Arrivals and Departures: September 2014

ESSIC has become a “hub” for science professionals of all levels. The Center maintains a fluid and dynamic staffing approach, which evolves in accordance with current educational and research commitments.

New Appointments

Dr. Jicheng Liu

Trained in meteorology and remote sensing, Dr. Liu’s research focuses on land parameter retrievals using satellite data and how they could be used to improve the performance of weather forecasting models.


Dr. William Lau

Before joining ESSIC, Bill Lau was the Deputy Director of the Earth Science Division at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. At ESSIC, he will continue research on monsoon climate dynamics, aerosol-water cycle interactions, extreme weather, climate variability and change.


Dr. Ujjwal Narayan

Ujjwal’s has research experience in microwave remote sensing of soil moisture, hydrological modeling and land atmosphere interaction studies using numerical weather prediction models. He is also experienced in software development in the geographic information systems field. At ESSIC he will be working with a team of scientists to improve 0 – 1 hr and 0-6 hr forecasts of convective initiation using satellite observations, NWP data in conjunction with GIS and data mining strategies.


Dr. Jay Zwally

Before joining ESSIC, Dr. Zwally was Chief Cryospheric Scientist and ICESat Project Scientist in the Earth Science Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  After receiving his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Maryland, he was Visiting Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics and became involved in polar research as Program Manager for Glaciology and Remote Sensing at NSF’s Office of Polar Programs.  At ESSIC, he will continue his scientific research on polar ice sheets, sea ice, and climatic interactions. He was recentlly appointed Adjunct Professor in AOSC.


Mr. James Gurka

Prior to joining ESSIC, James was the Ground Segment Project Scientist in the GOES-R Program Office within NOAA/NESDIS at the Goddard Space Flight Center.  His focus as project scientist was to ensure user readiness for GOES-R.  At ESSIC he will be the “GOES-R Training Program Coordinator”. This position assists with all phases of user readiness to provide a comprehensive training program for NOAA staff and partners.


Dr. Korak Saha

Before joining ESSIC as a Research Associate, Korak worked as a CSU Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) postdoctoral scientist at NOAA/NESDIS/STAR Ocean Sensor Branch. He has a PhD in Microwave remote sensing for GPS based navigation and water vapor observations and few years of experience in microwave land emissivity retrievals. Presently, through ESSIC he is working for the Surface Oceanography Unit at NODC/NOAA for Satellite based Ocean Data curation, including archiving and QA assurance.


Dr. Daniel Comarazamy

Before joining ESSIC as a Research Associate he was a Post Doctoral Research Fellow with CCNY’s CREST Center in a joint appointment with NESDIS/STAR studying the impacts of regional and global climate change on local sensitive ecosystems using an integrated modeling and observation approach. Now, working with NOAA’s SOCD he will be doing regional ocean modeling with 4DVAR assimilation of satellite data.


Dr. Jiun-dar Chern

Dr. Chern has more than 25 years of experience in atmospheric modeling including mesoscale, global climate, and cloud modeling. In the past 14 years, he worked at NASA/GSFC as an associate research scientist in UMBC/GEST and MSU/GESTAR programs. He worked on the improvements of physics of the Goddard global models GEOS-4 and GEOS-5. He is the primary developer of Goddard Multiscale Modeling Framework (or superparameterization) that replaced convectional cloud parameterization in GEOS models with the Goddard Cloud Ensemble (GCE) model. At ESSIC, he will continue work on the improvement of microphysical schemes in the Goddard MMF to improve climate prediction and provide MMF global cloud dataset for the GPM algorithm developing teams.


Dr. Xiaolei Zou

Before joining ESSIC, Dr. Zou was a tenured professor in the department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University. At ESSIC, she will continue research on satellite data calibration and assimilation for improved hurricane forecasts and coastal quantitative precipitation forecasts.


Recent Departures

Guangming Zheng

Zaizhong Ma

Richard Hansell

Bin Han

This information is compiled monthly by Center Assistant Director, Andy Negri. For further information or to provide additional input or corrections, please contact Andy directly.