Atmospheric Scientist Christian Kummerow Named Director of Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Note to Reporters: A photo of Christian Kummerow is available with the news release at

Christian Kummerow, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science since 2000, has been named director of the Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere.

CIRA is a center for international cooperation that was established in 1980 to increase the effectiveness of atmospheric research between Colorado State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. CIRA’s research products help scientists around the globe understand atmospheric changes that affect weather and climate.

Kummerow replaces Graeme Stephens, a former University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State, who accepted a position at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“Dr. Kummerow has done cutting-edge research of his own addressing questions of climate change such as the implications of CO2, global warming and the modification of rainfall in warmer climates and environments,” said Colorado State Provost Rick Miranda. “He will continue CIRA’s good work of providing high-quality research to the scientific community.”

Prior to joining Colorado State, Kummerow worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he served as the project scientist for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the Global Precipitation Mission. He earned his bachelor’s from the University of California-Berkeley in 1982 and his doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota in 1987.

His numerous awards include the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award and the Maryland Distinguished Young Scientist Award. He now chairs the Radiation Panel of the Global Water and Energy Experiment program that works on understanding the climate system and cloud feedback from global satellite and surface observations.

Kummerow is part of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State, which is internationally renowned for its cutting edge research and leadership. In September, the National Research Council named the department one of the top doctorate programs in the nation. Atmospheric Science is also home to Thomas Vonder Haar, one of only a dozen University Distinguished Professors at the university and former director of CIRA.

CIRA is celebrating its 30th anniversary at Colorado State this year. In 2009, NOAA announced that CIRA would receive up to $64.4 million as a renewal of the two organizations’ research affiliation. Chosen through an open competitive process, CIRA continues sharing research with NOAA on satellite applications to improve regional and global-scale weather forecasts, water resource forecasts and provide integrated weather information to meet future aviation and surface transportation needs. CIRA and the Department of Atmospheric Science are part of Colorado State’s College of Engineering.