Recent Award Recipients

outstanding graduate student 2015Nina Oakley
das-awards-john-hallett
Dr. John Hallett
das-awards-kelly-redmondDr. Kelly Redmond
Dr. Judith Chow
Dr. Judith Chow
Dr. Daniel Obrist
Dr. Daniel Obrist
Dr. Alan Gertler
Dr. Alan Gertler
Arlen Huggins
Dr. Arlen Huggins
Dr. John Watson
Dr. John Watson
Dr. John Hallett
Dr. John Hallett - Honorary ICCP Member
Dr. Darko Koracin
Dr. Darko Koracin

Recognizing faculty and staff for their outstanding achievements in Atmospheric science and research.

2015

Nina Oakley

  • Recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student award.

2014

Dr. John Hallett

  • Recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2014 Losey  Atmospheric Sciences Award for Technical Excellence.

 Dr. Kelly Redmond

  • Has been selected as the "Tyndall History of Global Environmental Change Lecturer" for the Fall 2014 AGU meeting in San Francisco.

2013

Dr. Hans Moosmuller

  • Recipient of the 2012 Nevada Regents' Researcher award.

Dr. Rajan Chakrabarty

  • Recipient of the 2012 NSHE Rising Research Award from Desert Research Institute (DRI).

2012

Dr. Gannet Hallar

  • Recipient of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents Rising Research Award.

Dr. Judith Chow

  • Recipient of the Haagen-Smit 2011 Clean Air Award in the field of Science and Technology, California Air Resources Board, May 2012.
  • Recipient of the Sanqin Friendship Award, The People’s Government of Shaanxi Province, People’s Republic of China, March 2012

2011

Dr. Judith Chow

  • Certificate of Appreciation for Keynote Speech at The 3rd International Workshop on Regional Air Quality Improvement in Rapidly Developing Economic Regions, Guangzhou, China, November 2011.
  • Certificate of Appreciation for Session Chair at The 3rd International Workshop on Regional Air Quality Improvement in Rapidly Developing Economic Regions, Guangzhou, China, November 2011.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research, Plenary Lecture given at the 2011 International Conference on Aerosol Science and Technology, October 2011.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research, Editor-in-Chief of Aerosol and Air Quality Research (2003-2008), October 2011.
  • Certificate of Appreciation for service on the Publication Committee, 2006–2011, Air & Waste Management Association, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2011.
  • Senatorial Recognition Award, John Ensign, U.S. Senator, Washington, DC, January 2011.

Dr. Jack Gillies

  • Recipient of the L.R. Moore visiting scholar award, Dept. of Geography, Sheffield University, UK, 2011

Dr. John Watson

  • Certificate of Appreciation for Plenary Speech at The 3rd International Workshop on Regional Air Quality Improvement in Rapidly Developing Economic Regions, Guangzhou, China, November 2011.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research, Plenary Lecture given at the 2011 International Conference on Aerosol Science and Technology, October 2011.

Dr. Davis Zhu

  • Recipient of the First Prize Dissertation Award, Air & Waste Management Association, June 2011

2010

Dr. Daniel Obrist

  • Recipient of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents Rising Research Award

2009

Dr. Alan Gertler

  • Recipient of the annual Regents’ Researcher Award from the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education

Dr. Kelly Redmond

  • Named as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society

Dr. Rajan Chakrabarty, Graduate Student

  • 3rd Prize (Honorable Mention): Exceptional Doctoral Dissertation Award (International-level) by the Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) in recognition of significant contribution to the field of air quality and research.

 

Subhashree Mishra, Graduate Student

  • Recipient of the "Outstanding International Graduate Student Award" from the University of Nevada, Reno, Graduate Student Association

2008

Arlen Huggins

  • Recipient of the Thunderbird Award from the Weather Modification Association

Dr. Kelly Redmond

  • Recipient of the AMS Applied Climatology Award

Rajan Chakrabarty, Graduate Student

  • Recipient of the "Outstanding Graduate Student Researcher" award by the University of Nevada Reno
  • Recipient of the  "Outstanding International Graduate Student" award by the University of Nevada Reno
  • One of 4 finalists (from out of 100 contestants nationwide) in the Harvard University entrepreneurial I3 competition for development of ClassCommon.com – an academic social networking platform K-16 students.

Harold Peterson, Graduate Student

  • Recipient of the American Geological Institute Minority Participation Program Scholarship

Danyal Petersen, Graduate Student

  • Recipient of the Colin Warden Award

Jo Gerrard

  • Recipient of the 2008 Technical Employee of the Year award

2007

Dr. Judy Chow

  • Recipient of the Nazir and Mary Ansari Chair in Entrepreneurialism and Science award, a $75,000 DRI professorship funded by the Nazir and Mary Ansari Foundation

Dr. Alan Gertler

  • Elected President of the International Union of Air Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Associations (IUAPPA)

Dr. German Vidaurre, Post-Doctoral Fellow

  • Recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the UNR Graduate Student Association

Rajan Chakrabarty, M.S. Student

  • One of 15 finalists (from out of 200 contestants nationwide) in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) entrepreneurial elevator pitch competition for conceptualization of ClassCommon.com.

2006

Dr. Steven Chai

  • Recipient of the Thunderbird Award from the Weather Modification Association

Dr. Alan Gertler

  • Elected Vice-President of the International Union of Air Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Associations (IUAPPA)

Dr. John Lewis, Adjunct Professor

  • Elected by the American Meteorological Association to the position of Fellow

Dr. Christopher Davey, Post-Doctoral Fellow

  • Awarded the Ph.D. Dissertation Medal in Applied Climatology from the American Association of State Climatologists

Rajan Chakrabarty, M.S. Student

  • Recipient of the "Outstanding Student Scholarship", $2,000, by the Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) in recognition of excellence in air quality research and study for the academic year 2006-2007.
  • Recipient of the 2006 Colin Warden Memorial Endowment Award
  • Two-year National Science Foundation EPSCoR doctoral fellowship, $ 85,000, for the academic years 2006-2008.

2005

Dr. John Watson

  • Received the 2005 Regents' Researcher Award. This is the highest honor awarded annually to a single researcher within the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Dr. John Hallett

Elected honorary member of the International Commission on Clouds and Precipitation (ICCP).

Dr. Jack Gillies

  • Was recognized by the DoD Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) by receiving an award for best compliance project of the year. This project involved characterizing and quantifying fugitive dust emissions from DoD sources. Other DAS faculty involved in this project includes Pat Arnott, Vic Etyemezian, Hampden Kuhns, and Hans Moosmüller.

Dr. Darko Koracin

  • Received his third Fulbright Fellowship Award as Senior Scientist Specialist in Environmental Modeling. Darko used this award to teach a graduate class in atmospheric dispersion and air quality modeling at the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Rajan Chakrabarty, M.S. Student

  • Recipient of the Colin Warden Memorial Award by the Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV

2004

Dr. Darko Koracin

  • Recipient of Fulbright Fellowship Award as Senior Scientist Specialist in Environmental Modeling

Dr. Dorothea Ivanova

  • Her paper "The North American (Mexican) Monsoon: MM5 Modeling Study Implications" was chosen as "Best Papers Award" at the 14th Conference on Applied Climatology, American Meteorological Society, held 11-15 January 2004 in Seattle, WA.

Anna Cunningham, Lab Tech/Coordinator

  • Recipient of the 2004 Technical Employee of the Year award

2003

Dr. Judith Chow

  • Appointed to the National Academies' Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST)

Dr. Vanda Grubisic

  • Recipient of 2003 Peter B. Wagner Medal of Excellence for DRI Scholars in the Early Stages of Career Development

Dr. Darko Koracin

  • Recipient of Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant in Environmental Sciences to study and lecture at the University of Zagreb

Dr. William Stockwell

  • Chosen as lead speaker at a Gordon Research Conference on Biogenic Hydrocarbons in the Atmosphere, held at Queens College in Oxford, U.K.

Dr. Barbara Zielinska

  • Recipient of DRI's 2003 Dandini Medal of Science

Guadalupe Paredes-Miranda, Ph.D. Student

  • Recipient of DRI's 2003 Colin Warden Memorial Endowment Award

Serena Chew, M.S. Student

  • Recipient of 2003 Sierra Pacific Fellowship Program Award

Brenda Cristani, Lab Coord. Data Analyst

  • Recipient of the 2003 Technical Employee of the Year award

2002

Dr. Judith Chow

  • Frank A. Chambers Award (presented by the Air and Waste Management Association

Dorothea Ivanova, Ph.D. Student

  • Recipient of DRI's 2002 Colin Warden Memorial Endowment Award

2001

Dr. Judith Chow

UCCSN Regents "Researcher of the Year" award

Dr. Alan Gertler

  • 2001 "Hope for the Future for a Sustainable World" award

Dr. Leland Tarnay

  • Recipient of DRI's 2001 Colin Warden Memorial Endowment Award

About Atmospheric Sciences

Research in Atmospheric Sciences is accomplished through field and laboratory observation, theoretical and laboratory analysis, and computer modeling at many spatial and temporal scales. This work is conducted in response to the needs of public and private organizations for effective environmental management.

Atmospheric Sciences receives research funding from a wide variety of federal, state, and local governmental agencies, as well as private industry, universities, and foundations. Typically, over 100 funding sources sponsor DAS research within a single year. Federal government agencies generally provide the majority of DAS funding; these include NSF, DOE, DOD, DOI, NOAA, NASA, and EPA.

Mission

Atmospheric Sciences supports the DRI mission through its research scientists, technologists, professional staff, graduate students, post doctoral researchers, and hourly employees. Atmospheric Sciences is home to several major programs, including the renowned Western Regional Climate Center, the Nevada State Cloud Seeding Program, and the Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications. Atmospheric Sciences also supports various state-of-the-art laboratories including the high-elevation Storm Peak Laboratory.

Connection With Higher Education

Our faculty members partner with the UNR Department of Physics to manage and teach the Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Program and Undergraduate Program Sciences Graduate Program and Undergraduate Program. Students in the program study dynamic meteorology, atmospheric physics, mesoscale modeling, fire weather and climate, atmospheric chemistry and instrument development.

Download our fact sheets and discover more. 

Atmospheric Science Research Programs

CEFA: Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications

CEFA provides products and information related to climate, weather, fire and natural resources. The program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) is a partnership between the Desert Research Institute and federal land management agencies, and chartered with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Fire Environment Committee. cefa.dri.edu

DRI Cloud Seeding Program

As a form of weather modification, wintertime cloud seeding is aimed at enhancing snowfall in mountainous regions to increase the snowpack, resulting in more spring runoff and water supplies in the surrounding areas. Our program focuses on the quantitative evaluation of winter storm cloud seeding using ultra trace chemical analysis of snow samples, atmospheric model simulations of seeding plume transport, and hydrologic modeling to estimate the additional runoff due to cloud seeding.

Storm Peak Laboratory

A permanent mountain-top facility, Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL), has been in existence in various forms for more than nineteen years. This facility provides a practical, easily accessible facility for researchers, teachers and students of all ages and abilities. stormpeak.dri.edu

Renewable Energy

Committed to discovering new economically and environmentally friendly energy production methods, DRI promotes renewables, works with industry and practices sustainable energy practices on each of our primary campuses.

WRCC: Western Regional Climate Center

The regional climate center program is equipped  to disseminate high quality climate data and information pertaining to the western United States; foster better use of this information in decision-making; conduct applied research related to climate issues; and improve the coordination of climate-related activities at state, regional and national scales. wrcc.dri.edu

Atmospheric Science Capabilities

Dave Simeral, Mt. Warren climate station (12,327 feet), Sierra Nevada Range, CA
Dave Simeral, Mt. Warren climate station (12,327 feet), Sierra Nevada Range, CA

DAS has a wide range of capabilities in the fields of climate, atmospheric sciences and air pollution research. The list below summarizes our principal capabilities in several major categories.

Field Study Design and Coordination
  • Air quality program design
  • Quality control/quality assurance
  • Data compilation, validation, analysis and reporting
Ambient Air Quality Monitoring for Criteria and Toxic Pollutants
  • Automated filter-based samplers for size-resolved aerosol and gas sampling
  • Continuous aerosol mass, size distribution, light absorption, light scattering, light extinction and chemical analysis
  • Continuous meteorological parameters (temp., pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed, direction, and flux)
  • Personal exposure to pollutants
Pollutant Emissions Characterization
  • Real-time and remote sensing of motor vehicle emissions
  • Dilution chamber sampling of stationary source emissions
  • Sampling of fugitive and area source emissions
  • Development of emission factors and inventories for air quality modeling
Chemical Laboratory Analysis
  • Inorganic analysis of aerosol mass, filter densitometry, ions, elemental and organic carbon, major and trace elements, and inorganic gases (sulfur dioxide, nitric acid, ammonia)
  • Detailed organic analysis for volatile, semi-volatile, and particulate hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), nitro- and oxy- PAH, polar organic compounds, and carbonyls
Meteorological and Radiative Measurements
  • Continuous meteorological parameters (temp., pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed, direction, and flux)
  • Surface, column (balloon) and aircraft measurements of atmospheric motion and thermodynamic parameters
  • 3-dimensional flows, cloud and precipitation fields by radar
Aerosol, Clouds and Precipitation Measurements
  • Particle size distributions with in-situ microphysical probes, balloon and aircraft mounted videometers
  • Large particles in 3 dimensions using radar
  • Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)
  • Cold and warm cloud droplet, rain and snow chemistry
  • Cloud radiative properties from satellite retrieval and radar measurements
  • Column water vapor concentration using radiometer
Numerical Modeling
  • Regional scale atmospheric models for studies of airflow, cloud and precipitation formation, and pollutant transport in complex terrain
  • Use of adaptive grid numerical models (i.e., OMEGA) for Sierra Nevada precipitation and air circulation simulations with grids that adapt explicitly to the scale and geometry of the terrain and atmospheric circulation
  • Use of regional scale atmospheric numerical models (including MM5, COAMPS, and RAMS) for studies of air flow, cloud and precipitation formation, and pollutant transport in complex terrain
  • Use of mesoscale cloud-resolving models for studies of cloud and precipitation development
  • Development of models for pollutant transport, and explicit treatment of cloud formation and precipitation
  • Development of microphysical parameterizations for mesoscale models
  • Source apportionment and dispersion modeling for air quality issues
  • Photochemical modeling for air quality and global atmospheric chemistry
  • Light extinction modeling for air quality issues and cloud and aerosol radiative properties
Satellite Meteorology
  • Use of satellite radiances to infer atmospheric structure, e.g., temperature, cloud properties, and particle size distribution
  • Development of software to infer cirrus cloud size distributions from satellite radiances
Weather Modification
  • Cloud seeding for snowfall enhancement
  • Chemical analysis of snow
Climate Information Services
  • Provide climate information to public and private clients
  • Archive climate data for the western U.S.
  • Utilize data to explore climate variability issues (e.g., El Niño) and natural resource management
  • Wind energy resource mapping
Wildfire Applications
  • Operational decision support tools
  • Fire policy
  • Climate and weather applications
Additional Research Capabilities
  • Tools for wildfire and smoke management
  • Development of scientific instruments
  • Engineering support (mechanical, electrical and computer)
  • Advice on regulatory issues (NAAQS, SIPs, regional haze, emissions standards, etc.)
  • Renewable energy, research
  • Education/technical training
  • Foreign language skills
  • Computational resources

Applied Meteorology And Climatology

The Western Regional Climate Center has several projects involving climate monitoring. Water managers rely on climate monitoring to assess current water conditions and project water needs into the future. Drought conditions in the western U.S. have prompted local, state and federal water agencies to look at a variety of methods to conserve and increase water resources. One method is weather modification, particularly cloud seeding to enhance winter snowpacks. DRI's Atmospheric Sciences have been and continue to be involved in research in this area, which has the potential for being a cost effective means of enhancing water resources. The research has been in several areas including atmospheric plume dispersion modeling, in-situ and remote sensing studies of winter cloud systems, ultra trace chemical studies of snow (in collaboration with the Hydrologic Sciences trace chemistry lab), and hydrologic modeling (also in collaboration with Hydrologic Science colleagues). Atmospheric scientists are looking into this area of geoengineering from a modeling perspective.

Wildfire related applied research falls within four general categories – fire weather (including air quality), fire climate, fire societal and fire visualization. Current fire weather research includes examining particulate emissions from biomass burning, physics and chemistry of biomass burning, developing a forecast algorithm for dry lightning and providing operational fire weather and smoke management projects. Current fire related research that incorporates a societal component includes surveys of fire managers on the use and utilization of climate information, establishing partnerships between scientists and decision makers, and performing a social network analysis on the use of seasonal fire outlooks.

Please select a research project for more information.