Dr. Walter Robinson will become head of the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences on Aug. 16. He succeeds John Fountain, who is returning to the faculty after nearly a decade as department head.
Robinson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Pennsylvania. Following a year measuring cosmic radiation in Antarctica, he received a Ph.D. in geological sciences from Columbia University in 1985. He spent three years as a postdoc at the University of Washington before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he remained until 2006, earning the rank of full professor. He came to NC State in 2009 following three years as a program director at the National Science Foundation.
Robinson uses theory, computational models and data analysis to study the dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere as it relates to climate variability and climate change. His current projects include studies of the North Atlantic storm track and its responses to climate change, analyses of observed and modeled surface temperatures over the United States, and the processes that cause atmospheric circulation over the Arctic to change abruptly in the spring. He serves on the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for Geosciences.