Sara Morris

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Associate Scientist II


Polar Observations and Processes




(303) 497-4453


My primary responsibilities include managing Arctic data sets for Tiksi, Alert, and Eureka where I am the primary NOAA-based data and project manager for these stations. I have initiated the overhaul of the stations data-storage structures on the NOAA ftp-site while simultaneously establishing official data transfer processes. I have supported the operation of Arctic instrumentation through installation, modification, troubleshooting, repair, calibration, and basic understanding of electronic systems at these three Arctic stations. I have provided technical support, facilitation of data transfers, and maintenance for all of the Tiksi, Alert, and Eureka instrument suites by managing incoming data streams and instrument operations. Additionally, I was the CIRES supervisor to a part-time University of Colorado student who was hired by NOAA to assist in data management deliverables. I have further ingested the role of becoming the logistic coordinator for the Alert, Eureka, and Tiksi stations, whereby I develop and organize field tasks to be complete on-site at each station along with monitoring and implementing upgrades of data communication from the stations. I also facilitate travel and logistic plans to the stations and organize and execute field equipment purchases in addition to creating detailed budget logs.

In-line with providing remote support for current and future Arctic instruments, I have continued to develop and evolve instrument Datagrams for technical, mechanical, and processing support that diagrammatically outline the flow of data from each instrument. I have also developed and managed several procedures for data transfers (maintaining data stream flow of Arctic instrument suites), and data archival (develop, implement, and maintain data stream organization structure. Additionally, I was recruited to help a co-PSD division with data visualization. This project included developing MATLAB software to plot/visualize model output data from the WRF model. Additionally, I have heavily participated in metadata implementation to the IASOA project, through hand-authoring metadata into the IASOA portal, developing and maintaining a new IASOA webpage interface, and facilitating all IASOA Working Groups (Aerosol, Ozone, Transports, Flux, and Radiation). While participating in all IASOA Working Groups I have also taken on the role of co-chair for the Trace Gases and Ozone Working Group. In this role, I further initiated the purchase and installation of a new surface ozone instrument for the Eureka station through the IASOA platform.

Most importantly, I have made large strides in my current research topic of ground heat fluxes (part of the surface energy budget) at Tiksi station. Currently I am in the process of determining the best method with which to derive active layer soil conductivity and heat capacity, as instruments used to retrieve these variables are not currently available at the Tiksi station. Additionally, I am investigating which instrument or method is best to install or apply at the station to retrieve these variables. This investigation will lead to similar decisions and applications that will need to be applied at the Alert and Eureka stations as well, since they also lack the proper instrumentation.

My current research project includes traveling to the Arctic Station of Barrow in Alaska to deploy a campaign that looks at how icing conditions impact instruments. The instruments they are investigating measure shortwave and longwave fluxes, and experience has shown that Arctic weather conditions impact the operation of the instruments. I am one of two team-leads for the D-ICE campaign and will attempt to quantify the impact of icing on longwave and shortwave solar measurements for a full annual cycle in the Arctic. We will evaluate the effectiveness of de-icing systems whose goal is to keep the instruments clear of ice, snow, etc. that accumulate on the instruments thereby impacting the measurement. More information about the D-ICE campaign web page can be found here:

Research Interests

  • Ground Heat Flux
  • Global Radiation
  • Cold-hardening of Arctic instrumentation
  • Database Management
  • Arctic Surface Energy Budgets


  • B.A., Environmental Science w/ Emphasis in Climate, University of Colorado Boulder, May 2010
  • M.A., Physical Geography w/ Arctic Emphasis, University of Colorado Boulder, May 2018

Selected Publications

  • Eckhardt, S., Quennehen, B., Olivié, D.J.L., Berntsen, T.K., Cherian, R., Christensen, J.H., Collins, W., Crepinsek, S., Daskalakis, N., Flanner, M., Herber, A., Heyes, C., Hodnebrog, Ø., Huang, L., Kanakidou, M., Kilimont, Z., Langner, J., Law, K.S., Massling, A., Myriokefalitakis, S., Nielsen, I.E., Nøjgaard, J.K., Quaas, J., Quinn, P.K., Raut, J.C., Rumbold, S.T., Schulz, M., Skeie, R.B., Skov, H., Lund, M.T., Uttal, T., von Salzen, K., Mahmood, R., and Stohl, A. (2015), Current model capabilities for simulating black carbon and sulfate concentrations in the Arctic atmosphere: a multi-model evaluation using a comprehensive measurement data set. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15 10425-10477, doi: 10.5194/acpd-15-10425-2015
  • Uttal, T., S. Starkweather, J. Drummond, T. Vihma, C. J. Cox, E. Dlugokencky, J. Ogren, B. McArthur, L. Schmeisser, V. Walden, T. Laurila, L. Darby, A. P. Makshtas, J. Intrieri, J. F. Burkhart,T. Haiden, B. Goodison, M. Maturilli, M. Shupe, G. de Boer, R. Stone, A. Saha, A. Grachev, L. Bruhwiler, O. Persson, G. Lesins, S. Crepinsek, C. Long, S. Sharma, A. Massling, D. D. Turner, D. Stanitski, E. Asmi, M. Aurela, H. Skov, K. Eleftheriadis, A. Virkkula, A. Platt, E. Forland, J. Verlinde, I. Yoshihiroo, I. E. Nielsen, M. Bergin, L. Candlish, N. Zimov, S. Zimov, N. O'Neil, P. Fogal, R. Kivi, E. Konopleva, V. Kustov, B. Vasel, Y. Viisanen, V. Ivakhov (2014), International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA): An International Polar Year Legacy Consortium. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,
  • Cox, C.J., T. Uttal, S. Starkweather, J. Intrieri, M. Maturilli, V. Kustov, E. Konopleva, S. Crepinsek, and C. Long (2015), Using pan-Arctic, springtime, surface radiation observations to quantify atmospheric preconditioning processes that impact the sea ice melt season. , . ,
  • Evangeliou, N., et al. (2016), Wildfires in northern Eurasia affect the budget of black carbon in the Arctic – a 12-year retrospective synopsis (2002–2013), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16(12), 7587-7604.
  • Cox, C.J., C.N. Long, T. Uttal, S. Starkweather, S. Crepinsek, M. Maturilli, A. McComiskey, N.B. Miller, E. Konopleva, V. Kustov, M.D. Shupe, K. Steffen, D. Stanitski, R. Stone, V.P. Walden, 2016: Cloud radiative forcing from pan-Arctic Baseline Surface Radiation Network BSRN stations J. Clim.


  • Morris, S.M., 2018-4-4: Variability of Ground Heat Flux at Tiksi Station. Thesis Defense, Boulder, CO, United States
  • Morris, S.M., Cox, C.J., Long, C., 2018-5-22: Winter 2017-2018 Results from the De-Icing Comparison Experiment (D-ICE) at NOAA’s Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory, Utqiagvik, Alaska. Global Monitoring Annual Conference, Boulder, CO, United States
  • Crepinsek, S., Cox, C., Serreze, M., Hall, E., Long, C., 2016-11-30: Arctic Radiometer Modifications. IASOA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • Crepinsek, S., McClure, A., 2016-9-31: Ozone Working Group Climatology Publication. IASOA, Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • Crepinsek, S., 2016-11-30: Arctic Radiometer Modifications. IASOA, Boulder, Colorado, United States

Professional Activities

Professional Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Meteorological Society