Excellence in Research
Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Four faculty members received this tribute in 1999 for Excellence in Research.
John E. Molinari, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
John Molinari joined the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 1980 and has become a leader in the discipline and in the department. He currently has three externally funded grants from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.
In addition, his refereed publications have appeared in Monthly Weather Review and the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, the two top-ranked journals in the field of meteorology. He is also thesis advisor to seven graduate students whose research projects are supported by his grants.
Molinari's areas of expertise include computer simulation of tropical cyclones and the representation of the effects of cumulus convection on these storms; observational study of the role of external or environmental influences on tropical-cyclone intensity change; and application of lightning-detection technology to map spatial and temporal distributions of lightning in tropical cyclones. His research on the interaction between a tropical cyclone and its environment is seen by many in the meteorological community to be at the forefront of the field.
Molinari last received The Banner I. Miller Award from the Council of the American Meteorological Society for "his lead authorship of two outstanding contributions to our understanding of tropical cyclogenesis and hurricane intensity." He has also begun research into the origin and distribution of lightning within hurricanes. Two of the three published papers in the scientific literature on this entire topic are by Molinari. He has also been funded by NASA for research on "Use of Laser Atmospheric Wind Sounder Data for Tropical Cyclone Prediction."
Molinari's approach to research is to concentrate and focus on one issue over several years. His method has allowed him to make fundamental contributions that have contributed to our understanding of the physical processes associated with the formation and intensification of hurricanes.
Excellence in Research