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2015 Announcements

December 21, 2015

Paul DeMott’s paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Paul DeMott

All over the planet, every day, oceans send plumes of sea spray into the atmosphere. Beyond the poetry of crashing ocean waves, this salt- and carbon-rich spray also has a dramatic effect on cloud formation and duration.

Yes, clouds, which cover 60 percent of the Earth’s surface at any given time. In a new study, “Sea spray aerosol as a unique source of ice nucleating particles,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online Dec. 21, Colorado State University’s Paul DeMott, a senior research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science, says sea spray is a unique, underappreciated source of what are called ice nucleating particles – microscopic bits that make their way into clouds and initiate the formation of ice, and in turn affect the composition and duration of clouds.

“The presence of these particles is critically important for precipitation and the lifetime of clouds, and consequently, for their radiative properties,” said DeMott, who works in the lab of Sonia Kreidenweis, professor of atmospheric science, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering and a University Distinguished Professor.

Continue reading about Paul’s achievement in this SOURCE article or in the National Science Foundation press release.


December 7, 2015

Atmospheric Awards and Recognition Ceremony

On Dec. 7, the Department of Atmospheric Science held its annual Atmospheric Awards and Recognition Ceremony/Luncheon. Faculty and staff milestones, along with 2015 student and postdoctoral fellowship and scholarship award winners were recognized.

We would like to take the time to congratulate all of our award 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, faculty and staff at the luncheon.

Russ Schumacher presents the awards.

Claire Moore and Holli Knutson thanked as part of staff recognition.

Tom Vonder Haar receives his 45-year milestone award from Darby Nabors.

Student Appointments, Awards and Recognition

2015 1st Place AMS Conference on Mesoscale Processes James Ruppert
2015 2nd Place AMS Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry Aaron Pina
2015 3rd Place AMS Local Chapter Poster Contest FORTCAST
2015 AAAR Student Poster Award Jack Kodros
2015 AMS Best Student Poster CMMAP Intern Renee Duff
2015 AMS Outstanding Student Presentation Veljko Petkovic, David Henderson, Leah Grant, Brandon Wolding, Ashley Evanoski-Cole
2015 Best Poster Presentation Prize, 7th International GEOS-Chem Meeting Zitely Tzompa

Student Fellowships

AMS (American Meteorological Society) Samuel Childs, Sean Freeman, Jakob Lindaas, Karly Reimel, Richard Schulte
CIRA ATS Fellowship Karly Reimel
CMMAP Diversity Dakota Smith
CONACYT (Mexican National Council for Science and Technology) Zitley Tzompa
2015-2016 CSU International Presidential Fellow Liji David, Louis Rivoire
CSU Track and Field Karly Reimel
CSU University Distinguished Professors Scholarship Leah Grant
Dave Hart Athletic Scholarship Justin Whitaker
Dietrich Scholarship Jack Kodros
EPA Star Ashley Evanoski-Cole
Gates Millennium Isaac Medina
NREIP (Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program) Samuel Atwood
NSF Samuel Childs, Nick Davis, Aryeh Drager, Sean Freeman, Leah Grant, Adele Igel, Peter Marinescu, Eric Nielsen, Elizabeth Thompson
NSF Honorable Mention Steven Brey, Greg Herman
NSF Postdoctoral John Peters
PRSE (Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence) Louis Rivoire
Shrake Culler David Duncan
SoGES (CSU Global Sustainability Leadership Fellow) Ashley Evanoski-Cole, Aaron Pina


November 24, 2015

Jack Kodros receives 2015 David L. Dietrich Honorary Scholarship

Jack Kodros with advisor Jeff Pierce and Air Resource Specialists representatives

Congratulations to M.S. student Jack Kodros, advised by Assistant Professor Jeffrey Pierce, 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 each year to a CSU student who has demonstrated outstanding ability in air quality research and education.


November 21, 2015

David Duncan selected for 2015 Shrake-Culler Award

David Duncan

Congratulations to Atmospheric Science Ph.D. student David Duncan, advised by Professor Chris Kummerow, for receiving the Shrake Culler Scholarship. This award, presented by CSU’s Department of Engineering, is granted to a senior Ph.D. student who demonstrates a passion for higher education, along with an outstanding work ethic and a successful academic record. David was nominated for this award by Chris Kummerow, who spoke highly of his contributions to AMSR2 and his resulting selection to serve on an external review panel for the Global Hydrology Research Center at MSFC. David works on algorithm development for the GMI and AMSR2 satellite sensors, improving retrieval of water vapor, wind, and cloud water over ocean. The department is proud of his accomplishments and wishes him continued success as he progresses in his academic career at CSU.


November 5, 2015

Shannon Irey receives College of Engineering award for outstanding administrative professional

Dean McLean and Shannon Irey

The recipients of nine college awards were announced during the all-college meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Department of Atmospheric Science Research Project Manager Shannon Irey received the Outstanding Staff Award, Administrative Professional. Shannon is responsible for two of the largest research programs. She plays a critical role in helping ATS faculty manage budgets, preparing research proposals and submissions, analyzing financial and staffing needs, and much more. Shannon has done superb work in every aspect of her job, catalyzing these successful research programs.

Congratulations, Shannon, on this well-deserved award!


November 4, 2015

American Meteorological Society awards fellowships to 5 atmospheric science students

AMS fellowship recipients, from left to right: Jakob Lindaas, Samuel Childs, Sean Freeman, Karly Reimel and Rick Schulte

Five students in Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science have received 2015 American Meteorological Society Graduate Fellowships. The CSU students were awarded five of nine total nationwide fellowships. Fellowship recipients are selected for academic excellence, community involvement, volunteer efforts and future career plans in the sciences.

“The department is extremely proud of the accomplishments of these five individuals and of all of our graduate students,” said Jeff Collett, Department of Atmospheric Science Professor and Department Head. “The fact that five of nine national AMS Graduate Fellowship winners this year are attending CSU clearly attests to the outstanding students that choose CSU for their graduate studies.”

Collett continued: “In addition to these AMS Fellowships, many of our new and continuing students have also been recognized with graduate fellowships from a variety of sponsors, including nine recipients of highly prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships. Such exceptional students are key contributors to our program’s success and international reputation.”

The five recipients are:

Jakob Lindaas M.S. Advisor: Emily Fischer
Samuel Childs M.S. Advisor: Russ Schumacher
Sean Freeman M.S. Advisor: Sue van den Heever
Karly Reimel M.S. Advisor: Steven Rutledge/Steven Miller
Rick Schulte M.S. Advisor: Chris Kummerow

See the CSU SOURCE article highlighting this story.


October 22, 2015

PROGRESS (PROmoting Geoscience Research Education and SuccesS)

PROGRESS workshop attendees

Society needs women in science and technology! As part of a National Science Foundation-funded program focused on recruiting and retaining women in the geosciences, Assistant Professor Emily Fischer hosted the first PROGRESS (Promoting Geoscience Education Research and SuccesS) workshop. More than 50 students from the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Colorado College, and the University of Wyoming attended the workshop held in Estes Park on Oct. 10 and 11. Through a range of activities at the workshop, students were introduced to the geoscience fields, they met peers with similar interests across the Front Range, and they learned about their personal strengths. Students will take part in an informal mentoring program with scientists across the Front Range.

You can learn more about the program by visiting the PROGRESS website.


October 14, 2015

University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis receives 2015 David Sinclair Award

Sonia at David Sinclair Award Ceremony

University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the David Sinclair Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). Sonia is a past president of AAAR, as well as a Fellow. The award was presented in October at the AAAR annual meeting in Minneapolis.

The David Sinclair Award recognizes sustained excellence in aerosol research and technology by an established scientist still active in his/her career. Sonia is being recognized for her many distinguished achievements in aerosol science, including high-impact contributions concerning aerosol hygroscopicity and cloud condensation nuclei, heterogeneous ice nucleation, aerosol impacts on visibility, and the emission and evolution of smoke from wild and prescribed fires.

Congratulations Sonia on this outstanding achievement!


October 9, 2015

5th Annual Young Scientist Symposium on Atmospheric Research

Colorado State University’s American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Student Chapter and the FORT Collins Atmospheric ScientisTs (FORTCAST) AMS Local Chapter held the 5th Annual Young Scientist Symposium on Atmospheric Research (YSSAR) at the Department of Atmospheric Science on Friday, Oct. 9. All graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research scientists from across the Front Range who are working in meteorology, atmospheric science, and allied fields were welcome. The topics in the symposium included, but were not limited to:

Keynote address speaker Bill Murtagh, White House

Bill Murtagh speaks at Young Scientist Symposium on Atmospheric Research
Symposium displays and attendees
More symposium displays and attendees


October 4, 2015

SEA-POL: Advanced ship-based radar for open-ocean atmospheric research

Professor Steven Rutledge

Directed by Department of Atmospheric Science Professor Steven Rutledge (Principal Investigator) and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor V. “Chandra” Chandrasekar (Co-Principal Investigator), this $1.3 million award from the National Science Foundation will develop an advanced ship-based radar to study clouds and precipitation over the oceans. This state-of-the-art polarimetric Doppler radar is known as SEA-POL, and it employs dual-polarization technology, where both horizontal and vertically polarized radar signals are transmitted and received by the radar. This technology was pioneered at the university’s CSU-CHILL National Radar Facility, also directed by Professor Rutledge. The polarization technology improves rainfall estimation and provides information on the distribution of liquid and ice particles in clouds. This information, which is vital to improving understanding of the global water cycle, air-sea interaction, and validating computer models of global precipitation, is the same technology used on the national radar network to detect severe weather.

SEA-POL will be deployed periodically on U.S.-operated world-class research ships on several monthlong cruises to various areas of the world’s oceans. With seventy-five percent of the world’s rainfall occurring over oceans, studying oceanic storms and measuring rainfall they produce with SEA-POL will allow scientists to better understand how tropical clouds and storms contribute to climate change. When SEA-POL is not deployed at sea, it will operate at Colorado State University for research and education.

Read the CSU SOURCE article


September 29, 2015

2015 AMS Jule G. Charney Award goes to Emeritus Professor Wayne Schubert

Wayne Schubert

Emeritus Professor Wayne Schubert was chosen as the recipient of the 2015 Jule G. Charney Award for landmark advances in theoretical understanding of convective parameterization, marine stratocumulus, balanced atmospheric flows, and tropical cyclone intensity and structure. The Charney Award is one of the highest awards of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Wayne will receive the award at the AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans in January.

Congratulations, Wayne!


September 28, 2015

AMS President Alexander MacDonald will speak at FORTCAST chapter meeting

Sandy MacDonald

2015 American Meteorological Society (AMS) President Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald will speak at the upcoming FORT Collins Atmospheric ScientisTs (FORTCAST) local chapter meeting. Sandy will give a talk on “Science as our Protector.” The next chapter meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in room 107 of the Behavioral Sciences Building on CSU’s main campus. This event is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be provided.

Who: Sandy MacDonald, 2015 AMS President
What: “Science as our Protector”
When: Thursday, Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Room 107 at the Behavioral Sciences Building at Colorado State University

Please RSVP if possible. Visit FORTCAST’s website for more details.

Abstract: Science is not a passive bystander in our lives. It is our protector through the generations. I illustrate this talk with examples of the role of science as it has affected six generations of my own family. Our science protects people in many ways, from forecasting floods and hurricanes, to determining the threat of anthropogenic climate change. I will give examples of some of the possible environmental catastrophes of the 21st century, and how Earth system science could lead to favorable outcomes – or not. We have been given powerful tools; global observing, advanced computing and models, profound understanding of how the Earth system works. Success is not a given – it depends on how effective we are in science, technology, and the larger political sphere.


August 28, 2015

Associate Professor Susan van den Heever named Outstanding Professor of the Year

Sue van den Heever

One of the key highlights of the New Student Picnic is, of course, meeting the new students. The department warmly welcomed all 15 of them on Aug. 28 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 with Professor Maloney, a repeat winner was announced. Associate Professor Susan van den Heever was named Outstanding Professor of the Year. This is the third time Sue was selected for the award – a record.

Student comments about Sue included:

“Professor van den Heever encouraged lively discussions in class, which really helped bring interesting ideas to the classroom and solidified cloud dynamics concepts.”

“Sue creates a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere in the class. I looked forward to going to her class.”

“She explains everything so clearly and her class was very organized.”

The department would like to congratulate Sue on this well-deserved award!


August 28, 2015

Welcome new Atmospheric Science students

The Department of Atmospheric Science held its annual New Student Picnic at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins on Aug. 28. 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 Associate Professor Susan van den Heever. General announcements were made, and the department then enjoyed an afternoon that included 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.

2015 fall class: back row, left to right: Louis Rivoire, Jakob Lindaas, Samuel Childs, Trenton Davis, Richard Schulte and Nathan Kelly. Middle row, left to right: Derek Weber, Sean Freeman and Justin Whitaker. Front row, left to right: Julie Barnum, Emily Bell, Andrea Jenney and Karly Reimel. Not pictured: Jared Brewer, Kimberly Fewless and Stacey Hitchcock (spring admission).


August 14, 2015

Leah Grant receives 2015 CSU University Distinguished Professors Scholarship

Leah Grant

The Department of Atmospheric Science is pleased to announce Ph.D. student Leah Grant, advised by Monfort Professor Sue van den Heever, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the CSU University Distinguished Professors (UDP) scholarship. This major award is given each year to one graduate student at CSU. Leah was nominated and selected for this scholarship based on her outstanding graduate research record and potential for future leadership in our field.

This major scholarship is funded each year by donations from CSU University Distinguished Professors. The University Distinguished Professors are a small group of faculty from across campus that have been recognized for exceptional scholarship. Three of the 17 current University Distinguished Professors are ATS faculty members: Professors Vonder Haar, Randall and Kreidenweis.

Congratulations, Leah!

Read the CSU SOURCE article “Grant receives University Distinguished Professors Scholarship.”


August 11, 2015

Christina McCluskey awarded ASCENT travel grant

Christina McCluskey in Carna, Ireland

The CSU Department of Atmospheric Science ASCENT (Assisting Students, Cultivating Excellence, Nurturing Talent) program was initiated in fall 2014 to help enrich the graduate experiences of our many talented students. One component of ASCENT is an international travel grant program that allows students to pursue opportunities for research enrichment activities outside the U.S.

This year Ph.D. candidate Christina McCluskey, who is advised by University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis, was selected as one of the students to receive this award. Christina traveled to Carna, Ireland in August 2015 to participate in a research study conducted at Mace Head Atmospheric Research with the BACCHUS (Impact of Biogenic versus Anthropogenic emissions on Clouds and Climate: towards a Holistic UnderStanding) European collaborative project. The main goal of the field study was to measure ambient aerosol to determine the influences of oceanic phytoplankton blooms on sea spray aerosol properties and abundances. During this study Christina monitored concentrations of ice nucleating particles, atmospheric particles that initiate heterogeneous ice formation in clouds. The data from this study will advance the understanding of how mixed phase clouds in oceanic and coastal regions might be influenced by ice nucleating particles associated with sea spray aerosol.

Read more about Christina’s experience in this CSU SOURCE article: “ASCENT Fund supports student’s research contributions in Ireland.”


August 7, 2015

James Ruppert receives 1st place at 2015 AMS Conference on Meso Processes

James Ruppert

Congratulations summer 2015 Ph.D. graduate James Ruppert, advised by Professor Richard Johnson, for receiving first place for his oral presentation, “The diurnal cycle and Large-scale Tropical Climate,” at the 2015 American Meteorological Society 15th Conference on Meso Processes. The objective of the study aimed to understand how the diurnal cycle fits into the greater climate system. The questions James asked are: How well do we model the diurnal cycle (on a global scale)? Can we neglect the diurnal cycle as a physical process? Can we get it wrong in climate models without consequences? James is now in search of answers to these questions during his postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M).

Congrats, James! Good luck with your continued research at MPI-M.


July 31, 2015

2015 CMMAP Student Research Symposium

2015 CMMAP summer interns

The CMMAP summer interns gave their final presentations on Friday, July 31 in the ATS West Seminar Room (121). Atmospheric Science employees and students were invited to stop in and listen to the research presentations.

The interns gave the following presentations:

“Examining Intensity Trends During Extratropical Transition” Justin Baldizón Stark Florida International University
“Global Changes in Aerosol Optical Depth and PM2.5 Concentrations due to Open Domestic Waste Burning” Rachel Cucinotta University of North Carolina at Charlotte
“Global Predictability of Daily Rainfall” Radha Dutta University of Massachusetts – Amherst
“Evolution of Extreme Precipitation: A Satellite Based Investigation” Ryan Gonzalez Texas A&M University
“Evaluating the Potential Importance of Monoterpene Degradation for Global Acetone Production” Makoto Kelp Reed College
“The Climatology and Impacts of Atmospheric Rivers near the Coast of Southern Alaska” Kyle Nardi Temple University
“Characterization of Ice Nucleating Particles at the California Coast” Katie Rocci University of New Hampshire
“A Comparison of Cloud and Aerosol Measurements from OCO-2 and CALIPSO” Emily Rosenthal Millersville University of Pennsylvania
“Size Resolved Aerosol Composition near Rocky Mountain National Park” Rachel Sussman Colorado College


July 17, 2015

Undergraduate interns visit CSU Dept. of Atmospheric Science

Interns from CMMAP, SOARS, CSU-CHILL, and NOAA participated in a mid-day visit to the Department of Atmospheric Science on Friday, July 17. This event, organized by Graduate Coordinator Jamie Schmidt and CMMAP Education and Diversity Manager Melissa Burt, has occurred on a regular basis over the past few years. It 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 listened intently to a presentation given by Department Head (Professor) Jeff Collett and Graduate Student Counselor (Assistant Professor) Russ Schumacher. Professor Collett welcomed the interns to the department, and Professor Schumacher gave a graduate school overview with regard to the application process. Professor Collett and Assistant Professor Schumacher then fielded questions and gave advice and tips to the interns regarding applications and how best to prepare themselves for graduate school.

In addition, undergraduate interns had the chance to visit with current Atmospheric Science students Chris Slocum, Christina McCluskey, Leah Grant, and Rob Nelson. These graduate students fielded questions about life as a graduate student in the Department of Atmospheric Science. Graduate students Peter Marinescu, Adele Igel, and Ali Boris then led interns on an ATS campus tour.

Melissa Burt welcomes the interns.

Professor Collett gives an introductory presentation.

Assistant Prof. Schumacher gives an overview of the application process.

Prof. Collett and Assistant Prof. Schumacher field questions.

Graduate students left to right: Chris Slocum, Christina McCluskey, Leah Grant and Rob Nelson.

Graduate students field questions.


July 9, 2015

Special Seminar with Tristan L’Ecuyer, “New Satellite Perspectives on the Arctic Energy and Water Cycles”

Tristan L'Ecuyer defense abstract


June 5, 2015

Loops of reflectivity and radial velocity of tornados near Berthoud

The following images are loops of reflectivity and radial velocity from the CSU-CHILL National Radar Facility for last night’s tornado near Berthoud, CO (the loop runs from 0018 to 0049 UTC, 5 June 2015). The CHILL data show a well-developed cyclonic rotation, or mesocyclone. Data courtesy of Pat Kennedy, CSU-CHILL Facility Manager.

Radar image of tornados near Berthoud
Another radar image of tornados near Berthoud


June 1, 2015

Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) Field Campaign

CSU Department of Atmospheric Science Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher and several graduate students will be taking part in the Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field campaign from June 1 to July 15. This project aims to observe and better understand the thunderstorms that often form over the central U.S. at night. These storms produce much of the rainfall that is critical for agriculture in this region but also can lead to hazardous weather in the way of severe winds, hail and flash flooding.

The project involves scientists from eight research laboratories and 14 universities, with a wide array of radars, research aircraft and atmospheric profiling instruments that will take on the task of observing convection after dark. The CSU team will be collecting mobile radiosonde observations during the field phase of the project, and will seek to better understand the processes that govern the organization, motion and rainfall production in nocturnal convective systems. For more, here’s an overview of PECAN from the National Science Foundation.

Read the CSU SOURCE article highlighting the PECAN project, “Why do thunderstorms strike at night?

Watch the video and read the article by National Geographic highlighting the PECAN project, “Chasing Nighttime Thunderstorms, Trying to Crack Their Mysteries.”

Graduate students Stacey Hitchcock and Erik Nielsen talk with folks at the PECAN Open House in Hays, KS.

Radiosonde release
Releasing a radiosonde


May 15, 2015

Congratulations, spring 2015 Atmos graduates!

Congratulations go out to our recent Department of Atmospheric Science graduates and Ph.D. candidates, several of whom walked in commencement ceremonies Friday, May 15.

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.

Spring 2015 Graduates

Brett Basarab M.S. Advisor: Steven Rutledge
Erin Dagg M.S. Advisors: Richard Johnson/Thomas Birner
Chris Eldred* Ph.D. Advisor: Dave Randall
Bonne Ford Ph.D. Advisor: Colette Heald
Nick Geyer* M.S. Advisor: Scott Denning
Sasha Glanville* M.S. Advisor: Thomas Birner
Alex Gonzalez* Ph.D. Advisor: Wayne Schubert
Jack Kodros* M.S. Advisor: Jeff Pierce
Jianbo Liu M.S. Advisor: Chris Kummerow
Rob Nelson M.S. Advisor: Chris O’Dell
John Peters Ph.D. Advisor: Russ Schumacher
Sarah Ringerud Ph.D. Advisor: Chris Kummerow
James Ruppert* Ph.D. Advisor: Richard Johnson
Kim Sakamoto M.S. Advisor: Jeff Pierce
Bradley Wells M.S. Advisor: Jeff Collett
Samantha Wills* M.S. Advisor: Dave Thompson

*Anticipated summer 2015 graduation

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

Spring 2015 graduates, from left to right: Alex Gonzalez, Sasha Glanville, Bradley Wells, Vandana Jha, Rob Nelson, Jianbo Liu and James Ruppert


May 6, 2015

Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken will speak at FORTCAST chapter meeting

Nolan Doesken

Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken will speak about “The Role of Backyard Weather Watchers in the 21st Century, Water, and Climate Enterprise” at the upcoming FORT Collins Atmospheric ScientisTs (FORTCAST) local chapter meeting. The next chapter meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Scott BioEngineering Building on CSU’s main campus. This event is free to attend and open to the public. Food and beverages will be provided.

Who: Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Climatologist
What: “The Role of Backyard Weather Watchers in the 21st Century Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise”
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21
Where: Scott BioEngineering Building room 101, Colorado State University

Please RSVP if possible so we can plan accordingly. Visit FORTCAST’s website for more details.

Nolan Doesken is the State Climatologist for Colorado at the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University. He is fascinated with climate monitoring and long-term climate trends, but pays particularly close attention to precipitation including floods and drought. After the Fort Collins flash flood of 1997, Nolan established a volunteer rain gauge network, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network (CoCoRaHS), to track and map the local variations in northern Colorado precipitation. CoCoRaHS has nearly 20,000 volunteers in all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


May 4, 2015

Sue van den Heever receives Graduate Student Advising and Mentorship Award

Sue van den Heever

Congratulations to Monfort Professor Sue van den Heever for her selection as one of three recipients of this year’s Graduate Student Council Award for Graduate Student Advising and Mentorship. Sue is an outstanding advisor to students in her group and regularly mentors other students in the department as well. Sue, who was nominated by her students, was one of 55 CSU faculty members and advisors nominated from across campus.


April 29, 2015

2015 incoming fall students receive AMS, NSF and PRSE fellowships

Congratulations to 2015 incoming fall students who won one or more of the following awards:

American Meteorological Society Graduate Fellowship:

The AMS Fellowship Program is a source of scholarships, useful resources and unique opportunities for outstanding students looking to pursue graduate education in the atmospheric or related sciences. To date, 286 students have been designated as AMS fellowship recipients since its beginning in 1991. Of the 70 applicants per year, only 14 recipients are chosen for this fellowship.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program:

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. The 2015 fellowship competition was very competitive with over 16,000 applications received. Approximately 2,000 fellowship awards were presented, along with 2,000 honorable mentions.

Colorado State Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence (PRSE) Fellowship:

Prestigious CSU internal fellowship. Admitted students are nominated for these awards by their department.

Samuel Childs M.S. Advisor: Russ Schumacher AMS and NSF Fellowships
Sean Freeman M.S. Advisor: Sue van den Heever AMS and NSF Fellowships
Karly Reimel M.S. Advisor: Steven Rutledge AMS Fellowship
Jakob Lindaas M.S. Advisor: Emily Fischer AMS Fellowship
Louis Rivoire Ph.D. Advisors: Thomas Birner/John Knaff PRSE Fellowship
Richard Schulte M.S. Advisor: Chris Kummerow AMS Fellowship


April 21, 2015

Physics Today features article by M.S. 2014 graduate Annareli Morales

Annareli Morales

M.S. 2014 graduate Annareli Morales’ M.S. research, “Cyclonic circulation development during extreme precipitation,” is featured in the April 21 Daily Edition, Down to Earth section of Physics Today. Annareli, a December 2014 graduate co-advised by Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher and Professor Sonia Kreidenweis, explored the impact of latent heating on the development of a mesoscale vortex observed near Boulder during the September 2013 Colorado floods. Her simulations and sensitivity studies suggest that the vortex was responsible for the increased rain rates that led to significant flooding in Boulder. Understanding the mechanisms involved with these phenomena will help improve their forecasting and their impact on public safety.

Figure 1 from “Cyclonic circulation development during extreme precipitation”

Figure 1. Radar observations from the Denver (KFTG) radar at 0612 UTC 12 September 2013 showing the mesoscale vortex over Boulder. (a) Radial velocity showing a couplet of winds toward the radar (green) and away from the radar (red) in close proximity. The couplet is associated with rotation. The blue arrow represents the direction of upslope flow. (b) Radar reflectivity showing an enhanced convective band over Boulder. The cities of Fort Collins (F), Boulder (B), and Denver (D) are provided as reference.


April 17, 2015

Professor James R. Fleming receives 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award

Professor James R. Fleming received the 2015 CSU Department of Atmospheric Science Distinguished Alumni Award from Department Head Jeff Collett. This award is presented to an outstanding alumnus and/or alumna who exemplifies core values revered by the department including dedication to research, commitment to education and leadership prowess in the atmospheric sciences. These values, exemplified throughout the course of Jim’s distinguished career, are the very reason he was chosen for this award.

Since graduating with an M.S. from the department in 1973, Jim earned a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. Jim is a historian of science and technology and Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Colby College, Maine. His teaching bridges the sciences and the humanities, and his research interests involve the history of the geophysical sciences, especially meteorology and climate change. In 2003 Professor Fleming was elected a Fellow of the AAAS “for pioneering studies on the history of meteorology and climate change and for the advancement of historical work within meteorological societies.” He held the Charles A. Lindberg Chair in Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution in 2005-06 and the AAAS Roger Revelle Fellowship in Global Stewardship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2006-07. Professor Fleming is the founder and first president of the International Commission on History of Meteorology, editor-in-chief of History of Meteorology, and series editor for Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology. His books include Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control (Columbia University Press, 2010), The Callendar Effect (American Meteorological Society, 2007), Historical Perspectives on Climate Change (Oxford University Press, 1998), and Meteorology in America, 1800-1870 (John Hopkins University Press, 1990). He is currently working on a biography of the CO2 molecule, a book on Harry Wexler and the emergence of atmospheric science, and a project examining “sense of place” in the Belgrade Lakes Region.

The Department would like to congratulate Jim on his body of work and thank him for proudly representing CSU over the years.

Jim Fleming receives award from Jeff Collett.

Jim Fleming and Jeff Collett

Jim Fleming’s presentation in honor of Herbert Riehl

Jeff Collett introduces Jim Fleming.

In addition to receiving this award, Jim gave a colloquium presentation, “The Gordian Knot of Meteorology: Unraveling it, Cutting it, Retying it” during the award ceremony. He also gave a  presentation in honor of the 100th anniversary of Herbert Riehl’s birth during the Herbert Riehl Memorial Award/Alumni Award Ceremony, also held on April 17 (see news announcement below).


April 17, 2015

Christina McCluskey and Adele Igel receive department honors

Congratulations goes out to Ph.D. candidate Christina McCluskey and Ph.D. candidate Adele Igel for receiving distinguished honors this week at the annual CSU Department of Atmospheric Science Herbert Riehl Memorial Award/Alumni Award Ceremony held Friday, April 17.

Christina, a Ph.D. candidate with Professor Sonia Kreidenweis, received the Herbert Riehl Memorial Award based on her publication, “Characteristics of atmospheric ice nucleating particles associated with biomass burning in the US: Prescribed burns and wildfires” [McCluskey et al., 2014]. Adele, a Ph.D. student with Associate Professor Sue van den Heever, received the Alumni Award based on her publication, “Make it a double: Sobering results from single- and double-moment microphysics simulations” [Igel, A.L., M.R. Igel, and S.C. van den Heever, 2015].

The awards are granted 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.

Christina presented her research after receiving her award during the ceremony. Adele, who received the NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (NSF GROW) Award in May 2014, awarding her the support for a visit to an international institution to conduct research for three months, will present her research when she returns from Stockholm University where she is currently working with Dr. Annica Ekman and her group on research related to arctic stratus clouds.

The department would like to congratulate Christina and Adele again for their hard work and recognize them for their outstanding achievement.

Left to right: Herbert Riehl Jr., Sonia Kreidenweis, Christina McCluskey and Paul DeMott

Adele Igel


April 16, 2015

Susan van den Heever named CSU Monfort Professor

Sue van den Heever

The Department of Atmospheric Science is pleased to announce Associate Professor Susan C. van den Heever as one of the 2015 CSU Monfort Professors. The Monfort professorship is CSU’s premier recognition for mid-career faculty. This prestigious title is given to two faculty members per year by a committee appointed by the Provost. Faculty members retain this designation for two years and receive $75,000 per year to further their teaching and research.

“Dr. van den Heever is among our most productive faculty, already achieving a record of outstanding accomplishments in teaching, research, and service,” said David McLean, the dean of the College of Engineering. “Her balanced record of achievement in research, teaching, and service embodies the land grant mission.”

“As one of the nation’s top programs in the field of atmospheric science, expectations for CSU Atmospheric Science Department faculty are extremely high; Sue easily bests those standards,” said Jeffrey L. Collett, Jr., head of the Department of Atmospheric Science. “Sue is an outstanding role model for the many talented young women and men that enter our graduate program. I can think of no one better suited for selection as a Monfort Professor.”


March 31, 2015

Congratulations 2015 NSF fellowship recipients and honorable mentions

2015 NSF fellowship recipients

CSU Department of Atmospheric Science master’s students Steven Brey, Greg Herman and Peter Marinescu, along with recently accepted fall 2015 master’s students Sean Freeman and Samuel Childs were recognized this week by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Peter Marinescu, advised by Associate Professor Susan C. van den Heever and by Professor Sonia Kreidenweis; Sean Freeman, soon to be advised by Associate Professor Susan C. van den Heever; and Samuel Childs, soon to be advised by Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher, received NSF Fellowship Awards. Steven Brey, advised by Assistant Professor Emily Fischer, and Greg Herman, advised by Assistant Professor Russ Schumacher, received NSF Fellowship Honorable Mentions.

The 2015 fellowship competition was very competitive with over 16,000 applications received. Approximately 2,000 fellowship awards were presented, along with 2,000 honorable mentions.


March 23, 2015

First Lady’s Kitchen Garden becomes part of CoCoRaHS citizen science network

Nolan Doesken holds up a rain gauge at the White House.

Media fact sheet info from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy:

Science is everywhere, including the White House: The White House will showcase that anyone can participate by installing a new rain gauge in the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden, becoming part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) citizen science network of over 20,000 active participants who serve as the largest source of daily precipitation data in the United States.

Appendix to fact sheet:

Installation of a Rain Gauge in the White House Garden: The White House, in collaboration with the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) and the National Park Service (NPS), will install a new rain gauge in the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden as the White House becomes a new participant in the CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network) citizen science project. The White House will begin making contributions as an additional data source to the citizen scientist project during Science Fair. There are millions of citizen scientists in this country willingly contributing valuable time and effort to help advance our collective understanding of the world around us. The CoCoRaHS Network’s over 20,000+ active volunteers serve as the largest source of daily precipitation data in our country, reporting measurement from coastal lowlands to the high peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. CoCoRaHS data are used by a wide variety of groups, including: NOAA’s National Weather Service, private sector and university meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities (water supply, water conservation, storm water), insurance adjusters, USDA, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor & recreation interests, teachers, and students.

Read the CSU SOURCE article.

Watch the Al Roker interview with NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan about CoCoRaHS.

Photo credit: Darlene Cavalier


March 17, 2015

Ashley Evanoski-Cole receives Outstanding Student Oral Presentation Award at AMS conference

Ashley Evanoski-Cole

Ashley Evanoski-Cole, Ph.D. student of Professor Jeff Collett, received an outstanding student oral presentation award for her presentation, “Impacts of Oil and Gas Development in the North Dakota Bakken Formation Region on Winter Particulate Matter and Associated Precursor Gases” from the American Meteorological Society 17th Atmospheric Chemistry Conference in January. For this field study, Ashley and a team of scientists from Jeff Collett and Sonia Kreidenweis’ research groups and the National Park Service made measurements at five different national parks over two winters in western North Dakota and eastern Montana to investigate the impacts of the rapidly developing oil and gas industry on the air quality in these pristine places.


March 4, 2015

Aaron Piña receives 2nd place at 2015 AMS conference on Atmospheric Chemistry

Aaron Piña

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Aaron Piña for receiving second place for his oral presentaion at the 2015 American Meteorological Society 17th Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry. Reactive nitrogen from cattle feedlots in eastern Colorado is reaching pristine alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park, leading to undesirable ecosystem changes. Aaron’s presentation, “Prediction System for Nitrogen Deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park,” discussed the development of an early warning system, which utilizes output from Russ Schumacher’s operational WRF runs. The early warning system allows feedlot producers to temporarily alter management practices that reduce nitrogen emissions. More information on the early warning system can be found on the Rocky Mountain National Park Early Warning System website.


February 28, 2015

24th Annual Little Shop of Physics Open House

Graduate students, faculty and staff from ATS, CMMAP and CIRA volunteered for the 24th Annual Little Shop of Physics Open House on Saturday, Feb. 28. Each year the Little Shop of Physics team invites members of the public to come for a day of hands-on science. Our science room, “Exploring our Atmosphere,” featured a variety of hands-on activities about weather and climate. The annual open house features a wide selection of hands-on experiment stations, a series of interactive science “shows,” and science spectacles. This year the February event drew over 6,000 visitors, mostly K-12 students and their families.

Alex Naegele and Casey Patrizio conduct demonstration

Alex Naegele and Casey Patrizio

Peter Marinescu teaching children

Peter Marinescu

Matt Rogers gives demonstration for crowd

Matt Rogers

Stephanie Henderson talks to group of people

Stephanie Henderson


February 19, 2015

Brandon Wolding receives Outstanding Student Presentation at AMS meeting

Brandon Wolding

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Brandon Wolding for being selected as one of two award winners for Outstanding Student Presentations at the Third Symposium on Prediction of the Madden-Julian Oscillation: Processes, Prediction, and Impact at the 95th AMS Annual Meeting. Brandon’s talk, “Moisture and Madden-Julian Oscillation,” sought to identify the physical processes that drive moisture variations associated with the MJO. Dr. Carl J. Schreck III, one of the MJO symposium co-chairs, stated Brandon’s presentation was “one of the clearest explanations of moist static energy that I have seen, and the results were very intriguing.”


February 5, 2015

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Graeme Stephens elected to National Academy of Engineering

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Graeme Stephens

CSU Atmospheric Science University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Graeme Stephens has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.” To learn more about this announcement, visit the NAE website.

Dr. Graeme Stephens completed his B.S. with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1973 and received his Ph.D. in 1977 from the same university. He was appointed to the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research in 1977 as a research scientist and promoted to senior research scientist in 1982. From 1979 to 1980, Professor Stephens served as a post-doctoral research student at the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science. He joined the faculty as an associate professor in 1984 and was promoted to full professor in 1991. Dr. Stephens retired from CSU in 2010 and is currently the Director of the Center for Climate Sciences at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dr. Stephens’ research activities focus on atmospheric radiation including the application of remote sensing in climate research to understand the role of hydrological processes in climate change. He also serves as the primary investigator (PI) of the NASA CloudSat Mission and associated research group, which has launched a satellite to study the internals of clouds using equipment similar to radar.

Read the CSU SOURCE article highlighting Graeme Stephens’ election to the NAE.


January 29, 2015

Leah Grant and Renee Duff receive 2015 AMS awards

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Leah Grant and 2014 summer CMMAP intern Renee Duff for their awards at the 95th AMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix. Leah and Renee investigated the impact of enhanced aerosol concentrations, such as would be associated with pyrocumulus clouds forming over active fires, on the microphysical characteristics of an idealized pyrocumulus cloud simulated with RAMS. They then used the microphysics information to infer possible electrification mechanisms for pyrocumulus convection.

Leah received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award for her talk at the Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Interactions Symposium: “Aerosol-induced microphysical processes and electrification in pyrocumulus.”

Renee won Best Student Poster at the AMS Student Conference: “Wildfire Pollution and its Effects on the Microphysical and Electrical Properties of Pyrocumulus.”

Leah Grant and Renee Duff


January 27, 2015

2014 AMS President William Gail coming to CSU Feb. 12 & 13

2014 AMS President William Gail

Bill Gail, the 2014 AMS President, has graciously agreed to a two-part speaking engagement at CSU on Thursday, Feb. 12, and Friday, Feb. 13. FORT Collins Atmospheric ScientisTs (FORTCAST) is hosting his visit. He will speak on two different topics; we hope you can attend both events!

Thursday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. – Scott BioEngineering Room 101
Bill will give a talk on “The Role of Scientific and Professional Societies in the Enterprise” at the FORTCAST local chapter meeting of the AMS. This event is free to attend and open to the public. We would like a strong attendance from the department and hope to get as many faculty, staff and students to attend this lecture as possible. Food and beverage will be provided. Please RSVP if possible, so we can plan accordingly.

Friday, Feb. 13, 11:15 a.m. – ATS/CIRA Colloquium – CSU Department of Atmospheric Science
Bill will visit the department and present the ATS/CIRA colloquium. His colloquium talk, “After Climate Change, What’s Next?,” will highlight some of the discussion from his recent book Climate Conundrums: What the Climate Debate Reveals About Us.


January 21, 2015

In Memory of Professor Emeritus Peter Sinclair

Peter Sinclair

Professor Emeritus Peter Sinclair passed away on January 21, 2015, four weeks shy of his 86th birthday.

Professor Sinclair joined CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science in 1965 as a turbulence expert with a thesis in dust devils, formally retired in 1993, and remained an active researcher with the department for many years. He graduated with a degree in meteorology from the University of Washington in 1952, served as an Air Force weather officer from 1952-1956, a graduate student with the Department of Meteorology at UCLA from 1957-59, and then joined the Atmospheric Physics group at the University of Arizona where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1964.

Professor Sinclair piloted his own aircraft for research in many different field studies over his tenure at CSU. He taught in the areas of meteorology instruments, cloud physics, cumulus convection and severe weather. He also supervised the construction and operation of the weather radar on the roof of the ATS building during the 1970s to early 1980s.

You can view Peter Sinclair’s obituary on the Goes Funeral Care website.


January 15, 2015

CSU researchers to study health dangers of wildfire smoke, build better warning system

Department of Atmospheric Science assistant professors Jeff Pierce (principal investigator) and Emily Fischer, along with assistant professor Sheryl Magzamen of Environmental and Radiological Health Science and associate professor John Volckens of Mechanical Engineering, have received a $1.2 million NASA grant to study the public health toll from inhaling dense wildfire smoke and to build an improved air quality forecasting system.

Learn more about their research and future impact in the article “CSU researchers to study health dangers of wildfire smoke, build better warning system” in CSU’s SOURCE.

High Park Fire satellite image

“In 2012, the High Park Fire ripped through the mountains west of Fort Collins, charring 87,284 acres and hundreds of homes. Smoke from the fire permeated Colorado’s Front Range and neighboring states for weeks, forcing millions to breathe particulate-laden air.” – CSU SOURCE


January 14, 2015

David Henderson and Veljko Petkovic receive AMS Outstanding Student Presentation awards

David Henderson and Veljko Petkovic

Congratulations to Professor Chris Kummerow’s Ph.D. students David Henderson and Veljko Petkovic for each receiving the Outstanding Student Presentation: Joint Satellite Program award at the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society held in Phoenix. Presentations focused on describing new concepts, research, operations and practical application of satellite measurements for analyzing and predicting the weather, the ocean, the climate, and the environment.

David’s research, “Investigating the Effect of ENSO Upon Oceanic Rainfall Estimates,” describes how anomalous shifts in passive oceanic rainfall intensity are linked to the level of organization in oceanic precipitating systems. Receiving this oral presentation award was especially gratifying for David, as he also won for the same topic, except in poster form, at the WCRP and EUMETSAT Climate Symposium in Darmstadt, Germany in October.

Veljko’s research, “Improving the Quality of Extreme Precipitation Estimates Using Satellite Passive Microwave Rainfall Retrievals,” looks for a deeper understanding of the influence of environmental conditions on defining the ice-to-rain ratio that provides a foundation for addressing biases seen in passive microwave rainfall retrievals globally. The department has no doubt that future awards for Veljko’s research, like David’s, are right around the corner as well, as Veljko was honored earlier in 2014 with a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF).


January 6, 2015

FORTCAST wins AMS poster award

FORTCAST team with winning poster at AMS annual meeting

Members of the FORTCAST Executive Board proudly show off their winning poster at the 95th AMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix. Pictured left to right: Erik Nielsen (officer), Melissa Burt (president), Matt Rogers (outreach coordinator), Leah Grant (vice president) and Peter Marinescu (officer).

FORTCAST, the Northern Colorado Local Chapter of the AMS, kicked off their year on a high note by taking third place in the annual AMS local chapter poster contest. Their poster, created by FORTCAST President Melissa Burt and Chapter Officer Peter Marinescu with contributions from all FORTCAST members, sought to explain FORTCAST, its mission, and its commitment to advance atmospheric science and educational outreach in the surrounding Northern Colorado Area.

Interested in joining FORTCAST? Learn more about them by visiting the FORTCAST website.


2014 Announcements