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My primary research interests lie within the subdiscipline of atmospheric electricity and thunderstorm research, with particular emphasis on the lightning discharge channel itself. On the larger scale, I have been involved with the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) since its inception here at the University at Albany and I maintain a continuing interest in projects using the NLDN data. Recently, much of the NLDN research carried out here has been directed at assessing the performance of the network as it has evolved under the auspices of Global Atmospherics, Inc. of Tucson Arizona. Other studies have concentrated on looking at lightning in the meteorological environment in which it occurs. Lightning in hurricanes is a specific example of this wherein Prof. John Molinari and myself are co-principal investigators on a NSF grant focused on this topic. Another area of interest is the difference in character of lightning in winter versus summer regimes as manifest in the NLDN observations.

The other lightning research area that I have long been involved with is the highly time-resolved photography of lightning channels, including both natural and artificially initiated or "triggered" lightning. The primary objective of these studies is to better characterize and quantify various fundamental processes occurring along the lightning channel so that improved explanations and theories can be developed for these processes. Examples of this type of investigation include the measurement of the speed of propagation of various phases of the discharge, their variation with stroke peak current, characterization of the tortuosity of lightning on large and small scales, and even the evaluation on a microsecond time scale of the development of the diameter of return stroke channels. This work has fostered a considerable degree of collaboration with colleagues such as Prof. Marx Brook (New Mexico Tech), Prof. Martin Uman and associates (the University of Florida, Gainesville), Dr. John Willett (Philips Laboratory, Hanscom AFB ), and Andre Eybert-Berard and Pierre LaRoche (CENG/ONERA of France). It is expected that this work will continue with opportunties for student involvement at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Associate Professor & Chair, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University at Albany/SUNY
B.S. Physics, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, 1975
M.S. Atmospheric Science, University at Albany, 1977
Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, University at Albany, 1982