PSD Staff List  »  Dan Wolfe
Dan Wolfe – Research Scientist
Boundary Layer Observations and Process Team
Affiliation: CIRES
Phone: (303) 497-6204
Mailing Address:
NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305

Fax: (303) 497-6181


In 1969 Dan entered the U.S. Coast Guard and served as a Marine Science Technician , first aboard the icebreaker Glacier followed by 2 yrs at the Coast Guard Oceanographic Unit in Washington, D.C. This work consisted of both oceanographic and meteorological research and support. While at the Oceanographic Unit he helped plan and carry-out several baseline studies on the marine eco-system in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Prudhoe Bay, AK. Dan also trained as a diver for 4-weeks in Key West at the Naval Underwater Swimmer's School . Diving duties included several dives beneath the ice in the Arctic Ocean. After leaving the Coast Guard and while attending college, Dan worked as a CO-OP student for the Doppler radar group in NOAA's Wave Propagation Laboratory, participating in the National Hail Research Experiment and helped build an FM-CW radar. Following graduation Dan was hired by NOAA's Boulder Atmospheric Studies group where he helped instrument the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) and conduct several multi-agency boundary layer studies and instrumention comparisons. Dan worked at the BAO from 1978 until 1987 and served as site manager before moving his office into Boulder. From 1987-1990 he participated multiple field studies including the Convective INitiation and Downburst Experiment, several Front Range air pollution studies and managed the first ETL field tests of the boundary layer wind profilers during the Grand Canyon Visibility Study. During this period he also served on the scientific review panel for the State of Colorado's Senate Bill 77 Visibility Report. In 1991 he was ETL's project leader for the leads experiment (LEADEX), operating the first ever wind profiler on the Arctic ice pack. This Arctic experience carried over into Dan's work at the South Pole where he help operate a 915 MHz wind profiler and setup sonic anemometers for flux measurements. In 1993 he transferred to the newly formed SDID group within ETL to help develop an integrated mobile profiling system (MPS). Other experiences included measuring integrated water vapor using GPS, wind profiler signal processing and quality control, remote sensor integration and data assimilation, and overseeing the logistics for the SEARCH project in Eureka, Canada. In 2004 Dan became Deputy Branch Chief under Dr Chris Fairall of the Clouds Radiation and Surface Processes Group. As Deputy Dan was responsible for tracking all funding within the Group. In 2006 ETL was reorganized as the Earth Systems Research Laboratory and the Group increased from 15 to 35 people as the Weather and Climate Physics Group. Dan also participates in one of more ship experiments a year. Dan retired in 2011 after over 40 years of Federal service and is currently a professiona research assistant with the Coorperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Dan is still invilved with the BAO as its scientific coordinator. Hobbies: golf, Volleyball, biking, snorkelling, camping

Research Interests


  • B.S., Meteorology, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Aug 1975
  • M.S., Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Jun 1985

Professional Memberships

  • American Meteorological Society

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Career Award (2010)
  • NOAA Bronze Medal (2003)
  • NOAA Administrator's Award (2001)

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