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CIRA welcomes new director

December 3, 2010

The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere has named a new director -- Christian Kummerow, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science and a recognized leader in observation and analysis of global precipitation.

"CIRA is in good hands in continuing to be a leader in observational and modeling studies of weather and climate with Chris at the helm," says John Bates with the National Climatic Data Center.

Christian Kummerow, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science since 2000, has been named director of the Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. 

CIRA is a center for international cooperation that was established in 1980 to increase the effectiveness of atmospheric research between Colorado State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. CIRA's research products help scientists around the globe understand atmospheric changes that affect weather and climate.   

Leader in global precipitation

"I’d like to congratulate and welcome Chris as Director of CIRA. Chris is internationally recognized as a leader in observation and analysis of global precipitation," said John Bates, Chief of the Remote Sensing Applications Division in NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

"I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chris on the GEWEX Radiation Panel and he is a principal investigator on the Climate Data Record Program we run here at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

"Chris has a disarming sense of humor and razor sharp wit, both of which have served him well in his interactions with students and colleagues. CIRA is in good hands in continuing to be a leader in observational and modeling studies of weather and climate with Chris at the helm."

Kummerow replaces Graeme Stephens, a former University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State, who accepted a position at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Mission of providing research to scientific community

“Dr. Kummerow has done cutting-edge research of his own addressing questions of climate change such as the implications of CO2, global warming and the modification of rainfall in warmer climates and environments,” said Colorado State Provost Rick Miranda. “He will continue CIRA’s good work of providing high-quality research to the scientific community.”

Prior to joining Colorado State, Kummerow worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he served as the project scientist for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the Global Precipitation Mission. He earned his bachelor’s from the University of California-Berkeley in 1982 and his doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota in 1987.  

Recognized by NASA and with Young Scientist Award

His numerous awards include the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award and the Maryland Distinguished Young Scientist Award. He now chairs the Radiation Panel of the Global Water and Energy Experiment program that works on understanding the climate system and cloud feedback from global satellite and surface observations.

Atmospheric Science named as one of top doctorate programs

Kummerow is part of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State, which is internationally renowned for its cutting edge research and leadership. In September, the National Research Council named the department one of the top doctorate programs in the nation.

Atmospheric Science is also home to Thomas Vonder Haar, one of only a dozen University Distinguished Professors at the university and former director of CIRA.

CIRA's role in weather and water resource forecasts

CIRA is celebrating its 30th anniversary at Colorado State this year. In 2009, NOAA announced that CIRA would receive up to $64.4 million as a renewal of the two organizations' research affiliation.

Chosen through an open competitive process, CIRA continues sharing research with NOAA on satellite applications to improve regional and global-scale weather forecasts, water resource forecasts and provide integrated weather information to meet future aviation and surface transportation needs.

CIRA and the Department of Atmospheric Science are part of Colorado State’s College of Engineering.


Contact: Emily Wilmsen
E-mail: Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-2336