Cora Randall

Distinguished Professor


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


Cora Randall is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and 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 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, atmospheric gravity waves, and atmospheric coupling through solar and magnetospheric energetic particle precipitation. 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 160 papers in refereed scientific journals and is an elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union and American Association for the Advancement of Science


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
-- Atmospheric gravity waves


-- Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) instrument on the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission, NASA Small Explorer
-- Wave-induced Atmospheric Variability Enterprise (WAVE), NASA DRIVE
-- Atmospheric Coupling via Energetic Electron Precipitation (EEP), NSF CEDAR


  • FYSM 1000: Stratospheric Explorations (fall semesters)


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

Some Recent Refereed Articles:

Pettit, J. M., C. E. Randall, D. E. Peck, D. R. Marsh, M. van de Kamp, X. Fang, V. L. Harvey, C. J. Rodger, and B. Funke, Atmospheric effects of >30 keV energetic electron precipitation in the southern hemisphere winter during 2003, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 124, doi:10.1029/2019JA026868, 2019.

Harvey, V. L., C. E. Randall, E. Becker, A. K. Smith, C. G. Bardeen, J. A. France, and L. P. Goncharenko, Evaluation of the mesospheric polar vortices in WACCM, J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres, doi:10.1029/2019JD030727, 2019.

Harvey, V. L., C. E. Randall, L. Goncharenko, E. Becker, and J. France, On the upward extension of the polar vortices into the mesosphere, J. Geophys. Res.: Atmospheres, doi:10.1029/2018JD028815, 2018. AGU Editors’ highlight (

Pettit, J., C. E. Randall, D. R. [...]

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

Honors and awards

-- American Geophysical Union Bowie Lecturer: Marcel Nicolet Lecture, 2019
-- Natl. Acad. Sci. Space Studies Board; Decadal Survey Recognition, 2019
-- CU Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Leadership and Service Award, 2017
-- Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015
-- Elected Fellow, 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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