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Cora Randall

Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences


  • 303-492-8208
  • Office: SPSC-W130


Cora Randall is a professor and chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; she is also a faculty member in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. She received a B.A. degree in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Purchase in 1982 and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1985. After an initial research career investigating optical characteristics of proteins, she joined the University of Colorado in 1989 to work on the Hubble Space Telescope. In 1993 she became involved in Earth atmosphere studies. Her main area of expertise is satellite remote sensing of the earth’s middle atmosphere, with particular emphasis on the polar regions. She investigates processes related to stratospheric ozone depletion, polar mesospheric clouds, and atmospheric coupling through solar and magnetospheric energetic particle precipitation. Dr. Randall teaches courses in chemistry, climate, radiative transfer, and remote sensing. She is a current or prior member of numerous international satellite science teams, and is principal investigator on the Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) experiment on the NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite mission. She has published more than 100 papers in refereed scientific journals.


State University of New York — Purchase, NY
B.A. Chemistry

University of California — Santa Cruz, CA
M.S. Chemistry

University of California — Santa Cruz, CA
Ph.D. Chemistry


-- Atmospheric effects of energetic particle precipitation
-- Stratospheric ozone
-- Polar mesospheric clouds
-- Atmospheric coupling
-- Satellite and model data analysis
-- Remote sensing measurement validation


-- PI on Response of the Atmosphere to Impulsive Solar Events (RAISE), a NASA Living With a Star program
-- PI on the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) instrument, a NASA Small Explorer program
-- From Sun to Ice: The impact on Earth of extreme solar events, NSF
-- NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) studies of atmospheric coupling, PMCs, and effects of energetic particle precipitation


  • ATOC 5235, Introduction to Atmospheric Remote Sensing and Radiative Transfer
  • ATOC 4800, Policy Implications of Climate Controversies
  • ATOC 3500, Air Chemistry and Pollution
  • ATOC 1050, Weather and the Atmosphere


Book: Polarized Light in Optics and Spectroscopy. D.S. Kliger, J.W. Lewis and C.E. Randall. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 1990.

Refereed Publications (more than 100 total):

Year 2013
Smith, A. K., et al. (16 co-authors), Satellite observations of ozone in the upper mesosphere, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 5803–5821, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50445, 2013.

Tweedy, O. V., et al. (10 co-authors), Nighttime secondary ozone layer during major stratospheric sudden warmings in specified-dynamics WACCM, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 8346–8358, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50651, 2013.

Holt, L. A., C. E. Randall, E. D. Peck, D. R. Marsh, A. K. Smith, and V. L. Harvey, The influence of major sudden stratospheric warming and elevated stratopause events on the effects of energetic particle precipitation in WACCM, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 11,636–11,646, doi:10.1002/2013JD020294, 2013.

Carstens, J.N., S.M. Bailey, J.D. Lumpe, and C.E. Randall, Understanding uncertainties in the retrieval of [...]

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American Geophysical Union, Fellow
American Meteorological Society
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Honors and awards

-- Elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, 2012
-- University of Colorado Excellence in Leadership Program Fellow, 2010-2011
-- University of Colorado Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award, 2008
-- NASA Group Achievement Award, AIM Mission, GSFC / NASA, 2008
-- NASA Group Achievement Award, Aura Program, GSFC / NASA, 2005
-- NASA Certificate of Recognition, Aura Program, GSFC / NASA, 2005
-- NASA Group Achievement Award, SOLVE-II program, NASA, 2004
-- Alan Berman Research Publications Award, Department of the Navy, 1996; 2003
-- Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, Geophysical Research Letters, 1998
-- Certificate of Recognition, Hubble Space Telescope Program, GSFC / NASA, 1991
-- Group Achievement Award, HST-GHRS Development Team, GSFC / NASA, 1991


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