January 26, 2010 | NCAR has announced its next director. Roger Wakimoto, who currently heads EOL, takes the helm on February 1.
"I am both excited and honored to take on the challenge of building on the organization's expertise and leading it in new and potentially exciting directions," Roger says. "NCAR is in a strong position to help meet the nation's growing demand for research into weather and climate change."
Roger, who is a geophysicist with expertise in tornadoes and severe weather, came to NCAR in 2005 to serve as director of EOL. He'd been making frequent visits since 1982, when he studied wind shear in the landmark project JAWS ( Joint Airport Weather Studies). Before NCAR, he spent 22 years at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a professor of atmospheric sciences and also chaired the department. He has also served on the UCAR Board of Trustees and was chair of the University Relations Committee.
Roger replaces Eric Barron, who left NCAR on January 29 to assume the presidency of Florida State University, his alma mater. "I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last 20 months," Eric told staff. "NCAR's work is of national and international importance and I will continue to promote the center's success as long as I am an active member of society."
Eric announced his plans to step down on December 11, after being recruited by FSU. He stressed that he didn't intend to leave NCAR or seek other opportunities.
"While it is difficult to leave NCAR, I am extremely gratified and honored to return to my alma mater and serve as its next president," he said. "I have enjoyed working here thoroughly and completely, and I look forward to watching NCAR and UCAR from the vantage point of a member university."