ASP Thompson Lecture - Chasing a Giant –Reginald Sutcliffe and the invention of modern synoptic-dynamic meteorology

Please join us for the second ASP Thompson Lecture of 2018.

This seminar will feature Doctor Jonathan E. Martin from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Abstract:It could well be argued that modern synoptic-dynamic meteorology was christened by three intellectual advances; 1) the adoption of isobaric coordinates as a means of simplifying the equation of continuity, 2) the development of the quasi-geostrophic system of equations to approximate and simplify the equations of motion, and 3) the formulation of an omega equation that could both qualitatively and quantitatively diagnose regions of upward and downward vertical motions at the cyclone scale as well as explain the ubiquity of the transverse circulations at fronts.  Though many eminent thinkers in our field contributed to these developments in the two decades after WW II, all three of them originated before and during the war from aspects of the work of a single scientist – Reginald C. Sutcliffe.

In this talk I will share the experiences I had over the past three years chasing the scientific and personal history of this giant in the field.  His life included moments that testify to the great power of inspirational teachers, the horror and waste of war, the inevitable momentum of good ideas and the necessity of broad vision in both human and scientific affairs that leads to the creation of important and successful institutions.  The exhilarating adventures and discoveries I was fortunate enough to enjoy in my sabbatical year will serve as the backdrop for my account of a journey into biographical research.  I hope to relate a number of interesting stories from Sutcliffe’s impactful and interesting life as well as from my personal pursuit of his history.

This seminar will begin promptly at 1:00 pm., January 18th in the Mesa Lab Main Seminar Room, refreshments will be provided beforehand.


Room Number: 
Main Seminar Room

Type of event:

Will this event be webcast to the public by NCAR|UCAR?: 
Yes - ML-Main Seminar Room -
Announcement Timing: 
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 to Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Calendar Timing: 
Friday, January 19, 2018 - 3:00am to 4:00am

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