Allison McComiskey named director of NCAR’s Earth Observing Laboratory

McComiskey comes to NCAR from the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory

Jun 20, 2023 - by Staff

                                Allison McComiskey

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has named Allison McComiskey the new director of its Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL). McComiskey currently serves as the chair of the Environmental and Climate Sciences Department (ECSD) at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and will begin her new position at NCAR on September 11.

“Allison has dedicated her career to improving observations and long-term monitoring of the Earth system, using the combination of atmospheric sensing and modeling approaches to support the fundamental climate and atmospheric science done at NCAR and in the broader Earth science community,” said NCAR Director Everette Joseph. “Her history of leadership, management, and research interests in the field shows her commitment to the foundational work that underlies our field and we are excited to welcome Allison into her new role.” 

Prior to working at ECSD, McComiskey worked for NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory for 15 years managing long-term monitoring programs for atmospheric radiation, aerosols, and cloud properties. She also led the Global Monitoring Laboratory Radiation Group, which is part of one of the longest-running global climate monitoring networks. McComiskey has held a variety of leadership and research roles for the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility, most recently as the chair of the Aerosol Measurement Science Group at ARM from 2014 to 2022. McComiskey holds a doctorate in geography from the University of California.

“I've committed my career to making available better observations of the Earth system, and those years in different observational programs have taught me a lot about leading a successful program. I am excited to join EOL as it is one of the premier Earth-observing facilities in the United States,” said McComiskey. “EOL is measurement-oriented and dedicated to field operations, which is a dynamic that I enjoy because it brings people together to make something big happen.”

McComiskey will manage EOL’s programs that focus on monitoring Earth's atmosphere through observational research, field project support, and data collection. She will also be responsible for ensuring the research community has access to the cutting-edge tools required to monitor the Earth system, such as aircraft, instrumentation, software, datasets, and expert staff support. As EOL Director, she will also play a key role in ensuring that a state-of-the-art new radar being designed and built by NCAR, called the Airborne Phased Array Radar, will be accessible to the broader research community. EOL is also in charge of the NCAR Research Aviation Facility in Broomfield, Colorado, which houses the NSF/NCAR C-130 and Gulfstream V aircraft. Additionally, McComiskey will work closely with the NCAR Directorate to align the direction for EOL with the NCAR Strategic Plan.

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