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3:30 p.m.

AOSC Seminar by Dr. Belay Demoz, 3/04/2021

AOSC Seminar

Dr. Belay Demoz


Director for the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology/UMBC

Title: Lower Tropospheric Profiling: A critical (and unmet) challenge in modeling and observation.



The planetary boundary layer has been identified as one of the atmospheric regions that is least observed, given its proximity as well as its importance in human life. Several National Academy Committee reports have been advocating for a systematic and organized observation program, of the thermodynamics withing the PBL. The NRC report- “Observing the Weather and Climate from the Ground Up: A Nationwide Network of Networks” made perhaps the focused case for a thermodynamic profiling of the immediate atmospheric layer (PBL). The recent NASA Decadal Survey lists PBL as a priority variable for incubation, with a strong push from the weather and air quality focus areas.  I and my collaborators at Howard University and UMBC, not far from UMD, have been involved in advocating for a network of thermodynamic profiler network. I will focus my talk the many recommendations made, status update of what is done and being done, highlights of the many aspects of PBL-science and instrumentation that I and my students are involved. I understand this talk is from my point of view and, as expected, biased by my experience. I will discuss our work with the NOAA/NWS Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) for a potential lidar aerosol profile, pilot work in the Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN), and the ad-hoc Unified Lidar Network led by UMBC (



Belay Demoz holds a doctoral degree in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Nevada and Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. He is Professor of Physics at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Director of the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET: a cooperative center between UMBC and NASA/GSFC that brings together highly innovative research scientists from government to work with university faculty and students. Prior to joining UMBC, he was Professor of Physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Howard University, where he was Director of Graduate Studies for the Physics Department and one of the Principal PI’s at the Beltsville Research Campus. Demoz’s area of research focuses on observation-based investigations of cloud, climate, and mesoscale dynamic. He has worked with Lidars, radars, microwave radiometers and upper air balloon measurements. At Beltsville, his team lead a first ground-based demonstration proposed space 3D-Doppler Lidar Wind concept using aerosol and molecular scattering; brought together government, university, and private industry scientist in mutually beneficial research, developed the only university-operated and WMO-certified climate monitoring site in the world ( Before joining academia, Demoz worked for the private industry as a NASA contractor, followed by time spent as a Civil Servant at the NASA/GSFC Mesoscale Dynamics Branch. He has chaired the Committee for Atmospheric LIDAR Application Studies (CLAS) for the American Meteorological Society; is a member of the Atmospheric Observation Panel for Climate (AOPC) Working Group on GRUAN (WG-GRUAN); organized national and international conferences and workshops for AMS and other organizations and lectured in several AMS short-courses. He is active in organizing national and international research field observations including WAter Vapor Experiment-Satellite (WAVES 2007); International H2O Project (IHOP2002), Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN 2015) and numerous other experiments across the United States. Demoz enjoys teaching cloud and aerosol physics, analytical mechanics, instrumentation, and climate classes and playing soccer. He looks forward to building a close collaboration between AOSC and UMBC’s ATPH programs in the near future and perhaps setting a soccer match too. 


Contact: Xin-Zhong Liang

AOSC Seminar

Pre-seminar refreshment: N/A
Seminar: 3:30-4:30pm, Zoom
Meet-the-Speaker: 4:30-5:00pm, Zoom [For AOSC Students only]

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