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University of Wisconsin–Madison

AOS Partner Centers

Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC)

SSEC occupies a large portion of the AOSS building, mainly the 2nd through 6th floors and the 9th and 10th floors. Administratively, it is separate from AOS and is part of the Graduate School (AOS is part of the School of Letters and Sciences). Nevertheless, there are close ties between SSEC and AOS. Among other things, many AOS faculty have research grants administered by SSEC. Also, some AOS grad students work on research projects supervised by SSEC/CIMSS scientists, though they will also have an academic advisor who is AOS faculty. Brad Pierce is currently the Director of SSEC.

Although there are a variety of scientific and engineering activities within the SSEC hierarchy, the two most likely to be of interest to AOS students are:

Antarctic Meteorology Research Center (AMRC)

The AMRC archives and provides Antarctic meteorological data for the United States Antarctic Program. A closely related project, the Automatic Weather Station (AWS) Project, supports a network of automated weather stations designed to record meteorological information in Antarctica and other locations. Dr. Matt Lazzara is the Principal Investigator.

Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)

CIMSS is a Cooperative Institute formed through a Memorandum of Understanding between UW-Madison, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A research focus of CIMSS is the development and dissemination of high-quality satellite products relevant to operational communities. CIMSS also plays a major role in instrument design and testing, and related software development, for improved space-based measurements of the earth’s atmosphere. Many of the graduate students in AOS are supported on research projects through CIMSS. Tristan L’Ecuyer is currently the Director of CIMSS.

The Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (IES)

IES is a campus-wide “virtual college” for interdisciplinary environmental education, research and outreach. It includes about 170 faculty, 200 graduate students, and nearly 300 undergraduates on the campus. Unlike other departments and colleges at the UW, IES is a largely volunteer organization. It has roughly 12 paid faculty; all the rest volunteer on a part-time basis. IES is a stand-alone unit, and reports directly to Bascom Hall. IES has participants from nearly every department, and every major school and college at the university. Within the Institute, there are several research centers. Two of them, CCR and SAGE, have strong connections to the Department:

The Center for Climatic Research (CCR)

CCR (the Center for Climatic Research) has been around since the 1960s, and has often been directed by faculty or affiliates of the Department. CCR has a long history of advancing the understanding of the global climate system, especially in terms of the long-term geologic evolution of climate. Currently, CCR focuses on the linkages between atmosphere, ocean and land surfaces, and how these give rise to mechanisms of climatic change over time. Prof. Mike Notaro is the current director of CCR. CCR also houses CPEP:

The Bryson Interdisciplinary Climate, People, and Environment Program (CPEP)

CPEP pursues interdisciplinary research and instruction intended to advance the understanding of the interrelations among climate, natural resources, population, and culture.

The Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE)

SAGE (the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment) is a relatively new Center in IES, and involves a faculty member from AOS, Tracey Holloway, as well as faculty members from many other departments. The primary mission of SAGE is to advance the understanding of the links among natural resources, human health and security and changes in the global environment. SAGE has active research teams in the following areas: global ecosystem change, land use / land cover change, global water resources, agriculture and food security, air quality and atmospheric change, global environmental change and human health consequences. Dr. Carol Barford is the director of SAGE.

Note that CCR is more focused on the physical mechanisms of global climate change and how these changes have occurred over time, while SAGE is more focused on global ecological systems and their connections to human health and natural resources. Both are good places for AOS students to be aware of, and there are numerous possibilities for education and research in both Centers. CCR and SAGE would certainly welcome the involvement of AOS students.

The Wisconsin State Climatology Office

The Wisconsin State Climatology Office is located within the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The state climatologist collects data and information for climate monitoring, provides climate information to residents of Wisconsin, demonstrates the value of climate information in the decision making process to the user community, and conducts applied climate research. This office is a partner with the Midwestern Regional Climate Center in providing climate services to the public. Prof. John Young serves as State Climatologist with Dr. Ed Hopkins as Assistant State Climatologist.

Local Student AMS Chapter

The Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison strives to continue the growth of our AOS community through insightful learning experiences and recreational activities. Their intent is to help bridge the connection between academia and the real world environment by promoting interaction among students and working professionals. Through the organization, they hope each member gains a greater sense of awareness of the many exciting opportunities offered in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Be sure to like their Facebook page for organizational updates and announcements!