NOAA 99-R508
Contact: Daphne Zara

Norman Meteorology Researcher Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Douglas K. Lilly, distinguished senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory and emeritus professor of meteorology at The University of Oklahoma has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Election results were announced Tuesday during the organization's annual meeting. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, non-profit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters.

Members and foreign associates are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer.

"Doug Lilly is truly a national resource who has made many contributions to the fundamental understanding of small scale atmospheric phenomena," said Jeff Kimpel, Director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory. "He is an outstanding leader who has guided the careers of a large number of younger scientists. In addition, he is the intellectual leader partially responsible for the phenomenal growth and accomplishments of Oklahoma's weather center programs."

The NAS membership as of March 15 was 1,766 active members, 87 emeritus members and 300 foreign associates. New members and foreign associates are elected annually. Although anyone may suggest a name for membership, formal proposals for nomination must come from members of the Academy who belong to various disciplinary sections (scientific fields). These sections consider a large number of candidates and, from this group, select a few for nomination and possible election. Lilly joins the geophysics section of the NAS.

A professor of meteorology at The University of Oklahoma (OU) since 1982, Lilly held the Robert Lowry endowed chair in meteorology from 1992 until his retirement in 1995. At OU, he served as the director of the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, Science and Technology Center from 1989 to 1994 and director of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies from 1987 to 1991. Before joining OU, he was a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and a research meteorologist with NOAA's General Circulation Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

Lilly's major areas of research have focused on small scale atmospheric phenomena, including convective storms, mountain waves, turbulence and oceanic clouds.

Born in San Francisco, Lilly received his Ph.D. in 1958 and M.S. in 1955, both in meteorology from Florida State University, and a B.S. in physics from Stanford University in 1950. He served active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1950 to 1953.

His many honors in the meteorology field include receiving the Second Half Century Award in 1973 and the Carl-Gustav Rossby Medal in 1986, both from the American Meteorological Society, and the Symons Gold Medal from the Royal Meteorological Society in 1993.

Lilly and his wife of 45 years, Judith, have three children: Kathryn, Donald and Carol.

Information about the National Severe Storms Laboratory can be found on the Internet at: