Dr. Sarah Tessendorf / Project Scientist in the Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Sarah Tessendorf is a Project Scientist in the Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).  She currently serves as a scientific project manager for cloud microphysics research projects in RAL, including topics on improving model microphysics parameterizations, improving aircraft icing diagnostic and forecast products, and winter orographic and hygroscopic cloud-seeding research.

Tessendorf has conducted research in the area of cloud and precipitation microphysics (including aerosol effects on precipitation formation, hail growth, and storm electrification) utilizing polarimetric and dual-Doppler radar data, in situ aircraft observations, and numerical cloud models. She has published 25 peerreviewed journal articles and one peer-reviewed Monograph chapter, in addition to numerous conference papers, presentations, and project reports.  Tessendorf was the lead author on an article in the January 2019 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) that summarizes the recent SNOWIE (Seeded and Natural Orographic Wintertime clouds: the Idaho Experiment) project.

Tessendorf received her B.S. degree in Meteorology/Climatology in 2000 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her M.S. (2003) and Ph.D. (2006) in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.  Tessendorf was an AMS Graduate Fellowship recipient, a Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) postdoctoral research fellow, and she received the 2004 Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences. She was a protégé in the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program, working as a student at NCAR from 1999-2002, and has since served on the SOARS Steering Committee and as a SOARS mentor.  Tessendorf also worked for three years as a scientist on staff at The GLOBE Program, a science and education program for K-12 students. Most recently, she was the first Scientific and Engineering Leadership Fellow in the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) President’s Office in 2019-2020.