Colorado State University Atmospheric Scientist to be Honored with Governor’s Award

Note to Reporters: A photo of Mark DeMaria is available with the news release at

CO-LABS, the non-profit that informs the public about breakthroughs and impacts from Colorado’s 24 federally funded labs, will honor the team of Mark DeMaria, a NOAA research meteorologist with Colorado State University’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, with the 2012 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research on Oct. 25.

DeMaria is the chief of the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch for CIRA, which is a collaboration between CSU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Gov. John Hickenlooper will present the award to DeMaria’s research team at a reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 on the University of Colorado, Boulder campus in the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building. Festivities will include a video presentation featuring the award winners. Tickets are $45. For information, go to

CIRA and Advanced Technology Source will be recognized for outstanding work for The Hurricane Forecast Intensity Project and Joint Hurricane Testbed – programs that help support the research team led by DeMaria. They have created software that can produce a storm model that, when compared against satellite observations, gives a more complete picture to scientists and meteorologists alike. The team has also developed a computer model that combines satellite and other information to forecast the changes in a hurricane’s intensity. This model has been provided to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, who use it to help guide their public forecasts, which is helping to save lives.

DeMaria has also issued groundbreaking papers on hurricanes. In 2010, he was a co-author on a study that showed that relatively cool waters just below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico – within 150 miles of land – cause the most intense hurricanes to almost always lose intensity before they hit that part of the U.S. coastline. The findings could help scientists more accurately forecast hurricanes.

“Mark and his team continue to make significant contributions to our understanding of processes that affect weather and climate around the globe, and we are pleased they are receiving this recognition,” said Bill Farland, vice president for Research at Colorado State and chairman of CO-LABS for 2012-2013.

The technology is just one of many groundbreaking contributions that CSU’s CIRA has made to the scientific community in the past 30 years.

CIRA, a center for international cooperation, was established in 1980 to increase the effectiveness of atmospheric research between Colorado State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On a daily basis, CIRA scientists translate the data collected by scientific satellites and computer models for scientists around the globe to help them understand atmospheric changes that affect weather and climate.

CO-LABS advances awareness of Colorado’s federal research laboratories scientific resources and resulting research impacts. Colorado boasts 24 federally funded scientific research laboratories with a high concentration of renowned scientists whose work has global impact in a number of areas including natural resource management, climate change, renewable energy, photonics, and astrophysics.