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2014 Announcements

December 22, 2014

Steven Rutledge and Brenda Dolan receive 2015 Robert H. Goddard Award

Prof. Steven Rutledge and Brenda Dolan

Professor Steven Rutledge and Dr. Brenda Dolan, members of the Precipitation Measuring Missions Ground Validation Team, were nominated this fall, along with their fellow team members, for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Robert H. Goddard Award. This award, named after rocket pioneer Robert Hutchings Goddard, is given annually and honors Exceptional Achievement in Science.

The GPM Ground Validation Team works on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the recently launched Global Precipitation Mission. The GPM satellite consists of a dual frequency radar and GMI Microwave Imager that is communicating with other satellites previously in orbit. The goal of this mission is to advance precipitation measurements from space.

Contributions made by Steve and Brenda to the team’s efforts included leadership in several GV field programs including the NASA-DOE Midlatitude Continental Convective Cloud Experiment in Spring 2011, the IFLOODS GPM ground validation program in Iowa in 2013, and IPHEX in summer 2014. The department would like to congratulate Steve and Brenda on this prestigious team award.

Dr. Walt Petersen (NASA-Wallops), leader of the PMM Ground Validation program will receive the award on behalf of the team in March 2015 during a ceremony at Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Petersen earned his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University in 1997.


December 19, 2014

Congratulations fall 2014 Atmos graduates!

2014 Fall Atmos Graduates

Left to right: Jeremiah Sjoberg, Bonne Ford, Alyssa Matthews, Annareli Morales, Sarah Ringerud and Matt Igel

Congratulations go out to our recent Department of Atmospheric Science graduates and Ph.D. candidates, several of whom walked in commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 19.

The department recognizes their dedication to science and research and is proud of their academic achievements. Graduation brings new and varied opportunities, and there is no doubt that success awaits them in their future endeavors.

Fall 2014 Graduates

Gus Alaka Ph.D. Advisor: Eric Maloney
Bonne Ford* Ph.D. Advioer: Colette Heald
Eliott Foust M.S. Advisor: Dave Thompson
Matt Igel Ph.D. Advisor: Sue van den Heever
Alyssa Matthews M.S. Advisor: Steven Rutledge
Annareli Morales M.S. Advisors: Sonia Kreidenweis and Russ Schumacher
Sarah Ringerud* Ph.D. Advisor: Chris Kummerow
Jeremiah Sjoberg Ph.D. Advisor: Thomas Birner

*Anticipated spring 2015 graduation

Prior to commencement ceremonies, graduates, Ph.D. candidates and their families were invited to a graduate luncheon with faculty.


December 10, 2014

Atmospheric Awards and Recognition Ceremony

On Dec. 10, the Department of Atmospheric Science held its annual Atmospheric Awards and Recognition Ceremony/Luncheon. Faculty and staff milestones, along with 2014 student and postdoctoral fellowship and scholarship award winners were recognized.

We would like to take the time to congratulate all of our awards winners.

The commitment of our students, postdocs, faculty, researchers and staff is invaluable and makes our department a cohesive unit that strives for excellence not only in academics and research, but in public outreach as well.

Students and faculty at the luncheon.

Russ Schumacher presents the student fellowships.

Bill Cotton receives his 40-year milestone award from Samantha Mayhew.

Student Appointments, Awards and Recognition

2013 AGU Fall Meeting Outstanding Student Paper Steve D’Andrea
2014 AAAR Poster Award Steve D’Andrea and Jack Krodros
2014-2015 CSU International Presidential Fellow Zitely Tzompa and Steve D’Andrea
Outstanding Student Presentation at International Lightning and Meteorology Conference (Kreider Scholarship) Brody Fuchs
2014 WCRP and EUMETSAT Climate Symposium Top Poster Winner David Henderson

Postdoctoral Awards

NSF AGU-PRF (Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship) John Albers, Walter Hannah, Shunsuke Nakao, Matt Igel and Greg Schill
NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Nathan Arnold
SoGES (Colorado State University Global Sustainability Leadership Fellow) Andrea Clements and Hannakaisa Lindqvist

Student Fellowships

AFIT (Air Force Institute of Technology) Bryan Mundhenk and Robert Tournay
AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and Professoriate) Jordan Allan and Jake Zaragoza
AMS Aryeh Drager, Caitlin Fine, Erik Nielsen and Peter Marinescu
AWMA Yi Li and Brad Wells
CIRA Leah Grant and Todd Jones
CMMAP Diversity Noel Hilliard
CONACYT (Mexican National Council for Science and Technology) Zitely Tzompa
Dietrich Scholarship Sam Atwood
DOE Krell Chris Eldred
EPA STAR Fellowhip Ashley Evanoski-Cole
GATES Millennium Scholars Isaac Medina
I-Water (Integrated Water, Atmosphere, Ecosystems, Education and Research) Aaron Piña, Isaac Medina and Gavin Roy
NASA NESSF (NASA Earth and Space Science Award) Matt Igel, Veljko Petkovic and Sarah Ringerud
NSF Nick Davis, Aryeh Drager, Leah Grant, Adele Igel, Erik Nielsen, Gavin Roy and Elizabeth Thompson
NSF EAPSI Ali Boris and Adam Rydbeck
NSF GROW Adele Igel
NSF Honorable Mention Greg Herman
NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Kim Sakamoto and Landan Macdonald
PRSE (Programs for Research and Scholarly Excellence) Greg Herman and Steve Brey
Shrake Culler Scholarship Isaac Medina, Stephanie Henderson, James Ruppert and Doug Stolz
Sjostrom Family Scholarship Zitely Tzompa
SOARS (Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Reserach and Science) Jake Zaragoza and Annareli Morales


December 2, 2014

Chris Kummerow and Jamie Schmidt receive College of Engineering awards

Chris Kummerow and Jamie Schmidt at the All College Awards Ceremony

Professor Chris Kummerow and Graduate Coordinator Jamie Schmidt were each recognized with major College of Engineering awards at the All College Meeting on Dec. 2. Dean McClean presented Chris with the Abell Outstanding Faculty Research Award, while Jamie received the Outstanding Classified Employee Award.

The Abell Award is presented each year in recognition of high quality, nationally acclaimed research productivity with a particular focus on the preceding five years of work, and Chris and his research fit this description impeccably. Chris has been extremely busy with his research since coming to the department in June 2000. In that time frame, he has worked on multiple missions (TRMM, CloudSat and most recently GPM) and has participated in multiple steering committees over the years that include AMSR. Chris plays an active role in planning and defining new space-borne missions geared toward a better understanding of the Global Water and Energy Cycle, while still fulfilling all of his duties as the director of CIRA. To learn more about Chris and his group, please take a look at his group’s website.

The Outstanding Classified Award is also presented each year and is bestowed upon a State Classified Employee who exemplifies dedication and commitment to the college, the university, and fellow department employees, students and staff as well. The recipient is one who strives for excellence in every aspect of their work, and there is no better way to describe our department award winner, Jamie Schmidt. Jamie, who began her career at CSU in July 2006 in the Department of Admissions as a graduate processor and moved on to the Department of Atmospheric Science in February 2008, is best known for her role as the department Graduate Coordinator and Assistant to the Department Head. However, her duties extend beyond these titles. They are wide and varied and include more time in the day than she possibly has to give. This being said, one never sees her turn away a student, a faculty member or fellow employee that has come to her for aid. She always finds time to fit everyone into her day. The department’s graduate students and prospective students are integral to her job, as she is responsible for department graduate admissions, graduate recruitment and retention, and graduate program coordination. In addition, Jamie assists Department Head Jeff Collett on a daily basis and also provides faculty support, supervises and evaluates an Admin II position, assists with web updates, and maintains and updates alumni contact and career information. Along with this, Jamie continues to take classes at CSU to improve herself and continue along her future career path. Her goal is to better herself and everyone else around her and to provide the best support that she can.

Both of these individuals are outstanding College of Engineering and Department of Atmospheric Science employees, and the Department is proud of them and wishes to acknowledge and congratulate them on their past accomplishments and future endeavors.


December 2, 2014

AAAR T-Shirts on sale for a limited time!

AAAR T-shirt artist's rendition

Just in time for the holidays, AAAR will be selling T-shirts with a brand new logo designed by the sister of recent Ph.D. department graduate Matt Igel. These T-shirts will be grey and made of 100 percent organic, ring-spun cotton (extra soft and environmentally friendly!).

T-shirts are $15-$20 apiece. Please pay what you feel you can. Although this is a fundraiser, AAAR understands that grad students may be short of cash around the holidays, but these make great gifts for yourself, your “bestest” atmospheric science friends, or even your family.

Proceeds will go to your CSU American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) student chapter, specifically to help get to the Storm Peak Lab this year!

Act before it’s too late by going to:

T-shirts should be available before Christmas. Please have your order form filled out before noon this Friday, Dec. 5.

Please bring cash payments to Ali Boris (ATS Chem 111) or your friendly next-door AAAR member, or pay when you pick up your shirts.

Thanks for your support!


November 24, 2014

Sam Atwood receives David L. Dietrich Honorary Scholarship

Department Head Jeff Collett presents the Dietrich Scholarship plaque to Sam Atwood.

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Sam Atwood for being selected as this year’s winner of the David L. Dietrich Honorary Scholarship. This $2,500 award, funded each year by Fort Collins-based Air Resource Specialists, Inc., is given in honor of retired ARS President David Dietrich. The award goes to a CSU student who has demonstrated outstanding ability in air quality research and education.

Sam is working with Prof. Sonia Kreidenweis on studies of aerosols in southeast Asia. He was recognized for the high quality of his work, his strong publication record, his dedication to assisting student colleagues in their own research, and his ability to successfully conduct high quality measurements under difficult field conditions. Sam has been termed the MacGyver of aerosol measurements!


November 13, 2014

Exploring the Influence of Gender in Science and the Environment

Exploring the Influence of Gender in Science and the Environment event poster

The second installment of the Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) two-part panel series “Exploring the Influence of Gender in Science and the Environment” will take place this evening, Nov. 13, from 6-7 p.m., at Avogadro’s Number, 605 Mason Street in Fort Collins. If you have time to attend this event, your support would greatly be appreciated, plus being exposed to a panel discussion such as this gives everyone the opportunity to gain new insights and perspectives into the roles of women in science.

The newly established GWIS Northern Colorado Chapter is being spearheaded by one of the department’s very own professors, Assistant Professor Emily Fischer, along with help from her Ph.D. student Zitely Tzompa, a founding member, as well as many others. Along with the department, the panel series is sponsored by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SOGES), the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research (CWSGR), the Ripple Effect (Women’s Initiative), and the Global Women Scholars Network. Last week, approximately 70 participants were in attendance from a variety of backgrounds. The hope is for an equally good turnout this evening, so hope to see you there.

Graduate Women in Science panelists and participants

GWIS series participants gathered at Avogadro's Number

Panelists and participants of the first GWIS series enjoyed intense discussions, as well as networking opportunities.


November 12, 2014

Jack Kodros and Steve D’Andrea receive student poster awards during AAAR conference

Congratulations to Atmospheric Science Students Jack Kodros and Steve D’Andrea for receiving Student Poster Competition Awards during the AAAR 33rd Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida last month. The AAAR conference brings scientists, students and AAAR Fellows together each year to share their latest findings and review the latest advances in technology in aerosol research.

Four symposia were included at this year’s event and all four worked to bridge the gap in the multiple disciplines that exist in atmospheric research. Symposia topics included research areas like aerosols and public health, while sessions included presentations that ranged from aerosol chemistry to clouds and climate to health-related aerosols and aerosol exposure.

With the varied format, Jack and Steve’s posters fit right into the conference. Jack’s award-winning poster was titled “Uncertainties in Global Aerosol and Climate Forcings from Biofuel Emissions,” and Steve’s was “Source Attribution of Aerosol Size Distributions and Model Evaluation Using Whistler Mountain Measurements and GEOS-Chem-TOMAS Simulations.”

Given all their hard work, the department would like to congratulate these two students again and thank them for their contributions to science and to the department. It is students such as these that make this department a premier research venue.

Jack Kodros and Steve D’Andrea


November 3, 2014

Sonia Kreidenweis will be College of Engineering Interim Associate Dean for Research

Sonia Kreidenweis

Professor Sonia Kreidenweis, 23-year faculty member of the Department of Atmospheric Science, will take on a new role in January 2015. She will become Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering (COE). Sonia will fill the role of Dr. Wade Troxell, who will be going on sabbatical leave during the spring semester and will return as a faculty member in Mechanical Engineering in August 2015. Sonia will hold the interim position through this same time frame and will bring a wealth of knowledge to COE with all of her experience at CSU. She will be a valuable asset to them as they search for a permanent replacement in the spring semester.

The department wishes Sonia the best as she takes on additional duties in the new year.


October 28, 2014

Zitely Tzompa named a CSU International Presidential Fellow for 2014-15

Zitely Tzompa in ski gear

Congratulations to Zitely Tzompa, a Ph.D. student of Assistant Professor Emily Fischer, for being named a CSU International Presidential Fellow for 2014-15. Zitely, part of a diverse group of approximately 27 graduate students and visiting scholars, representing multiple academic disciplines across CSU, was chosen for her her international background, international research interests, and her willingness to network and interact with other researchers at CSU.

The International Presidential Fellowship Program seeks out candidates with future international leadership skills and promotes their development through a variety of events during the academic year, including introductions to new and ongoing research through networking events and campus tours. Zitely is very excited about her new role, and the department wishes her the best and is proud to have her represent our department.


October 28, 2014

Cans Around the Oval 2014

Cans Around the Oval schedule poster

On behalf of FORTCAST… Thanks to all of you whose contributions of non-perishable food and/or monetary donations helped make Cans Around the Oval 2014 a SUCCESS.

The efforts of the Department of Atmospheric Science and CIRA raised 248 lbs. of food and $565 for the Food Bank of Larimer County. Those numbers resulted in a total impact of 2,508 lbs. of food, seemingly a record donation total from ATS/CIRA which exceeded our expectations and goals. Every single contribution is going to make a difference for our neighbors, friends and colleagues in need.

CSU, together with the Larimer County community, raised 47,470 lbs. of food and $46,743 total! This translates to a total impact of 186,974 lbs. of food collected which is a phenomenal number.

Congratulations and thank you again to everyone for a job well done and we look forward to collecting even more food and donations next year.


October 22, 2014

Rob Nelson’s master’s research published in Physics Today

Robert Nelson

Graduate student Rob Nelson’s master’s research involving satellite-based measurements of carbon dioxide was recently published online in Physics Today. Rob’s article discusses his efforts to better understand empirical aerosol corrections used in most CO2 retrievals. The results from his work may be used to improve the retrieval algorithm currently used by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2).

OCO-2 was successfully launched in July of this year with the primary component of the satellite dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide from space with unprecedented accuracy. CSU has played a major role in OCO-2 with Assistant Professor Christopher O’Dell (Rob’s advisor) and his team leading the development of the algorithms that will convert the sunlight measurements into CO2 concentrations. In addition, they also have been pioneering ways to better use these measurements.

Rob’s research work at CSU will continue along these lines, and the department looks forward to following his research results and updates from the OCO-2 satellite.


October 20, 2014

Doug Stolz receives Shrake Culler Scholarship

Doug Stolz

Congratulations to Atmospheric Science Ph.D. student Doug Stolz for receiving the Shrake Culler Scholarship. This award, presented by CSU’s College of Engineering, is granted to a student who demonstrates a passion for higher education, along with an outstanding work ethic and a successful academic record. Doug has accomplished all of these things and was an excellent choice for the award. The department is proud of his accomplishments and wishes him continued success as he progresses in his academic career at CSU.


October 13, 2014

Happy 85th Birthday, Dr. Gray!

Dr. Gray at his 85th birthday celebration

On Oct. 13, the Department of Atmospheric Science was pleased to recognize Emeritus Professor Dr. Gray with an 85th birthday celebration. This milestone, just one of many over the course of his life and his 40-plus-year career in atmospheric science, demonstrates Dr. Gray’s resiliency and determination to continue on with his research after countless years of commitment to the department and to atmospheric science in general.

Over the years, Dr. Gray has seen many changes. From the inception of his career at the University of Chicago where he graduated from the Department of Geophysical Sciences in 1974, to his work here at CSU in the early days of the department during the 1960s, to his specialization in the global aspects of tropical cyclones throughout the entire course of his career, to him earning his emeritus status while the department developed into one of the premier atmospheric science research departments in the country, a lot has changed. With these changes, Dr. Gray has seen it all and the department is pleased to still see him with us each day. Once again, Happy Birthday, Dr. Gray, and thank you for all your contributions.

Dr. Gray opening presents
birthday cake - shows a hurricane and track over Florida


September 24, 2014

Zitely Tzompa receives Sjostrom Family Scholarship

Zitely Tzompa

Ph.D. student Zitely Tzompa, whose advisor is Professor Sonia Kreidenweis, was recently honored by the College of Engineering with the Sjostrom Family Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded each year to a graduate student demonstrating academic excellence and a desire to help improve the quality of life for those in less developed countries via research or professional goals. This award, therefore, was a perfect fit for Zitely, with her focus on her home country of Mexico and the environmental issues that affect the population there.

Zitely, whose thesis was “Contribution of Biomass Burning to Carbonaceous Aerosols in Mexico City During May 2013,” focused her master’s work on air quality impacts in Mexico City as a result of wildfires in a given time period. This research, designed and conducted in conjunction with the help of several stakeholders from the Mexican government, directly reflects the importance of air quality and what a concern it is to the people of Mexico City and for Zitely as well, who personally and professionally has a commitment to help her country improve life for everyone in it. Zitely, who began her Ph.D. program this year, will continue her air quality research as she progresses in her academic career at CSU.

The department would like to congratulate Zitely on an award well deserved and commend her on her efforts to help society through research, demonstrating that one person really can make a difference.


September 11, 2014

Cans Around the Oval Oct. 21-22

Cans Around the Oval schedule poster

Fall is right around the corner, and that means the 2014 CSU Cans Around the Oval Campaign is in full swing. Spearheading the department/CIRA efforts this year is FORTCAST, the local chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), whose membership includes students and community members interested in atmospheric science.

Last year a total of 275 pounds of food was donated from the Atmospheric Science Foothills Campus and this year the goals are set even higher, which is essential when one reviews food bank statistics. In 2013, the food bank distributed over 9 million pounds of food to Larimer County residents. In a recent study by the food bank and Feeding America, statistics reveal that 1 in 10 people, or an estimated 35,600 people in Larimer County, turn to the food bank and partner food pantries and meal services programs to feed their families, so the need is great.

With this in mind, FORTCAST has set a goal of collecting 375 pounds of food and collecting a total of $200 in monetary donations. Want to help? Here’s how you can contribute.

  1. Donate non-perishable items of food to the brown boxes located in the following locations:
    • ACRC break area
    • ATS first floor break area
    • ATS West lower-level break area
    • Chemistry building break area
    • CIRA lower-level break area

    (Highly needed items are: canned tomato products (not ketchup), canned fruit, peanut butter, tuna and meals in a can (ie: ravioli, chili, Spaghetti O’s, canned foods with meat/protein. NOT SOUP!).

  2. Make a cash donation online at: (Indicate CSU Department of Atmospheric Science as the group you are donating on behalf of.)

Monetary donations provide more meals than actual food donations. The food bank estimates that $1 can feed a family of four!

Collection day for boxes will be Oct. 21, which will come sooner than you think! Donations go to the Oval on Wednesday, Oct. 22. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Melissa Burt or simply visit Cans Around the Oval.


September 11, 2014

FORTCAST first meeting Sept. 30

FORT Collins Atmospheric ScientisTs (FORTCAST), northern Colorado’s local chapter of the AMS, will be having their first meeting of the fall 2014 semester on Tuesday, Sept. 30. This meeting will be held in ATS 101 from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. and will include an introduction of officers and a discussion of ideas for the upcoming year. In addition, FORTCAST officers will discuss a new format for the quarterly meetings which will include the addition of public lectures to be held at local venues.

Not a member? Keep in mind, anyone can participate!

FORTCAST is a local chapter of AMS that includes students, postdocs, research scientists, faculty, weather weenies and community members, so come join in the fun and become a member today. It’s free to join and you can sign up anytime!

Hope to see you at the first meeting.


September 5, 2014

Walter Hannah receives NSF Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Fellowship

Walter Hannah

Congratulations to Ph.D. Atmospheric Science graduate Walter Hannah for receiving an NSF Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Walter, who graduated Summer 2014, is currently on a postdoctoral assignment at the University of Miami with Professor Brian Mapes. He will be moving to North Carolina State this spring to work with Professor Anantha Aiyyer, whose teaching and research focuses on tropical meteorology, atmospheric dynamics and climate variability. It is this research focus that Walter was drawn to.

Walter’s research proposal involved future African weather variability and how that weather will impact future hurricane activity. Dr. Aiyyer specializes in African Easterly Wave (AEW) dynamics, which is specifically the reason Walter chose to work with him. AEWs often serve as precursor disturbances for tropical storms and hurricanes. So, given the uncertainty of future Atlantic hurricane activity, Walter was interested in addressing the issue by looking into how AEW activity will change with enhanced CO2 concentrations. What sets this study apart from many other climate change studies is that it will use a super-parameterized model that was first developed at CSU. Former Atmospheric Science student Rachel McCrary, Ph.D. 2012, showed that this type of model produces a very realistic simulation of the African summer monsoon, making it one of the best candidates for studying future impacts of CO2, and how they might influence Atlantic hurricane activity.

The department wishes Walter much success in his new research assignment.


September 3, 2014

Assistant Professor Emily Fischer leads NSF grant to bolster women in science

Emily Fischer

Atmospheric Science Assistant Professor Emily Fischer is quite literally trying to change the face of the Earth sciences. Fischer is the lead investigator on a $1.7 million dollar NSF project aimed at recruiting female undergraduates to the Earth sciences through a combination of traditional in person and online peer mentoring. Her NSF project specifically focuses on closing the gender gap between men and women in fields that encompass atmospheric science, natural resource management, mining and geology, just to name a few.

Fischer’s goal, along with that of her team members from various universities from across the country, is to start a pilot program in 2015 that recruits first year female students from CSU, CU-Boulder, and the University of Wyoming. These students will attend an educational and scientific career workshop. After that, these ladies will have access to peer web support and also will have the opportunity to receive individual mentoring from members of the local Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), which is a nonprofit organization. There are currently more than 70 women involved in ESWN along the Front Range, and many of them are here at CSU. The team will run a parallel program in the Carolinas to learn what works in different regions.

Fischer is thrilled to begin this project. “There are so many reasons to address diversity issues across the Earth sciences. Our community’s diversity issue has negative implications for innovation and could limit the social relevance of our science. Increasing women’s participation in the geosciences is also an issue of social justice – STEM occupations have higher median earnings than the national average. I am so excited that CSU will lead both in the science and in this critical aspect of workforce development.”


September 2, 2014

FORTCAST featured in AMS newsletter

FORTCAST (FORT Collins Atmospheric ScientisTs AMS chapter), the local chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) whose members include not only students from the Department of Atmospheric Science, but Northern Colorado community members interested in atmospheric science as well, was recently honored with a feature article in the Summer/Fall 2014 Local Chapter Affairs newsletter. This newsletter, produced on a quarterly basis, was created to provide a connection between local AMS chapters and the national chapter headquarters. Each newsletter highlights information from across the country, with this quarter’s spotlight on the activities in Northern Colorado, from participation at last year’s Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s Earth Day, to multiple years of participation at the Little Shop of Physics Open Houses, to last year’s successful Young Scientists Symposium on Atmospheric Research (YSSAR).

This year’s YSSAR event will be held on Oct. 10. FORTCAST members are active and seeking out new ways for students and community members to expand and share their knowledge of the atmosphere. It’s an open forum for those who enjoy atmospheric science, and the local chapter invites anyone with an interest to get involved. Visit them on their website, Facebook page or on their Twitter account and become a member today.

FORTCAST executive board officers Matt Rogers and Ph.D. student Rob Nelson worked with young “up and coming” scientists at this year’s Little Shop of Physics Open House in February.


August 28, 2014

Ali Boris and Adam Rydbeck awarded NSF fellowships for research in East Asian and Pacific regions

Ph.D. students Ali Boris and Adam Rydbeck were each awarded an NSF EAPSI (East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes) Fellowship on June 1. NSF, and several of their foreign science and technology counterparts, sponsor international research institutes for U.S. graduate students in seven East Asian and Pacific locations during the summer months. Awards are granted based on proposal submissions from students that include a collaborative research project proposal with research specifically taking place in one of the seven sponsoring foreign countries. With this award, students receive travel to the host location, a stipend and participation in a pre-departure orientation. The goals of this program are for students to receive a firsthand research experience, an introduction to scientific policy and infrastructure, and a new cultural experience.

Based on their scientific research, Ali and Adam traveled to very different locations. Ali traveled to South Korea, where she worked with Dr. Taehyoung Lee of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, previously a group member with Professor Collett, on fog collection and chemistry at Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea.

Adam traveled to Asia as well, but his focus was in Taiwan, where he worked with Dr. Chung-Hsiung Sui, a Professor of Tropical Meteorology at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. Adam’s research focused on tropical cyclones and their precursor disturbances. Specifically, his research looked at the generation of precursor disturbances from particular atmospheric waves. The goal of this research is to ultimately improve forecasts of tropical cyclone formation.

The department would like to congratulate both of these students on their outstanding work. Their experiences gained in the field will not only help in their future research, but will help the department as well, as they share with their colleagues the knowledge they’ve gained abroad.

Ali Boris in front of a size-fractionating Caltech Active Strand Cloudwater Collector (CASCC), as it collects fog during a high liquid water content event at Baengnyeong Island.

Ali working in the lab on chemical analyses at the National Institute of Environmental Research Atmospheric Research Station at Baengnyeong Island. This is where fog samples were prepared for storage.

Adam Rydbeck shows off his newfound Chinese calligraphy skills acquired in June during his EAPSI orientation week.


August 22, 2014

Eric Maloney named Outstanding Professor of the Year

Eric Maloney

Each year, one of the key highlights of the New Student Picnic is, of course, meeting the new students. The department warmly welcomed all 12 of them (one could not be in attendance) on Aug. 22 and learned a little more about each of them through introductions by their professors. It is these same professors that held the key to the other eagerly awaited highlight of the picnic, which was the announcement of the recipient of the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award. Each year graduate student representatives poll department students on their thoughts regarding their interactions with faculty. After reviewing the results, one faculty member is chosen for the award based on a majority response.

This year, as in last year’s case as well with Associate Professor Sue van den Heever, a repeat winner was announced. For the second time in his career with the Department of Atmospheric Science, Professor Eric Maloney was named Outstanding Professor of the Year. Unfortunately Eric was on travel during the picnic and wasn’t here to receive the award and accolades in person, but graduate student representatives taped the announcement and emailed it to him instead. Eric graciously accepted and thanked everyone for this prestigious honor.

Student comments on Eric included:

“Very approachable outside of class.”

“Comprehensive, understandable and well-organized notes. Covers an incredible amount of material in a semester and in a way that builds knowledge and understanding progressively.”

“Lectures were never boring and I always enjoyed learning in this class. Eric’s enthusiasm for teaching made it really easy to learn and be interested. He was always available to help and answer any questions outside of the classroom.”

The department would like to congratulate Eric on his well-deserved award.


August 22, 2014

Welcome new Atmospheric Science students

On Aug. 22, the Department of Atmospheric Science held its annual New Student Picnic at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins. All Atmospheric Science faculty, students, staff and employees were invited to attend. This year, as in the past, faculty were introduced and in turn, they presented their new students to the department. In addition, the prestigious Outstanding Professor of the Year Award was presented to Professor Eric Maloney, general announcements were made, and the department then enjoyed an afternoon of lunch and recreational activities. Bringing the department together for this event each year is beneficial, as it gives everyone the chance to interact and meet each other. It demonstrates the cohesiveness that exists in the department and ultimately is a great way to kick off the upcoming school year.

Fall 2014 new graduate students, pictured from left to right, back row: Casey Patrizio, Brian Crow*, Dakota Smith, Ed Charlesworth, Bryan Mundhenk, Will Lassman and Steven Brey. Front row: Yoonjin Lee, Yixing Shao, Jingyuan Li and Anna Hodshire. *Spring 2014 admission


August 8, 2014

Ashley Evanoski-Cole awarded EPA STAR Fellowship

Ashley Evanoski-Cole

Ashley Evanoski-Cole, Ph.D. student of Professor Jeff Collett, was awarded an EPA STAR (Science to Achieve Results) Fellowship last week. This prestigious fellowship award supports master’s and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. 1,500 STAR fellowships have been awarded since the program began in 1995. Students can pursue traditional degrees, as well as disciplines that range from urban and regional planning to social anthropology.

Ashley’s two-year fellowship award was based on her topic “Air, Climate and Energy: Clean Air” and her proposed research “Characterizing Total Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition in National Parks in the Western United States.”

The department would like to congratulate Ashley on her award. Her research work is outstanding, and the awarding of this fellowship clearly demonstrates her commitment to hard work and excellence.


July 23, 2014

Russ Schumacher named Interim Graduate Student Counselor

Russ Schumacher

Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher was named the Department of Atmospheric Science Interim Graduate Student Counselor for the upcoming 2014-2015 year, while Professor Sonia Kreidenweis is on sabbatical leave. Sonia has filled this position for multiple years, and her commitment to our graduate students has created a solid foundation for Russ to work with during her absence. As Russ stated, “The graduate students in our department are always extremely well qualified and come from diverse scientific backgrounds. I look forward to working with the current students as well as the outstanding applicants that seek to join our program in the next year.”


July 2, 2014

Undergraduate interns visit department

Interns from CMMAP, SOARS and NOAA participated in a mid-day visit to the Department of Atmospheric Science on Friday, June 27. This event, which has occurred on a regular basis over the past few years, allows undergraduate interns interested in a graduate education the opportunity to visit the Department of Atmospheric Science and get a feel for what is expected in a graduate school environment. During their visit, undergraduate interns had the chance to visit with current Atmospheric Science students Aaron Piña (graduate student representative), Annareli Morales (graduate student representative), Gus Alaka and Brandon Wolding. These graduate students fielded questions, and graduate students Aaron Piña, Peter Marinescu and Eliott Foust led interns on an ATS campus tour as well.

Undergraduate interns were provided a buffet lunch and then listened intently to a presentation given by Department Head (Professor) Jeff Collett and Graduate Student Counselor (Professor) Sonia Kreidenweis. Professor Collett welcomed the interns to the department, and Professor Kreidenweis gave an overview of the graduate school application process. Profs. Collett, Kreidenweis, Randall, Denning and Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher then fielded questions and gave advice and tips to the interns regarding applications and how best to prepare themselves for graduate school.

Undergraduate interns also had the privilege of sitting in on a seminar given by Professor Dave Randall. Professor Randall’s presentation, “Climate Change on the Back of an Envelope,” covered predictions of anthropogenic global warming based on very simple physics. He went on to discuss how feedbacks add complexity. He also included the effects of clouds in some detail and briefly described the activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Professor Randall wrapped up his presentation by fielding questions, and the undergraduate interns were on their way after this, taking with them valuable knowledge they can use in their future graduate school endeavors.

From left to right, top to bottom: Professors Sonia Kreidenweis and Jeff Collett speak to the interns; Professor Scott Denning; Associate Professor Russ Schumacher; Graduate Coordinator Jamie Schmidt and Professor Dave Randall

From left-to-right, top-to-bottom: visiting interns; Annareli Morales talks to an intern; Professor Sonia Kreidenweis speaks to visiting interns


June 27, 2014

CMMAP’s internship program brings fresh faces and ideas to department

Summer is a very busy time of the year at CMMAP for many reasons, one of which is the the much anticipated arrival of the summer interns. For the last eight years, CMMAP’s undergraduate internship program has been bringing fresh faces and ideas to the Department of Atmospheric Science. CMMAP interns participate in a 10-week program, joining world-class atmospheric scientists investigating the science of clouds, climate and climate change, weather, and modeling. During the course of the program, interns have the opportunity to attend scientific seminars, visit national scientific laboratories and participate in a variety of professional development activities.

More information on CMMAP’s summer internship program

CMMAP summer interns, from left to right, top row: Michael DiRosa, Rachel Severson, Renee Duff, Lauren Deanes, Julia Shates, Jessica Ng, Michael Cheeseman and Bryce Currey; bottom row: Franchesa Espinosa, Sara Callahan, Andrea Jenney and Brian Matilla


June 25, 2014

Summer BBQs benefit School is Cool

This summer, the department’s student chapter of AAAR (American Association for Aerosol Research) and FORTCAST (FORT Collins Atmospheric ScientsTs), a local chapter of AMS (American Meteorological Society), will again sponsor BBQs during the months of June, July and August. A total of four BBQs will take place on the ATS/ACRC patio and all proceeds from these events will be donated to the School is Cool program. School is Cool, a CSU outreach program, raises money year-round to purchase school supplies and backpacks for K-12 students. During the month of August, about 150 volunteers give their time to stuff backpacks with grade-appropriate supplies. These backpacks are then distributed to families in the Poudre School District.

The first of the summer BBQs has already taken place, and the turnout last Friday was fantastic. AAAR and FORTCAST would like to thank those who participated and encourage those who are in the department on future BBQ days to participate if they can. You’ll receive a great meal, help a good cause, and have the opportunity to engage with AAAR and AMS FORTCAST members and learn about each group’s goals. Find out if joining one of these groups is right for you. Each group focuses on various aspects of atmospheric science and climate, but they also believe in community outreach and communicating science to the general public.

Join AAAR and FORTCAST at the upcoming BBQ dates below:
Wed., July 2
Fri., July 18
Fri., Aug. 1
11:30-12:30 on the ATS/ACRC Patio

Plates are $5 and include a main entree, chips and a drink. All net proceeds go to the School is Cool Program.

Thanks for your support!

Atmos folks enjoying the AAAR/FORTCAST BBQ


June 24, 2014

AAAR members volunteer to help restore Lion Gulch Trail

trail maintenance volunteers

Robin Stevens, Alex Naegele, Peter Marinescu and Leah Lindsey

During the weekend of June 15 and 16, four members of CSU’s chapter of AAAR (American Association of Aerosol Research) volunteered with Poudre Wilderness Volunteers to help restore the Lion Gulch Trail on Highway 36 between Lyons and Estes Park. This trail, one of many hiking/horse trails in Larimer County, was destroyed during last year’s September floods. Countless man-hours are needed for area trail restoration, and AAAR volunteers Robin Stevens, Alex Naegele, Peter Marinescu and Leah Lindsey assisted with the effort as part of AAAR’s commitment to connect with the local community.

CSU’s student chapter of AAAR seeks to promote the exploration of aerosol science within and outside the university. They also work to promote it with the public through education and planned community events where topics such as air quality and climate change have a direct impact on human health and prosperity. Benefits of participating in community events such as the Lion Gulch Trail restoration are two-fold as it allows AAAR volunteers to share their scientific knowledge with the people they work beside and directly helps the community through needed physical labor that leads to improvements and one day, final trail restoration.

This isn’t the first year that AAAR volunteers have taken on this challenge, as AAAR also adopted the Kreutzer Nature Trail in 2013 after the Highland Park Fire. Prior to that, they also adopted the Blue Lake Trail and performed maintenance from 2010 to 2012. Students in AAAR look forward to many more outreach opportunities in the future and invite you to visit their website for more information.


June 11, 2014

Russ Schumacher featured in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

Russ Schumacher

Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher was featured in the March 2014 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). Russ was asked earlier in the year to contribute a piece to the magazine by Ph.D. student Chris Slocum, a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Board of Early Career Professionals that was established from a subcommittee in 2012. Chris, appointed to the board in February 2012, is in charge of “The Highlight” section of the magazine. “The Highlight” is a bi-monthly feature directed at providing outreach information and advice to early career professionals. Given the success Russ has had at CSU, and the fact that he is still in the earlier stages of his career as a professor, he was perfect for providing advice to those following in his footsteps.

Read about Russ and his advice for young professionals (PDF)


June 5, 2014

Andrea Clements and Hannakaisa Lindqvist named SoGES Global Sustainability Leadership Fellows

Andrea Clements and Hannakaisa Lindqvist

Andrea Clements, postdoctoral fellow mentored by Professor Jeff Collett, and Hannakaisa Lindqvist, postdoctoral researcher mentored by Assistant Professor Chris O’Dell, were named 2014-2015 SoGES Global Sustainability Leadership Fellows last week.

SoGES Global Sustainability Leadership Fellows are a select group of leading CSU senior Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral fellows interested in communicating their science to media and the public. Over the course of one year, these fellows receive state-of-the-art training in environmental communication and professional development skills. Fellows are selected on a competitive basis, including their current sustainability science research and their interest in communicating important scientific concepts to broad audiences.

Andrea, a postdoctoral fellow in the Collett research group, completed her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University in 2012. Andrea’s current work involves the characterization of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released during the drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and flowback stages of natural gas well development in Colorado. This project aims to quantify emissions from the well pad activities. Andrea assists with field observations including the real-time measurement of methane and whole-air canister sampling for laboratory analysis. She also conducts GC-FID and GC-MS analysis of the canister samples to identify and quantify VOCs.

In the SoGES program, she looks forward to workshops aimed at enhancing professional skills such as grant writing, effective leadership, and networking. Andrea is also excited about discussing how scientists can impact the world through effective communication with the public and media not only about the importance of their own scientific work, but also how the conclusions they draw might shape policy on local, national and global scales.

Hannakaisa, currently a postdoctoral researcher in the O’Dell research group, completed her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Helsinki in 2013. She is currently studying the carbon cycle through remote sensing measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In the SoGES program, she looks forward to seeing different perspectives on climate change brought by this multidisciplinary company of other young scientists.

In winning these honors, Andrea and Hannakaisa have demonstrated their professionalism and their commitment to atmospheric science research. The department is very impressed with their work and proud of the example they set for others here at CSU.


May 30, 2014

Brant Dodson and Misha Schurman receive postdoc assignments

Jason (Brant) Dodson and Misha Schurman

Congratulations to Ph.D. graduates Jason (Brant) Dodson and Misha Schurman, who were recently honored with postdoctoral assignments.

Brant was accepted into the NASA postdoctoral program and will be taking an assignment at the NASA Langley Research Center, while Misha accepted an offer for a postdoctoral position at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The department is very proud of these two graduates and wishes them success in all their future endeavors.


May 30, 2014

Bill Gray receives first Robert and Joanne Simpson Award

Bill Gray

Congratulations go out to Professor Emeritus Bill Gray, recipient of the first Robert and Joanne Simpson Award presented at the 2nd Annual National Tropical Weather Conference held at South Padre Island, Texas last month.

This award, established by a conference committee in honor of Bob and Joanne Simpson’s numerous decades of work in tropical meteorology, was given to Dr. Gray “in honor of his outstanding contribution to tropical meteorology and his distinguished role in pioneering the first seasonal hurricane forecast.”

Receiving this award was very personal for Dr. Gray because he had collaborated with Bob and Joanne since the late 1950s. They helped mentor him in his early career, and he continued to have a long professional and personal association with them for decades. As Dr. Gray stated, “I’m proud to have received this award in Bob and Joanne’s honor. They both had an important and beneficial influence on my career.”

The department, once again, congratulates Dr. Gray for this recognition and his years of service to the atmospheric science community and the department.


May 27, 2014

Elizabeth Barnes receives AGU James R. Holton Award

Elizabeth Barnes

The Department of Atmospheric Science is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Elizabeth Barnes has just been selected to receive the American Geophysical Union’s 2014 James R. Holton Award. The Holton Award is presented each year by the Atmospheric Science Section of the AGU to one early career scientist in recognition of outstanding scientific research and accomplishments in the field. A formal announcement of the award will be made in an upcoming issue of EOS; the award will be presented at the Atmospheric Science section banquet at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Congratulation, Libby, on this outstanding achievement!

Read the formal EOS announcement.


May 21, 2014

Veljko Petkovic honored with NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship

Veljko Petkovic

Congratulations to Veljko Petkovic for winning a 2014 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Award. Veljko was one of 719 individuals who applied for this NASA Fellowship that is directly related to the four research programs of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters. (Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics Research)

Representatives from the four divisions made fellowship offers based on scientific merit and the relevance of a candidate’s research proposals to NASA’s scientific goals. They also considered a candidate’s academic excellence. Veljko will receive a one-year monetary award to assist him with his research, based on his proposal, “Improving the Quality of Extreme Precipitation Estimates Using Satellite Passive Microwave Retrievals.” If approved, this award may be extended for up to two more years.


May 19, 2014

Congratulations spring 2014 Atmos graduates!

Congratulations to our recent Department of Atmospheric Science graduates and M.S./Ph.D. candidates, several of whom walked in commencement ceremonies Friday, May 16.

The department would like to recognize the graduates and M.S./Ph.D. candidates for their achievements and hard work. The dedication they have shown to their research and the department is remarkable. Graduation brings new opportunities to each of them and we wish them luck and continued success in their future career paths.

Spring 2014 Graduates

Becky Bolinger* Ph.D. Advisor: Chris Kummerow
Steve Brown Ph.D. Advisor: Jeff Collett
Brant Dodson Ph.D. Advisor: Dave Randall
Kim Erickson M.S. Advisors: Tom Vonder Haar and Chris Kummerow
Eliott Foust* M.S. Advisor: Dave Thompson
Brody Fuchs M.S. Advisor: Steven Rutledge
Leah Grant M.S. Advisor: Sue van den Heever
Walter Hannah* Ph.D. Advisor: Eric Maloney
Josh King M.S. Advisors: Sue van den Heever and Chris Kummerow
Ahmad Samman M.S. Advisor: Bill Cotton
Misha Schurman Ph.D. Advisor: Jeff Collett
Chris Slocum** Ph.D. Advisor: Wayne Schubert
Zitely Tzompa* M.S. Advisor: Sonia Kreidenweiss
Vanessa Vincente M.S. Advisor: Russ Schumacher
Brandon Wolding** M.S. Advisor: Eric Maloney

* Anticipated summer 2014 graduation
** Fall 2013 M.S. graduate, now Ph.D. student

Graduates, M.S./Ph.D. candidates and their families were invited to a graduate luncheon with faculty before the commencement ceremonies.

Graduate and M.S./Ph.D. candidates at the Graduate Luncheon, from left to right, back row: Ahmad Samman, Vanessa Vincente, Chris Slocum and Brody Fuchs; front row: Zitely Tzompa, Misha Schurman and Leah Grant


May 14, 2014

Matt Igel receives NSF Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship

Matt Igel

Matt Igel, Ph.D. student of Associate Professor Susan van den Heever, was awarded an NSF Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award last week. This prestigious award is given to 10 Ph.D. students annually (contingent upon availability of funds) who are within three years of obtaining their degree. This award recognizes a student’s investigative qualities and allows them to carry out an independent research program and address scientific questions within the scope of AGS disciplines.

Matt will begin to fulfill his award this September by spending a year at the University of Melbourne, where he will be collaborating with Professor Todd Lane. After that, Matt will move on to the University of Miami, where he will spend a year with Professor Brian Mapes. Matt will run cloud-resolving models to try to explain an observed characteristic of tropical deep convection.

The department would like to congratulate Matt on receiving this distinguished award. Your research capabilities are outstanding, and you set a great example for other students in winning this award.


May 12, 2014

Russ Schumacher moves on to next round in Jeopardy tournament

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher, who used his prowess as a trivia expert to make it through another successful round of Jeopardy’s “Battle of the Decades” on Tuesday evening. Russ will make his next appearance in the tournament Monday, May 12.

The show will be broadcast 6 p.m. on Channel 7 in Colorado, so please tune in and continue to support Russ.

Visit the Jeopardy site for this week’s quarterfinal matchups and winners.


May 8, 2014

Adele Igel receives NSF GROW Award

Adele Igel

Adele Igel, Ph.D. student of Associate Professor Susan van den Heever, was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) Award on May 8. This award, only open to NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipients, awards the winner support for a visit to an international institution to conduct research for 3 to 6 months during their Ph.D. program.

Adele will be traveling to Stockholm University in Sweden next year to work with Dr. Annica Ekman and her group on research related to Arctic stratus clouds. NSF will provide support for round-trip travel and expenses for Adele, while NSF’s counterpart in Sweden will provide a housing stipend as well.

The department congratulates Adele on this outstanding award and wishes her the best of luck with her overseas experience next year.


May 6, 2014

Leah Grant and Sarah Ringerud receive department honors

From left to right: Professor Jeff Collett, Herbert Riehl, Jr., Leah Grant, Associate Professor Sue van den Heever, Sarah Ringerud and Prof. Chris Kummerow

Congratulations to master’s candidate Leah Grant and Ph.D. candidate Sarah Ringerud for receiving distinguished honors this week at the annual Herbert Riehl Memorial Award/Alumni Award Ceremony on Tuesday, May 6.

Leah, a master’s student of Associate Professor Sue van den Heever, received the Herbert Riehl Memorial Award based on her submitted manuscript, “Microphysical and Dynamical Characteristics 2 of Low-Precipitation and Classic Supercells” (L. Grant and S. van den Heever). Sarah, a Ph.D. candidate of Professor Chris Kummerow, received the Alumni Award based on two submitted manuscripts, “A Comparison of Microwave Window Channel Retrieved and Forward-Modeled Emissivities over the US Southern Great Plains” (S. Ringerud, C.D. Peters-Lidard, C. Kumerow, Y. Tian and K. Harrison) and “A Semi-Empirical Model for Computing Land Surface Emissivity in the Microwave Region” (S. Ringerud, C. Kummerow, and C.D. Peters-Lidard).

Both of these awards are based on faculty nominations and a committee decision. The Herbert Riehl Memorial Award is awarded to a current master’s degree candidate or a student in the Ph.D. program for less than one year. The student must have obtained their M.S. degree from our department and have submitted a technical manuscript for publication during the previous 18-month period. The Alumni Award is given to a senior Ph.D. candidate who has passed the preliminary exam and has submitted at least one paper to peer-reviewed literature based on their dissertation work.

Both ladies presented their research after receiving their awards and thanked the department for acknowledging their research work. The department would like to congratulate Leah and Sarah again for their hard work and recognize them for their outstanding achievement.


May 6, 2014

Student tour volunteers recognized at awards ceremony

On Tuesday, May 6, at the Herbert Riehl Memorial Award/Alumni Award Ceremony, the Atmospheric Science Department thanked and recognized student tour volunteers who helped throughout the 2014 recruiting season. Their assistance with prospective student visits was invaluable, especially to Graduate Coordinator Jamie Schmidt.

“Prospective student interaction with our current students is critical to our recruiting success,” she said. “Our students are a direct reflection of the high standards of this department. Only they can give insight to a prospective student as to why this is a top-ranked graduate program.”

Volunteers included: Aryeh Drager, Erik Nielsen, Nick Beavis, Vandana Jha, Zitely Tzompa, Brett Basarab, Ali Boris, Annareli Morales, Aaron Piña, Leah Grant, Erin Dagg, Gavin Roy, James Ruppert, Brad Wells and Steve D’Andrea.

Nick Davis also was recognized for his help with organizing student participation in colloquium lunches.

Once again, the Department would like to thank all the students for their help. Volunteering, and going above and beyond what is expected of you, demonstrates your commitment to this department and your potential future classmates as well.

Left to right: Erik Nielsen, Aryeh Drager, Vandana Jha, Zitely Tzompa, Ali Boris, Brett Basarab, Annareli Morales, Aaron Piña and Leah Grant

Nick Davis


May 6, 2014

Russ Schumacher to appear in quarterfinal round of Jeopardy’s Battle of the Decades

After successfully winning his first-round game in Jeopardy’s Battle of the Decades, Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher will make a return appearance next week in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. His game will be broadcast locally on channel 7 at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6. We encourage you to tune in and root for Russ as he tries to continue his winning ways.


May 5, 2014

Yi Li receives 2nd national A&WMA Scholarship

Yi Li

Six months after receiving the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) Air Quality Heroes Award (that also included a scholarship award), the Atmospheric Science Department is pleased to announce that Yi Li, Ph.D. student of Professor Jeff Collett, was honored again this week with an additional A&WMA scholarship award. Yi was recognized for his academic excellence, professionalism and his exceptional work in air quality research and study.

A&WMA focuses on education with regard to air quality, waste management, and environmental policy and law.

Yi stated, “I am very grateful to be recognized again by A&WMA. My air quality research focuses on trace gases emitted from oil/gas fields and agriculture and their relationship with ambient particulate matters and regional nitrogen disposition, and I’m pleased that A&WMA acknowledges the importance of my research work.”

Congratulations to Yi for his hard work and research dedication.


April 29, 2014

Paul Ciesielski recognized as Distinguished CSU Administrative Professional Employee

Paul Ciesielski

Paul Ciesielski, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Atmospheric Science, was recognized as a Distinguished CSU Administrative Professional (AP) Employee last week at CSU’s Celebrate! Colorado State Awards Reception. Only 4 AP employees are recognized per year for their outstanding work in teaching, administration, service and/or outreach. Paul was honored for his strong record of scholarship and his many contributions to improving the collection and analysis of atmospheric sounding data. For his efforts, Paul received a $1,000 award and a commemorative plaque.

The department would like to congratulate Paul on his achievements and his consummate contributions to the Department of Atmospheric Science.

For more information on Paul, visit his research page.


April 29, 2014

Sonia Kreidenweis named University Distinguished Professor

Sonia Kreidenweis

Professor Sonia Kreidenweis was named University Distinguished Professor last week at the Celebrate! Colorado State Awards Reception. This honor was granted to Sonia in recognition of her outstanding scholarship and achievement and is restricted to approximately 1% of the CSU faculty. Specifically, Sonia was recognized for her research involving atmospheric aerosols and their impacts on cloud formation, haze and climate.

Sonia is only the fourth member of the ATS faculty to be designated as a University Distinguished Professor, following Professor Tom Vonder Haar, Professor Emeritus Graeme Stephens and Professor Dave Randall.

The Department would like to congratulate Professor Kreidenweis on her outstanding achievements and acknowledge her for her superlative contributions to the Department of Atmospheric Science.

Prof. Kreidenweis’s research page


April 25th, 2014

CMMAP and Little Shop of Physics participate in USA Science and Engineering Festival

Melissa Burt, CMMAPP Education and Diversity Manger, and members of The Little Shop of Physics successfully participated in the 3rd Annual USA Science and Engineering Festival April 25-27 in Washington D.C. The festival, which began nationwide with school programs throughout 2013, culminated in a two-day grand finale event with hands-on science and engineering activities for all ages.

The Little Shop of Physics and CMMAP were invited to be part of the National Science Foundation booth. Over the course of the three-day expo, thousands of people worked with the 50+ hands-on experiment stations that CMMAP shipped to Washington, D.C. This equates to two pallets worth of equipment and a half ton of science fun. This was one of the most ambitious efforts the group has ever taken on, and their efforts will help to educate and inspire the future scientists of tomorrow.

Melissa stated, “We had a fantastic time at USA Science & Engineering Festival!! We saw over 10,000 people in three days and helped demonstrate hands on science to children and adults alike. Participating in this event was a great experience and we’d like to thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) for making this possible!”

Little Shop of Physics booth, from left to right: Sheila Ferguson, Melissa Burt, Adam Pearlstein, Sean Beal and Heather Michalak.


April 23, 2014

CMMAP participates in 9News Weather and Science Day with Little Shop of Physics

Little Shop of Physics team at Coors Field for Weather and Science Day

Last row, third from left, is Melissa Burt, CMMAP’s Education and Diversity Manager

The Little Shop of Physics will join 9News weather anchors at Coors Field for the annual Weather and Science Day on Wednesday, April 23. This year 150 Colorado State University undergraduates will work with approximately 15,000 K-12 students from around the Denver area, most from schools with diverse student populations. Each student in attendance will receive a packet of materials and information to take home to help further their scientific interests. The number of students participating this year will qualify the event for the Guinness Book of World Records. Expectations are that it will break the world record for the largest practical science lesson to date.

Connie Hale and Claire Fleming (CMMAP) have volunteered to participate in this event. Last year CMMAP’s Education and Diversity Manager Melissa Burt attended the event. CMMAP was selected to participate due to their work educating local teachers and students in weather and climate.


April 15, 2014

Climate change documentary features student video footage from CSU field campaign

Graduate student Rob Nelson (advisor: Chris O’Dell) participated in a field campaign in June that did ground validation for the Japanese Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) mission. While there, he took some video on his smartphone of the Alpha Jet, equipped to measure vertical profiles of carbon dioxide and other traces gases. Some of his footage has been used in the Showtime documentary Years of Living Dangerously, @1:07 and @58:21, which makes it appear that Harrison Ford was flying the jet that Rob filmed. Ford did, in fact, pilot the Alpha Jet for a mission on Nov. 15, 2013!

Still frame from footage courtesy of Rob Nelson


April 7, 2014

Remembering Willis L. “Slim” Somervell Jr.

Willis L. “Slim” Somervell Jr.

The Department of Atmospheric Science is sorry to announce that Willis L. “Slim” Somervell Jr., Retired Naval Captain (1944-1970), CSU Atmospheric Science Department Manager and Synoptic Weather Instructor in the 1970s, passed away this week on April 7, less than two months shy of his 90th birthday.

Prior to his time with CSU, Slim was for many years during the 1960s the head of the Navy’s Weather Research Program in Norfolk, VA, and he generously helped our department in its early days with Navy-sponsored weather research funding. In the 1980s, Slim worked at CSU with Dean Lionel Baldwin and the College of Engineering’s SURGE (State University for Graduate Education) Program. Slim’s enthusiasm and contributions to the department and the university were much appreciated by all and he will be dearly missed.

Funeral arrangements for Slim have been made and details regarding dates and times can be found at the Bohlender Funeral Chapel.


April 3, 2014

Erik Nielsen receives NSF Fellowship; Greg Herman earns Honorable Mention

Erik Nielsen and Greg Herman

Master’s students Erik Nielsen and Greg Herman, advised by Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher, were recognized this week by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Erik received an NSF Fellowship Award, and Greg received an NSF Fellowship Honorable Mention. The 2014 fellowship competition was very competitive with over 14,000 applications received. Approximately 2,000 Fellowship Awards were presented, along with 2,000 Honorable Mentions.

The department would like to congratulate both Erik and Greg on a job well done. You are great representatives for our department and have made us proud.


April 3, 2014

Congratulations to Russ Schumacher on Jeopardy victory

Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher, our department’s unofficial Jeopardy expert and 2004 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions Winner, made it through another round of Jeopardy Wednesday evening, beating out two other successful Jeopardy contestants, Larissa Kelly, a six-time Season 25 winner, and Tom Kavanaugh, an eight-time Season 22 winner. With this victory, Russ has now earned a place in the quarterfinals of the Battle of the Decades, where he could go on to the finals and win a total of $1 million. His next appearance will be sometime in May, so please stay tuned for more details.


April 2, 2014

Russ Schumacher to appear on Jeopardy tournament

Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher with Alex Trebek on Jeopardy

Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher, a past Jeopardy! tournament winner and contestant in 2004 and 2005, will appear again on the popular trivia game show next week in a multi-level tournament, the Battle of the Decades. The Battle of the Decades, organized in honor of the show’s 30th anniversary, pits contestants from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s against each other in preliminary game show rounds. All the contestants are battling for a winning spot or wildcard position that will advance them to the championship finals that includes a $1 million prize.

Russ, who believed his game show days were behind him, was thrilled to be invited to make another appearance. At this point, he can’t share the results with anyone, as all shows were taped earlier this year, but we’ll soon find out how he did. Please tune in to watch our Russ in “trivia action” Wednesday, April 2 at 6 p.m. on channel 7. Russ, we’re all rooting for you!

More information can be found on Jeopardy’s website


March 20, 2014

Brody Fuchs receives Krider Scholarship

Brody Fuchs received one of two Krider Scholarships awarded at the International Lightning and Meteorology Conference on March 20-21, 2014 in Tucson. The award is made possible by Vaisala Inc. and recognizes the best scientific presentation by a graduate student. Brody received this honor for his presentation, “Factors Affecting Lightning Behavior in Various Regions of the U.S.”

This award is presented in honor of the contributions made by Dr. Phil Krider (U. of Arizona) to the field of atmospheric electricity. The Krider awardee receives a certificate and cash prize. Brody is advised by Prof. Steven Rutledge.


February 4, 2014

Save-the-date announcement for CSU Atmospheric Science reception at AMS annual meeting


January 2014

A.R. Ravishankara joins faculty

A.R. “Ravi” Ravishankara, new faculty member and researcher in the Atmospheric Science and Chemistry departments, arrived at CSU during the month of January. Ravi’s research focuses on climate and ozone layer depletion along with air quality.


January 31, 2014

Radar data for last night’s snow event

Here’s the CSU-CHILL radar data for last night’s snow event. The loop runs from 0200-1100 UTC on 31 January 2014. The first image is radar reflectivity and the second image is Doppler velocity. These data were taken with the CSU-CHILL’s X-band component. The radar was operated all night in an unattended mode.

Radar reflectivity

Doppler velocity


January 24, 2014

Department honors alumnus Mark DeMaria

Department Head Jeff Collett presents clock to Mark Demaria.

Mark DeMaria, Atmospheric Science alumnus (M.S. 1979 and Ph.D. 1983) and new Technology and Science Branch Chief of the NOAA/NWS National Hurricane Center, gave a colloquium presentation Jan. 24, the first of the colloquium series for the spring 2014 semester. Mark’s presentation was “Generalizing Tropical Cyclone Potential Intensity Estimates to Include Vertical Shear Effects.”

Once Mark’s presentation was complete, Atmospheric Science Department Head Jeff Collett honored Mark with a 50th Anniversary Atmospheric Science Clock. These clocks have been presented to alumni speakers during the past two years and demonstrate the deep appreciation the department has for its returning alumni.

Thank you, Mark, for your presentation, and congratulations on your new position at NOAA/NWS National Hurricane Center.


January 2014

Stephen D’Andrea receives Outstanding Student Paper Award at AGU meeting

Stephen D’Andrea

Atmospheric Science student Stephen D’Andrea received an Outstanding Student Paper Award at the American Geographical Union’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco in December 2013. Steve, who will be studying under Assistant Professor Jeff Pierce this semester, is focusing his research on the effect of secondary organic aerosol assumptions on global aerosol size distributions in past and present climates.

Steve’s AGU presentation was “Understanding and constraining global secondary organic aerosol amount and size-resolved condensational behavior.”

Congratulations, Steve, on your achievement.


January 2014

Welcome new students Brian Crow and Stephen D’Andrea

This semester Atmospheric Science welcomes two new students to our academic program. Brian Crow, a graduate of the University of Missouri, arrived last week and will be studying for his M.S. under Professor Dave Thompson. Stephen D’Andrea, a visiting student with us last semester, graduated from Dalhousie University and will be studying for his Ph.D. under Associate Professor Jeff Pierce.

We are pleased to have both of them join us, and we welcome back all our returning students as well. Our faculty and staff wish you an exciting and productive spring semester as you continue on your educational journey.

Steve D’Andrea and Brian Crow


January 2014

Yi Li receives Air Quality Heroes Award; Brad Wells receives Air Quality Star Award

Brad Wells and Yi Li

The Department of Atmospheric Science is pleased to announce that two students of Professor Jeff Collett, M.S. student Brad Wells and Ph.D. student Yi Li, were awarded scholarships by the Rocky Mountain States Section of the Air and Waste Management Association (RMSS-AWMA).

Yi Li received an Air Quality Heroes Award, while Brad Wells received an Air Quality Star Award. Both students received a monetary scholarship award, a one-year student AWMA membership and an invitation to the RMSS 2014 conference.

The Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) is a nonprofit organization that provides a neutral forum for the exchange of information. Its mission is to support professional development, networking, outreach and public information in more than 65 countries. A&WMA promotes global environmental responsibility and increases the effectiveness of organizations to make critical decisions that benefit society.

Congratulations to Brad and Yi. Your awards are well deserved.