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University of Wisconsin–Madison

AOS Department

AOS Faculty:

  • Steven Ackerman - Professor, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
  • Ángel Adames-Corraliza - Assistant Professor
  • Larissa Back - Professor, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies
  • Ankur Desai - Professor, Department Chair
  • Stephanie Henderson - Assistant Professor
  • Matthew Hitchman - Professor
  • Tracey Holloway - Professor
  • Tristan L’Ecuyer - Professor, Director of Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
  • Elizabeth Maroon - Assistant Professor
  • Jonathan Martin – Professor, Faculty Director of Professional Master’s
  • Michaal Morgan - Professor (on leave)
  • Mayra Oyola-Merced - Assistant Professor
  • Grant Petty - Professor
  • Brad Pierce - Professor, Director of Space Science and Engineering Center
  • Angela Rowe - Assistant Professor
  • Daniel Vimont - Professor
  • Till Wagner – Assistant Professor
  • Hannah Zanowski – Assistant Professor

AOS Staff:

  • Christi Balas Levenson - Department Administrator
  • Scott Dyke - Communications Specialist
  • Kaitlyn Heinlein - Graduate Program Manager (Professional MS)
  • Carolyn Lipke - Research Administrator
  • Pete Pokrandt - Department Systems Programmer
  • Sabrina Manero - Physical Sciences Undergraduate Advisor
  • Dee Van Ruyven - Graduate Program Manager (Research MS & PhD)


Day-to-day management of the department is overseen by the department chair and the department administrator in consultation with the two associate chairs. Major policy decisions and other departmental initiatives are generally referred to the full faculty (consisting of all tenured and untenured professors), which typically meets the first Wednesday of each month during the academic year. These meetings are open and are often attended by representatives from the staff and graduate students. The Professional Master’s Program is overseen by a faculty director and a program manager, with support from the Professional Master’s Committee.

Much of the specialized governance work of the faculty is delegated to a variety of standing committees, the most significant of which include:

  • Alumni Committee: Responsible for maintaining ties between the department and AOS alumni and for overseeing the production of the annual newsletter.
  • Assessment Committee: Oversees annual activities mandated by the college to assess and report on the quality of selected aspects of our undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Awards Committee: Identifies and, where appropriate, pursues opportunities to seek recognition for deserving members of our students, staff, and faculty.
  • Colloquium Committee: Schedules outside speakers for our Monday Colloquium series and facilitates travel arrangements.
  • Curriculum Committee: Broadly responsible for monitoring and responding to issues relating to our undergraduate and graduate curricula, including course proposals, degree requirements, learning objectives, etc.
  • Graduate Admissions Committee: Meets in early Spring Semester to evaluate applications for Fall admission to our graduate program and at other times as needed.
  • Graduate Program Committee: Consisting of the department chair, the associate chair of graduate studies, both program managers, the department administrator, and up to two faculty and two student representatives, this committee oversees the conduct of the graduate program and responds to specific policy issues as they arise.
  • Merit Review Committee: Consisting of the department chair and two elected faculty, this committee conducts the annual merit review exercise for faculty and academic staff.
  • Professional Master’s Committee: Consisting of the department chair, the associate chair of graduate studies, the graduate program manager, the department administrator, and the Curriculum Committee chair, this committee oversees the Professional Master’s Program.

In addition to the above committees, the Executive Committee, consisting of all tenured professors, is responsible for decisions related to personnel hiring and retention, salary, and allocation of departmental resources. Unlike departmental meetings, Executive Committee meetings are closed.

Our faculty has long maintained breadth and special strength in three areas:

  • Climate systems, including the ocean
  • Satellite meteorology and remote sensing
  • Weather systems, including synoptic-dynamic meteorology

Many other excellent course opportunities are found in more than a dozen related science departments on our campus. We collaborate closely with research groups on satellite/remote sensing and climate systems including the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), the Center for Climate Research (CCR), and the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). The department is home to the Wisconsin State Climatology Office (SCO).