2018. He was nominated for the Outstanding Alum award by Rutledge and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Graeme Stephens.

Petersen will be honored in a ceremony later this semester or early next year, when he will have the opportunity to present his work.

Note from Petersen:

I offer my sincere thanks to the Department of Atmospheric Science for this award. This honor is certainly not something I would have envisioned when joining the department as a graduate student back in 1990. There is no question that it is the result of the excellent education, coaching, mentoring, dedication, and more than occasional personal counseling and guidance offered by faculty, colleagues, fellow classmates, and most especially, my research advisor, Professor Steve Rutledge. Within the broader supporting infrastructure of the department, Steve did not just provide the opportunity to learn, he also provided me the examples and tools required to succeed in the role of a Ph.D.-level scientist; i.e., how to learn, do research, manage a field project, communicate, and how to lead. Those lessons were routinely reinforced by the faculty, students, and researchers that I was fortunate enough to interact with while at the department.

My rounded “education” in the department involved a great deal of one-on-one counseling from any number of faculty in any number of situations – and it was all good advice, much of which I relate to students I advise to this day. I was also fortunate to have been a member of a tight group of “well-seasoned” and personable graduate students in Radarmet. These people became the absolute best support group I could have ever hoped for while at CSU. To this day, I feel a special connection to those folks – they reflect the best of an integrated set, a standard really, of personal qualities blended with intellect that CSU Atmospheric Science attracts.

Finally, there is no question that my professional direction has benefited from myriad field campaign adventures focused on studies of convection, lightning and precipitation using advanced radar technologies that are characteristic of a place like CSU. I got to experience the “atmospheric laboratory” from the jungles of the Amazon, the beautiful isolation of both the tropical western and eastern Pacific Ocean, and of course closer to home in Colorado and on the Great Plains. The field experiences, combined with the science knowledge, personal interactions, and all the science leadership skills taught explicitly or implicitly to me while being at CSU, brought me to where I am today. What a ride!

My sincere thanks again for this award and the integrated set of experiences and opportunity that laid the foundation for my receiving it.

October 5, 2022

Q&A with AGU Climate Communication Prize winner Scott Denning

Professor Scott Denning, a climate scientist at Colorado State University, has been awarded the Climate Communication Prize by the American Geophysical Union, a professional organization of Earth and space scientists. The prize recognizes significant impact communicating climate science to the public.

Denning has presented hundreds of animated climate science talks over the past 15 years to audiences of all ages, all around the world. His outreach has included engaging 500,000 K-12 students in climate science and advising teachers, meteorologists and journalists in climate communication.

Denning relishes invitations to speak to climate change skeptics and says he “takes special delight in engaging hostile audiences.” His passion for science and relatable style have won over even a few hardcore climate change deniers.

Read the full Source story, “Four questions with AGU Climate Communication Prize winner Scott Denning.”

October 4, 2022

CoCoRaHS data shows on-the-ground reports from Hurricane Ian

Data collected by a team of citizen scientists as part of a Colorado State University-led project will help the National Weather Service and meteorologists across the country report on the continued impact of Hurricane Ian. 

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network – known as CoCoRaHS – began in the aftermath of the 1997 Spring Creek Flood in Fort Collins. It has since grown into a network of 25,000 people across all ages and backgrounds who use rain gauges to provide the NWS with precipitation reports about the conditions in their own backyards. 

“It’s so valuable for the National Weather Service to be able to get reports about what’s happening on the ground because radar and satellite can really only do so much,” said Noah Newman, the education and outreach coordinator for CoCoRaHS. 

Read the full Source story, “Data from CSU-led project shows on-the-ground reports from Hurricane Ian.”

Graphic above: A screenshot of reports to CoCoRaHS the day Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida.

October 3, 2022

AGU honors Wayne Schubert, Scott Denning

Two Colorado State University atmospheric scientists have been recognized by the American Geophysical Union, a professional organization of more than 60,000 Earth and space scientists. Professor Emeritus Wayne Schubert has been elected a fellow, and Professor Scott Denning will receive the Climate Communication Prize. AGU will honor Schubert and Denning during a ceremony at its Fall Meeting in Chicago.

Wayne Schubert – Fellow

Fellowship recognizes outstanding contributions to the Earth and space sciences. Fellows demonstrate remarkable innovation and/or sustained scientific impact. Less than one-tenth of 1% of AGU members are selected for this honor each year. This honor joins many others Schubert has collected during 48 years with the Department of Atmospheric Science. In 2021, AGU chose Schubert to deliver the Jule Gregory Charney Lecture. The Charney Lecture is presented to a prominent scientist who has made exceptional contributions to the understanding of weather and climate.

Scott Denning – Climate Communication Prize

The Climate Communication Prize is given annually to a scientist who has had significant impact communicating climate science to the public. Over the past 15 years, Denning has shifted his focus from climate and biogeochemical research to climate communication and outreach, delivering hundreds of talks to audiences of all ages and levels of openness to the subject matter.

Read more about Schubert, Denning and their awards in the Source article, “American Geophysical Union honors two CSU atmospheric scientists.

September 30, 2022

Solar geoengineering might work, but local temperatures could keep rising for years

Professors Patrick Keys, Elizabeth Barnes and James Hurrell co-authored this piece for The Conversation, based on their recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Colorado State University is a contributing institution to The Conversation, an independent collaboration between editors and academics that provides informed news analysis and commentary to the general public.

Imagine a future where, despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly, parts of the world have become unbearably hot. Some governments might decide to “geoengineer” the planet by spraying substances into the upper atmosphere to form fine reflective aerosols – a process known as stratospheric aerosol injection.

Theoretically, those tiny particles would reflect a little more sunlight back to space, dampening the effects of global warming. Some people envision it having the effect of a volcanic eruption, like Mount Pinatubo in 1991, which cooled the planet by about half a degree Celsius on average for many months. However, like that eruption, the effects could vary widely across the surface of the globe.

How quickly might you expect to notice your local temperatures falling? One year? Five years? Ten years? What if your local temperatures seem to be going up?

As it turns out, that is exactly what could happen. While modeling studies show that stratospheric aerosol injection could stop global temperatures from increasing further, our research shows that temperatures locally or regionally might continue to increase over the following few years. This insight is essential for the general public and policymakers to understand so that climate policies are evaluated fairly and interpreted based on the best available science.

Read the full article, “Solar geoengineering might work, but local temperatures could keep rising for years.”

Graphic: Some potential methods limiting the amount of solar energy in the atmosphere. Chelsea Thompson, NOAA/CIRES 

September 22, 2022

Senate votes to phase out climate-warming chemicals; Scott Denning provides context

The U.S. Senate voted to ratify an international treaty on Sept. 21 and join 137 other countries in agreeing to phase out a class of climate-warming chemicals that are widely used as coolants in refrigerators, air conditioners and heat pumps. Professor Scott Denning explains why this is important in his piece for The Conversation, “US Senate ratifies treaty to phase down climate-warming HFCs from refrigerators and air conditioners – but what will replace them this time?”


September 21, 2022

Kevin Yang and Madison Shogrin win AMS student presentation awards

Kevin Yang and Madison Shogrin each received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award from the AMS Collective Madison Meeting Aug. 8-12 in Madison, Wisconsin. Yang earned first place and Shogrin earned second place for their oral presentations during the 16th Conference on Atmospheric Radiation.

Yang presented results from a recent paper accepted by Geophysical Research Letters, which focuses on understanding the radiative impact of near-cloud aerosols using a newly developed machine learning-based aerosol retrieval method. Yang said the work highlights the importance of aerosol retrievals in near-cloud regions and need to incorporate the humidification effect in radiative forcing estimates.

Yang, who is advised by Professor Christine Chiu, said he was grateful to meet many prestigious scientists at the conference and collect insightful feedback on his work.

“I would like to thank my adviser, Christine, for her tireless support of this research,” Yang said.

Shogrin presented new findings on the spatiotemporal variability of the photochemical pollutant peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN), based on satellite observations over three megacities: Mexico City, Beijing and Los Angeles.

Shogrin, advised by Associate Professor Emily Fischer, was excited to give her first in-person conference presentation.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to represent CSU at this conference and present new science,” she said. “I am also thankful to my adviser, Emily Fischer, and co-authors for their guidance in this project.”

September 20, 2022

Department renames Alumni Award to honor alumna Maria Silva Dias

Department Head Eric Maloney announced Monday the renaming of the Alumni Award in honor of alumna Maria Silva Dias. The award is given annually to a senior Ph.D. student for outstanding research.

Silva Dias was the first woman to graduate with a Ph.D. from the department, in 1979. She founded the atmospheric science department at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where she has been a professor for most of her career. She also served as director of the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies of the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research.

Silva Dias has done seminal research in tropical convection, South American precipitation and climate, and biosphere-atmosphere interactions. She has led numerous South American field campaigns and employed novel numerical modeling approaches.

Silva Dias won the CSU ATS Outstanding Alum award in 2017 and has been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous positions and accolades, including as president of the Brazilian Meteorological Society, member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Students initiated the renaming of the award, and a committee of students, research scientists, and faculty identified a distinguished Ph.D. graduate to be its namesake.

Maria is excited to receive this honor and plans to be here for the Spring 2023 award ceremony at which this award will be first bestowed,” Maloney said. “We’re excited to celebrate with Maria at that time.”


September 15, 2022

Melissa Burt joins ADVANCEGeo Partnership as co-PI

Assistant Professor Melissa Burt has joined the ADVANCEGeo Partnership to reduce hostile and exclusionary workplace behaviors that contribute to low diversity in the earth and space sciences and other STEM disciplines. The partnership formed in 2017, funded by a National Science Foundation ADVANCE award. Today ADVANCEGeo announced the NSF ADVANCE Program has contributed an additional $1.2 million to expand the partnership’s work.

The ADVANCEGeo program aims to catalyze behavioral and cultural change through interventions at the individual and collective level, including bystander intervention education and organizationally through the development of ethical codes of conduct that frame harassment, bullying and discrimination as scientific misconduct. The new award will support development of a workplace climate intervention program for academic STEM departments and training programs.

Burt, who is also the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, is one of eight principal investigators from six universities and the American Geophysical Union.

Read the press release, “New NSF funding launches second stage of ADVANCEGeo to transform workplace climate.”

September 12, 2022

CSU researchers study climate intervention to lessen impacts of climate change

Professor James Hurrell, who is also the Scott Presidential Chair in Environmental Science and Engineering, was interviewed by Denver television station 9News about Colorado State University’s research on climate intervention. 

“No climate scientist is advocating that we do climate intervention at this point in time, but we feel that it’s important to do the research on this,” Hurrell said in the interview.

View the 9News interview and read the article here.

September 8, 2022

Elizabeth Barnes named Professor of the Year

Professor Elizabeth Barnes was presented with the Professor of the Year award for the 2021-22 academic year during the New Student Welcome Picnic Aug. 31. Atmospheric Science graduate representatives determine the recipient based on which professor received the most feedback for teaching excellence on course evaluations by students.

Graduate representative Emily Gordon presented Barnes with the award, noting that she was the professor most likely to be recommended to other grad students for both her fall and spring courses. She had one of the highest survey response rates.

Gordon shared a few excerpts from the surveys:

“She explains things so thoroughly and I felt like I learned so much in her class. The subject she taught I hated in undergrad, but being in her class actually made me appreciate and love dynamics.”

Students commented on her passion and dedication for teaching and the clarity of her explanations.

Barnes said this award is especially meaningful to her. This is the second time she has been named Professor of the Year; the first time she received the honor was in 2016.

September 7, 2022

Department welcomes new students at annual picnic

We welcomed our incoming graduate students with a picnic at Spring Canyon Park on Aug. 31. Following a brief but productive rainstorm, faculty introduced their new students and postdoctoral fellows and shared a little about the research each will be doing.

Photo of the 2022 incoming class, from left to right: Charles Davis, Mitchell Gregg, Andrew Feder, Leif Fredericks, Angelie Nieves Jiménez, Camille Mavis, Michelle Kanipe, Joshua Quinnett and Ying-Ju Chen. Not pictured: Matthew King, Katurah McCants and Jesse Turner. (Nova, front and center, is not an incoming student but a welcome addition to the group nonetheless. 😉 )

Professor Maria Rugenstein introduces new postdoctoral fellow. Professor Kristen Rasmussen introduces new postdoc, students and Nova, the dog. Professor Chris Kummerow introduces new student Joshua Quinnett. Professor Steve Miller introduces newish student Justin Hudson. Professor Sonia Kreidenweis and Jessie Creamean introduce new student Camille Mavis.

August 31, 2022

American Meteorological Society honors three Colorado State University researchers

The American Meteorological Society will recognize three Colorado State University researchers for their outstanding contributions to weather, water and climate science.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor V. Chandrasekar will receive the prestigious Verner E. Suomi Technology Medal. Eric Maloney, professor and department head of Atmospheric Science, and Mark DeMaria, senior research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, will be named AMS Fellows.

The recipients will be honored at the 103rd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting Jan. 8-12 in Denver.

Read the full Source story, “American Meteorological Society honors three Colorado State University researchers.”

August 29, 2022

Pat Keys aims to support forward-thinking education and research around climate change

Pat Keys, formerly the lead scientist with Colorado State University’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, has joined the Department of Atmospheric Science as an assistant professor. Keys focuses on climate change impacts and human adaptation, creative scenarios developed through machine learning and science fiction storytelling, and societal interaction with the atmospheric water cycle.

Prior to joining SoGES, Keys founded an environmental consultancy that worked with local and international partners. His fieldwork has taken him all over the world, from exploring climate impacts in Vietnam to documenting indigenous perspectives on conservation in American Samoa. He studied agricultural water policy in Morocco, the link between drought and conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, and municipal responses to extreme heat and wildfire smoke in Fort Collins.

Keys presented the keynote address to the United Nations General Assembly’s 2nd committee in 2019, speaking on the challenges of achieving global sustainability. He is a member of the advisory council for CSU’s Center for Environmental Justice and the African Futures Advisory Board based at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Read the full Source story, “New Atmospheric Science faculty member aims to support forward-thinking education and research around climate change.”

August 19, 2022

Eric Maloney named AMS Fellow; CIRA colleagues and ATS alumni also honored

The American Meteorological Society announced today the recipients of its 2023 awards and honors. Among them is Department Head Eric Maloney, who was named a fellow, and several other scientists with close ties to the department.

Alumnus Mark DeMaria (M.S. 1979, Ph.D. 1983), a CIRA Fellow and senior research scientist, also was named an AMS Fellow. Fellows are elected based on their extensive record of contributions to atmospheric or related sciences. No more than two-tenths of one percent of all AMS members are considered for the honor any given year.

V. Chandrasekar, CIRA Fellow, University Distinguished Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a close collaborator of the department, was selected for the Verner E. Suomi Technology Medal for leadership in developing techniques to observe precipitation processes using dual-polarization and spaceborne radar.

Alumnus Bruce Albrecht (M.S. 1974, Ph.D. 1977) was awarded the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the highest award the society can bestow upon an atmospheric scientist. Albrecht was honored for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the structure or behavior of the atmosphere.

Alumna Julie Demuth (M.S. 2001, Ph.D. 2015) was named the 2023 AMS Walter Orr Roberts Lecturer for groundbreaking interdisciplinary research to improve hazardous weather risk communication and dedicated work promoting the exchange of knowledge across the meteorology and social sciences communities. She also was conferred fellowship. Demuth was selected as an ATS Outstanding Alum in 2020.

Alumna Jennifer Mahoney (M.S. 1992) and alumnus David Changnon (Ph.D. 1991) also were named fellows. Mahoney won the ATS Outstanding Alum Award in 2019.

All of the 2023 recipients will be recognized at the 103rd AMS Annual Meeting in Denver

August 10, 2022

Chih-Chi Hu, Allie Mazurek, Marqi Rocque receive ASCENT awards

Chih-Chi Hu, Allie Mazurek and Marqi Rocque have been selected for ASCENT (Assisting Students, Cultivating Excellence, Nurturing Talent) scholarships to fund international research opportunities. ASCENT is a department program established to enrich the graduate experience.

Hu, advised by Professor Peter Jan van Leeuwen, will use the scholarship to collaborate with scientists at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in the United Kingdom to build and test the research group’s newly developed non-Gaussian observation error model into the ECMWF system.

“We hope to improve the all-sky satellite radiances assimilation,” Hu said. He will spend two months in the U.K.

Mazurek, advised by Professor Russ Schumacher, will collaborate with scientists at the University of Pretoria and the South African Weather Service on a project related to understanding and forecasting severe convective storms in South Africa.

“I hope to improve short-range predictions of severe hazards, such as tornadoes, in the region, which will help inform my work on forecasting hazardous weather in the U.S.,” Mazurek said.

Rocque, advised by Associate Professor Kristen Rasmussen, will work with Professor Rachel Albrecht and her team at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, studying the microphysical and electrical characteristics of severe storms in South America.

“I will learn more about lightning-observing platforms and better understand how the land surface and terrain impact cloud and precipitation processes in the region,” Rocque said. “I hope to witness some of the extreme storms I study in person!”

ASCENT grants are funded by donations to the department. Contributions can be made here.

August 5, 2022

REU summer program culminates in research presentations

Congratulations to our interns on completing the NSF-funded REU Site in Earth System Science summer research program! The students presented their work from the past 10 weeks in oral presentations Tuesday and a poster session Thursday. The program is coordinated by Assistant Professor Melissa Burt and Senior Research Scientist Charlotte DeMott.

From left to right, Tom Juliano, Jennifer Seth, Shay Magahey, Hannah McDaniel, Kenny Tam, Abe Tekoe, Marshall Baldwin, Linda Arterburn and Eli Flicker.

Kenny Tam presents his work during the poster session. Abe Tekoe presents his work during the poster session. Marshall Baldwin presents his work during the poster session. Hannah McDaniel presents her work during the poster session. Shay Magahey presents her work during the poster session.

Linda Arterburn presents her work during the poster session. Jennifer Seth presents her work during the poster session. Tom Juliano presents his work during the poster session. Eli Flicker presents his work during the poster session.REU students present their work in a poster session.

August 4, 2022

CSU hurricane researchers reduce forecast but continue to predict active season

Colorado State University hurricane researchers have reduced their forecast slightly but continue to call for an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2022, citing the likely persistence of La Niña as a primary factor for the continued anticipation of an active season. Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean are slightly warmer than normal. A warmer than normal tropical Atlantic provides more fuel for developing storms. However, sea surface temperatures are only slightly above normal, so the forecast team considers this a mostly neutral factor for the remainder of the season.

The tropical eastern and central Pacific currently has La Niña conditions; that is, the water temperatures are below average. CSU researchers anticipate that these waters will likely remain cooler than normal for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season. Consequently, they believe that El Niño is extremely unlikely this year. El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form.

The primary reason for the reduction in CSU’s forecast from early July was a decrease in the statistical and statistical/dynamical model guidance that underpins these outlooks, along with some anomalous cooling in the subtropical Atlantic. When the subtropical Atlantic is cooler than normal, it can sometimes favor increased shear in the tropics, potentially counteracting some of the reduced shear typically observed in La Niña years.

Read the full Source article, “CSU researchers reduce forecast but continue to predict active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.”

July 28, 2022

Marking the anniversary of the 1997 Spring Creek Flood that inspired CoCoRaHS

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Spring Creek Flood of July 27-28, 1997, when unprecedented extreme rainfall on the western edge of Fort Collins caused a flash flood that killed five residents and caused $140 million in damages to Colorado State University’s campus.

CSU’s Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering had a unique role in helping the community to move forward after the disaster.

Even as the waters receded from the Engineering building, two of the college’s departments were tapped to help the city understand what had happened, and what could be done to reduce the impact of similar storms in the future.

Atmospheric scientists, who research forecasting, detection and reporting of extreme weather, watched the storm develop from their vantage point on the Foothills Campus. Civil engineers, who study urban infrastructure for flood events, had front row seats as the waters inundated the lower levels of their own building.

Nolan Doesken, then assistant state climatologist and later state climatologist for 11 years, recalled that morning clearly. Heavy rains the night before had left the ground saturated. More storms were in the forecast, and one irrigation ditch he passed on the way to the Foothills Campus was already “full to the brim – fuller than I had ever seen it.”

A trusted volunteer had measured an astounding 10 inches of rain in nearby LaPorte. The sophisticated National Weather Service radars in the region showed nothing so remarkable. Faculty in the Atmospheric Science department were puzzled, recalled Doesken. “Where did all that rain come from, and how had it escaped detection by the world’s best national radar system?”

Read the full Source story, “Spring Creek Flood 25 years ago led to a national precipitation network, infrastructure upgrades.”

Image: A rainfall contour map from the storm shows dramatic variation in accumulations across short distances. Image courtesy of Colorado Climate Center.

July 18, 2022

Kristen Rasmussen receives AMS Mountain Meteorology Early Career Award

Associate Professor Kristen Rasmussen has been recognized by the American Meteorological Society’s Scientific and Technological Activities Commission. Rasmussen received the Outstanding Early Career Award from the AMS Committee on Mountain Meteorology for “advancing the scientific understanding of complex interactions between terrain and convective precipitation.” The award is given to early career scientists who have made significant contributions to the discipline and are on a path to becoming science leaders in the community.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award, as it represents the community I have been part of since I was an early-stage graduate student,” Rasmussen said. “In fact, my first conference presentation was at an AMS Mountain Meteorology conference, so this award is particularly meaningful for me.”

The AMS Mountain Meteorology STAC committee presented Rasmussen with the award at the 20th Conference on Mountain Meteorology at the end of June. The Scientific and Technological Activities Commission (STAC) is composed of committees and boards, which are made up of hundreds of volunteers who are primarily AMS members.

July 14, 2022

Air samples from Arctic region show how fast Earth is warming

While climate change is taking effect everywhere on Earth, the Arctic Circle is feeling those effects most of all, in the form of glacial melt, permafrost thaw and sea ice decline.

Key players in climate change include the clouds that cover the Earth’s surface and the microscopic, airborne aerosols called ice nucleating particles that seed the formation of ice in those clouds. This dance of ice nucleation, cloud cover and heat all have major roles in climate. But those all-important ice-creating aerosols, which can be mineral dust, microbes or sea spray, have scarcely been studied in the Arctic ­– where they need to be studied most of all – because little is known about their effects there, and not many scientists venture that far north.

Colorado State University scientists did, though. In 2019, an intrepid team including atmospheric research scientist Jessie Creamean boarded a ship, sailed north, gathered thousands of air, seawater, sea ice, snow and meltwater samples, and brought home the physical evidence needed to determine exactly how ice nucleation and clouds over the Arctic Ocean ebb and flow over time.

Read the full Source story, “Air samples from Arctic region show how fast Earth is warming.”

Photo of the Polarstern in the Arctic by Lianna Nixon.

July 12, 2022

Steven Miller links real encounter with ‘milky seas’ to satellite pictures

Milky seas – the rare phenomenon of glowing areas on the ocean’s surface that can cover thousands of square miles – are not new to scientists at Colorado State University. They have previously demonstrated the use of satellites to see these elusive phenomena. What was missing were photographic observations of milky seas observed from the Earth’s surface and from space at the same time.

Until now.

In a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Steven Miller, professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science and director of CSU’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, compares satellite observations of a 2019 milky sea event off the coast of Java to photographic evidence from the sailing ship Ganesha, a 16-meter private yacht. The yacht happened to be sailing in the milky seas at the same time. Unsure of what they had encountered, the yacht’s crew provided CSU their enlightening footage after learning of its expertise in satellite observations, and Miller’s particular interest in capturing milky seas from space.

Read the full Source story, “CSU researcher links real encounter with ‘milky seas’ to satellite pictures.”

Image above: A 100,000-square-kilometer bioluminescent milky sea south of Java, as seen from space on Aug. 2, 2019, and from the Earth’s surface by the private yacht Ganesha. In the nighttime photo, the first of its kind, the ship’s deck appears as a dark silhouette against the glowing waters. Credit: Steven Miller/Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at CSU

July 8, 2022

Q&A with new Atmospheric Science Department Head Eric Maloney

Professor Eric Maloney stepped into the leadership role of Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science July 1 following Professor Jeff Collett’s 11 years of service as department head.

“While it is a daunting and humbling task to lead a world-class department such as our own, I look forward to the challenge,” Maloney said in response to the opportunity to become the department’s ninth leader.

Maloney has served as associate department head for three years, working with faculty, students and staff to recruit the next generation of Atmospheric Science students, enhance the student learning environment, address curricular issues and act as an adviser to the department head.

Read the full Source story, “Q&A with new Atmospheric Science Department Head Eric Maloney.”

Department honors Jeff Collett’s 11 years of service as department head

The Department of Atmospheric Science celebrated Professor Jeff Collett’s 11 years of service as department head June 24 and welcomed Professor Eric Maloney as the new chair, starting July 1. Faculty, former department heads, students and staff honored Collett’s leadership and character in a ceremony at the Atmospheric Science campus.

“Our department is widely considered a world leader in no small part due to what Jeff has helped build over the last decade,” Maloney said. “He has provided creative, inspirational and visionary leadership through both good and extremely challenging times over the last 11 years that will be hard to match.”

Collett hired 13 faculty members, more than half of the department’s total faculty. About half are women, increasing the number of women faculty from two to eight. He considers bringing so many outstanding faculty to the program a highlight of his career.

Read the full Source story, “Department of Atmospheric Science honors Jeff Collett’s 11 years as department head.”

Professor Jeff Collett, left, receives an award recognizing his 11 years of service as department head, presented by Professor Chris Kummerow, right, with incoming Department Head Eric Maloney attending virtually due to COVID. REU student Jennifer Seth presents Collett with flowers from his research group. Collett looks forward to spending more time working with his research group, pictured here. Several faculty who were hired by Collett thank him for his leadership and mentorship. Collett oversaw the development of a new community space to foster collaboration and an inclusive environment, which is now a favorite gathering place on campus, especially among students. Cookies say Thank you, Jeff!

July 5, 2022

Frances Davenport: Climate change is making flooding worse

Postdoctoral researcher Frances Davenport wrote this piece for The Conversation. Colorado State University is a contributing institution to The Conversation, an independent collaboration between editors and academics that provides informed news analysis and commentary to the general public.

Heavy rain combined with melting snow can be a destructive combination.

In mid-June 2022, storms dumped up to 5 inches of rain over three days in the mountains in and around Yellowstone National Park, rapidly melting snowpack. As the rain and meltwater poured into creeks and then rivers, it became a flood that damaged roads, cabins and utilities and forced more than 10,000 people to evacuate.

The Yellowstone River shattered its previous record and reached its highest water levels recorded since monitoring began almost 100 years ago.

Although floods are a natural occurrence, human-caused climate change is making severe flooding events like this more common. I study how climate change affects hydrology and flooding. In mountainous regions, three effects of climate change in particular are creating higher flood risks: more intense precipitation, shifting snow and rain patterns, and the effects of wildfires on the landscape.

Read the full article, “Climate change is making flooding worse: 3 reasons the world is seeing more record-breaking deluges.”

Image at top: Fast-moving floodwater obliterated sections of major roads through Yellowstone National Park in June 2022. Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service

June 16, 2022

Kimberley Corwin, Bee Leung, Kevin Yang receive NASA Future Investigators awards

Kimberley Corwin, Gabrielle “Bee” Leung and Chen-Kuang “Kevin” Yang have been selected for the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) program. FINESST awards funding for research projects that are designed and executed by graduate students and contribute to NASA’s science, technology and exploration goals. Corwin’s, Leung’s and Yang’s proposals were three of 62 selected from 394 submitted to the Earth Science Division, out of 932 proposals overall. The grant may be applied for up to three years.

Corwin and her adviser, Associate Professor Emily Fischer, will research how wildfire smoke impacts solar energy generation in the U.S. using a combination of satellite observations, radiative transfer and atmospheric chemistry models, solar energy production datasets, and solar resource models. They will assess the historical exposure of solar resources to smoke and quantify associated changes in solar generation. Using estimates of future fire emissions that account for different climate, population and emissions scenarios, they will estimate changes to surface shortwave radiation and compare these results to solar energy capacity and cost projections across the U.S.

“We need to make sure that solar forecasting accounts for how wildfire smoke will affect solar panels, especially as wildfires grow larger and more frequent with climate change,” Corwin said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to work on an important interdisciplinary question and thankful for the support provided by NASA FINESST.”

Leung will work with her adviser, University Distinguished Professor Sue van den Heever, to understand how changes to land surface, for example through deforestation or urbanization, impact tropical cloud properties in conjunction with changes to the aerosol environment. They will focus on the Maritime Continent, a region of the world undergoing rapid changes to both land cover and aerosol emissions.

“There is still a lot of disagreement about whether land-cover changes in the region would increase or decrease precipitation overall,” Leung said. “It’s a very complicated problem, since changing the land cover consists of simultaneous changes to many physical parameters, such as latent and sensible heat fluxes, surface roughness and convergence, and aerosol sources.”

They will use a combination of satellite observations, realistic region-scale modeling and idealized large eddy simulations to quantify the magnitude of aerosol-land surface impacts on convection and explore the mechanisms driving those impacts.

Yang and his adviser, Associate Professor Christine Chiu, will assess the role of near-cloud aerosols in the radiation budget using retrievals from 3D radiative transfer and machine learning. They will develop a new method that incorporates 3D cloud radiative effects and aerosol hygroscopic growth for retrieving near-cloud aerosol properties, using shortwave reflectance observations from MODIS (the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite instrument). The project is expected to provide new global and regional estimates of aerosol direct radiative effects that include near-cloud aerosols for the first time. They also will exploit the new aerosol retrievals to study the variability of aerosol direct radiative effects with organizations of shallow cumulus and to understand the implication for a warmer climate.

“This research tackles the outstanding issue in the aerosol remote sensing community and could potentially change the current state of the aerosol direct radiative effect estimate,” Yang said. “I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity from NASA FINESST to do such exciting work.”

June 13, 2022

Q&A with science communication expert Melissa Burt

Three Colorado State University experts on science communication – Ashley Anderson, Nicole Kelp and our own Melissa Burt – explain why it’s important to humanize scientists in this Q&A about climate change, misinformation and social media.

“Spewing data and facts alone will not change people’s perceptions and oftentimes deters them. We need to meet our audiences where they are and figure out a way to talk about issues in a way that matters to them and addresses their values.” – Assistant Professor Melissa Burt

Read the article, “Raise Your Voice: Three pioneers in science communication tackle climate change, misinformation, and social media.”

Photo above: Ashley Anderson, Nicole Kelp and Melissa Burt are professors and parents. They are motivated by the climate crisis and misinformation to humanize scientists and connect with new communities. Credit: Kellen Bakovich

June 9, 2022

Michael Bell, Kristen Rasmussen lead PRECIP campaign to study extreme rainfall

In many parts of the world, heavy, frequent rainstorms are catastrophic events that cause mudslides, flooding and loss of life.

An international team of experts led by Colorado State University atmospheric scientists are spending this summer getting to the bottom of how and why the most violent rainstorms in the world occur. By identifying the key physical processes and environmental ingredients that cause high-intensity, long-duration rain events, their goal is to improve models for forecasters and eventually save lives.

The team is led by Michael Bell and Kristen Rasmussen, both faculty members in the Department of Atmospheric Science, and includes collaborators from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, seven other U.S. academic institutions and several international partners in Taiwan, Japan and Korea. The $6 million-plus field campaign is supported by the National Science Foundation and is called PRECIP, or Prediction of Rainfall Extremes Campaign in the Pacific. Data collection began in late May and will continue through August.

Read the full Source article, “CSU atmospheric scientists lead summer field campaign in Taiwan to study extreme rainfall.”

Photo at top: Erin Dougherty of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (and ATS 2020 graduate) tweeted this photo of the CSU SEA-POL radar being set up in Yonaguni, Japan.

June 7, 2022

Sonia Kreidenweis to serve as Graduate School interim dean

University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis will serve as interim Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs until the appointment of a new dean to replace Mary Stromberger. Kreidenweis will begin in the interim role following Dean Stromberger’s last day on July 1.

Kreidenweis is a University Distinguished Professor of atmospheric science and serves as Executive Associate Dean in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, where she also previously served as Research Associate Dean. She joined Colorado State University in 1991 to initiate the atmospheric chemistry program in the Department of Atmospheric Science. Kreidenweis is co-PI of the NSF Biology Integration Institute award to CSU, focused on the role of biological aerosols in ecology and climate.

Additionally, she has served on several NAS/NRC Committees, including the 2017 Decadal Survey Panel on Climate Variability and Change: Seasonal to Centennial. Kreidenweis is a past president and Fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research, a past member of the executive committee and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Read Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen’s message to the CSU community.

June 6, 2022

Andrey Marsavin awarded A&WMA scholarship

Andrey Marsavin has been selected to receive a scholarship from the Rocky Mountain States Section of the Air and Waste Management Association. The scholarship is awarded to a deserving graduate student to advance air quality studies.

Marsavin, who is a member of Professor Jeff Collett’s research group, will use the funding to study air quality issues in national parks. The group is investigating the impact of oil and natural gas developments on ozone pollution in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. 

“I’m grateful to the A&WMA for supporting my research in air quality and atmospheric chemistry,” Marsavin said. “It’s reassuring to receive such recognition as a new graduate student, and I owe a lot of gratitude to my professors and mentors.”

June 2, 2022

ATS researchers increase forecast, predict very active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season

Colorado State University hurricane researchers have increased their forecast and now predict a well above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2022. The odds of El Niño for this year’s hurricane season are now quite low, and the odds of La Niña conditions have increased relative to what was projected with the initial outlook in early April.

Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are now warmer than normal, while the eastern Atlantic is much warmer than normal. This type of sea surface temperature configuration is considered quite favorable for an active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

The tropical eastern and central Pacific currently has weak La Niña conditions; that is, the water temperatures there are somewhat below average. CSU researchers anticipate that these waters will likely remain slightly (e.g., cool neutral ENSO) to somewhat below normal (e.g., La Niña) for the Atlantic hurricane season. They believe that El Niño is extremely unlikely this year. El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form.

Read the full Source article, “CSU researchers increase forecast, now predict very active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.”

May 31, 2022

We welcome 2022’s REU interns for firsthand atmospheric science research experience

CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science welcomed a new cohort of summer interns this week. Through a National Science Foundation grant, the REU Site in Earth System Science offers paid summer undergraduate research internships in the department, where the students join world-class atmospheric scientists investigating clouds, climate, weather and modeling.

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program also gives interns the opportunity to attend scientific seminars, visit national laboratories and participate in professional development training. The program spans 10 weeks from late May through early August.

From left to right, front to back row: Shay Magahey, Jennifer Seth, Linda Arterburn, Hannah McDaniel, Marshall Baldwin, Eli Flicker, Tom Juliano, Abe Tekoe and Kenny Tam.

May 30, 2022

Marc Alessi to study at Max Planck Institute on German Academic Exchange scholarship

Ph.D. candidate Marc Alessi will study at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, Germany this summer thanks to a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service – known as DAAD in Germany.

Alessi will research uncertainty of temperature projections given different sea surface temperature patterns with Hauke Schmidt’s Global Circulation and Climate Research Group. The scholarship covers travel expenses, health insurance and a monthly stipend.

Alessi is advised by Assistant Professor Maria Rugenstein, who was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute before joining the department’s faculty.

May 18, 2022

Alex DesRosiers wins AMS Outstanding Oral Presentation Award

Alex DesRosiers received an Outstanding Oral Presentation Award from the 35th AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology for his talk, “Characterization of the Tropical Cyclone Vortex Height and Intensity Relationship in Observations.”

DesRosiers’ work used a large airborne radar dataset to quantify the strong relationship between vortex height and tropical cyclone intensity. He found differences in vortex height when accounting for current intensity were related to the rate at which the storm intensifies.

“The work motivates continued research to see if vortex height observations can be of use to tropical cyclone intensity forecasting,” he said.

DesRosiers was grateful for the opportunity to represent CSU and discuss science in person with the tropical meteorology community again.

“Research is a group effort and I am thankful for the guidance and assistance of my adviser and co-authors,” he said. DesRosiers is advised by Professor Michael Bell.

May 12, 2022

Research led by Christine Chiu featured as Science Highlight by DOE Office of Science

Research by Associate Professor Christine Chiu, Ph.D. student Kevin Yang, Professor Peter Jan van Leeuwen and several of their collaborators has been selected as a Science Highlight by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Only about 200 publications are highlighted each year.

The highlight, “How Does Drizzle Form? Machine Learning Improves Models of These Processes,” describes how machine learning offers new insights and parameterization for the path from drizzle drops to warm rain. It is based on the paper, “Observational Constraints on Warm Cloud Microphysical Processes Using Machine Learning and Optimization Techniques,” led by Chiu.

May 11, 2022

Three from ATS named SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows

CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability has selected two Atmospheric Science students and an Atmospheric Science postdoctoral fellow to be Sustainability Leadership Fellows for the next academic year. Ph.D. candidate Julieta Juncosa Calahorrano, advised by Emily Fischer; Ph.D. student Kathryn Moore, advised by Sonia Kreidenweis and Paul DeMott; and postdoctoral fellow Marybeth Arcodia, mentored by Elizabeth Barnes, were among 20 early-career scientists chosen for the program.

The Sustainability Leadership Fellows program prepares future innovators and thought leaders with science communication and career development training. They learn to effectively communicate science to the media and public, and how to build successful careers that incorporate meaningful engagement and an interdisciplinary approach to research.

Read the SoGES announcement in Source.

Photos: From left to right, Julieta Juncosa Calahorrano, Kathryn Moore and Marybeth Arcodia.

May 10, 2022

Kevin Yang and Ting-Yu Cha receive department honors for student research

Kevin Yang and Ting-Yu Cha were honored for outstanding student research in a ceremony May 6. Yang received the Herbert Riehl Memorial Award, and Cha received the Alumni Award.

Associate Professor Christine Chiu, Yang’s adviser, nominated him for the paper, “Near-cloud aerosol retrieval using machine learning techniques, and implied direct radiative effects,” which she expects will have a huge scientific impact.

“As a supervisor, the goals I set for myself are to train my students to have original ideas, to tackle the problem in a creative way, and to do their research independently. And this student has demonstrated all of these three from day one,” Chiu said in her introduction before revealing Yang as the winner.

The Herbert Riehl Memorial Award honors the department’s founder. It recognizes an M.S. or beginning Ph.D. student who has submitted the best technical manuscript in the past 18 months.

The Alumni Award recognizes outstanding Ph.D. research by a senior student.

Professor Michael Bell, Cha’s adviser, nominated her for the paper, “Polygonal Eyewall Asymmetries During the Rapid Intensification of Hurricane Michael (2018).”

“This was outstanding work both in terms of observational analysis and theoretical analysis,” Bell said.

Cha’s paper was selected as an Editors’ Highlight by Geophysical Research Letters and earned her third place in the Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences competition.

Cha will participate in the PRECIP campaign in Taiwan this summer. Following her graduation in the fall, she will continue her research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research through an Advanced Study Program Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Yang and Cha will present their research at the first colloquium of fall semester.

May 6, 2022

Congratulations to our Spring and Summer 2022 graduates!

The department celebrated spring and summer graduates with a hybrid in-person and Zoom ceremony May 6. Advisers shared information about each graduate, and family and friends were able to attend.

We asked our graduating students about their plans following graduation and the most important thing they learned at CSU. Here are their responses.

Chloe Boehm

“I am staying here to work on my Ph.D.!”

“How important a great support system is and to always remain eager to learn from others.”

Ellie Casas

“I’ll be going to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA to do a postdoc with Scott Powell (a postdoc here a few years ago). My specific projects are currently TBD, but they will probably be some combination of shallow to deep cumulus convection and/or machine learning.”

“The most important thing I learned at CSU is how important a strong sense of community is for persistence, professional growth, and career satisfaction. I was fortunate to have been offered multiple opportunities due to the strong community at CSU, and I learned the hard way via the pandemic that research is much more satisfying when you can easily share it with others.”

Ali Cole

“I’m joining CPP Wind Engineering Consultants as an atmospheric scientist!”

“The most important thing I learned at CSU is the value of having a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints in any scenario. Everyone approaches situations differently, be it research or otherwise, and having that variety of perspectives is invaluable.”

Jacob Escobedo

“Defense for master’s on May 16, planning on staying at CSU working with Russ Schumacher to pursue my Ph.D.”

“I cannot control the unexpected, but I can control how I respond to it.”

Megan Franke

“My future plans are to finish up my master’s and defend next month! Plans for after graduation are still being decided but leaning towards staying for a Ph.D.”

“The most important thing I learned while being here at CSU is to not be afraid to ask for help! I have heard it all my life, but never really lived it until coming here….also coding :)”

Eric Goldenstern

“I’ll be sticking around at the department for my Ph.D.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned at CSU is that nothing is ever perfect… just good enough for the moment.”

Justin Hudson

“I will be staying at CSU for my Ph.D. and joining Steve Miller’s group to study milky sea events in the Indian Ocean.”

“How to deal with everything changing all at once.”

Nicole June

“I will be continuing into the Ph.D. program in Jeff Pierce’s group.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned so far is the importance of priorities and a support system.”

Emily Lachemayer

“I am taking a break from academia and heading to industry.”

“How to systematically approach and implement concepts that are outside of my comfort zone.”

Lilly Naimie

“I am staying in Jeff Collett’s group here in Atmos to pursue a Ph.D.!”

“I learned how important balance is; to work hard and take the time to go for a bike ride.”

Mike Natoli

“I am now working at NWS Cheyenne.”

“This was a tough one to answer since I’ve learned and grown as a person so much in my time at CSU, but to try to pick one thing, I’d say recognizing the importance of collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and a supportive environment in achieving personal and academic goals.”

Sam O’Donnell

“I’ll be staying on for a Ph.D.! I’ll be working on some tangential topics to my M.S. research.”

“Being here during COVID-19 taught me the importance of social connection (while social distancing), and work-life balance. Also, aerosol particles are awesome!”

Sagar Rathod

“I accepted a Postdoctoral Research Associate position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Public Affairs department.”

“In terms of academics, I appreciate the ‘always look at the big picture’ I learned from Tami and Jeff. In terms of life, I would say my experience with DEI initiatives across the campus is something I will definitely take from here.”

Rick Schulte

“I will be starting a postdoc at CSU working on the CloudSat and INCUS missions.”

“Ask around before tackling a tough problem, because someone else has probably already attempted it and has knowledge to share.”

Photo collage, from left to right, top to bottom row: Chloe Boehm, Lee Brent, Ellie Casas, Ali Cole, Jacob Escobedo, Megan Franke, Eric Goldenstern, Justin Hudson, Nicole June, Emily Lachenmayer, Lilly Naimie, Mike Natoli, Sam O’Donnell, Sagar Rathod and Rick Schulte.

Spring 2022 Graduates

Chloe Boehm M.S. Adviser: David Thompson
Lee Brent M.S. Adviser: James Hurrell
Eric Goldenstern M.S. Adviser: Chris Kummerow
Justin Hudson M.S. Adviser: Eric Maloney
Nicole June M.S. Adviser: Jeff Pierce
Lilly Naimie M.S. Adviser: Jeff Collett
Mike Natoli Ph.D. Adviser: Eric Maloney
Rick Schulte Ph.D. Adviser: Chris Kummerow
Michael Cheeseman* Ph.D. Adviser: Jeff Pierce
Kyle Chudler* Ph.D. Adviser: Steven Rutledge
Michael DeCaria* M.S. Adviser: Peter Jan van Leeuwen
Nick Falk* M.S. Adviser: Sue van den Heever
Naufal Razin* Ph.D. Adviser: Michael Bell
Kristen Van Valkenburg* M.S. Advisers: Steven Rutledge and Sue van den Heever

*Recognized at previous events

Summer 2022 Graduates

Ellie Casas Ph.D. Adviser: Michael Bell
Ali Cole M.S. Adviser: Michael Bell
Jacob Escobedo M.S. Adviser: Russ Schumacher
Megan Franke M.S. Adviser: James Hurrell
Emily Lachenmayer M.S. Adviser: Jeff Collett
Sam O’Donnell M.S. Adviser: Jeff Pierce
Sagar Rathod Ph.D. Advisers: Jeff Pierce and Tami Bond
May 3, 2022

Emily Gordon receives University Distinguished Professors Scholarship

Emily Gordon, a Ph.D. student in Associate Professor Elizabeth Barnes’ research group, has been selected to receive the 2022-23 University Distinguished Professors Scholarship. The UDP scholarship is a merit-based award bestowed upon a graduate student for her/his academic accomplishments. Its purpose is to enhance the professional development opportunities of the awardees.

“This scholarship is invaluable to me at this time in my Ph.D.,” Gordon said. “I am really keen to visit other research institutions and make connections with people with similar research interests across the U.S. As an international student who started during the pandemic, these opportunities only opened up to me recently and I want to make the most of them before I finish at CSU.”

The scholarship was created by the University Distinguished Professors and is fully funded by them. Atmospheric Science is home to a considerable number of University Distinguished Professors: Sonia Kreidenweis, David Randall, A.R. Ravishankara and Sue van den Heever. Tom Vonder Haar and Graeme Stephens are University Distinguished Professors Emeritus.

May 2, 2022

Five department members honored with college awards

Five faculty members and researchers from the Department of Atmospheric Science were recognized during the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering All-College Meeting April 26. Nominations were submitted by colleagues and staff of the college’s eight departments and programs.

Outstanding Researcher Award: Charlotte DeMott

“For outstanding research achievements and international leadership in elucidating the role of ocean-atmosphere coupling as a driver of the Madden-Julien Oscillation, improving predictability of high-impact weather phenomena around the globe.”

Charlotte DeMott accepts Outstanding Researcher Award

Outstanding Researcher Award – Rising Star: Russell Perkins

“For outstanding achievements in exploring new and cutting-edge scientific directions, exceptional research productivity and adaptability, and selfless contribution to the success of students and the entire research team.”

Russell Perkins accepts Outstanding Researcher Award–Rising Star

George T. Abell Award for Teaching and Mentoring: Emily Fischer

“For being a fearless leader, a devoted educator, and an impeccable mentor who is committed to supporting the next generation of scientists through inclusive excellence, mentoring and engagement.”

Emily Fischer accepts George T. Abell Award for Teaching and Mentoring

George T. Abell Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Faculty: Russ Schumacher

“For his exceptional research contributions across a broad range of atmospheric science topics. He is a thoughtful teacher and mentor, and has unmatched service both through his role as State Climatologist and as a faculty member supporting CSU and the wider research community.”

Russ Schumacher accepts George T. Abell Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Faculty

George T. Abell Award for Outstanding Research Faculty: Sue van den Heever

“In recognition of wide-ranging and high-impact studies of the development and impacts of atmospheric convective storms through numerical simulations as well as in situ and remote sensing observations, including leadership of the new NASA INCUS satellite mission.”

April 25, 2022

Ting-Yu Cha receives NCAR Advanced Study Program Postdoctoral Fellowship

Ph.D. student Ting-Yu Cha has been selected for a National Center for Atmospheric Research Advanced Study Program Postdoctoral Fellowship. Following her graduation in the fall, Cha will move to Boulder in January 2023 to work with the NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory, where she will investigate the asymmetric mechanisms that impact tropical cyclone intensity and structure changes using observations and numerical models. Cha, who is advised by Professor Michael Bell, hopes this research ultimately will enable improved prediction and lead to better risk communication and weather warnings to the public. 

“I am truly honored to be selected as an ASP postdoctoral fellow,” Cha said. “The program gives me the flexibility to conduct research I’m passionate about and an opportunity to grow independently. I am looking forward to collaborating with NCAR scientists and learning new science and skills!”

April 21, 2022

Emily Fischer named next associate department head

Associate Professor Emily Fischer will begin a term as associate department head on Aug. 15. The ADH position, with primary oversight of recruitment and the learning environment of ATS students, has significantly improved department support for our graduate students.

“Emily has outstanding ideas related to student mentoring, core courses and equity that she will bring to the role,” incoming Department Head Eric Maloney said in an announcement to the department. “I thank Emily for her willingness to take on this important service role within the department and am excited to work closely with her during the coming years.”

April 19, 2022

Scott Denning answers: Is it possible to heal the damage we have done to the Earth?

Professor Scott Denning wrote this piece for The Conversation, as part of the Curious Kids series for children of all ages. Colorado State University is a contributing institution to The Conversation, an independent collaboration between editors and academics that provides informed news analysis and commentary to the general public.

Sometimes it may seem that humans have altered the Earth beyond repair. But our planet is an incredible system in which energy, water, carbon and so much else flows and nurtures life. It is about 4.5 billion years old and has been through enormous changes.

At some points in Earth’s history, fires burned over large areas. At others, much of it was covered with ice. There also have been mass extinctions that wiped out nearly every living thing on its surface.

Our living planet is incredibly resilient and can heal itself over time. The problem is that its self-healing systems are very, very slow. The Earth will be fine, but humans’ problems are more immediate.

Read the full article, “Is it possible to heal the damage we have already done to the Earth?

Image at top: The Earth viewed from the Apollo 8 lunar mission on Dec. 24, 1968. Credit: NASA

April 18, 2022

ATS students demonstrate weather observation technology at Loveland High School

Loveland High School students experienced atmospheric science in action March 28, thanks to a visit by Colorado State University graduate students.

Lance Niño, who received his M.S. from CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science in 2021, teaches meteorology at the high school and invited the atmospheric science grad students to visit his classes. Nick Falk, Sean Freeman, Gabrielle Leung and Allie Mazurek demonstrated how they use radiosondes and drones to collect atmospheric data.

“I arranged this event partly so my students could get some hands-on experience in meteorology, but partly because I have fond memories of launching balloons and flying drones,” Niño said. “I wanted to share these amazing experiences with my students.”

Read the full Source article, “CSU atmospheric science students demonstrate weather observation technology for high schoolers.”

Photo at top: Loveland High School students watch a drone flight demonstration by CSU atmospheric science graduate students. Courtesy of Lance Niño.

April 15, 2022

Sue van den Heever named University Distinguished Professor

Professor Susan van den Heever’s brilliant scientific mind, her tremendous stature in the field of atmospheric science, and her record of leadership guiding national and international planning of large-scale efforts to advance knowledge of the aerosol-cloud-climate system led to her nomination as University Distinguished Professor, the highest academic recognition awarded by Colorado State University.

The title is bestowed upon a very small number of full professors at any one time on the basis of outstanding scholarship and achievement. Professors with this title hold the distinction for the duration of their association with CSU.

There are approximately 25 UDPs across CSU. Van den Heever joins current ATS Professors Dave Randall, Sonia Kreidenweis and A.R. Ravishankara as UDPs. Tom Vonder Haar and Graeme Stephens are University Distinguished Professors Emeriti.

Read more about van den Heever and the other Celebrate! Colorado State award winners in Source.

April 14, 2022

CSU-led NASA satellite mission, set to launch in 2026, was built on giants

About four and a half years from now, a set of three small satellites ­– each not much larger than a microwave oven ­­– will launch into low-Earth orbit and begin a two-year mission in space, providing scientists a top-down view of rain, hail and lightning-laden storms in the tropics.

Called INCUS, or Investigation of Convective Updrafts, this newest NASA Earth-observing mission will be broadly aimed at increasing scientists’ understanding of storm physics and related climate processes. Its principal investigator is Colorado State University’s Susan van den Heever, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science, who is also the first woman to lead a NASA Earth Venture Mission.

For van den Heever, a veteran storm observer and respected authority on cloud physics and mesoscale meteorology, launch day 2026 will be an auspicious milestone in a high-stakes technological achievement, as the nimble INCUS satellites begin collecting never-before-seen data that could change the game for storm forecasting and climate modeling. But launch day certainly won’t be the start of the INCUS story.

Read the full Source story, “CSU-led satellite mission, set to launch in 2026, was built on giants.”

Image at top: An artist’s rendering of the INCUS satellites flying in formation. Credit: NASA/JPL

April 7, 2022

ATS tropical meteorology researchers predict active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season

Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting an active Atlantic hurricane season in 2022, citing the likely absence of El Niño as a primary factor. Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are near their long-term averages, while Caribbean and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are warmer than their long-term averages. The warmer Caribbean and eastern part of the subtropical Atlantic also favor an active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

The tropical Pacific currently has weak La Niña conditions, that is, water temperatures are somewhat cooler than normal in the eastern and central tropical Pacific. While La Niña may weaken and transition to neutral conditions by this summer, the CSU researchers do not currently anticipate El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form.

While tropical Atlantic water temperatures are currently near their long-term averages, the warmer-than-normal subtropical eastern Atlantic typically forces a weaker subtropical high and associated weaker winds blowing across the tropical Atlantic. These conditions then lead to warmer waters in the tropical Atlantic for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Read the full Source article, “CSU researchers predicting active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.”

April 5, 2022

Daniel Hueholt receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Daniel Hueholt has been selected for a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support.

Hueholt will use the funding to investigate rapid detection of the climate response to solar climate intervention using explainable artificial intelligence.

“The GRFP also will allow me the freedom to explore all of the new ideas we uncover along the way,” Hueholt said. “I am very grateful for the help and advice I received in preparing my application. I particularly want to thank my advisers Jim Hurrell and Elizabeth Barnes, my fellow Barnes group members Kirsten Mayer and Charlotte Connolly, and CSU’s GRFP application editing program. I’m so excited to see what the next three years bring!”

Amanda Bowden and Spencer Hill received NSF GRFP honorable mentions.

April 4, 2022

Emily Fischer will lead $1M EPA project to improve air quality monitoring, communication

Colorado State University researchers will receive nearly $1 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to expand air quality monitoring in communities impacted by wildfires and improve communication of health risks from smoke exposure.

Researchers will work with community partners throughout Colorado to add low-cost air quality monitors in places that aren’t currently monitored. They will create real-time, high-resolution maps to help people understand air pollution in their community and make decisions to minimize smoke exposure.

Emily Fischer, associate professor of atmospheric science, will lead an interdisciplinary team of scientists from the Departments of Atmospheric Science, Journalism and Media Communication, and Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences.

Read the full Source article, “EPA funds research to improve air quality monitoring, health risk communication.”

April 1, 2022

Jeff Pierce on SoGES team investigating smoke impacts on solar energy

Professor Jeff Pierce is co-PI on a Global Challenges Research Team selected for funding by the CSU School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES). The team will investigate wildfire smoke impacts on U.S. solar energy resources and agrivoltaic systems. Associate Professor Emily Fischer and Ph.D. candidate Kimberley Corwin also will contribute to the project.

Read more about the project.

March 31, 2022

CSU video honors Sue van den Heever, first woman to lead NASA Earth Venture Mission

In honor of Women’s History Month, Colorado State University produced a video about Professor Sue van den Heever and her distinction as the first woman to lead a NASA Earth Venture Mission. The mission, INCUS, is a $177 million project that will study storms in the tropics, to improve weather and climate models.

The Investigation of Convective Updrafts mission will deploy three small satellites, known as SmallSats, to explore why convective storms, heavy precipitation and clouds form exactly when and where they do, and why only some storms produce extreme weather. INCUS is expected to launch in late 2026 or early 2027.

In the video, van den Heever encourages others to follow their passions and not give in to self-doubt.

“Imposter syndrome always tries to make us not trust ourselves or downplay who we are. Trust yourself.”

View the video here.

March 18, 2022

Kristen Rasmussen receives Nelson Family Faculty Excellence Award

Assistant Professor Kristen Rasmussen has been selected for the Nelson Family Faculty Excellence Award through the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. The award recognizes exceptional performance and effective student engagement in teaching and research.

Peggy and Jim Nelson created the award to advance the careers of outstanding mid-career engineering faculty and foster international collaborations. Funding from the award will help support Rasmussen’s activities for three years.

Rasmussen is an award-winning adviser and nationally recognized leader in mesoscale meteorology. She has actively engaged her students and students from other universities in international research through the RELAMPAGO campaign in Argentina and the upcoming PRECIP campaign in Taiwan. Rasmussen has made significant contributions to the department’s curriculum by developing a new course on mountain meteorology and contributing to a course on social responsibility in atmospheric science.

“I am honored to receive this award and grateful to the Nelson family for their generous support in enhancing international collaborations in my group’s research and education activities,” Rasmussen said. “This award will provide new opportunities for students to participate in international field research and collaborations.”

March 17, 2022

Barnes group explains their climate research through animations

Climate scientist Elizabeth Barnes uses neural networks and explainable artificial intelligence to answer pressing questions about Earth’s climate. These cutting-edge, machine-learning methods help unravel the complexity of the Earth system, but they can be difficult to comprehend.

Barnes wanted to break down these concepts in a few easy-to-understand videos, so she commissioned an artist to visually communicate her group’s research.

“When you watch these videos, it becomes clear that our work is rooted in the fundamentals of climate science – we just use AI as a tool for exploring the data,” said Barnes, an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science.

Read the full Source story, “Atmospheric scientist explains complex climate research through animations.”

View the videos on the Barnes group website.

March 16, 2022

Bill Cotton: Cloud seeding might not be as promising as drought-troubled states hope

Professor Emeritus Bill Cotton wrote this piece for The Conversation. Colorado State University is a contributing institution to The Conversation, an independent collaboration between editors and academics that provides informed news analysis and commentary to the general public.

On mountain peaks scattered across Colorado, machines are set up to fire chemicals into the clouds in attempts to generate snow. The process is called cloud seeding, and as global temperatures rise, more countries and drought-troubled states are using it in sometimes desperate efforts to modify the weather.

But cloud seeding isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it might not be as promising as people wish.

As an atmospheric scientist, I have studied and written about weather modification for 50 years. Cloud seeding experiments that produce snow or rain require the right kind of clouds with enough moisture, and the right temperature and wind conditions. The percentage increases in precipitation are small, and it’s difficult to tell when snow or rain fell naturally and when it was triggered by seeding.

Read the full article, “Cloud seeding might not be as promising as drought-troubled states hope.”

Photo at top: Cloud-seeding equipment near Winter Park in Colorado. Credit: Denver Water

March 8, 2022

ATS students, REU interns earn awards at AGU, AMS conferences

Several students brought home presentation awards from the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society annual meetings.

  • Rick Schulte – AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award
  • Kimberley Corwin – AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award
  • Emily Gordon – AMS first-place Oral Presentation Award for the Joint Session with the 27th Conference on Probability and Statistics
  • Gabrielle “Bee” Leung – AMS second-place Student Oral Presentation Award for the Mesoscale Processes conference
  • Charlotte Connolly – AMS second-place Outstanding Student Presentation Award for the 21st Conference on Artificial Intelligence for Environmental Science
  • Jamin Rader – AMS third-place Oral Presentation Award for the Joint Session with the 27th Conference on Probability and Statistics
  • Kevin Yang – AMS honorable-mention Outstanding Student Presentation Award for the 21st Conference on Artificial Intelligence for Environmental Science

REU interns Victoria Chavez and Emily Luschen also received AMS Outstanding Student Conference Poster Awards for presenting their research conducted during their 2021 internships at ATS.

From left to right, top to bottom row: Rick Schulte, Kimberley Corwin, Emily Gordon, Gabrielle “Bee” Leung, Charlotte Connolly, Jamin Rader, Kevin Yang, Victoria Chavez and Emily Luschen.

March 2, 2022

Christine Chiu named chair of ARM Cloud and Precip Measurements and Science Group

Associate Professor Christine Chiu recently was named the new chair of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility’s Cloud and Precipitation Measurements and Science Group (CPMSG).

The CPMSG brings together members of the ARM instrument operations, engineering, and translator teams with the ARM science community to improve the performance and science impact of ARM’s cloud and precipitation measurements.

An active member of the ARM/Atmospheric System Research (ASR) community since 2003, Chiu has worked extensively alongside ARM instrument mentors and science team members for data products and observational strategies.

Read the full ARM announcement.

February 11, 2022

Jeff Collett receives AMS STAC Outstanding Service Award

Department Head and Professor Jeff Collett has been honored with the American Meteorological Society Scientific and Technological Activities Commission Outstanding Service Award. Collett was recognized for “outstanding service to the AMS Committee on Atmospheric Chemistry and for raising the stature of atmospheric chemistry within AMS.” The commission selects only those who are outstanding in their field for this award.

Collett has served as chair of the AMS Committee on Atmospheric Chemistry and also served several years as chair/co-chair of the AMS Atmospheric Chemistry Conference.

“Jeff’s leadership has not only helped elevate the atmospheric chemistry sessions at the annual meeting but has been instrumental in establishing atmospheric chemistry as an integral part of the AMS,” University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis said.

The Scientific and Technological Activities Commission (STAC) is composed of committees and boards, which are made up of hundreds of volunteers who are primarily AMS members.

February 9, 2022

Sue van den Heever’s C3LOUD-Ex field campaign featured on cover of BAMS

C3LOUD-Ex, the CSU Convective Cloud Outflows and Updrafts Experiment led by Professor Susan van den Heever, is featured on the cover of January’s issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The innovative project involved flying drones into thunderstorms to capture hard-to-collect data on updrafts and cold pools.

The article features comments from van den Heever and members of her research group, Leah Grant, Sean Freeman and Peter Marinescu, along with photos from the field campaign.

AMS members can access the article by logging in here.

February 4, 2022

Melissa Burt named newest member of ATS faculty

Alumna and longtime director of CSU’s REU Site in Earth System Science, Melissa Burt has been appointed to the department faculty. Burt will continue in her role as Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, while taking on her new position as assistant professor.

Burt will conduct research and teach classes related to social responsibility, science identity, mentorship, and social justice in STEM, with a particular focus in atmospheric science. She also will continue to support department efforts to build a more inclusive environment and recruit and train a more diverse graduate student body.

“I am thrilled to join the ATS faculty and continue to work towards nurturing and supporting an inclusive, equitable, and just atmospheric science community,” Burt said.

Burt has been developing diversity and inclusion initiatives in the department for more than a decade. In 2018 she was named Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion by Dean David McLean. She leads strategic planning and implementation of diversity, inclusion, and equity goals, and contributes to Universitywide diversity and inclusion initiatives.

CSU recognized Burt in 2021 with the President’s Council on Culture Award, for her efforts to create an inclusive and equitable culture. Also in 2021, the American Meteorological Society honored Burt with the Charles E. Anderson Award, for her outstanding contributions to the promotion of diversity in atmospheric science and broader communities through education and community service.

January 24, 2022

Jeff Collett named technical editor-in-chief of A&WMA journal

Jeffrey L. Collett, Jr. professor and department head in Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, has been named the next Technical Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, one of the oldest peer-reviewed journals covering the fields of air quality and waste management. His appointment begins April 1.

Collett has extensive prior academic publishing and editing experience, having authored or co-authored over 220 peer-reviewed articles in over 40 scientific journals, including in JA&WMA. He has also served as associate editor on the editorial board for PeerJ (2017-present), Atmosphere (2019-2020), and Environmental Monitoring and Contaminants Research (2020-present) and served as associate/guest editor for special issues of Atmospheric Research and Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

“The journal has made important progress in recent years, and I am excited to collaborate with A&WMA’s staff and many volunteers that support and oversee the publication, as well as A&WMA’s partners at Taylor and Francis to chart a path for raising the journal’s profile in support of its critical mission,” Collett said.

Read the full Source article, “Jeff Collett named technical editor-in-chief of Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association.”

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