ARM Staff Updates: Eastern North Atlantic Gets a New Manager

Published: 10 November 2022
Juarez Viegas
Juarez Viegas

Juarez Viegas recently became the operations manager of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility’s Eastern North Atlantic atmospheric observatory in the Azores.

Viegas is based at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. He succeeds Hannah Ransom, who left LANL in August 2022 to return to school.

Viegas has spent almost a decade with ARM. He joined ARM in December 2013 to supervise instrumentation during the Green Ocean Amazon (GoAmazon2014/15) campaign in Brazil, then supported ARM deployments in places such as Ascension Island, the Southern Ocean, Argentina, the central Arctic, and Norway. He also worked as a site technician at the ENA.

Hannah Ransom
Hannah Ransom

LANL, which manages the ENA and two of ARM’s three mobile facilities, hired Viegas as an instrument engineer in July 2021.

Viegas has a master’s degree in climate and environment from the National Institute for Amazonian Research in Brazil.

Ransom began with the ARM team at LANL in August 2019. She stepped in as the acting ENA operations manager when Paul Ortega retired the following year.

Ransom guided ENA operations during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when travel restrictions were in place for the Azores. The island chain is more than 800 miles west of mainland Portugal.

Welcome to Argonne

Mark Spychala
Mark Spychala

Fresh off supporting the recently concluded TRacking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER), Mark Spychala has a new job with ARM.

Spychala is now at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. There, he is a site operations specialist for ARM’s Southern Great Plains atmospheric observatory and the upcoming deployment of the third ARM Mobile Facility (AMF3) to the Southeastern United States. He has joined Patty Campbell, Nicki Hickmon, and Mike Ritsche on the AMF3 site operations team at Argonne.

From February to October 2022, Spychala was a site technician with Hamelmann Communications for the TRACER campaign near Houston, Texas.

From left, Max Grover, Joe O'Brien, Bhupendra Raut, and Matt Tuftedal
From left, Max Grover, Joe O’Brien, Bhupendra Raut, and Matt Tuftedal

Four other recent Argonne hires have joined ARM:

  • Max Grover is a software developer focused on developing and maintaining open-source tools related to weather and climate data, such as the Python ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART) and the Atmospheric data Community Toolkit (ACT). He is also heavily involved with outreach efforts focused on training community members how to use open-source tools and open data from ARM. He came to Argonne from the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Joe O’Brien is an atmospheric science software specialist working on analysis of precipitation products for TRACER and the ongoing Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL) campaign. He was previously at the University of North Dakota.
  • Bhupendra Raut is working on radar data analysis, algorithms, and meteorological product development. He previously worked on cloud dynamics and rain microphysics at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Matt Tuftedal is an associate instrument mentor for ARM’s microwave radiometers and surface meteorological instrumentation. At Argonne, he is involved in an Urban Integrated Field Laboratory project recently funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. He came to Argonne and ARM from Radiometrics Corp. in Boulder.

ARM Newcomers, Veterans to Lead SAIL Short Course

Monica Ihli
Monica Ihli

Grover and Monica Ihli, a recently hired data systems engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, will help lead an ARM-related short course during the 2023 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting.

Ihli, who previously worked at the University of Tennessee, provides high-performance computing support for ARM.

During the January 8 short course, participants will learn how to analyze SAIL data using open-source tools. The SAIL sites near Crested Butte, Colorado, are about a 4 1/2-hour drive from the AMS 2023 host city of Denver.

Grover and Ihli will teach the AMS short course along with Daniel Feldman, SAIL’s lead scientist from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, and Argonne-based ARM science translator Scott Collis.

Registration for the short course is open now.

New to the North Slope

Matthew Mockaitis
Matthew Mockaitis

Matthew Mockaitis is a new associate instrument mentor, helping lead mentor Matthew Sturm with precipitation instruments at ARM’s North Slope of Alaska atmospheric observatory.

Mockaitis is a mentor for the laser disdrometer, solid particles mass flux sensor, sonic ranging sensor, and weighing bucket precipitation gauge.

Mockaitis also works at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a geospatial analyst. He recently moved to Fairbanks from Houston.

Title Changes

Portraits of Jim Mather and Jennifer Comstock
Jim Mather and Jennifer Comstock

There are two new titles in ARM’s organization chart.

Jim Mather is now the ARM director, while Jennifer Comstock is now ARM’s associate director for research.

Previously, Mather was ARM’s technical director, and Comstock was ARM’s engineering and process manager.

Mather’s and Comstock’s ARM roles are not changing. Their titles have only changed to be more consistent with other U.S. Department of Energy facilities and to better describe their roles.

Chitra Sivaraman
Chitra Sivaraman

In addition to her new ARM title, Comstock is also taking on team lead responsibilities for most ARM software developers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state. Chitra Sivaraman is stepping down as the team lead but will continue to perform development work for ARM value-added products.

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ARM is a DOE Office of Science user facility operated by nine DOE national laboratories.