Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (APS) Announcements

Dr. James Russell, III


CONGRATULATIONS! The Union Fellows Selection Committee is proud to present the 2013 AGU Fellow to Dr. James Russell, III! The Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences department would like to congratulate Dr. Russell for his leadership in developing and operating experiments, for answering questions about the Earth’s atmosphere and for the sustained impact of his work.

Established in 1962, the Fellows program recognizes AGU members who have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by a committee of Fellows. The primary criterion for evaluation of scientific eminence is a major breakthrough or discovery, paradigm shift, or sustained impact.

This year 214 nominations were submitted for review by 17 section and focus group Fellows committees. After careful consideration by the section and focus group Fellows committees, 103 nominees were submitted for final consideration and review by the Union Fellows Committee. AGU bylaws require that the size of a Fellows class be limited to no more than 0.1% of the total AGU membership. As a result, 62 individuals have been elected into the 2013 class of AGU Fellows, which includes the largest number of women elected in one year.

AGU acknowledges the tenacity and steadfast work of the volunteers who agreed to serve on a Fellows committee. The Honors Ceremony and Banquet will be held at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, December 11.

Dr. Russell joins Dr. M. Patrick McCormick to this elite group of scientists. Dr. McCormick was elected an AGU Fellow in 2008.


Come join us this semester for our APS Seminar Series on Wednesdays at 12 p.m. in Room #119, Phenix Hall Conference Room. Please come and hear about the lastest research projects going on at our unique center. For further details contact Dr. Kunio Sayanagi at 757-728-6745.

Most Recent Faculty Additions


Robert Benjamin Lee, III is a US citizen, born in Norfolk, Virginia. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physics, with a concentration in Atmospheric Sciences, from Hampton University (HU); MS in Engineering Physics from the University of Virginia; and a BS in Physics from Norfolk State University.

He has over 40 years of experience as a research scientist in the use and development of weather and climate ground-based and spacecraft remote sensors, obtained at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center (LaRC), Hampton, VA 23681. At NASA, he served as a co-investigator on several international spacecraft missions/science teams, such as the NASA Earth-Radiation Budget Experiment ERBE), the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System [CERES], and the Space Shuttle Hitchhiker Program, Belgium SOLCON (Solar Constant) investigation. He is the author/co-author of over 200 technical papers/articles.

In November 2013, he became a HU Postdoctoral Fellow, working with Professor M. Patrick McCormick, in the Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department. Dr. Lee is responsible for conducting lidar research related to the measurements of tropospheric aerosols, temperature, water vapor, and wind fields profiles.


Dr. Tao Li is an internationally recognized atmospheric scientist from the University of Science and Technology in China with over 15 years of research experience in validating satellite datasets with ground-based measurements (e.g., lidar, radar and airglow imagers) and other satellites. He has conducted numerous research projects on the seasonal, interannual and long-term variability of middle atmosphere temperature, dynamics and composition and has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals.

His extensive research experience in both satellite (e.g., TIMED, CALIPSO) and lidar (laser radar) data analysis demonstrates his unique capability to validate the SOFIE ozone product from the AIM satellite with global and ground-based ozone measurements. His expertise and insight in climate change of the middle atmosphere allows him to validate and characterize the SOFIE ozone product especially from a climate point of view, which is one of the most critical scientific questions in this century. Dr. Li has already collaborated with the TIMED SABER team and Dr. James Russell, III to study the EI Nino impact on middle atmosphere temperature.

Here at Hampton University, he will work closely with Dr. Russell and Dr. Jia Yue to correlate the change in ozone with EI Nino and other climate-related phenomena. He will report his work in a seminar at APS. His international status and recent experience with APS satellite data uniquely qualify him for expanding this work with AIM/SOFIE and HALOE data sets to characterize the ozone changes responding to El Nino, and its impact on global climate.

Dr. Xiao Liu is an Associated Professor in College of Mathematics and Information Science at Henan Normal University in China. He is visiting Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences during May 31-August 30, 2013 as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. in Space Physics from National Space Science Center at Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing in 2007.

He has developed two- and three- dimensional numerical model to simulate the atmospheric gravity waves propagating from the troposphere/stratosphere to the mesosphere/thermosphere. Using the model he has completed many interesting works related to the gravity waves and their interactions with tides. Moreover, he is doing data analysis of the climatology of thermospheric wind based on the FPI observations in China. Here at Hampton University, Dr. Liu is working with Dr. Jia Yue and Dr. James Russell, III to analyze the SOFIE/AIM temperature data and study gravity waves at polar regions.

Dr. Yuefeng Zhao was a Vice Professor in the School of Physics and Electronics at Shandong Normal University. He received his Ph.D. at Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (AIOFM), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2007. He is visiting Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences department for six months as a Visiting Scholar.

Dr. Zhao research includes all solid state laser, array type laser marking machines, and photoelectric detection. He also built a laser radar prototype, using Raman method to detect the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Dr. Zhao is currently engaged in the research of photoelectric detection and other research projects which include:

  • Study on RAMAN gain lidar to detect the tropospheric carbon dioxide concentration.
  • Study on the measurement of based on frequency modulation optical fiber.

Here at Hampton University, Dr. Zhao is working with Drs. Su and McCormick on developing techniques on the measurement of aerosol and CO2 using lidars, including raman techniques.

Dr. Jiyao Xu, Professor and Vice Director of State Key Lab. of Space Weather, Center for Space Science and Applied Research of Chinese Academy of Science. He is visiting Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences Department at Hampton University during November 17-26 ,2013.

He studied tidal waves, planetary waves, effect of aurora heating on the atmospheric structure, effect of variations of thermospheric density on the satellite orbits, modulations of tides and gravity waves on airglow emissions using satellite data, such as TIMED/SABER, AURA/MLS, CHAMP, GRACE, and ground-based observations. He has developed two-dimensional photochemical-dynamical coupling gravity wave numerical model to study the atmospheric gravity waves propagating from the troposphere/stratosphere to the mesosphere/thermosphere and its effect on the photochemistry and airglow emissions and sodium layer.

Here at Hampton University, Dr. Xu attended the SABER meeting and worked with Dr. Jia Yue and Dr. James Russell, III to analyze the SABER temperature and airglow data and study the tidal waves.

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