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Simpson, Joanne, 1989-09-06

Identifier: Item 86

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Joanne Simpson, 1989. Interviewed by Margaret LeMone. 2 sound cassettes (ca. 2 hrs.) : analog, mono + transcript (27 pgs.). AMS 35-36; two physical versions (one master, one copy). Forms part of American Meteorological Society Oral History Project. Joanne Simpson describes her family, the influence of early schooling and education at the University of Chicago, including graduate work in meteorology during World War II. She discusses Herbert Riehl's tropical meteorology class, which cemented her commitment to meteorology. She talks about postwar teaching activities, interest in cumulus clouds; and research at Woods Hole. She comments on some of the difficulties faced by women meteorologists in those years. Dr. Simpson describes her first aircraft field program in Puerto Rico, 1952, an attempt to create a one-dimensional cumulus model. She details the results of a major weather modification project, cloud seeding programs with the Navy and then NOAA, using both modeling and field experiments. She comments on the demise of weather modification, and changes in research priorities. She clarifies her role as a consultant to the Hurricane Project and Project Stormfury and discusses her interest in hurricane research as it intersected with cloud physics. She comments on the various institutions in which she has worked, on changes in the AMS over forty years, including the role of women in the Society. In addition, she discusses the work and careers of distinguished graduate students she recruited. She examines the balance between modeling and observational work. She concludes by reflecting on her own changing research interests, and the effect of gender on her career.


  • 1989-09-06

Conditions Governing Access

Some access restrictions apply to the interviews within this collection, and all are not open for access. Please contact the Archives for more information.

Access to interviews in this collection is provided through OpenSky, the NCAR Library's digital repository.


From the Collection: 107.00 Items

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Archives Repository