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Melanie Wetzel, Ph.D. - Associate Faculty
Academic Statement (Return to top)
Dr. Wetzel joined Prescott College after 20 years of research and teaching at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where she was a member of the Graduate Faculty for Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Wetzel also served as Director of the Atmospheric Sciences MS/PhD program (2003-2006). During that time she led the design and implementation of an undergraduate degree program in Atmospheric Sciences, as a collabortive initiative between the UNR Physics Department and the Desert Research Institute.
University and college-level courses that Dr. Wetzel designed and taught (1979 to present) include the following :
Climate Change Education
Atmospheric Field Measurements
Radiation Transfer in the Atmosphere
Remote Sensing for Climate Studies
Seminar in Professional Development for Atmospheric Scientists
Earth System Science and Policy
Dr. Wetzel also developed and led professional development courses including these:
“University Faculty Course in Hydrometeorology”
“University Faculty Workshop on Satellite Meteorology”
“Satellite Meteorology for Operational Weather Forecasting”
Advisement experience includes mentoring dozens of students, in undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D. degree programs at University of Nevada during 1990-2007 and since 2010 at Prescott College.
Background & Experience
Selected Publications (Return to top)
Publications on atmospheric research and educational topics since 1990 are listed below:
Wetzel, M.A., 2010: Microwave radiometer and meteorological data analysis for Mount Ginini during Winter 2009. Scientific report to the Australia Capital Territory Energy and Water Agency, March 2010.
Wetzel, M.A., 2009: Analysis of microwave radiometer data and supporting observations obtained on Mount Ginini during Winter 2008. Scientific report to the Australia Capital Territory Energy and Water Agency, April 2009.
Saleeby, S.M., W.R. Cotton, D.L. Lowenthal, R.D. Borys and M.A. Wetzel, 2009: Influence of cloud condensation nuclei on orographic snowfall. J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 48, 903-922.
Kim, D.C., C. Loughner, M.A. Wetzel and W.R. Stockwell, 2007: A comparison of photolysis rate parameters estimated from measured and simulated actinic flux for wintertime conditions at Storm Peak Laboratory, Colorado. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, doi: 10.1007 / 210874-007-9061.2.
Vellore, R., D. Koracin, M. Wetzel, S, Chai, and Q. Wang, 2007: Challenges in mesoscale prediction of the nocturnal stratocumulus-topped marine boundary layer and implications for operational forecasting. Weather and Forecasting, 22, 1101-1122.
Vellore, R., D. Koračin, and M. Wetzel, 2006: A method of improving cloud predictions for real-time weather forecasting and visualization. Advances in Visual Computing, Ed., G. Bebis, Springer Publishing.
Wetzel, M.A., and J.R. Slusser, 2005: UV spectral irradiance, actinic flux and photolysis rates using multispectral satellite data and radiative transfer models. Optical Engineering, 44(4), doi: 10.1117 / 1.1889467.
Twohy, C.H., M.D. Petters, J.R. Snider, B. Stevens, W. Tahnk, M. Wetzel, L. Russell, and J.-L. Brenguier, 2005: Measurements of the indirect effect of aerosol particles on marine stratiform clouds: Microphysics. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, doi: 10.1029 / 2004JD005116.
Wetzel, M., M. Meyers, R. Borys, R. McAnelly, W. Cotton, A. Rossi, P. Frisbie, D. Nadler, D. Lowenthal, S. Cohn, and W. Brown, 2004: Mesoscale snowfall prediction and verification in mountainous terrain. Weather and Forecasting, 19, 806-828.
Stevens, B., D. H. Lenschow, G. Vali, H. Gerber, A. Bandy, B. Blomquist, J.-L. Brenguier, C. S. Bretherton, F. Burnet, T. Campos, S. Chai, I. Faloona, D. Friesen, S. Haimov, K. Laursen, D. K. Lilly, S. M. Loehrer, S. P. Malinowski, B. Morely, M. D. Petters, D. C. Rogers, L. Russell, V. Savcic-Jovcic, J. R. Snider, D. Straub, M. J. Szumowski, H. Takagi, D. C. Thorton, M. Tschudi, C. Twohy, M. Wetzel, and M. C. van Zanten, 2003: Dynamics and chemistry of marine stratocumulus – DYCOMS II. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 84, 579-593.
Wetzel, M.A., G.E. Shaw, J. Slusser, R.D. Borys and C. Cahill, 2003: Physical, chemical and ultraviolet radiative signatures of aerosol in central Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108 (D14), 4418, doi: 10.1029 / 2002JD003208.
Lowenthal, D.H., R.D. Borys and M.A. Wetzel, 2002: Aerosol distributions and cloud interactions at a mountaintop laboratory. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107 (D18), 4345, doi: 10.1029 / 2001JD002046.
Gonzales, A., J.C. Perez, F. Herrera, R. Rosa, M.A. Wetzel, R.D. Borys and D.H. Lowenthal, 2002: Stratocumulus properties retrieval method from NOAA-AVHRR data based on the discretization of cloud parameters. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23, 627-645.
Wetzel, M.A., G. Vali, W. Thompson, S. Chai, T. Haack, M. Szumowski and R. Kelly, 2001: Evaluation of COAMPS forecasts using satellite retrievals and aircraft measurements. Weather and Forecasting, 16, 588-599.
Perez, J.C., F. Herrera, F. Rosa, A. Gonzales, M. Wetzel, R. Borys, and D. Lowenthal, 2000: Retrieval of marine stratus cloud droplet size from NOAA-AVHRR night imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 73, 31-45.
Wetzel, M.A., and L.L. Stowe, 1999: Satellite-observed patterns in stratus cloud microphysics, aerosol optical thickness and shortwave radiative forcing. Journal of Geophysical Research, 104, 31286-31299.
Borys, R.D., D.H. Lowenthal, M.A. Wetzel, F. Herrera, A. Gonzalez, and J. Harris, 1998: Chemical and microphysical properties of marine stratiform cloud in the North Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research, 103 (D17), 22073-22085.
Wetzel, M., D. Dempsey, S. Nilsson, M. Ramamurthy, S. Koch, J. Moody, D. Knight, C. Murphy, D. Fulker, M. Marlino, M. Morgan, D. Yarger, D. Vietor, and G. Cox, 1998: Faculty workshop on using instructional technologies and satellite data for college-level education in the atmospheric and earth sciences. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 79, 2153-2160.
Borys, R.D., and M.A. Wetzel, 1997: Storm Peak Laboratory: A research, teaching and service facility for the atmospheric sciences. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78, 2115-2123.
Wetzel, M.A., R.D. Borys, and L. Xu, 1996: Analysis methods for land-based fog droplet size and optical depth using satellite data. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 35, 810-829.
Ramamurthy, M.K., C. Murphy, J. Moore, M. Wetzel, D. Knight, P. Ruscher, S. Mullen, R. DeSouza, D.S. Hawk, and D. Fulker, 1995: Teaching mesoscale meteorology in the age of the modernized Weather Service. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 76, 2463-2473.
Wetzel, M.A., and G.T. Bates, 1995: Comparison of simulated cloud cover with satellite observations over the Western U.S. Journal of Climate, 8, 296-308.
Wetzel, M., R. Borys, D. Lowenthal, and S. Brown, 1995: Meteorological support to the Earthwinds Transglobal Balloon Project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 76, 477-488.
Wetzel, M.A., 1995: Simulation of radiances for future AVHRR platforms with the AVIRIS spectral radiometer. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 16, 1167-1177.
Hallett, J., M.A. Wetzel, and S.A. Rutledge, 1993: 1991 NSF- and UNR-sponsored field course in radar meteorology. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 74, 17-23.
Warburton, J.A., and M.A. Wetzel, 1992: Field study of the potential for winter precipitation enhancement in the Australian Snowy Mountains. Atmospheric Research, 28, 327-363.
Wetzel, M.A., and T.H. Vonder Haar, 1991: Theoretical development and sensitivity tests of a stratus cloud droplet size retrieval method for AVHRR-K/L/M. Remote Sensing of Environment, 36, 105-119.
Presentations (Return to top)
Conference papers on atmospheric research and educational topics since 1990 are listed below:
Saleeby, S.M.,W.R. Cotton, R.D. Borys, D. Lowenthal, and M.A. Wetzel, 2007: Relative impacts of orographic forcing and pollution aerosols on mountain snowfall. 12th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, Waterville Valley, NH, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Saleeby, S.M., R.D. Borys, M.A. Wetzel, D.B, Simeral, M.Y. Meyers, W.R. Cotton, R.L. McAnelly, N. Larson, and E. Heffernan, 2006: Model aerosol sensitivity studies and microphysical interactions in an orographic snowfall event. 12th Conference on Mountain Meteorology , Santa Fe, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Simeral, D.B., R.D. Borys and M.A. Wetzel, 2006: New snow density across an elevational gradient in the Park Range of Northwestern Colorado. 12th Conference on Mountain Meteorology, Santa Fe, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc..
Vellore, R., D. Koračin, and M. Wetzel, 2006: Improvement in cloud predictions using satellite data assimilation for real-time forecasting. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Amer. Geophys. Union.
Vellore, R.K., D. Koracin, M. Wetzel and J.G. Powers, 2005: Verification study: Modeling the evolution and structure of nocturnal marine stratocumulus during DYCOMS-II. Sixth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Uppapalli, S., D. Donovan, B. Wood, R. Jacobson, and M. Wetzel, 2005: Renewable hydrogen based off-grid power control system. ISES Solar World Conference, Orlando, FL, International Solar Energy Society.
Haack, T., and M. Wetzel, 2005: Mesoscale forcing of marine atmospheric boundary layer clouds along the U.S. West Coast. 11th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Koračin, D., R. Vellore, M. Wetzel, and S. Chai, 2005: A method for improving mesoscale prediction of marine stratocumulus evolution during DYCOMS II. Ocean-Atmosphere-Land Processes and Interactions in the Eastern Pacific. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Amer. Geophys. Union.
Wetzel, M., D. Koračin, R. Vellore and S. Chai, 2005: Temporal and spatial variability of the microphysical characteristics of nocturnal marine stratocumulus observed with GOES Imager. Ocean-Atmosphere-Land Processes and Interactions in the Eastern Pacific. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Amer. Geophys. Union.
Kim, D.C, M.A. Wetzel, and W.R. Stockwell, 2004: Radiation measurement at Storm Peak Laboratory, Colorado. Sixth Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry, Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M., W.R. Stockwell, D. Kim and C. Loughner, 2004: Satellite Based Estimates of Spectral Actinic Flux and Photolysis in Conditions of Variable Cloudcover and High Surface Albedo. 13th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, Norfolk, VA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M.A., W.R. Stockwell, D.C. Kim, and C. Loughner, 2004: Mesoscale distribution of spectral actinic flux and photolysis in conditions of variable cloud cover and high surface albedo. 13th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, Norfolk, VA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Twohy, C.H., M.D. Petters, JR. Snider, B. Stevens, W. Tahnk, M. Wetzel, L. Russell and F. Burnet, 2004: Measurements of the aerosol indirect effect in marine stratiform clouds. AAAR Conference, Atlanta, GA, October 4-8, Amer. Assoc. for Aerosol Research.
Wetzel, M.A., and R.D. Borys, 2004: Analysis of Valley Inversion Structure Using Radiosonde, Radar Profiler and Mountain mesonet data. 11th Annual Workshop on Weather Prediction in the Intermountain West, Salt Lake City, UT.
Chew, S., M. Wetzel, .J. Fischer, A. Huggins, D. Pike, B. Brong, and S. Keck, 2004: Integrating Observation Data and New Radar Algorithms into the National Weather Service Interactive Forecast Preparation System. 11th Annual Workshop on Weather Prediction in the Intermountain West, Salt Lake City, UT.
Wetzel, M.A., and J.R. Slusser, 2003: Mesoscale distributions of UV spectral irradiance obtained by merging satellite remote sensing and ground-based measurements. International Symposium on Optical Science and Technology, San Diego, CA, International Society for Optical Engineering.
Wetzel, M.A., R.D. Borys and D.R. Lowenthal, 2003: Graduate field training in atmospheric measurements. 12th Symposium on Education, Long Beach, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Adhikari, N.P., M.A. Wetzel, D.R. Koracin and S.K. Chai, 2003: Analysis and prediction of microwave refractivity profiles in nocturnal marine cloud layers. Fifth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric Prediction and Processes, Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc
Koracin, D.R. J. Powers, M.A. Wetzel, S. Chai and N. Adhikari, 2003: Improving prediction of the marine coastal clouds using satellite and aircraft data. Fifth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric Prediction and Processes, Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc
Chai, S.K., M.A. Wetzel and D. Koracin, Observed radiative cooling in nocturnal marine stratocumulus. Fifth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric Prediction and Processes, Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc
Wetzel, M.A., R.D. Borys and D.R. Lowenthal, 2003: Graduate field training in atmospheric measurements. 12th Symposium on Education, Long Beach, California, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M., A. Huggins, S. Chew, S. Keck, J. Fischer, B. Brong, D. Pike, and C. Jordan, 2003: Merging hydrometeorological data for the National Digital Forecast Database. 10th Annual Workshop on Weather Prediction in the Intermountain West, Reno, NV.
Wetzel, M., 2002: Mesoscale Mapping of UV Spectral Irradiances. Front Range UV Workshop, Boulder CO.
Wetzel, M., R. Borys, J. Slusser, C. Cahill and G. Shaw, 2002: Interannual Variability of UV Irradiance, Ozone and Aerosol in the Arctic. IARC PI Meeting, Boulder, CO, International Arctic Research Consortium.
Wetzel, M., R. Borys, A. Rossi, D. Lowenthal, M. Meyers, P. Frisbie, D. Nadler, R. McAnelly, W. Cotton, W. Brown, S. Cohn, 2002: Verification of Snowfall Forecasts in the Park Range of Colorado, Ninth Annual Workshop on Weather Prediction in the Intermountain West, Salt Lake City UT.
Wetzel, M., and R. Jenrow, 2001: The Ultraviolet Impacts Network: linking atmospheric education and health risk assessment. 10th Symposium on Education, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M.A., and R.D. Borys, 2000: Effects of clouds, surface albedo and ozone variations on ultraviolet radiation climatology at Storm Peak Laboratory. Ninth Conference on Mountain Meteorology, Aspen, Colorado, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel M.A., Chai S.K., Szumowski M.J., Thompson W., Haack T., Vali, G., and Kelly, R. 2000: Application of satellite microphysical retrievals for the analysis of the COAMPS mesoscale prediction model. 13th International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation, Reno, NV.
Byrd, G., T. Spangler, S. Kemner-Richarson, J. Lamos, K. Ginger, M. Wetzel, and A. Mostek, 1999: An Interactive Satellite Meteorology Laboratory Module on the World Wide Web, Eighth Symposium on Education, Dallas, TX, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M. and B. Dillet, 1998: Microclimatic effects of cloud cover on ultraviolet exposure at high altitude. Ninth Symposium on Global Change Studies, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M., R. Borys, A. Winterbauer, B. Heckman, M. Marlino, L. Davis, P. Jeschofnig, and P. Biagi, 1998: Computer-based curriculum development in atmospheric technology. Seventh Symposium on Education, Phoenix, Arizona, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M., and L. Stowe, 1998: The Sixteen‑Year AVHRR Pathfinder Global Dataset: Evaluating the Effects of Aerosol Particles on Cloud Radiative Forcing. 10th Conference on Satellite Meteorology And Oceanography, Paris, France, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Byrd, G., T. Spangler, S. Kemner-Richardson, J. Lamos, K. Ginger, M. Wetzel, and A. Mostek, 1998: Using computer-based learning technology for introductory weather and climate laboratory modules. Seventh Symposium on Education, Phoenix, Arizona, Amer. Meteor. Soc..
Bates, G.T., S.W. Hostetler, and M. Wetzel, 1997: Analysis of western United States hydrology simulated by the NCAR Regional Climate Model (RegCM2). 13th Conference on Hydrology, Long Beach, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Dana, G. L., M.A. Wetzel, and R.A. Wharton, Jr., 1996: Satellite-derived surface temperatures in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. International Radiation Symposium, Fairbanks, Alaska.
Bates, G., S. Hostetler, and M. Wetzel, 1995: Analysis of Western United States hydrology simulated by the NCAR Regional Climate Model (RegCM2). AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, American Geophysical Union.
Powers, J. G., and M.A. Wetzel, 1995: MM5 simulations in the Great Basin: Use of special observations in model verification. Second Annual Workshop on Weather Prediction in the Intermountain West, Salt Lake City, UT.
Wetzel, M.A., 1994: Use of hyperspectral airborne radiances to simulate cloud microphysical retrievals from AVHRR-K. European Symposium on Satellite Remote Sensing, Rome, Italy.
Wetzel, M.A., and G.T. Bates, 1994: Comparison of model-simulated cloud cover with satellite observations. Fourth Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model Users' Workshop, Boulder, Colorado, National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Wetzel, M., L. Xu, and R. Borys, 1994: Satellite-derived atmospheric correction methods. ASPRS Annual Conference, Reno, NV, American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
Wetzel, M., R. Borys, and L. Xu, 1994: Retrieval of fog microphysical parameters from AVHRR and simulated GOES-I channel radiances. Seventh Conf. Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, Monterey, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M.A., Y. Qiao, J.A. Warburton, D.L. Reinke and C.L. Combs, 1993: Use of satellite cloud climatologies for climate studies at WRCC. Eighth Conf. on Applied Climatology, Anaheim, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M.A., and R.M. Welch, 1992: Simulation of AVHRR-K band ratios with AVIRIS. Third Annual Airborne Geoscience Workshop, Pasadena, CA, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Wetzel, M.A., and T.H. Vonder Haar, 1990: Remote sensing of cloud droplet effective radius. Seventh Conf. on Atmospheric Radiation, San Francisco, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M.A., and T.H. Vonder Haar, 1986: The impact of stratocumulus microphysical variations on near-infrared radiance. Sixth Conference on Atmospheric Radiation, Williamsburg, VA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Wetzel, M.A., and T.H. Vonder Haar, 1985: Satellite estimates of rainfall over small watersheds. Sixth Conference on Hydrometeorology, Indianapolis, IN, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
Research (Return to top)
Dr. Wetzel has more than 35 years of professional experience in the atmospheric sciences, incorporating global and regional climate studies, design of satellite remote sensing methods and GIS, alternative energy resource asessment, interpreting the societal impacts of climate change, mountain meteorology and climate trends, and hydrometeorology applications.
Melanie has developed several new methods to utilize satellite remote sensing image data for environmental analysis and applications. One of these research areas is the spatial mapping of ultraviolet (UV) radiation incident in forest and other natural environments. UV exposure impairs microbial activity at the soil-air interface and on the surfaces of plant leaves, and plays a significant role in health impacts to humans in outdoor work (forestry, agriculture, field sciences) and recreation. This high-resolution mapping of UV exposure combines computer models that represent the physics of radiative transfer through the atmosphere with global satellite datasets, combined with image classification methods and statistical analysis to determine the surface or cloud type characteristics and magnitude of UV energy flux for each image point.
A second research theme is the identification and quantitative analysis of anthropogenic modification of the atmosphere, through both inadvertent mechanisms such as air pollution and planned intervention mechanisms such as cloud seeding and geoengineering. This research arena is vital to build knowledge of the risks for climate change, health impacts, economic consequences and social justice threats caused by humans. Dr. Wetzel has published her research on the effect of global-scale plumes of particulate air polltution on cloud reflectivity and the Earth energy imbalance.
Dr. Wetzel has applied computer-based weather prediction models to design a methodology to predict solar energy and wind power resource availability at remote sites and to adapt "biofeedback" computer programming of energy demand profiles to optimize the predicted renewable energy against user power requirements.
Melanie has merged meteorological radar data, satellite imagery and other remote sensing systems with short-term atmospheric forecasting models to improve the analysis and verification of snowfall events in mountain terrain. She has also applied remote sensing methods in testing the accuracy of regional climate models over the Southwest U.S. in prediction of snow cover and cloud cover -- two vital climate variables which will determine the water resources, agricultural productivity, and health (heat stress and UV exposure) conditions of the coming decades.
Awards, Grants, & Honors (Return to top)
Dr. Wetzel's research and education projects have included grants awarded by federal, state, foundation and international organizations for work in satellite remote sensing, atmospheric physics, hydrometeorology, environmental sciences and curriculum development. She has been the Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on grants totaling over $5.5 M, and her grant record spans more than 20 years. Listed below are the primary grants awarded since 1989 indicating the period of grant, funding agency and project topic:
1989-1990 Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority “Computer Modeling for
Field Research on Precipitation Enhancement”
1991-1992 DOE “Enhancement of Regional Climate Modeling with Satellite Data”
1991-1992 NASA Space Grant “Utilization of NASA AVIRIS Data to Simulate
AVHRR and EOS Instrument Observations”
1991-1992 NSF “Instructional Equipment for Satellite Data Analysis”
(with cost share from UNR Graduate School)
1992-1994 NOAA “Algorithm Development AVHRR Satellite Cloud Retrievals”
1992-1993 Expersoft, Inc. “GOES and AVHRR Data Analysis for Tropical
1992-1993 NASA Space Grant “Use of AVIRIS for Study of Mixed Phase Clouds”
1993-1994 NOAA “Satellite Vegetation Indices for Rangeland Mesoclimatology”
1993-1994 E.L. Wiegand Foundation “Atmospheric Profiling and Air Chemistry
Instrumentation for the Earthwinds Transglobal Balloon Program”
1993-1995 NOAA Predicting the Microphysical and Radiative Properties of Cirrus
1993-1995 DRI “Energy and Hydrologic Fluxes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of
1994-1996 NOAA “Regional Climate Modeling and Validation for Western U.S.”
1994-1996 EPA “Air Quality, Meteorology and Climate in an Arid Environment”
1995-1996 NSF “Equipment for Unidata Network Integration, Archive and
Instruction” (with cost share from State of Nevada)
1996-1997 Army “Use of DRI Mobile Microwave Radiometer in Cloud Sensing”
1996-1999 NSF “Computer-Based Curriculum in Atmospheric Technology”
1997-1998 NSF “COMET Faculty Workshop on Teaching Satellite Meteorology”
1997-1998 NSF “Weather and Climate Laboratory Modules”
1998-1999 USDA “Equipment for UV Research” (with cost share from State of
1998-1999 DOE/Bechtel “Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Methods”
1998-2000 ONR “Satellite Retrievals for Low-level Cloud and Fog”
1998-2000 NSF NSTEP “Atmospheric Research for Teacher-Student Teams”
1999-2000 DOE/DURIP “Supercomputing Equipment for Forecast Modeling”
1999-2000 NSF Geoscience Education “UV Impacts Network”
1999-2001 Yampa Valley Legacy Education Initiative
1999-2000 NOAA “Interannual Variability of UV Irradiance, Ozone and
Air Chemistry for Arctic Climate Change Studies”
2000-2001 NSF “Interannual Variability of UV in the Arctic”
2000-2002 NSF “Instrumentation to Support Aerosol and Ozone Studies at
Storm Peak Laboratory”
2000-2003 ONR “Multispectral Remote Sensing of Fog and Stratus”
2001-2003 DOE-EPSCoR “Marine Stratus Variability”
2001-2007 USDA NREL “UV Climatological Monitoring”
2002-2003 Women’s Foundation of Colorado “Project AERIE Atmospheric
2002-2003 NOAA NWS “Snowfall Forecasting in Radar-Limited Terrain”
2002-2004 DOE/NREL “Alternative Energy Solutions for Rural Installations”
2003-2004 NOAA NWS “Hydrometeorological Data for Interactive Forecasts”
2003-2005 DOE/NREL “Off-Grid System for Renewable Energy”
2004-2006 UCAR/NOAA “Snowfall Prediction and other Forecasting Applications
for Mountainous Terrain”
2004-2006 ONR “Improved Atmospheric Prediction of Dust, Fog and Low Cloud
Conditions in Complex Terrain”
2004-2006 DOE/NREL “Hydrogen Power System Deployment and Safety”
2005-2006 CSC “Meteorological Instrumentation for Fallon Naval Air Station”
2005-2007 NSF “Computational Visualization of Atmospheric Parameters”
2005-2007 ONR “Modeling and Remote Sensing of Visibility in Complex Terrain”
2006-2007 NSF EPSCoR“Cognitive Information Processing” (Steering Committee)
2008-2010 ACTewAGL “Microwave Radiometer and Meteorological Analysis”
2011-2012 Arizona Dept of Education “Science Learning & Literacy”
2012-2013 Arizona Board of Regents "Intel Math Initiative"
Professional Service and Recognition:
Consulting on precipitation climatology and remote sensing, Australian Capital Territory Energy and Water Agency (2008-2011)
Consulting on distance-learning lab design for environmental sciences (2009)
Invited Speaker, ASCENT Workshop (an NSF-sponsored project on career advancement for women scientists, 2009)
Consulting on web-accessible educational resources for global satellite remote sensing (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) (2007-2008)
UCAR Unidata Policy Committee (2003-2007); Committee Chair (2004-2007)
Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research (2004-2006)
Advisory Panel committee member, UCAR Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology and Training (1999-2004)
Editorial Board, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (2000-2001)
Steering Committee, NOAA Visiting Scientist Program (1999-2001)
American Meteorological Society (AMS) Committee on Undergraduate Scholarship Awards (1999-2002)
Chair, Western Regional Climate Center - Interagency Workshop on Climatological Assessment of Rangeland Productivity (1998)
Visiting Scientist, NOAA National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (1997)
AMS Committee on Weather Modification (1996-2001), Conference Co-Chair (2001)
UCAR University Relations Committee (1996-1999)
UCAR Governance Examination Team (1996)
UCAR UNIDATA Users Committee (1993-1997)
UCAR Membership Review Committee (1992-1995)
Chair, UCAR UNIDATA Workshop on “Using Instructional Technologies and Satellite Data for College-level Education in the Atmospheric and Earth Sciences” (1994)
DRI Wagner Memorial Award Committee (2003-2007)
DRI Faculty and Staff Search Committees (several assignments, including Faculty Search Committee Chair)
DRI Promotion Committee (2003-2005)
Chair, DRI Academic Program Committee (2004-2006)
Chair, UNR Atmospheric Physics Faculty Search Committee (2004-2005)
UNR Faculty Compensation Committee (2005)
Proposal Review for EPA, DOE, NASA, NOAA, NSF
Journal article review for: Applied Optics, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Geophysical Research Letters, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Journal of Climate, Journal of Applied Meteorology, Journal of Geophysical Research, Remote Sensing Open Access
Education (Return to top)
Ph.D. 1990 Colorado State University, Atmospheric Sciences
M.S. 1980 University of Washington, Atmospheric Sciences
B.A. 1978 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Physical Geography
Expertise (Return to top)
Melanie's specific emphasis in scientific program development is the integration of field measurement, remote sensing and modeling methods to explore dynamic interactions in the atmosphere which influence climate. Educational initatives have created experiential learning field courses, computer-based instructional modules and professional training workshops for faculty and agency scientists.
Coverage in News & Media (Return to top)
Dr. Wetzel's projects have been profiled in newspaper articles, scientific journals, professional magazines, organization newsletters and television news stories. She has been author or co-author on multiple cover articles published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Academic Involvement at Prescott College (Return to top)
Areas of Study