Environmental science

UW professor confirmed by US Senate as assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – A UW professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences was confirmed by the US Senate last Thursday as an assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction.

In his new role, Michael Morgan will be in charge of providing direction over his entire agency regarding weather, water, climate, and ocean observations. He will also help convert these observations into predictions for threats to the environment.

Morgan will also serve as deputy administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As a professor, Morgan’s research focused on the predictability and analysis of mid-latitude and tropical weather systems. He has spent 27 years as a professor at UW-Madison.

To help fulfill his new duties, Morgan will be taking a leave of absence form his role in the university, both as a professor and associate chair of the department’s undergraduate program.

“I am honored to have been confirmed by the Senate and thrilled to be able to further advance our nation’s capabilities in earth system prediction to allow for timely preparation for environmental threats,” says Morgan. “I have always embraced the Wisconsin Idea, which stipulates that knowledge be widely shared to make life better for all.”

In addition to his new roles, Morgan has also served in a plethora of areas, including

  • An American Meteorological Society/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Congressional Science Fellow working on energy and environmental issues in the office of US Sen. Benjamin Cardin.
  • Director for the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences at the National Science Foundation from June 2010 until June 2014.
  • A member of the Board on Women and Minorities for the American Meteorological Society and of the Scientific and Technological Activities Commission for Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, as well as AMS Councilor.
  • A member of the board of directors of the American Institute of Physics.
  • A member of the World Meteorological Organization World Weather Research Program’s Science Steering Committee since 2014.

He is also completing a second term on the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Morgan will be an invaluable addition to the department and to our NOAA leadership team,” US Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo said in a recent news release from NOAA. “His decades of world-renowned atmospheric and oceanic scientific expertise and dedicated service to the community make him ideally qualified to help guide NOAA’s lifesaving observation and prediction activities.”

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