As Co-Principal Investigator, Pat McCormick works to assist the PI in all aspects of the mission that are related to science leadership. McCormick is a faculty member at Hampton University (HU), a major collaborator in the CALIPSO mission. In this capacity, he oversees the HU components of the mission, including the quid pro quo validation, led by Tom Kovacs; the outreach component, led by Dianne Robinson and Barb Maggi; and code development of level two data products. In terms of CALIPSO's science objectives, McCormick is interested in two specific aspects: stratospheric aerosols and polar stratospheric clouds.
Image left: Shown here is Pat McCormick, the co-principal investigator for CALIPSO.
What attracted you to the CALIPSO mission?
I really enjoy the fact that CALIPSO will be a long duration spaced-based lidar. Early in my career, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on lidar, and I have worked work lidar since before it was ever even flown on an aircraft. In 1994, I was PI of LITE (Lidar In-space Technology Experiment), the first-ever space-base lidar. CALIPSO is really a culmination of a dream for me.
What's your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy working with students. I am an active faculty member in the HU Center for Atmospheric Science, part of the Physics department. I have three doctoral candidate graduate students working with me on CALIPSO-related research. It is fulfilling to see these students getting to be involved in the mission.
What interesting perspectives or hobbies do you bring to the team?
Since 1963, I have been refereeing college wrestling, a hobby that began when I competed as a varsity wrestler at Washington and Jefferson College, near Pittsburgh, Pa. In recent years, I have worked with the NCAA to train college wrestling refs all over the country.