Stephen Nesbitt


  • Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Utah, 2003
  • M.S. Meteorology, Texas A&M University, 1999
  • B.S. Meteorology, summa cum laude, State University of New York at Oswego, 1997

My research interests include studying clouds and precipitation systems, and the many physical processes within them, across the globe. Our research group investigates many topics in this area, including:

  • improving measurements of clouds and precipitation, 
  • using observations and models to study the physical and dynamic processes in clouds and precipitation in weather systems, including in severe weather, and
  • understanding the connections between clouds, precipitation, and climate. 

Clouds play a number of important roles in the earth system, including the global radiation balance, but also play a key role in the earth's water cycle. Cloud and precipitation processes vary geographically and depend on many factors, and large gaps in our knowledge of the global distribution of clouds and precipitation, and the factors that cause them to vary, hamper our ability to model and predict weather and climate. Our group aims to close those gaps by using observations and numerical models to improve our understanding of precipitation processes globally.

Our research group has participated in the planning, execution, and analysis of field campaigns in 18 projects spanning five continents, and I emphasize field research in the context of graduate studies in my group. I enjoy teaching meteorology, remote sensing, and measurements courses, with an emphasis on melding theory and observations, hands-on learning, and application of data science and computational methods to atmospheric sciences. 

Research Areas

Courses Taught

  • ATMS 305: Geophysical Data Analysis
  • ATMS 597: Advanced Mesoscale Modeling with WRF
  • ATMS 406: Tropical Meteorology
  • ATMS 411: Satellite remote sensing