NOAA 2005-R527
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Robert M. Atlas has been selected as the new director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, Fla. The laboratory conducts research in oceanography, tropical meteorology, atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, and climate. Atlas is expected to begin Aug. 22.

“Dr. Atlas brings a rich blend of expertise that is particularly well suited to AOML’s mission,” said Richard D. Rosen, NOAA assistant administrator of the office of oceanic and atmospheric research. “His research interests and management background span observing system design, data assimilation, atmospheric and oceanographic modeling, and weather prediction including hurricane forecasting.”

Atlas is the chief meteorologist for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Laboratory for Atmospheres in Greenbelt, Md. Prior to this position, Atlas headed the NASA Data Assimilation Office at Goddard during 1998 – 2003.

During his years with NASA, Atlas was a principal investigator on numerous studies aimed at advancing the understanding of air-sea-land interactions through the use of satellite observations. He pioneered efforts to demonstrate the beneficial impact of satellite temperature soundings and surface winds data on weather prediction. Atlas studies the formation, movement, and intensification of hurricanes with the aid of computer models and satellite observations.

Atlas holds a Ph.D. in meteorology and oceanography from New York University, and his dissertation involved ocean modeling.

AOML has been without a permanent director since Kristina Katsaros retired in September 2003. Judith Gray and Peter Ortner have served as acting directors until a permanent director was hired. Ortner will remain as AOML’s chief scientist and Gray will resume her duties as deputy director.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

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