Colorado State University Names Jeffrey Collett Head of Atmospheric Science Department

Note to Reporters: A photo of Jeffrey Collett is available with the news release at

The College of Engineering at Colorado State University has named Jeffrey Collett the new head of the Department of Atmospheric Science, one of the top programs of its kind in the nation.

Collett, a professor within the department for nearly 17 years, leads a graduate program that enrolls about 85 master’s and doctoral students each year and employs 16 faculty and about 60 research staffers. Dick Johnson, former head of the department, has returned to the faculty and research projects.

Collett’s research focuses on atmospheric chemistry and air quality with an emphasis on cloud processing of pollutants; the transport, transformation, and deposition of nitrogen-containing air pollutants; air quality impacts of wild and prescribed fires; and development of new approaches for characterizing the chemical composition of atmospheric particles. Collett’s research group is active worldwide in field measurements of air quality and atmospheric chemistry, with recent projects in China, Chile, Germany and the United States.

His research has been supported by sponsors including the National Science Foundation, National Park Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Joint Fire Science Program, National Institutes of Health, U.S Department of Agriculture, NASA, the State of California, the Lake Michigan Air Directors’ Consortium, and the Shell Exploration and Production Company.

Collett received his master’s and doctorate degrees in Environmental Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology in 1985 and 1989. Collett completed his postdoctoral work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State has been designated by the university as a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence. A 2010 assessment of research-doctorate programs by the National Research Council placed the department among the nation’s top programs in Oceanography, Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology.

The department is home to Tom Vonder Haar, one of only a dozen University Distinguished Professors on campus. Researchers in the department spearheaded one of the very few university-led NASA Earth Science missions with the 2006 launch of CloudSat, the world’s first cloud-profiling radar in orbit. The department also hosts the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes (CMMAP), a multi-institutional National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. For more information about the Department of Atmospheric Science, go to