Five NCAR researchers added to senior scientist ranks

Two Scientist IIIs, two Scientists Emeritus also named

August 15, 2017 | At its spring meeting in Washington, D.C., the UCAR Board of Trustees appointed five new NCAR Senior Scientists:

  • George Bryan (MMM)
  • Louisa Emmons (ACOM)
  • Andrew Gettleman (CGD)
  • Matthias Steiner (RAL)
  • Michael Wiltberger (HAO)

Senior scientists provide NCAR with long-term scientific leadership. The qualifications for the position are analogous to those for a full professor at a university. Selection is based on individual competence in research and activities that enhance NCAR’s interaction with scientists in the broader community. jump to profiles, below>

The board also appointed Mary Hayden (RAL) and Jadwiga "Yaga" Richter (CGD) to the Scientist III level, a position requiring qualifications analagous to those for an associate professor at a university. jump to profiles, below>

Two recently retired senior staff were awarded the title of Senior Scientist Emeritus: Brant Foote (RAL) and Art Richmond (HAO).

Congratulations to all of these scientific leaders for achieving significant professional milestones. 

New Senior Scientists

George Bryan

George Bryan, NCAR scientist
George Bryan, NCAR Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Laboratory (©UCAR)

George Bryan attended Pennsylvania State University, where he obtained his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in meteorology. George is recognized internationally for his studies of severe convective weather using observations, numerical simulations, and theory. He is the developer of a numerical cloud model (CM1) that is freely available and is widely used by researchers across the globe. Through his research into techniques for numerical models and process-level understanding, he is a key contributor to community models, including the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF).

He is the recipient of two prestigious awards from the American Meteorological Society that recognize his innovative research: the Banner I. Miller Award and the Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award. George also received recognition from the AMS for serving on the board of Monthly Weather Review for 11 years, including five as editor.

George has worked at NCAR since 2003, first as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Advanced Study Program (ASP), and then as a ladder-track scientist in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory (MMM). He has also helped coordinate two field projects, BAMEX and VORTEX2, which have collected valuable information on the internal structure of convective systems and tornado-bearing supercell thunderstorms.

Louisa Emmons

Louisa Emmons, NCAR scientist
Louisa Emmons, NCAR Atmospheric Chemistry, Observations & Modeling Laboratory (©UCAR)

Louisa Emmons received her bachelor’s degree from Haverford College and her master's and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her graduate work included remote sensing measurements of the Antarctic ozone hole.

Through a synthesis of field observations, satellite data, and model experiments, Louisa has made major contributions to understanding the factors that control tropospheric chemistry. She plays a key role in the development and support of two community models: Model of Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers (MOZART) and Community Atmosphere Model with Chemistry (CAM-chem), particularly in the improvement of the prediction of air quality. The global chemical forecasts she maintains are used as boundary conditions for regional models and real-time air quality forecasts. She has been a major contributor to many chemistry field campaigns led by NCAR and NASA, and thus collaborates with a large number of leading chemistry researchers across the globe.

Louisa began her NCAR career as a Scientific Visitor, followed by Associate Scientist appointments, and entered the ladder track in 2003 as a Scientist I in what is now the Atmospheric Chemistry, Observations, and Modeling Laboratory (ACOM).

Andrew Gettelman

Andrew Gettelman, NCAR scientist
Andrew Gettelman, NCAR Atmospheric Chemistry, Observations & Modeling and Climate & Global Dynamics laboratories (©UCAR)

Andrew Gettelman has a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington and a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Princeton University.

Andrew is highly regarded internationally for his fundamental research on the role of clouds in climate, which includes aerosol-cloud interactions, and for his principal role in developing the cloud microphysics scheme currently used in the Community Earth System Model (CESM), as well as in many other prominent global climate models.

Andrew is also a leading developer of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM), and he is an international leader in observational and modeling studies of water vapor and cirrus clouds in the upper troposphere–lower stratosphere region.

Andrew began his NCAR career as an ASP Postdoctoral Fellow. From there he became a Project Scientist and then began his ladder-track career in 2003. He currently holds a joint appointment between the Atmospheric Chemistry, Observations, and Modeling (ACOM) and the Climate and Global Dynamics (CGD) laboratories.

Matthias Steiner

Matthias Steiner, NCAR scientist
Matthias Steiner, NCAR Research Applications Laboratory (©UCAR)

Matthias Steiner received his degrees (Dr. sc. nat. and Dipl. natw.) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests are broadly aimed at mitigation of avoidable weather impacts on various societal sectors. For this applied work he draws upon his internationally recognized expertise in hydrometeorology, cloud and precipitation physics, mountain meteorology, radar and satellite meteorology, and aviation weather.

Most recently, Matthias’ research focus has been on lightning and its impact on aviation operations. This work has revealed key insights about lightning safety decisions under uncertainty and how to balance safety risks versus operational efficiency. The associated work on decision support tools resulted in a trademark and a pending patent.

Matthias joined the NCAR Research Applications Laboratory as a Scientist III following more than 10 years working in Princeton University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Previously he worked at the University of Washington as a postdoctoral scientist in the Atmospheric Science Department.

Michael Wiltberger

Michael Wiltberger, NCAR scientist
Mike Wiltberger, NCAR High Altitude Observatory (©UCAR)

Michael Wiltberger received his bachelor's degree in physics from Clarkson University and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Maryland. He is well known internationally for using numerical models to study the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere, and most recently for his studies of the transport of mass outflow from the ionosphere into the magnetosphere and its impact on magnetotail dynamics.

Mike started working at NCAR as a Scientist I in the High Altitude Observatory. He was until recently the head of HAO's Atmosphere, Ionosphere and Magnetosphere research section, playing a key role in the development and application of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere and ionosphere extension (WACCM-X). He is currently serving at the National Science Foundation, on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment, as a Program Director in the Geospace Section of the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences.

Scientist III Promotions

Mary Hayden

Mary Hayden, NCAR scientist
Mary Hayden, NCAR Research Applications Laboratory (©UCAR)

Mary Hayden's academic credentials include a bachelor's-level degree in Islamic studies from the University of Heidelberg, Germany; a bachelor's in German with a minor in meteorology from what is now the Metropolitan State University of Denver; a master's in geography with an emphasis in climatology from the University of Colorado Boulder; and a Ph.D. in health and behavioral sciences from the University of Colorado Denver.

Mary is a widely recognized and highly respected research scientist working to integrate physical and social sciences to study climate-sensitive health and disease issues. Her recent work has been at the intersection of weather, climate, and human behavior's influence on the dynamics of the mosquitoes that transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses; the human and meteorological drivers of West Nile virus transmission; and current and future urban extreme heat vulnerability.

Mary initiated the NCAR Weather, Climate, and Health Program and built it into one that is internationally recognized and respected. She has also established long-term research relationships with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and she has played a central role in the successful joint NCAR/CDC postdoctoral program.

Now with the NCAR Research Applications Laboratory (RAL), Mary held an NCAR ASP Postdoctoral Fellowship, followed by a Scientist I appointment. In addition to her role at NCAR, she is also adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado School of Public Health.

Jadwiga "Yaga" Richter

Jadwiga "Yaga" Richter, NCAR scientist
Yaga Richter, NCAR Climate & Global Dynamics Laboratory (©UCAR)

Jadwiga "Yaga" Richter received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in physics from the State University of New York and her Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington. A highly regarded atmospheric research scientist, Yaga plays a central role in developing and applying the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) and the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). Her primary research areas are atmospheric gravity waves and middle- and upper-atmospheric dynamics. 

Yaga is the developer of the first source spectrum parameterization for convectively generated gravity waves that can be used in general circulation models; it is now implemented in the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). Her research on vertical resolution and gravity wave parameterizations has led to the first internally-generated Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) in the Community Atmospheric Model (CAM). She is a leader in research on stratospheric dynamics, heads a multi-institutional effort on geoengineering, and researches the implications of stratosphere-troposphere coupling in sub-seasonal and seasonal prediction.

Yaga was also the prime mover in setting up the very successful NCAR Explorer Series to share with the public the science being performed at NCAR. Now with the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory (CGD), she became an ASP Postdoctoral Fellow at the beginning of her career at NCAR and returned to NCAR as a ladder-track scientist after completing an Education and Outreach Fellowship at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (NOAA/University of Colorado).