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Profile Photo for Bill Olson

Bill Olson

Res Assoc Prof

Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology
Off Campus, Room C414; Bldg. 33, NASA GSFC
Ph D, University of Wisconsin (1987)
BA, Cornell University (1978)

Dr. Olson studied physics and astronomy as an undergraduate, and became interested in planetary atmospheres research with encouragement from Prof. Peter Gierasch and Prof. Warren Knapp at Cornell University. He continued these studies as a graduate student at Univ. of Wisconsin under the advisement of Prof. James Weinman, using satellite microwave remote sensing to diagnose precipitation and latent heating in convective storms. This led to collaborations with Dr. William Raymond in an effort to assimilate precipitation/heating in numerical weather prediction forecasts. Since joining NASA in 1994, he has continued these studies using data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellites. He leads a team that continues to develop a method for estimating precipitation profiles and latent heating from a combination of radar and passive microwave radiometer observations from the TRMM and GPM satellites. Currently, he is also developing a gridded analysis for the global water and energy cycles based upon a variational assimilation approach.

Research Interests

His main professional focus is in radar and passive microwave measurement of precipitation and latent heating, but his research interests go beyond remote sensing. Some of his side interests include cloud physics, diagnosis of latent heating and generation of available potential energy in convective systems, stratocumulus modeling, the earth's energy and water cycles, and data assimilation.

Teaching Interests

Have taught Atmospheric Physics (physical meteorology) and a Seminar Course in Precipitation Science at UMBC.


(Author) Earth Science Seminar Series Oral Presentation Microwave Properties of Melting Snowflakes NASA JPL NASA JPL, Pasadena, CA