Atmospheric Science for Renewable Energy Team Members

  • Melinda Marquis

    Melinda Marquis is the Renewable Energy Program Manager for the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. Marquis' work at ESRL involves leading efforts to improve foundational weather forecast skill for wind and solar power applications. She represents NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research line office on the NOAA Energy Team, and is the Chair of the American Meteorological Society's Board on Global Strategies. Marquis joined ESRL in 2007, after serving as Deputy Director for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I.

  • Robert Banta

    Robert Banta is a senior research meteorologist at the Earth System Research Laboratory's Chemical Sciences Division, is a lidar meteorologist specializing in the structure and dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer, mesoscale processes, and complex-terrain flows. Dr. Banta, a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, began his career in meteorology as a Forecaster and Weather Officer in the U.S. Air Force in Texas, Montana, and in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. He earned his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1982, with his dissertation entitled “An Observation and Numerical Study of Mountain Boundary-Layer Flow.” He worked as a research scientist at the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory as a civilian from 1982-1988, focusing on numerical weather prediction modeling of mesoscale flows, including studies on convective cloud initiation in mountainous terrain and “nuclear winter.” Since coming to NOAA in 1988, he has specialized in lidar studies of the boundary layer and lower atmosphere, including mountainous and other complex-terrain flows, air pollution transport studies, atmospheric turbulence, low-level jets, and the stable boundary layer. During the past decade, these studies have emphasized the use of Doppler lidar and other measurement system to assess wind energy applications.

  • Rapid Refresh Handout

    Laura Bianco is a Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. She works in Jim Wilczak’s group. She hold a BSc in Physics and earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of L’Aquila in Italy, in 2002. She is also an Associate Editor for the Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Journal. Her research focuses at improving remote sensing observations in the boundary layer and study atmospheric processes in this layer of the atmosphere. She was involved in the WFIP campaign planning and data analysis and will be involved in WFIP2 as well.

  • Jacob Carley

    Jacob Carley is a support scientist for I.M. Systems Group and works at the National Weather Service’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC). Jacob earned his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from Purdue University in 2012 as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. While at Purdue his research focused on high-resolution hybrid ensemble-3DVar radar data assimilation for the short-term prediction of convective storms. At the EMC Jacob has worked on both the Wind Forecast Improvement Project and the Position of Offshore Wind Energy Resources project. His current work focuses on the development of the Real Time Mesoscale Analysis system as well as the development of the next-generation of the North American Mesoscale forecast system (NAM), which is known as the NAM-Rapid Refresh (NAMRR). The NAMRR is an hourly updated version of the NAM and will become an important piece of the EMC model suite as development trends toward a rapidly updating and convection-allowing multi-model ensemble prediction system.

  • Aditya Choukulkar

    Aditya Choukulkar is a Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder. He received his PhD from Arizona State University where his research centered on developing a vector retrieval technique based on optimal interpolation for retrieving two-dimensional wind fields from a coherent Doppler lidar. His current research focus is on characterizing uncertainties associated with Doppler lidar measurements. This work will lead to improved understanding of wind and turbulence retrievals and ensure proper interpretation of observations when comparing to forecast models.

  • Irina Djalalova

    Irina Djalalova is a research associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. She works in Jim Wilczak’s group in ESRL’s Physical Science Division. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Physics, with specialization in Applied Mechanics, from Moscow State University, Russia, School of Mathematics and Mechanic. For many years she worked in the radar group of the NOAA Environment Technology Laboratory. She currently works in the renewable energy field, participating in all major projects including WFIP, WFIP2 and POWER. Her interests cover the validation and visualization of the observational data and corresponded models data by creating the on-going project web sites, including design, real-time management, quality control and analysis of the data.

  • Eric James

    Eric James is a research associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. He works in Stan Benjamin’s group in the Earth System Research Laboratory's Global Systems Division, helping with the development and testing of next-generation Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, including the 13-km Rapid Refresh and the 3-km High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR). In particular, Eric maintains a long-term archive of HRRR forecasts, which can be used to estimate renewable energy resources at a high resolution throughout the continental United States. Eric is also currently participating in the Solar Forecast Improvement Project (SFIP).

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    Jaymes Kenyon is a scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. As a member of the Earth Modeling Branch at the Earth System Research Laboratory, he works on developing and evaluating the physical paramaterizations used in the RAP and HRRR models, especially the turbulence (boundary layer) and subgrid-scale cloud parameterizations. Jaymes is also involved with the high-resolution numerical modeling aspects of WFIP2. Previously, he was a U.S. Air Force weather officer.

  • Terra Ladwig

    Terra Ladwig is a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. She is a member of the Earth Modeling Branch in the Global Systems Division of the Earth Systems Research Laboratory. Terra earned her Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 2014. Data assimilation is the focus of her research. While at OU she worked on storm-scale radar data assimilation with the Warn-On-Forecast group at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Currently, she is working to improve the cloud and precipitation hydrometeor analysis that is used in the RAP and HRRR models and to develop storm-scale ensemble data assimilation for the HRRR.

  • Kathleen Lantz

    Kathleen Lantz is a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. She is a member of the Global Radiation Group (GRAD) of the Global Monitoring Division (GMD) where she leads the Solar Renewable Energy team. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder and an NCAR ASP Postdoctoral Fellowship to study photolysis and air quality. Her research focuses on atmospheric radiation, radiative transfer, surface radiation budget, and aerosol properties. Her recent work emphasizes solar radiation for renewable energy and GOES-R satellite product validation. Current projects include the NOAA-DOE Solar Forecasting Improvement Project (SFIP) and Wind Forecasting Improvement Project (WFIP-2). She has served on the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) UV Radiation Instruments Group, is a past contributor of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, and the BAMs State of the Climate Report in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

  • Chuck Long

    Chuck Long is a senior research scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. Dr. Long is part of the Earth System Research Laboratory's Global Monitoring Division. He specializes in the study of clouds and their effect on the surface radiation energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere system. His research interests include observation, quantification, and analyses of the surface radiative energy budget, quantification of cloud macro-physical properties from surface-based measurements, and cloud forcing and feedbacks with respect to surface radiation. Dr. Long participates in national and international committees, boards, and advisory groups. For example, he was appointed to the International Radiation Commission (IRC) Global Energy Balance Working Group and is on the Editorial Advisory Boards of The Open Atmospheric Science Journal and The Open Ocean Engineering Journal. He currently serves as the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) international Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) Project Manager. He is an invited co-author for the WMO Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Radiative Flux Assessment chapter on surface observations and an invited member of the IASOA (International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere) Surface Radiation Balance Working Group. Dr. Long is to date the only two-time winner of the WMO Professor Dr. Vilho Vaisala Award in Atmospheric Sciences (2000, 2010).

  • Katherine McCaffrey

    Katherine McCaffrey is a postdoctoral research scientist in Jim Wilczak’s group at the Earth System Research Laboratory's Physical Sciences Division. She earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2014. McCaffrey’s research has focused on characterizing ocean turbulence with an emphasis on observing and modeling turbulence at tidal energy sites. At NOAA, she’s currently working on improving methods of measuring turbulence dissipation rates from wind profiling radars. she will also be will be working on WFIP2.

  • Joe Olson

    Joseph B. Olson is a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. His is a member of the Earth Modeling Branch in the Global Systems Division of the Earth Systems Research Laboratory. Joe earned a Ph. D. in Atmospheric Sciences from Stony Brook University in 2007. He has made improvements to the MYNN planetary boundary layer scheme used in the 13-km Rapid Refresh (RAP) and 3-km High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) weather models. Currently, he is the NOAA Technical Lead for the Wind Forecast Improvement Project 2, which aims to improve forecasts of wind-turbine-height-winds in complex terrain.

  • Yelena Pichugina

    Yelena Pichugina is a Research Scientist in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), affiliated with Atmospheric Remote Sensing Group of the Earth System Research Laboratory. In this capacity she defines and executes field projects involving remote sensing instruments, and performs scientific research in atmospheric science and wind energy. Her expertise includes studies of boundary layer and mesoscale processes, applications of Doppler lidar measurements inland and offshore to quantify wind and turbulence at the height of turbine rotors, including Low Level Jets and turbine wake effects. She has also used ship-borne lidar data to validate forecast models. She is a member of the AMS Renewable Energy Committee.

  • Jim Wilczak

    Jim Wilczak is a senior scientist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, where he leads a boundary layer research team. His research includes remote sensing of the atmosphere, turbulence, ensemble forecasting, air-sea interaction, and forecasting for wind energy. He has received several NOAA distinguished authorship awards and has been an Associate Editor of the journal Boundary Layer Meteorology for the past 15 years. Most recently he was the technical lead for the DOE-sponsored Wind Forecast Improvement Project.