• View from Pisco summit
  • Monthly filter samples from near Huaraz, Peru

Professional overview

My research career began as a student at the University of Nevada, Reno. As an undergraduate student in Physics, I had the opportunity to work at the Desert Research Institute with Dr. W. Pat Arnott. My undergraduate research led to a senior thesis and an opportunity to continue for my MS in Atmospheric Science. My research at DRI was focused on the interaction between infrared radiation and clouds mainly involving direct measurements in a cloud chamber.

I received my MS in 1998 and moved to Colorado where I worked for two years at SPEC Inc. At SPEC, I worked on data analysis with aircraft cloud microphysics probes. As of this writing, I am still working with data from the same aircraft probes on a number of projects.

In 2002, I had the opportunity to join the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) where I worked for 17 years and during which time, I received my pHD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. At NCAR, I participated in numerous research projects around the world focusing on cloud microphysical measurements. I developed more theoretical research during this time period as well. Mainly, though, I focused my efforts on bridging the gap between measurements and models. The overall goal of ice particle measurements is to improve the representation of clouds in weather and climate models. Too often, there is a disconnect between exactly what is measured and what the models need as input. Closing that gap is critical to improving weather and climate predictions.

In 2019, I left NCAR and started a position as a research professor at the Geophysical Institute at University of Alaska, Fairbanks: UAF Geophysical Institute. I came to UAF to work on a large project on energy resilience in the Arctic. One part of the project is the investigation of the impact of different energy production systems on ice fog formation. In addition to studying ice fog, I am continuing my research bridging the gap between ice particle measurements and weather and climate models.

A parallel research track: In 2011, I started a new line of research. I became involved in a project which included the measurement of light absorbing particles on snow and glaciers. In 2012, I was co-founder of a non-profit organization, The American Climber Science Program, which led research and education expeditions to remote locations worldwide. During my involvement (2012-2018), I led or co-led 7 research expeditions to Peru and Costa Rica. The light absorbing particle research led me to develop a new scientific instrument (which can now be purchased through my tiny private business Natural Systems Research LLC). At UAF, I have expanded my work in this area by teaming up with other UAF educators to start a large citizen science program.