Steven A. Ackerman
Prof. Atmos and Ocean Sciences
Director, CIMSS
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Academic Education

1985-1987 Colorado State University; Ph.D. - Atmospheric Science; Advisor: Dr. Stephen K. Cox; Dissertation: "Radiative Characteristics of a Dust Laden Atmosphere"

1976-1979 Colorado State University; M.S. - Atmospheric Science

1972-1976 State University of New York - Oneonta

Awards

  • May 2011: Elected Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters
  • May 2010: NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal
  • June 2009: State University of New York at Oneonta: Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • Jan 2009: American Meteorological Society’s Teaching Excellence Award
  • Summer 2004: UW-Madison Vilas Research Associate
  • Spring 2003: Winner of the Society of Academic Author’s Talby prize to “recognize excellence in visuals in textbooks and other learning materials.”
  • Summer 2003: NASA Group Achievement Award for Outstanding Teamwork on the Earth Observing System (EOS), Aqua Mission Team
  • April 1999: Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching
  • Dec 1996: NASA Group Achievement Award: FIRE II Science and Operations Team
  • April 1996: Winner of a Lilly Teaching Fellowship
  • April 1995: Inducted as a Fellow in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy
  • September 1992: NASA ERBE Program Award "For outstanding contributions to the intercomparison and validation of ERBE scanner and non-scanner results."

 

Research

Globally, the earth-atmosphere system is balanced by the radiative energy gained from the sun and lost through infrared emission. The geographic distribution of radiative energy is an important climate variable. A change in one climate variable inevitably results in a change in another variable. Thus, a shift in the radiation balance at the surface of the earth, top of the atmosphere or within the atmosphere can result in a sequence of complicated changes in global climate. My interests center on understanding how changes in the radiation balance affect and are affected by changes in other climate variables such as clouds, aerosols, water vapor and surface properties. These feedback mechanisms are studied using a compliment of theoretical models and observations.

Books and Popular Articles

  • Pryor, A., D. Kemtz, R. Olson, and S. Ackerman, 2009: Here at Home: Learning Local Culture Pedagogy through a Cultural Tour. In A View From Practice: Folklife Resources and K-12 Schooling, published by Utah State University Press - Edited by S. Swidler and P Bowman. In Press
  • Ackerman, S. A., 2008: Weather from Space, Extreme Weather, Astronomy magazine Kalmbach Publishing Co.
  • Ackerman, S. A., 2007: Developing Positive Team Collaborations. BAMS, 627-629.
  • Ackerman, S. A. and J.A. Knox, 2002: Meteorology: Understanding the atmosphere. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning. xxiii, 486p. (2nd edition published in 2006)
  • Ackerman, S. A. and R. Pincus, 2003: “Radiation in the Atmosphere: Observations and Applications,” In Handbook of Weather, Climate and Water, edited by Thomas D. Potter and Bradley R. Colman. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  • Pincus, R. and S. A. Ackerman, 2003: “Radiation in the Atmosphere: Foundations,” In Handbook of Weather, Climate and Water, edited by Thomas D. Potter and Bradley R. Colman. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  • Higgins, Nadia (illustrated by D. Ward and content by S. Ackerman), 2010: Weather Watchers: A children's book series on weather: "It's a Tornado!"; "It's a Thunderstorm!"; "It's Hailing!"; "It's a Tsunami!"; "It's Snowing!"; and "It's Raining!". Published by The Magic Wagon.

 

Recent Publications

Crone, W. C., S. L. Dunwoody, R. K. Rediske, S. A. Ackerman, G. M. Zenner Peterson, and R. A. Yaros, 2011: Informal Science Education: A Practicum for Graduate Students. Accepted for publication in Innovative Higher Education

Maddux, B. C., S. A. Ackerman,and S. Platnick, 2010: Viewing Geometry Dependencies in MODIS Cloud Products. J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech. 27, no. 9, pp 1519-1528.

Winker, D. M., J. Pelon, J. A. Coakley Jr., S. A. Ackerman, R. J. Charlson, P. R. Colarco, P. Flamant, Q. Fu, R. Hoff, C. Kittaka, T. L. Kubar, H. LeTreut, M. P. McCormick, G. Megie, L. Poole, K. Powell, C. Trepte, M. A. Vaughan, and B. A. Wielicki, 2010: The CALIPSO Mission: A Global 3D View of Aerosols and Clouds. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 91, pp 1211-1229.

Zhao, T. X.-P, S. A. Ackerman, and Wei Guo, 2010: Dust and Smoke Detection for Multi-Channel Imagers, Remote Sens. 2010, 2(10), 2347-2368; doi:10.3390/rs2102347

Von P. Walden, V. P., R. L. Tanamachi, P. M. Rowe, H. E. Revercomb, D. C. Tobin, and S. A. Ackerman, 2010: Improvements in the data quality of the Interferometric Monitor of Greenhouse Gases (IMG). Applied Optics, 49, Issue 3, 520-528.

Foster, M. J., S. A. Ackerman, A. K. Heidinger, and B. C. Maddux, 2010: Global Cloudiness [in "State of the Climate in 2009"]. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 91, S34‐S35.

Liu, Y., S. A. Ackerman, B. C. Maddux, J. R. Key, and R. A. Frey, 2010: Errors in Cloud Detection Over the Arctic and Implications for Observing Feedback Mechanisms, J. Climate, 23, Issue 6, 1894-1907.

Schmit, T. J., L. Jun, S. A. Ackerman, and J. J. Gurka, 2009: High-Spectral and High-spectral Temporal Resolution Infrared Measurements from Geostationary Orbit. J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech., 26, 2273-2292.

Wu, D. L., S. A. Ackerman, R. Davies, D. J. Diner, M. J. Garay, B.H. Kahn, B. C. Maddux, C. M. Moroney, G. L. Stephens, J. P. Veefkind, and M. A. Vaughn, 2009: Vertical distributions and relationships of cloud occurrence frequency as observed by MISR, AIRS, MODIS, OML, CALIPSO, and CloudSat. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, Doi:10.1029/2009GL037464.

Cheetam, J., S. A. Ackerman, and K. Christoph, 2009: Podcasting: A Stepping Stone to Pedagogical Innovation. Educause Quarterly; the on-line article can be found at http://engage.doit.wisc.edu/edu_podcasting/.

Sieglaff, J. M., T. J. Schmit, W. P. Menzel and S. A. Ackerman, 2009: Inferring Convective Weather Characteristics with Geostationary High-spectral Resolution IR Window Measurements: A Look into the Future, J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech., doi:10.1175/2009JTECHA1210.1, 1527-1541.

Ackerman, S. A., J. Phillips, D. Bull, and T. Achtor, 2009: Using a Publication Analysis to Explore Mission Success. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 90, 1313-1320.

Foster, M. J., S. A. Ackerman, R. Bennartz, A. K. Heidinger, B. C. Maddux, and W. B. Rossow, 2009: Global Cloudiness [in "State of the Climate in 2008"]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, S29‐S30.

Feltz, W. F., K. M. Bedka, J. A. Otkin, T. Greenwald, and S. A. Ackerman, 2009: Understanding Satellite-Observed Mountain Wave Signatures Using High-Resolution Numerical Model Data. Wea. Forecasting. 24, 76-86.

Crone, W. C., R. K. Rediske, S. A. Ackerman, and S. L. Dunwoody, 2009: Engaging Science and Engineering Graduate Students with Informal Science Education. American Society for Engineering Education. Extended abstracts of 116th Annual conference and Exposition, June 13-17, 2009, Austin, TX.

Liu, C-Y, J. Li, E. Weisz,. T. J. Schmit, S. A. Ackerman, and H-L Huang, 2008: Synergistic use of AIRS and MODIS radiance measurements for atmospheric profiling.GRL, 35, L21802, doi:10.1029/2008GL035859. , 1057-1072

Holz, R.E., S. A. Ackerman, F.W. Nagle, R. Frey, R.E. Kuehn, S. Dutcher, M. A. Vaughan and B. Baum., 2008: Global MODIS Cloud Detection and Height Evaluation Using CALIOP. J. Geophys. Res. doi:10.1029/2008JD009837


Wagner, T. J., W. F. Feltz, and S. A. Ackerman, 2008: The Temporal Evolution of Convective Indices in Storm-Producing Environments, Wea. Forecasting, 23, 786-794.


Frey, R. A., S. A. Ackerman, Y. Liu, K. I. Strabala, H. Zhang, J. Key and X. Wang, 2008: Cloud Detection with MODIS, Part I: Recent Improvements in the MODIS Cloud Mask , JTECH.25, 1057-1072


Ackerman, S. A., R. E. Holz, R. Frey, E. W. Eloranta, B. Maddux, and M. McGill, 2008: Cloud Detection with MODIS: Part II Validation. JTECH.25, 1073-1086

Ackerman, S. A., A. J. Schreiner, T. J. Schmit, H. M. Woolf, J. Li1, and M. Pavolonis, 2008: Using the GOES Sounder to Monitor Upper-level SO2 from Volcanic Eruptions. Jour. Geo. Res. . Volume 113, 2008, Doi:10.1029/2007JD009622


Wagner, T. J., W. F. Feltz, and S. A. Ackerman, 2007: The Temporal Evolution of Convective Indices in Storm-Producing Environments, Wea. Forecasting 23, 786- 794..


Ackerman, S., 2007: Developing Positve Team Collaborations, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88, Doi:10.1175/BAMS-88-5-627.

Brunner, J. C., S. A. Ackerman, A. S. Bachmeier, and R. M. Rabin, 2007: A Quantitative Analysis of the Enhanced-V Feature in Relation to Severe Weather. Wea. Forecasting, 22, No. 4, 853-872.


Schreiner, A. J., S. A. Ackerman, B. A. Baum, and A. K. Heidinger, 2007: A Multi-Spectral Technique for Detecting Low Level Cloudiness Near Sunrise. JTECH, 24, 10, 1800-1810.

Li, Z., J. Li, W. P. Menzel, T. J. Schmit, and S. A. Ackerman, 2007: Comparison between current and future environmental satellite imagers on cloud classification using MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment. 108, 311-326.


Wang, F., J. Li, T. Schmit, and S. A. Ackerman 2007: Trade-off studies of a hyperspectral infrared sounder on a geostationary satellite. Appl. Optics, 46, 2 200-209.

Uhlenbrock, N. L., K. M. Bedka, W. F. Feltz, and S. A. Ackerman, 2007: Mountain Waves Signatures in MODIS 6.7 micron Imagery and Their Relation to Pilot Reports of Turbulence. Wea. Forecasting. 22, 662-670.


Hong, G., P. Yang, H -L Huang, S. A. Ackerman, and I. N. Sokolik, 2006: High-resolution infrared spectral signature of overlapping cirrus clouds and mineral dust. JGR Lett. 33, L04805, 4pp.

Holz, R., S. A. Ackerman, P. Antonelli, F. Nagle, R. O. Knuteson, M. McGill, D. L. Hlavka, and W. D. Hart, 2006: An Improvement to the High Spectral Resolution CO2 Slicing Cloud Top Altitude Retrieval. J.Atmos. Oceanic Technol. 23, 5, 653-670


Knox, J. A., and S. A. Ackerman, 2005: What do Introductory Meteorology Students want to Learn? Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 86, 10, 1431-1435.

Ackerman, S. A., A. S. Bachmeier, K. Strabala, and M. Gunshor, 2005: A unique satellite perspective of the 13-14 January 2004 record cold outbreak in the Northeast. Wea. Forecasting, 20, No. 2, 222-225.


Hawkinson, J. A., W. Feltz, and S. A. Ackerman, 2005: A comparison of GOES sounder- and cloud lidar- and radar-retrieved cloud-top heights. J. Appl. Meteor., 44, Issue 8, 1234-1242.


Knox, J. A. and S. A. Ackerman, 2005: What do introductory meteorology students want to learn?. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 86, Issue 10, 1431-1435.


King, M. D., S. Platnick, P. Yang, G. T. Arnold, M. A. Gray, J. C. Riedi, S. A. Ackerman, and K. Liou, 2004: Remote sensing of liquid water and ice cloud optical thickness and effective radius in the Arctic: Application of airborne multispectral MAS data. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 21, Issue 6, 857-875.


Liu, Y., J. R. Key, R. A. Frey, S. A. Ackerman, and W. P. Menzel, 2004: Nighttime polar cloud detection with MODIS. Remote Sens. Environ., Volume 92, 181-194. Call Number: Reprint # 3815


Huang, H., P. Yang, H. Wei, B. A. Baum, Y. Hu, P. Antonelli, and S. A. Ackerman, 2004: Inference of ice cloud properties from high spectral resolution infrared observations. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 42, Issue 4, 842-853. Call Number: Reprint # 3923


Lee, Y., G. Wahba, and S. A. Ackerman, 2004: Cloud classification of satellite radiance data by multicategory support vector machines. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 21, Issue 2, 159-169, corrigendum.


McCourt, M. L.; W. W. McMillan, S. A. Ackerman, R. Holz, H. E. Revercomb, and D. Tobin, 2004: Using the 'blue spike' to characterize biomass-burning sites during Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI) 2000. J. of Geophys. Res., Volume 109.


Li, J.; W. P. Menzel, Z. Yang, and R. A. Frey / S. A. Ackerman, 2003: High-spatial-resolution surface and cloud-type classification from MODIS multispectral band measurements. J. Appl. Meteor., 42, Issue 2, 204-226.


Yang, P., B. A. Baum, A. J. Heymsfield, Y. X. Hu, H. Huang, S. Tsay, and S. A. Ackerman, 2003: Single-scattering properties of droxtals. J. Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 79, 1159-1169.


Turner, D. D., S. A. Ackerman, B. A. Baum, H. E. Revercomb, and P. Yang, 2003: Cloud phase determination using ground-based AERI observations at SHEBA. J. Appl. Meteor., 42, Issue 6, 701-715.


Platnick, S., M. D. King, S. A. Ackerman, W. P. Menzel, B. A. Baum, J. C. Riedi, and R. A. Frey, 2003: The MODIS cloud products: Algorithms and examples from Terra. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 41, Issue 2, 459-473.


Moeller, C. C., H. E. Revercomb, S. A. Ackerman, W. P. Menzel, and R. O. Knuteson, 2003 Evaluation of MODIS thermal IR and L1B radiances during SAFARI 2000. J. Geophys. Res., Volume 108, (SAF 30-1)-(SAF 30-12).


King, M. D., W. P. Menzel, Y. J. Kaufmann, D. Tanre, B. Gao, S. Platnick, S. A. Ackerman, L. A. Remer, R. Pincus, and P. A. Hubanks, 2003: Cloud and aerosol properties, precipitable water, and profiles of temperature and water vapor from MODIS. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 41, Issue 2, 442-458.


Inoue, T. and S. A. Ackerman, 2002: Radiative effects of various cloud types as classified by the split window technique over the eastern sub-tropical Pacific derived from colloctated ERBE and AVHRR data. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 80, Issue 6, 1383-1394.


Whittaker, T. M. and S. A. Ackerman, 2002: Interactive web-based learning with Java. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 83, Issue 7, 970-975.


Baum, B. A., P. F. Soulen, K. I. Strabala, M. D. King, S. A. Ackerman, W. P. Menzel, and P. Yang, 2000: Remote sensing of cloud properties using MODIS airborne simulator imagery during SUCCESS. 2. Cloud thermodynamic phase. J. Geophys. Res., 105, 11,781-11,792.


Chung, S., S. Ackerman, P. F. van Delst, and W. P. Menzel, 2000: Model calculations and interferometer measurements of ice-cloud characteristics. J. Appl. Meteor., 39, Issue 5, 634-644.


Chang, F., Z. Li, and S. A. Ackerman, 2000: Examining the relationship between cloud and radiation quantities derived from satellite observations and model calculations. J. Climate, 13, Issue 21, 3842-3859.


Frey, R. A., B. A. Baum, W. P. Menzel, S. A. Ackerman, C. C. Moeller, and J. D. Spinhirne, 1999: A comparison of cloud top heights computed from airborne lidar and MAS radiance data using CO2 slicing. J. Geophys. Res., 104, 24547-24555.


Riggs, G. A., D. K. Hall, and S. A. Ackerman, 1999: Sea ice extent and classification mapping with the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer airborne simulator. Remote Sens. Environ., 68, Issue 2, 152-163.


King, M. D.; S. Tsay, S. A. Ackerman, and N. F. Larsen, 1998: Discriminating heavy aerosol, clouds, and fires during SCAR-B: Application of airborne multispectral MAS data. J. Geophys. Res., 103, 31,989-31,999.


Ackerman, S. A., K. I. Strabala, W. P. Menzel, R. A. Frey, C. C. Moeller, and L. E. Gumley, 1998: Discriminating clear sky from clouds with MODIS. J. Geophys. Res., 103, 32,141-32,157.


Smith, W. L., S. Ackerman, H. Revercomb, H. Huang, D. H. DeSlover, W. Feltz, and L. Gumley, 1998: Infrared spectral absorption of nearly invisible cirrus clouds. Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, Issue 8, 1137-1140.


Ackerman, S. A., C. C. Moeller, K. I. Strabala, H. E. Gerber, L. E. Gumley, W. P. Menzel, and S. Tsay, 1998: Retrieval of effective microphysical properties of clouds: A wave cloud case study. Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, Issue 8, 1121-1124.

Ackerman, S. and T. Inoue, 1994: Radiation Energy Budget Studies Using Collocated AVHRR and ERBE Observations. J. Appl. Meteor., 33, 370-378.

Strabala, K., S. Ackerman, and W. P. Menzel, 1993: Cloud Properties Inferred from 8-12 Ám Data. J. Appl. Meteor., 33, 212-229.

Ackerman, S. and H. Chung, 1992: Radiative Effects of Airborne Dust on Regional Energy Budgets at the Top of the Atmosphere. J. Appl. Meteor., 31, 223-233.

Ackerman, S., W. L. Smith, J. D. Spinhirne, H. E. Revercomb, 1990: The 27-28 October 1986 FIRE IFO Cirrus Case Study: Spectral Properties of Cirrus Clouds in the 8-12 Ám Window. Mon. Wea. Rev., 118, 2377-2388.

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