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Previous News and Announcements

Archived News and Announcements

July 1, 2011

Prof. Jeff Collett begins an appointment as Atmospheric Science Department Head. Prof. Collett joined CSU in 1994 as part of a growing departmental program in Atmospheric Chemistry. Prof. Collett earned his PhD in Environmental Engineering Science at Caltech, completed a postdoc in Atmospheric Physics at ETH-Zurich, and started his academic career on the faculty at the University of Illinois. His research focuses on topics in atmospheric chemistry and air quality, including cloud chemistry, aerosol chemistry, and the atmospheric transport and deposition of reactive nitrogen species.

June 30 2011

After 4.5 years of service, Prof. Richard Johnson completes a successful term as Atmospheric Science Department Head. Highlights during Prof. Johnson's tenure include five new faculty joining the department (Professors Ito, Heald, Maloney, Birner and van den Heever), the successful recruitment of Prof. Schumacher, the completion of the ATS West building, the re-designation of the department as a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence (PRSE), and the National Research Council's identification of the department as one of the nation's top PhD programs. Thanks to Dick for his dedicated service and outstanding leadership.

May 23, 2011

Dennis Shea receives 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award in Atmospheric Science

Dennis Shea, M.S. 1972, was presented the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award in Atmospheric Science in a ceremony on 23 May at the ATS Foothills Campus. Dennis currently works in the Climate and Global Dynamics Division at NCAR. The citation for the award is as follows:

Dennis has become a landmark in the field of atmospheric science, one of the brighter products of CSU. His career and wide-ranging contributions that have flowed from it are widely recognized across not only the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), but also much of the climate community. Dennis has not only made direct scientific contributions to the atmospheric science field by publishing seminal works in tropical dynamics, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and solar variability, but he has also served as a key bridge between the scientific community and sphere of computing technology. For example, Dennis has fostered development of the NCAR command language (NCL), a comprehensive analysis and visualization language that is unparalleled in its ability to access, display, and interpret climate and meteorological data. NCL now has a user base of about 12,000 users and growing. Dennis's service to the climate community has been profound, and his efforts enable NCAR and community scientists to be productive. He has honored the College of Engineering and Department of Atmospheric Science during an exemplary 40 year career of industry and service, contributing to the advancement of our science.

May 11, 2011

Congratulations to fall 2011 incoming student, Leah Grant, on her AMS Graduate Fellowship!

AMS Graduate Fellowships are sponsored by industry leaders and government agencies and are designed to attract promising young scientists to prepare for careers in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic fields.

Applicants are evaluated on performance as an undergraduate student, including academic records, recommendations, and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores.

Leah will graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Milwakee this spring with her bachelors in Atmospheric Science. Professor Sue van den Heever will be her advisor starting this fall during her graduate program at CSU.

April 14, 2011

Professor Bill Cotton named American Geophysical Union Fellow

William Cotton, a professor in CSU's internationally recognized Department of Atmospheric Science, has been named a 2011 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a prestigious honor awarded to a select group of scientists from across the country.

April 11, 2011

Nolan Doesken receives award for climate, water education

Nolan Doesken, a longtime weather researcher in the Departments of Atmospheric Science, state climatologist and founder of CoCoRaHS, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, has received the 2011 President's Award from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.

April 6, 2011

Adele Lichtenberger recevies 2011 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship

Congratulations to Adele Lichtenberger for her 2011 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship.  Adele was selected based on her outstanding abilities and
accomplishments, as well as her potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.

Congratulations also to Clay McGee for his honorable mention.
A full list of awards and honorable mentions can be found at

Mar 7, 2011

New wing of CIRA named after founder Tom Vonder Haar

Tom Vonder Haar, one of only a dozen University Distinguished Professors, helped to create CSU's Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere in 1980 and served as the institute's director for 28 years. Last Thursday, the university dedicated the new CIRA wing in his honor.

Feb 27, 2011

Three ATS Graduate Students participate in the Fulbright Enrichment Seminar

Congratulations and thank you to Anna Harper, Walter Hannah, and Parker Kraus!

Nine Graduate Students from Colorado State University to Participate in Fulbright Enrichment Seminar

Colorado State University is pleased to announce that nine graduate students have been selected to participate as student facilitators in the 2011 Fulbright Program Traditional Enrichment Seminar in Denver, with this year's theme "Greening of the Planet."

Traditional enrichment seminars bring together approximately 140 first-year foreign Fulbright students and ten recently returned Fulbright U.S. alumni in nine cities across the United States. The goal of these seminars is to provide the participants with a valuable personal and professional opportunity to meet and network with other Fulbright Scholars from around the world who are studying in the United States as well as with American citizens in each seminar city. Students develop a greater understanding of U.S. contemporary life and culture, policy formulation and public attitudes concerning issues of national and international importance.

The CSU graduate student selection was facilitated by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University, in conjunction with the event organizer, the Institute of International Education.

"Because we work across Colleges at CSU, we were able to identify a group of CSU graduate students from a broad background of academic concentrations," said Diana Wall, director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. "It is exciting to help facilitate such important connections and provide our students with opportunities to interact with both students and leaders in the fields of global environmental science and policy."

Each year, the seminar highlights a topic of national significance which also has implications for the global community. Over the course of three days, students explore this topic from a variety of perspectives: by participating in interactive discussions with subject matter experts, by volunteering time to community service projects, by engaging in group workshops and by exploring the unique role of each seminar city in making a local impact on the topic or issue. Fulbright Scholars meet with private and non-profit sector leaders, U.S. government officials, members of the academic community, scientists and artists. Additionally, the students have an opportunity to interact with the U.S. Department of State sponsors and staff from administering agencies.

Nine Graduate Students from CSU will be participating in the Seminar:

The seminar runs from February 24-27, in Denver Colorado. For more information on the Fulbright Enrichment Programs, please visit:

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability - (970) 492-4215 -

Jan 27, 2011

Professor Kreidenweis elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society for 2011

Professor Kreidenweis has also been elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society for 2011. This award will be presented at the 91st Annual AMS Meeting, Seattle, WA, 23-27 January 2011. Only two-tenths of one percent of the AMS membership is approved as Fellows each year. A complete list of AMS Awards for 2011 can be found here.


Jan 27, 2011

Rob Seigel & Rebecca Adams-Selin awarded at the American Meteorological Society's 91st Annual Meeting

Weather Analysis and Forecasting Committee Student Presentation Competition for the 24th Weather Analysis and Forecasting Conference and 20th Numerical Weather Prediction Conference, Seattle, WA, 23-27 January 2011.

The winners in the oral presentation category:

2nd Place: Robert Siegel, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, "Thunderstorm outflow dust lofting and resulting impacts on convection", presentation 13B.3. Average score: 90.67

3rd Place tie: Rebecca Adams-Selin, Colorado State University, AER, Inc., "Impact of microphysics parameterizations on simulation of 13 March 2003 bow echo", presentation 13B.5. Average score: 90.0.

Jan 7, 2011

Prof. Russ Schumacher, new faculty member in ATS

It is a great pleasure to announce that Russ Schumacher will be joining the faculty of the Atmospheric Science Department in August 2011.

Russ comes to CSU from Texas A&M University, where he has been serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. Prior to Texas A&M, he was postdoctoral research fellow in the Advanced Study Program at NCAR. As many of you know, Russ received his Ph.D. from our department at CSU in 2008. Russ's expertise lies in the areas of mesoscale dynamics; mesoscale convective systems, with a focus on systems that produce extreme rainfall; effects of tropical cyclones on midlatitude precipitation systems; and societal impacts of weather.

The hiring of Russ is the outcome of the recent ATS faculty search in the area of mesoscale processes. We thank all of you for your assistance during the search process.

Congratulations to Prof. Schumacher, and welcome back, Russ!

Dec 15, 2010

Prof. Steve Rutledge and team wins 2010 UCAR Outstanding Accomplishment Award in Education and Outreach

Prof. Steven Rutledge, Dr. Rob Cifelli and Pat Kennedy were part of a team that was recently recognized with the 2010 UCAR Outstanding Accomplishment Award in the Education and Outreach. The award was for their involvement in the 2009 NCAR ASP Remote Sensing Symposium that was led by NCAR (Wen-Chau Lee and Steve Oncley), CSU (Rutledge) and the University of Wyoming (Al Rodi). Twenty eight graduate students from the U.S. and abroad participated in the Symposium during June 2009.

Dec 2, 2010

CSU team headed by Dr. Tristan L'Ecuyer leads high-latitude precipitation experiment

Dec 2, 2010

Dr. Tim Lang wins 2011 AMS Editor's Award

Dr. Tim Lang, a Department research scientist, has won the 2011 AMS Editor's Award, for "rapid response and exceptional reviews related to radar and its application." Congratulations to Dr. Lang!

Dec 2, 2010

CSU team headed by Dr. Tristan L'Ecuyer leads high-latitude precipitation experiment

Dr. Tristan L'Ecuyer, a Department research scientist, along with Dr. Matt Lebsock and Norm Wood, a Department Ph.D. candidate, are performing groundbreaking research into the nature of high-latitude precipitation, considered vitally important to understanding the Earth's climate. As part of the Light Precipitation Validation Experiment, or LPVex, the CSU team has been performing airborne research near Helsinki, Finland. Read more online at:

December 2, 2010

Prof. Chris Kummerow takes the reins of CIRA

CSU Atmospheric Science professor Chris Kummerow has taken over as the Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA). Prof. Kummerow succeeds Prof. Graeme Stephens, a recently retired University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University. Read more online at:

November 30, 2010

CoCoRAHS receives $1.2M grant to improve monitoring

CoCoRAHS, led by Colorado state climatologist and Department research Nolan Doesken, has been awarded a $1.2 million grant to improve the infrastructure of the popular, citizen-scientist weather recording network. Read more onlie from the Fort Collins Coloradoan website:

November 18, 2010

Prof. Sonia Kreidenweis elected Fellow of American Association for Aerosol Research and Fellow of the American Meteorological Society

Professor Sonia Kreidenweis of the Department of Atmospheric Science has been elected Fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research. The award was presented at the AAAR 29th Annual Conference in Portland, OR, on 25-29 October 2010. Sonia is one of only two recipients of this honor in 2010 (

Professor Kreidenweis has also been elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society for 2011. This award will be presented at the 91st Annual AMS Meeting, Seattle, WA, 23-27 January 2011. Only two-tenths of one percent of the AMS membership is approved as Fellows each year. A complete list of AMS Awards for 2011 can be found at

To read more about Prof. Kreidenweis' awards, please follow this link:

November 5, 2010

Prof. David Randall featured prominently in NSF special report on role of clouds in climate change

The National Science Foundation unveiled a new multi-media package on the role of clouds in climate change featuring interviews with CSU Atmospheric Science Professor David Randall and Senior Research Scientist Paul DeMott. Watch the interviews and read the transcripts here from Today@Colorado State.

October 21, 2010

CoCoRAHS -- 10 million daily reports!

Congratulations to the CoCoRAHS community for 10 million daily precipitation reports! CoCoRAHS (Colorado Collaborative Rain and Hail Study), founded by the Colorado Climate Center in 1997, consists of backyard volunteers nationwide who report daily precipitation. More about the program can be found at their website:

Sept 30, 2010

CSU Atmospheric Science Doctoral Program one of the best in the nation.

The National Research Council recently released its Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States ( Among "Oceanography, Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology" programs, which are ranked together, our department comes out at the top in many key categories: direct faculty rankings of peer departments, criteria selected by faculty as important in good programs, research activity, publication productivity, etc.

While we realize that rankings are not perfect, we take pride in the achievements over many years by our faculty, students, and staff that have led to this top ranking of our department. Most importantly, we continue to build on our strengths to advance the science in fundamental ways through basic and applied research in the atmospheric and ocean sciences and education at the graduate level of the next generation of leaders in the field.

Richard Johnson, Department Head

Sept 27, 2010

Prof. David Thompson and colleagues have made a discovery that could help to solve a major atmospheric science and climate mystery

Prof David Thompson and colleagues have published a paper in Nature about the hiatus of global warming in the Northern Hemisphere during the mid-20th century. They believe the abrupt cooling event centered over the North Atlantic ocean, rather than tropospheric pollution was the cause of global temperature cooling around 1970. Read the CSU news release here.

July 29, 2010

Prof. Ito and collaborators at MIT simulate the carbon cycle of So. Ocean at high resolution

Prof. Takamitsu Ito and collaborators at MIT and Scripps successfully simulated the carbon cycle of the Southern Ocean at a very high resolution using one of the world's most powerful computers at NASA. View the article from Nature magazine online here and the CSU news release here.

July 2, 2010

Clouds, aerosols, and all that jazz - CSU on the cover of Physics Today

Department research scientist Dr. Tristan L'Ecuyer has penned an article for "Physics Today" with a co-author from the Jet Propulsion Lab on the basics of the A-Train mission, which can be seen online here

June 10, 2010

New findings on the feedback role of low clouds

A new article published in the June WRCP Newsletter by Prof. Graeme Stephens suggests radiation reflected by low clouds is observed to be much lower than what is utilized by weather models.

View the article here.

June 10, 2010

Analysis of May 22, 2008 Windsor tornado

In an upcoming issue of Weather and Forecasting (AMS journal), the meteorological conditions and response by the NWS and emergency officials of the Windsor tornado is analysized. Alumni and current NCAR researcher Russ Schumacher leads the study.

View the CSU news release here.

May 25, 2010

Prof. Colette Heald article on cover of GRL

A recent paper by Department Prof. Colette Heald is highlighted on the cover of this month's issue of Geophysical Review Letters. Congratulations to Prof. Heald, and check out the article and cover online (links to the AGU website.)

Please also see Prof. Heald's press release online (link to CSU News and Information) as well as her article on the Today @ Colorado State website.

May 21, 2010

NSF study abroad fellowship awarded to ATS student Angela Rowe

Angela Rowe, a Ph.D. candidate in the department, has been awarded a study abroad summer fellowship by the NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering. Angela will spend July and August 2010 in Taiwan, in residence at the National Taiwan University. There she will work with colleagues on the analysis of radar data collected during the joint U.S.-Taiwan field project, TiMREX.

May 7, 2010

Department Professors, students awarded

Congratulations to Professor Steve Rutledge, who won this years' George T. Abell Outstanding Research Faculty Award, as well as to Associate Professor Eric Maloney, who won this years' George T. Abell Outstanding Mid-Career Faculty Award. Both ATS professors were honored at the annual College of Engineering Awards Ceremony.

Congratulations also to Rachel Storer, this years' Herbert Riehl Memorial Award winner, and to Daniel Ward, who won this years' Alumni Award for Outstanding Research by a Senior Ph.D. student. The pair were honored at the annual Department awards ceremony.

Apr 10, 2010

2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award

In a ceremony on April 10 at the CSU Lory Student Center, Rol Madden, 1978 PhD graduate of the department, was presented the 2010 Atmospheric Science Distinguished Alumnus Award. Rol's advisor was Bernhard Haurwitz. Rol is among the best known of the department's graduates for his discovery in the early 1970s of the tropical 30-50 day oscillation, now known as the Madden-Julian Oscillation or MJO.

Apr 9, 2010

Fellowship Award

Amanda Sheffield, a first year graduate student in the department working under Professor Sue van den Heever, was awarded a Department of Energy Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE SCGF). This prestigious award is only given to 150 graduate students per year! Congratulations Amanda!

Mar 6, 2010

Department scientists Paul DeMott and Tony Prenni on the new direction of research into biologically-derived aerosols

In the latest issue of Atmospheric Environment, Drs. DeMott and Prenni suggest that biological particles represent a poorly constrained source of atmospheric ice nuclei that may impact the Earth's energy budget and hydrological cycle through their influences on cloud microphysical and radiative properties, and precipitation initiation. In their article, they discuss how biologically-derived ice nuclei are expected to be highly variable in space and time and to respond to changes in climate and land use at the Earth's surface.

Click here to go to their article online (may require access from within CSU or through CSU libraries.)

Feb 9, 2010

Cloud model leads to new discovery, improved understanding of Earth's climate

Computer modeling may sound hum-drum, but the results of the groundbreaking study - published in early January of this year in the American Geophysical Union's prestigious Geophysical Research Letters - mean that researchers have taken a major leap toward understanding and predicting climate change and weather patterns. The paper was selected by the AGU as an "AGU Journal Highlight." More information can found be found on the "Today at Colorado State" website:

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