NOAA 2002-R306
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Jun Li, a University of Wisconsin-Madison research scientist, will receive the NOAA-David S. Johnson Award, given annually by the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Space Club. Li will receive the award on March 22 at the 45th Annual Goddard Memorial Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Li, an assistant scientist in the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at UW-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center, has helped guide projects that evaluate and enhance the U.S. remote sensing program for NOAA's geostationary operational environmental satellites (GOES) and polar-orbiting operational environmental satellites (POES).

Born and raised in China, and now a U.S. citizen, Li first visited CIMSS in 1993-95 to develop programs to retrieve useful information from satellite observations. He returned to Beijing's Institute of Atmospheric Physics to complete his studies. He received a doctorate in philosophy in 1997, and was asked by the CIMSS director to come to CIMSS to develop a program in meteorological satellite products.

Since then, Jun Li has become a leader in several key research areas: the development and implementation of several products from the current GOES sounder and future high-spectral resolution sounders, the development and evaluation of combined POES/GOES retrievals, algorithm development for the NASA MODIS research instrument, and cloud classification studies.

In his five years as CIMSS researcher, Li has demonstrated that data from infrared instruments combined with data from microwave instruments provides more data about the atmosphere than was possible from either type of instrument alone. This has resulted in greater knowledge about the atmosphere and improvements into weather forecasting. Li's approach to classifying clouds has minimized the reliance on troublesome threshold techniques and is improving the capability for reliable global cloud detection with a single algorithm.

The NOAA-David Johnson Award, first given in 1999, is presented by the National Space Club, in honor of the first administrator of what was to become NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA Satellite and Data Service).

This award is given to young professionals who have developed an innovative use of Earth observation satellite data (alone, or in combination with non-satellite data) that is, or could be, used for operational purposes to assess or predict atmospheric, oceanic or terrestrial conditions. It recognizes a young scientist who may be a future leader of his or her organization and who encourages new thinking, problem solving or applications of satellite data.

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA Satellite and Data Service) is the nation's primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. In addition to search and rescue, NOAA's environmental satellites are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications such as volcanic eruptions, ozone monitoring, and sea surface temperature measurements and wild fire detection. NOAA Satellite and Data Service also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and paleoclimatology. To learn more about NESDIS, please visit