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Atmospheric Sciences Research Center Celebrates 50 Years

By Mattie Fitzpatrick | November 28, 2022

Whiteface Castle at the top of Whiteface Mountain.

Photo Credit: Tony Fischer

UAlbany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center hosted its 50th anniversary celebration in honor of the Whiteface Mountain Field Station and the progressive research being done there.

With numerous interactive displays and research boards that represented the work accomplished at the field station, scholars and visitors were able to honor this research center with an event held at the Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex. Speakers included James Schawb, a senior researcher at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, and Sara Lance, an Atmospheric Sciences Research Center research associate who is currently leading the cloud chemistry team at Whiteface.

Whiteface Mountain is the easiest summit to access in the Adirondacks and is 1,483 meters above sea level – the fifth highest peak in New York. Whiteface is exposed in all directions to wind and cloud and it is ideally suited for meteorological and in-situ cloud measurements due to its exposure to predominant westerly winds, according to History of the ASRC Whiteface Website. This institute has been working on investigating the interaction of chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and the effect that they have on the environment including the study of acid rain and deposition. Paul Casson, an operation manager working at the base said, “measuring precipitation … for the national atmospheric deposition program since 1983.”

The Whiteface Mountain Field Station was established on Feb. 16, 1961 by the State University of New York envisioned to be a “University-wide center to promote and encourage programs in basic and applied sciences related to the atmosphere.” This educational base specializes in sampling the chemical content of the atmosphere and continuously monitoring weather conditions as well as precipitation, according to the webpage for the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. This station comprises two physical sites, the Marble Mountain Lane site located in Wilmington, New York as well as a summit observatory.

Some other research centers or projects associated with University at Albany are the Center for Neuroscience Research, the Capital District Writing Project which is working towards enhancing the education of writing in Capital Region’s school, and the New York State Youth Justice Institute. University at Albany has been recognized by the Carnegie R1 Research institution since 2005 for their “high research activity.” Other colleges included on this list are Yale University, Binghamton University and Northeastern University.


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