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February Monthly Highlight- Welcome Angela Rowe

February 21, 2020

The AOS department would like to extend a warm welcome to one of our newest faculty members, Assistant Professor Angela Rowe. As part of her welcome to the AOS team, we have decided to make her welcome interview February’s Monthly Highlight.

Her personal website can be found here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in rural western Maryland where major blizzards, damaging winds, frequent thunderstorms, and the movie Twister all shaped my strong interest in Meteorology from a young age. Through the encouragement of my parents and teachers, I learned about all the exciting possibilities of a meteorology degree as a first-generation student at Millersville University. My love for research developed during an REU internship in Norman, OK where I used radar to infer hail size, while also heading outside to collect in situ observations and chase storms. This experience led me to CSU for graduate school then to the other UW (in Seattle) as a Postdoc then Research Scientist. Over the years, I’ve been grateful to have turned my passions for extreme weather, being outdoors, and travel into a career focused on collecting meteorological observations around the world using radar as a primary tool. My hobbies are also intrinsically linked to keeping an eye on the weather as I enjoy hiking, mushroom hunting, and talking to anyone and everyone about clouds.

What do you find exciting about coming to UW-Madison?

UW-Madison’s AOS department has always been on my radar (apologies for the pun) as a program producing excellent graduates going out into diverse parts of the field. I’ve looked to CIMMS and SSEC as leaders in the field of satellite meteorology and am thrilled to have the opportunity to locally collaborate on research featuring combined satellite- and ground-based observations. I’m located on the 9th floor (stop by and say hi!) next to the lidar group with the goal of our proximity leading to exciting research collaborations with my radar interests. During my first month here, I’ve been welcomed into combined group meetings and am thrilled about this collaborative, supportive environment that extends into the broader university. I look forward to building relationships and research projects with the faculty, students, and staff here.

What courses are you interested in teaching?

First off for Fall 2020, I’m aiming to bring back the Cloud Physics course (AOS 637). I’m also interested in teaching Mesoscale Meteorology (453), the newly developed measurements course (404), and Radar and Satellite Meteorology (441). Eventually, I see an exciting opportunity in developing a graduate elective course focused solely on radar meteorology.

What research projects are you currently working on?

My current projects span many regions and phenomena with the common factor of using radar measurements to understand precipitation processes. I’m currently funded on the NSF RELAMPAGO project to study severe convection in central Argentina and am wrapping up work from the OLYMPEX field campaign in Washington State where we are aiming to understand orographic influences on precipitation processes in wintertime west coast frontal systems. I’m excited about two upcoming projects with field components: this summer, I’ll head to Taiwan for the PRECIP campaign to investigate processes leading to heavy rainfall in this moisture-rich mountainous region then to the Cape Verde Islands for a NASA study using airborne radar and lidar to study convective processes in the ITCZ.

In your personal website, you mention that you have a passion for public and educational outreach. How do you plan to continue your outreach goals at UW-Madison?

My outreach efforts have spanned from funded programs for bringing graduate students in the field to visiting remote schools for discussing weather impacts and career opportunities to public science cafes where we put a face to scientists and highlight the importance and challenges of research. As a starting point, I plan to link up with current programs and established relationships through the department and university-wide that promote interactions with schools to get younger students excited about science, be a positive representative as a female scientist, and help provide resources to show students paths towards college in STEM fields. I also plan to revamp my online Community Cloud Atlas to integrate with ongoing efforts in SSEC to bring a strong citizen science effort to cloud observations and research.

If you have any suggestions for a Monthly Highlight, please send an email to