Named Visitorships

CGD designates a few “Named Visitors” each year to recognize visits that make particularly strong and important contributions to laboratory programs. The designation will provide a tangible record for both the visitor’s home institution and personal academic record.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to honor past CGD staff for their notable achievements and successes through the use of their Names.

Nominations for “Named Visitors” will be made through Section Heads who, as a group along with CGD management, will determine invitees. Invitations will be issued by the CGD Director and sanctioned by the NCAR Directors.

John Kutzbach

Dating back to 1975, John Kutzbach, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Former Director of the Center for Climatic Research in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, at University of Wisconsin-Madison, has made summer visits to NCAR collaborating with scientific staff. John Kutzbach has had a long and exceptional career centered around using climate models to study past, present, and future climates. His research has spanned a large range of time scales and processes, including the role of geographic changes associated with plate movements in producing climate changes over the past 250 million years, the role of uplift of mountains and plateaus over the past 10 million years, and the role of Earth's orbital changes for the glacial-interglacial cycles of the last few hundred thousand years. He has been interested in decade to century scale climate variability over recent millennia and the linkages between vegetation changes and climate changes. As John explained in a briefing for science writers, "climate forecasts suffer from lack of accountability. Their moment of truth is decades in the future. But when those same computer programs are used to hindcast the past, scientists know what the correct answer to the test should be." He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Francis Bretherton

From 1974 through 1980 Francis Bretherton was both President of UCAR and Director of NCAR. Perhaps the most enduring impact on CGD was the establishment of an Oceanography Section which has grown from its original staff of three to more than 20. While a Senior Scientist in CGD after 1980, Francis was a driving force behind the concept of Earth System Science as an integrated field of study, identifying the conceptual design of what became the Community Climate System Model, and leading to observations of Planet Earth by NASA and other agencies that continue to this day. In due course this integrated perspective on global climate provided the imperative for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) of the 1990s.

  • 2014 Francis Bretherton: Cecilia Bitz, University of Washington
  • 2015 Francis Bretherton: Ping Chang, Texas A&M
  • 2016 Francis Bretherton: Taka Ito, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2017 Francis Bretherton: Ali Mashayek, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Akira Kasahara

One of the earliest members of the NCAR scientific staff beginning in 1963, Akira Kasahara has had a long and distinguished scientific career in the forefront of several areas in numerical weather prediction (NWP), computational modeling and dynamic meteorology. Before joining NCAR, Akira was well-known for his contributions to the mechanisms of hurricane movement and formation and the occlusion process of frontal cyclones. Since then he has done fundamental modeling work on the flow over topography and, with Warren Washington, developed the first- and second-generation NCAR General Circulation Models that are the forerunners of the present day NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM). In the area of NWP, Akira contributed to an improvement in the initial conditions by taking into account satellite imagery data as proxy to cumulus heating and applied it to hurricane prediction. In the area of dynamic meteorology, Akira clarified the properties of atmospheric global dynamics through the use of normal modes, known historically as the Hough functions, and designed an efficient method of representing global meteorological data by means of the 3-D normal mode expansion. In recent work, Akira has elucidated the limitations of the traditional modeling approximations and explored a possibility to further improve the primitive equation modeling currently in use for prediction of the atmosphere and ocean.

Rol Madden

Throughout his many years at NCAR, from 1967 until his present Emeritus status, Rol Madden’s diagnostic studies of the atmosphere led to fundamental discoveries about its variability. An early example is his documentation of large-scale, free, Rossby waves, most notably the “5-“ and “16-day waves”. This work was the basis of his NCAR supported pursuit of a PhD. Related studies led to the serendipitous discovery of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), which was first recognized in frequency spectra of tropical station data. The now familiar MJO is not yet fully understood, and so it continues to be the focus of observational campaigns, such as DYNAMO (DYMAmics of the MJO), and a modeling challenge. A lesser known result is Rol’s linking of the MJO to variability in the observed length of the day. Also, still relevant are his methods for separating potentially predicable climate signals from unpredictable "weather noise".

  • 2013 Rol Madden VisitorshipYuko Okumura, University of Texas at Austin
  • 2014 Rol Madden Visitorship: Pedro DiNezio, University of Hawaii
  • 2015 Rol Madden Visitorship: Peter Franks, University of Sydney
  • 2015 Rol Madden Visitorship: Karina von Schuckmann, MIO, University of Toulon, France
  • 2016 Rol Madden VisitorshipPeter Franks, University of Sydney
  • 2018 Rol Madden VisitorshipToby Ault, Cornell University