NOAA 2001-R119
Contact: Carmeyia Gillis


Donald R. Johnson, a highly regarded climate and numerical model expert, today was named special project scientist for the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Beginning Dec. 1, Johnson will lead research projects aimed at furthering NOAA's climate prediction and modeling capabilities.

In this position, Johnson will work on the development of advanced weather and climate environmental models that can be used by research and operational forecast communities. Organizations that he will interface with include: the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and NASA, among others. Johnson will also mentor NCEP scientists.

"Creating this new position is a signal of how serious we are about continuing to improve our climate and weather models," said Jack Kelly, NOAA's National Weather Service director. "NOAA will engage Dr. Johnson in its efforts to work with the larger modeling community to develop the next generation of global analysis and modeling systems needed to advance operational weather climate prediction."

Johnson presently serves as vice president for Earth sciences at the Universities Space Research Association in Columbia, Md. He is also professor emeritus of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a past president of the American Meteorological Society. Johnson's articles have been widely published in professional and scientific journals. He also has served as chief editor of Monthly Weather Review, and of the AMS Meteorological Monographs (1990-1998).

For 30 years, Johnson taught a variety of courses. Most notably, he has engaged in extensive research on the secondary and planetary circulation of the atmosphere.

"Dr. Johnson is a renowned expert in atmospheric energetics, global circulation and the utilization of advanced research models for analysis and prediction," said NCEP director, Louis Uccellini.

Johnson's memberships include: the AMS, the National Weather Association, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he has sustained a record number of outstanding accomplishments. He has served as a member, chairman of numerous committees in conjunction with scientific activities, and participated frequently in scientific reviews for the National Research Council, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, NCAR, NSF, NASA, and NOAA.

"Dr. Johnson's extensive knowledge of the numerical analysis of complex weather and climate prediction models will be an invaluable contribution to NOAA as we work on the next generation global modeling systems," said Stephen Lord, director of NOAA's Environmental Modeling Center.

NCEP consist of nine national centers each with specific responsibilities to mitigate the effects of climate and weather threats to the United States and its inhabitants. These centers include: Aviation Weather Center, Climate Prediction Center, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, Marine Prediction Center, Environmental Modeling Center, Space Environment Center, Storm Prediction Center and Tropical Prediction Center.

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