TTU Home Department of Geosciences, Atmospheric Science Group

History of the Atmospheric Science Group


Meteorology taught in the Dept. of Geology. Studies of dust storms (Warn et al.)


Donald R. Haragan (Ph.D, Univ. of Texas-Austin) joins Dept. of Geosciences; introduces B.S. curriculum in meteorology


Lubbock tornado 11 May ; 28 people killed; most destructive U.S. tornado to that time .
Institute for Disaster Research founded; headquartered in Dept. of Civil Engineering, headed by Joseph E. Minor


Donald R. Haragan (Ph.D. Texas) becomes Chair of Geosciences


Richard E. Peterson (Ph.D. Missouri) joins the faculty


First B.S. graduate in meteorology: Stephen Jones
Owen Rhea added to staff for one year


Gerald M. Jurica (Ph.D. Arizona) joins the faculty
M.S. in Atmospheric Science approved


Atmospheric Science Group moves to the 12th floor of the Business Administration tower


First M.S. graduates: Dean R. Metcalf and Shew-Yi Chi.
Colleen A. Leary (Ph.D. Washington) joins the faculty.


Chia-Bo Chang (Ph.D. Florida State University) joins the faculty


First Ph.D. graduates: Eric Pani and Ed Rappaport


Wind Engineering Research Center formed; combines the resources and talents of both the Atmospheric Science Group, and Civil Engineering.


Dr. Richard Peterson becomes Chair of Geosciences


Texas Tech University becomes a member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Arthur L. Doggett (Ph.D. Texas Tech University) joins the faculty


The Wind Engineering Mobile Instrumented Tower Experiment (WEMITE) is initiated: The goal of which is to deploy a 10-meter tall instrumented steel tower into the path of a landfalling tropical cyclone. In August, the new tower is successfully deployed near Corpus Christi for Tropical Storm Charley. It is followed up by three successful hurricane deployments in August and September.


Texas Tech University joins the National Severe Storms Laboratory, Texas A&M University and the University of Oklahoma in building two mobile Doppler radars, dubbed SMART-Rs (Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radars).

The West Texas Mesonet is formed. This mesonet will provide at least one instrumented 10-meter tower for meteorological observations in each of the West Texas counties centered around Lubbock. The headquarters is established at the old Reese Air Force Base, now converted into several academic and development centers collectively called the Reese Technology Center.


John L. Schroeder (Ph.D. Texas Tech University) joins the faculty
Thomas Gill (Ph.D. California-Davis) named a joint research assistant professor
Dr. Donald R.Haragan steps down as President of the University
Dr. Gerald M. Jurica passed away
Wind Science and Engineering Research Center (WISE) was formed


Dr. Donald R. Haragan named Interim-President of Texas Tech University until August, 2003


Dee Chaney resigns position as secretary
Debbie Walker joins staff as secretary
Dr. Arthur L. Doggett resigns
Loren Phillips (NWS ret.) hired to teach undergraduate meteorology


Thomas Gill leaves to become an Associate Professor at the University of Texas - El Paso
Christopher Weiss (Ph.D. Oklahoma) joins the faculty
Dr. Richard Peterson steps down as Chair of Geosciences


Sukanta Basu (Ph.D. Minnesota) joins the faculty


Million dollar grant jointly awarded to ATMO and Wind Engineering to fund development of two Ka-Band Mobile radars


Dr. Richard Peterson retires
Kyle Wiens (Ph.D., Colorado State) joins the faculty


Dr. Chia-bo Chang retires
Dr. Brian Ancell (Ph.D. University of Washington) hired as new faculty member


Dr. Sukanta Basu leaves the ATMO group to take a teaching/research position at North Carolina State University
Dr. Kyle Wiens leaves the ATMO group to take a job with the Air Force Research Laboratory's space weather center.
Eric Bruning (Ph.D. Oklahoma) joins the faculty
Song-Lak Kang (Ph.D. Penn State) joins the faculty
Dr. John Schroeder becomes the new Director of the Wind Science and Engineering (WiSE) Researh Center at Texas Tech. The WiSE was later named the National Wind Institute in 2013.


Dr. John Schroeder promoted to full Professor
Dr. Colleen Leary retires


Dr. Johanes Dahl (Ph.D. Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich) joins the faculty
Dr. Jennifer Vanos (Ph.D University of Guelph, Ontario) joins the faculty
Loren Phillips retires from teaching
Mr. Justin Weaver and Mr. Steve Cobb, both National Weather Service meteorologists, hired to teach undergraduate meteorology
Debbie Walker promoted to the Unit Coordinator position