Gretchen Mullendore chosen to lead NCAR’s Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Laboratory

Mullendore joins MMM from the University of North Dakota, where she chairs the atmospheric sciences department.

Oct 13, 2020 - by Staff

Gretchen Mullendore has been selected to lead the Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Laboratory (MMM) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Mullendore, who currently serves as a professor and chair of the atmospheric sciences department at the University of North Dakota (UND), will join NCAR January 18, 2021. 

“We are pleased to welcome Gretchen to NCAR. She is a stellar scientist and her scientific vision for MMM, combined with her leadership experience, passion for mentoring, and commitment to supporting scientists from a diverse range of backgrounds, will position the lab for success under the new NCAR Strategic Plan and beyond,” said NCAR Director Everette Joseph. “In particular, I welcome her academic experience serving the educational and pedagogical needs of rising scientists in non-R1 schools, which we hope to employ in strengthening NCAR’s partnerships with often underserved institutions, such as minority-serving institutions and colleges focused on undergraduate education. I look forward to the continued scientific excellence of MMM under her leadership.” 

Mullendore has taught atmospheric science at UND since 2007 and recently became chair of the atmospheric sciences department. She is an expert in the dynamics of deep convection and numerical weather prediction. In particular, her research focuses on connecting the dynamics of storms to observational data by linking thermodynamic theory to the representation in the weather models and using observations in novel ways to validate those models.

Mullendore has collaborated frequently with NCAR scientists on research projects. She currently serves on the scientific advisory boards for the Developmental Testbed Center and for Unidata, a program at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. She has also served as chair or co-chair for several committees, including the American Meteorological Society Committee on Mesoscale Processes, which organizes a conference on this topic. Mullendore earned her Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Washington. 

Mullendore is also deeply passionate about teaching and mentorship, focusing on implementing inclusionary practices in science to capture the full spectrum of approaches that can help tackle scientific problems. She is the co-founder of UND Women in Science organization and worked for several years as the science liaison between the research universities and tribal colleges in North Dakota. In 2017 she received an excellence in teaching, research, and service award in recognition of the impact of her research and dedication to training the next generation of science students.

“I’m thrilled to work with the premier scientists of MMM, and to continue to lead innovation in theoretical research and model development at NCAR,” said Mullendore. “I also look forward to increasing the visibility of MMM in the scientific community and the broader public. There is a lot of potential for our research to provide meaningful and forward-looking solutions that will benefit society.” 

As MMM Director, Mullendore will be responsible for advancing MMM’s mission to advance the understanding of the meso- and microscale aspects of weather and climate, and to apply this knowledge to benefit society. She will also work closely with the NCAR Directorate to align her strategic direction for MMM with the new NCAR Strategic Plan.


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