NCAR scientist Richard Rotunno elected to National Academy of Sciences

Richard Rotunno joins 120 new members elected to the Academy in 2023

May 15, 2023 - by Ali Branscombe

Richard Rotunno
               Richard Rotunno

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Richard Rotunno has been named a new member of the National Academy of Sciences, a distinguished honor given to those who have achieved excellence in research. Rotunno is a senior scientist in the Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology (MMM) laboratory at NCAR, where he studies severe weather such as tornadoes, supercell thunderstorms, squall lines, hurricanes, and more. Rotunno is an expert in modeling meteorological phenomena and working on fluid-dynamics problems in the models that help produce accurate forecasts. 

“Rich is a leader in meteorological modeling and has contributed a great deal to the Earth science field, so we are all very proud to see his name among this year’s cohort of elected members,” said NCAR Director Everette Joseph. “His work on atmospheric predictability, severe convective storms, and mountain-wake lee vortices are among the highly impactful contributions he has made to the field.” 

Rotunno began his NCAR career in 1976 as a postdoctoral research fellow and has since worked in a variety of scientific leadership roles, including director of MMM from 2010-2014. He has received a number of awards and honors for his work improving forecasting of mesoscale weather phenomena. His most recent awards from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) include the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal and a Lifetime Achievement Award for his research in severe local storms. He has been an AMS Fellow since 1994.

“Being elected to the National Academies of Sciences is a great distinction and thus speaks to the quality and value of Rich’s work to society,” said Antonio Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation, which manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation. “Thank you to the National Academy of Sciences for this recognition of scientific excellence and congratulations to Rich on this career accomplishment.” 

“It is gratifying to know the type of science I do is appreciated and has contributed to the advancement of several areas of knowledge,” said Rotunno. “As an NCAR scientist I have benefitted through the years from the presence of many talented colleagues, especially postdoctoral fellows. With these collaborators, I was able to carry out a successful research program in diverse areas of theoretical atmospheric dynamics.” 

The 2023 cohort includes 120 new members who are recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. This brings the total number of active Academy members to 2,565. Read more about this year’s cohort from the National Academy of Sciences’ press release.

See all News