Author Archives: Sundar Christopher

About Sundar Christopher

Dr. Christopher received his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from Colorado State University in 1995. He also holds a Master's degree in Meteorology from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) and a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. After completing his PhD, Dr. Christopher joined the faculty at SDSMT in the Department of Meteorology. In 1997, he joined the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at UAH as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001 and was awarded tenure in 2002. He became a Full Professor in 2007. From August 2007-May 2014, he served as Associate Director of the Earth System Science Center. He served as Chairman of the Department of Atmospheric Science from 2010-2014. He successfully designed a Master's level graduate program in Earth System Science that educates and trains graduate students in new paradigms involving research to decision making. In 2014 he was appointed as Dean of the College of Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dr. Christopher's research interests include satellite remote sensing of clouds and aerosols and their impact on air quality, environment, health, and global and regional climate. He works with numerous satellite data sets from polar orbiting and geostationary satellites, ground-based instruments, and aircraft data to study the earth-atmosphere system. He has published more than 100 peer reviewed papers in national and international journals including several review papers related to aerosols, air quality and the climate impacts of aerosols. He has served on numerous national and international committees including the Climate Change Science Panel and the GEWEX. Dr. Christopher enjoys teaching and has designed and developed undergraduate and graduate level courses with special emphasis on hands-on training using satellite data. He also designed a professional development course for graduate students and maintains a blog to help students navigate graduate school. In 2011 AGU published his book titled Navigating Graduate School and Beyond : A Career Guide for Graduate Students and a Must Read for every Advisor. Dr. Christopher has published extensively in national and international peer-reviewed journals and has also presented his work at major scientific conferences. He has been invited to speak at major venues including the World Federation of Scientists (Erice, Sicily), the United Nations Symposium in 2007 (Graz, Austria), the American Association for Aerosol Research, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS), the United Nations Symposium on Space Applications, 2008 (Graz, Austria), the Osher Institute of Higher Learning, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, and various national and international universities (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, Purdue University, Texas A&M, University of Nebraska, University of Wisconsin, Goddard Space Flight Center, Colorado State University, and others). He has won several million dollars in numerous grants and contracts from NASA, NOAA, and other federal agencies for studying earth-atmosphere processes. He has won several awards including the University Award for Research and Creative Achievement in 2006 and NASA New Investigator Award. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has served as an expert reviewer for the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). He is a citizen of the United States of America.

For the parent of a graduate student

I recently had the privilege of having lunch with a student who had completed his undergraduate degree with very high honors. His parents were also at this luncheon. Given his excellent academic record he was offered graduate research assistantships to … Continue reading

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I am almost there with my second book

This been has been a while in the making. Soon after my first book came out on ‘Navigating Graduate School and Beyond’ that was written primarily for graduate students, I began to receive comments about my perspectives on how early … Continue reading

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Early Career Faculty Advice – Carving out a time to keep up with the literature

You interviewed well, negotiated like a superstar   (based on the principles in my first book, Navigating Graduate School and beyond) and you have accepted the offer to become an Assistant Professor. You packed your bags and if you are … Continue reading

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Early Career Faculty Advice – Departmental Politics

Having served as Department Chair for four years and now wrapping up the third year of my Deanship at UAH, I often encounter many early career faculty (notice I did not say young faculty) who are trying to juggle their … Continue reading

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2017 Graduate School Goals

Happy New Year to the student and adviser. First year students who started in Fall 2016 now have a semester under their belt. You probably took two to three courses and tried to figure out the differences between undergrad and … Continue reading

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The Wandering adviser

This is going to register so close to home for some of you since you may be in this situation right now. Your adviser is a wanderer. Brilliant, full of ideas but never focused to stay on completing tasks. Let … Continue reading

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Professional Ethics for the Graduate Student

Probably one of the most difficult topics to tackle is professional ethics. Why is that? In a world where there appears to be no one right way to do anything, everything appears gray.  You’ve probably heard the phrase “there is … Continue reading

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