Falconer History

Ray Falconer, Vincent Schaefer, Bernard Vonnegout and Ducan BlanchardRay Falconer, Vincent Schaefer, Bernard Vonnegut, Duncan Blanchard (c. 1989). The “Original 4” of ASRC, they worked together for 40 years on Project Cirrus.   Their work with Project Cirrus, at General Electric’s Research Laboratory in Schenectady, NY, produced basic knowledge of the formation of rain, clouds, and snow.  After Vince and Bernard discovered that dry ice or silver iodide might induce clouds or precipitation, they carried out several pioneering cloud seeding operations.  These four scientists eventually left General Electric to pursue their individual interests, but after Schaefer founded ASRC in 1961 they all returned to work together again.

Falconer became the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center’s first full-time employee in 1961, and the following year began his well-known radio weather forecasts.  Ray was often referred to as "Mr. Weather." From his early days as a weather observer atop Mt. Washington in New Hampshire to his work at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir's Project Cirrus, Ray was an enthusiastic disciple of the atmosphere.  Ray's boundless energy was poured into public education on weather and the environment. His popular radio weather commentaries, his articles, and his Lecture Series made him widely known as the Voice of the ASRC.  The ASRC “Falconer Natural History Lecture Series” was designed and initiated by Falconer in 1962.  The seminars were co-sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and would begin with a detailed 10 minute weather commentary by Ray, and would then lead into a very relevant, and often lively, scientific presentation.

The Summer Falconer Lecture Series are held on TUESDAY EVENINGS at 7:00PM at the ASRC Whiteface Mountain Field Station located at 110 Marble Lane, Wilmington, New York 12997

The Spring Falconer Lecture Series are held on TUESDAY EVENINGS at 8:00PM in the John J. Sullivan Auditorium, CESTM building, The University at Albany, 251 Fuller Road, Albany, New York 12203

Donation Information

Tax-deductible donations to sustain the Natural History Lectures may be made out to the "University at Albany Foundation" and mailed to the University at Albany Foundation UAB-201, 1400 Washingtion Avenue, Albany, NY 12222. Address donations as "Attention: Ray Falconer Fund"

Falconer Lecture Archives