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Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen is the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. He was appointed in September of 2016.
Previously, Thomas was a Professor of Space Science and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michiganin Ann Arbor. He was also the university’s founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering.His interests and experience include research in solar and heliospheric physics, experimental space research, space systems, and innovation and entrepreneurship.
He has been involved with several NASA science missions -- Ulysses, the MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury, and the Advanced Composition Explorer. Thomas earned his Masters and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Bern in Switzerland.
DGES & RCPL now offer an accelerated 5-year bachelor/master degree!
Earn your undergraduate degree in Geography, GIS, or Environmental Sustainabiity while also earning your Master of Regional and City Planning. Learn more by coming to our launch party on
April 12th at 3:30-5:30pm at Sarkeys Energy Center West Atrium. Contact Jamie Steele for details. 405-325-8736
Commencement and Convocation are approaching quickly! We are as excited as all of you are!
But before you leave us to do great things in the world, we want to know more about your undergraduate journey so we can create the best possible college experience for all College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences students going forward. We never stop learning either, so take this brief exit survey to let us know how we did!
Nate Sleight is a graduate student in OU's Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. His research on river systems in the state received the award for... (read more)
So proud of our own Dr. Ashton Robinson Cook and all he has accomplished!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 6, 2016
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a five-year, $166 million grant by NASA to advance understanding of Earth’s natural exchanges of carbon between the land, atmosphere and ocean.
The primary goals of the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory, led by Berrien Moore, OU Vice President for Weather and Climate Programs, are to monitor plant health and vegetation stress throughout the Americas, and to examine the natural sources and processes that control carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane in the atmosphere.
“To say this is an extraordinary achievement by Dr. Berrien Moore and our research team is an understatement,” said OU President David L. Boren. “The grant is one of the most exceptional in the history of the University and is testimony to the outstanding national stature of our research team. I cannot think of a more exciting way to observe the holiday season than with the announcement of this remarkable grant.”
The mission will launch on a commercial communications satellite to make observations over the Americas from an orbit of approximately 22,000 miles above the equator.
The OU-led geoCARB team will build an advanced payload employing otherwise unused launch and spacecraft capacity to advance science and provide societal benefit.
Mission collaborators include the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California; SES Government Solutions Company in Reston, Virginia; the Colorado State University in Fort Collins; and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Colleagues and laboratories from France, Australia and Mexico also are contributing to the project.
The mission was competitively selected from 15 proposals submitted to the agency’s second Earth Venture - Mission announcement of opportunity for small orbital investigations of the Earth system.
Robert D. Palmer, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma meteorology professor, associate vice president for research and executive director of the Advanced Radar Research Center, has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Fellow. Among a select group of recipients recommended for the prestigious honor, Palmer is being recognized for contributions to atmospheric and meteorological radar science.
"Professor Robert Palmer has brought distinction to the University of Oklahoma in numerous ways: scientifically, academically and through service that reaches a wide array of private and public sector activities. His most recent and great honor of being made a fellow in the institute adds to this record of distinction to OU. We are particularly thrilled since this also brings much deserved distinction to Bob Palmer," said Berrien Moore, vice president for Weather and Climate Programs, director of the National Weather Center and dean of the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.
While at OU, Palmer has been deeply committed to providing students a rigorous education in weather radar. In close collaboration with colleagues in the Norman weather radar community, Palmer led the development of a unique interdisciplinary curriculum in radar meteorology. Soon after joining OU, Palmer established the Advanced Radar Research Center, which is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the world's strongest academic centers in radar meteorology.
In recent years, Palmer has focused on the application of advanced radar signal processing techniques to observations of severe weather, particularly related to phased-array radars and other innovative system designs. He has been published widely in the area of radar remote sensing of the atmosphere, with an emphasis on generalized imaging problems, spatial filter design, and clutter mitigation using advanced array and signal processing techniques.
Palmer, an OU graduate with a doctoral degree in electrical engineering, is actively engaged with his profession through involvement with the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Internationally, he has been committed to the development of a vibrant exchange program with Kyoto University in Japan, focused on studies of the atmosphere using modeling and advanced remote sensing methods. He has received several awards for his research and teaching activities and is an American Meteorological Society Fellow as well.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership. Fellow is the highest grade of the institute's membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.
Congratulations to our outstanding staff members Mary Anne Hempe and Jamie Steele for winning the Provost's Awards!
Mary Anne Hempe won the Provost's Outstanding Academic Administrator Advising Award
Jamie Steele won the Provost's Outstanding New Advisor Award
We are so proud of you!
University of Oklahoma Professor Steven Cavallo is the recipient of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program award for his commitment to the study of vortex dynamics. The prestigious prize is awarded to academic scientists in their first or second full-time academic appointment, and grants up to $170,000 annually in assistance for capital equipment, graduate student support or the salary of the investigator in the subsequent three years.
“We are indeed fortunate to have such an exceptional faculty member at the University of Oklahoma who richly deserves this recognition for his outstanding research,” said OU President David L. Boren. “A strong research base is one of the greatest engines for future economic growth in our state.”
Cavallo, assistant professor with the OU School of Meteorology, joined the meteorology faculty in 2011 from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to his duties as a meteorology professor, he is an affiliate faculty for the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, both located on the OU Research Campus in Norman, Oklahoma.
“What a great role model for our students,” said Berrien Moore, dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and director of the Nation Weather Center. “We are so proud of Dr. Cavallo’s success and awards. We know his research will lead to amazing things.”
During his career, Cavallo has been published in 13 journals, an invited speaker in many countries around the world and demonstrated a unique commitment to the study of vortex dynamics. He began researching the subject as an undergraduate, then examined Arctic vortices in his graduate work. At the time, very little was known on the topic, and that motivated him to be the one who could start putting together a new scientific story.
“I’m proud of sticking with my passion to make positive contributions to atmospheric science, and especially in polar meteorology, despite much discouragement early on,” he said.
When a hail storm moved through Fort Worth, Texas on May 5, 1995, it battered the highly populated area with hail up to 4 inches in diameter and struck a local outdoor festival known as the Fort Worth Mayfest.
The Mayfest storm was one of the costliest hailstorms in U.S history, causing more than $2 billion in damage and injuring at least 100 people.
Scientists know that storms with a rotating updraft on their southwestern sides -- which are particularly common in the spring on the U.S. southern plains -- are associated with the biggest, most severe tornadoes and also produce a lot of large hail. However, clear ideas on how they form and how to predict these events in advance have proven elusive.
A team based at University of Oklahoma (OU) working on the Severe Hail Analysis, Representation and Prediction (SHARP) project works to solve that mystery, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Read More
You might know Dr. Fred Carr as a professor, mentor, journal reviewer, chair, committee member, founder, builder, or ski patrolman, but now you can add president to the list.
The 2016-2017 American Meteorological Society President is a big role to fill. Presidents plan the conference, work on membership retention, develop new tactics for weather communications, increase enterprise in the field, work with higher education to develop the next generation of students, and overall strengthen the weather, water, and climate community. This is a role that Dr. Carr doesn’t take lightly. “All of the service and leadership activities I’ve been involved with over the years have given me a greater understanding of everything AMS does and what the Society wants to accomplish. This puts me in a strong position to serve as AMS President,” said Carr.
Carr added, “I would like to be personally involved in increasing our membership, especially among students and young professionals in development activities, in many of the Commission activities, and in planning for the AMS Centennial Celebration.”
Dr. Carr has been with the University of Oklahoma’s School of Meteorology since 1979. In the last thirty-six years, he’s helped the school grow from a faculty of six to the current twenty-four as both director of the school and his current role as the McCasland Foundation Presidential Professor. He has also invested in the lives of many students through the Freshmen Mentoring Program. This program takes about fifteen out-of-state meteorology majors and helps them make friends and get settled in through a variety of different activities during their first semester.
“We are honored to have Dr. Carr in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma! What a great role model for our students and alumni. Dr. Carr will be a wonderful President and we anticipate a great year for AMS!” said Dr. Berrien Moore, Dean of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and Director of the National Weather Center.
Dr. Berrien Moore III, dean of the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences and director of the National Weather Center, discusses how the NWC impacts research and student engagement at The University of Oklahoma.