Biography of Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd
Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd joined the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia (UGA) in January 2006. He is an Associate Professor conducting research and teaching in areas related to atmospheric sciences, climatology, water cycle processes and urban climate systems.
Prior to joining the UGA faculty, Dr. Shepherd was a research meteorologist in the Earth-Sun Division at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. He was also Deputy Mission Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, which launches in 2010. For the past 12 year, he has conducted research into weather and climate systems using advanced satellites, experimental aircraft, radars, and sophisticated computer models. This research seeks to understand weather processes (i.e. thunderstorms, hurricanes, rainfall) atmospheric processes and to relate them to current weather and climate change. Dr. Shepherd is also interested in innovative strategies to infuse research data into applications and outreach communities. Dr. Shepherd’s most recent work is investigating the linkage between urban cities and rainfall modification using space-based instruments and models. For this work, Dr. Shepherd recently received the highest federal award given to the Nation’s young scientists and engineers. He was honored on May 4, 2004 at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for pioneering scientific research. He was also honored by Black Enterprise Magazine recently as one of their 2005 Hot List members, and The Network Journal magazine in 2005 as one of its “40 Under Forty.” Dr. Shepherd has several refereed publications in AMS, AGU, and other journals and has been funded by several NASA programs to carry out his research. Shepherd also contributes articles to popular publications like Weatherwise and Earth Observation Magazine.
Dr. Shepherd provides service to NASA and the larger scientific and educational communities through his work as a National Science Foundation ERE advisory council member, United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization steering committee member on aerosols and precipitation, contributing authorship on the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, JASON Host Researcher, American Meteorological Society (AMS) member, National Technical Association Member, American Geophysical Union Member, International Association of Urban Climatology member and newsletter editor, and reviewer on numerous technical and science committees. Dr. Shepherd was also recently elected to the American Meteorological Society Council, a significant honor in his field. He is also a member of the editorial board for the new journal, Geography Compass.
Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D in physical meteorology from Florida State University. He was the first African American to receive a Ph.D from the Florida State University Department of Meteorology, one of the nation’s oldest and respected. He is an AMS/TRW Industry and Dolores Auzene Fellow as well as a National Achievement Scholar. He is a member of Sigma Xi Research Honorary, Chi Epsilon Pi Meteorology Honorary, and Omicron Delta Kappa National Honorary. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He has numerous written publications, oral presentations, and media (TV and radio) appearances as a NASA expert on weather, climate, and remote sensing. During the Hurricane Seasons of 2004 and 2005, Dr. Shepherd appeared in over 50 media interviews including the Today Show, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, and several others. He is frequently asked to present findings and results to key personnel at NASA, Congress, the White House, Department of Defense, and officials from foreign countries. He also recently co-authored a children’s book on conducting weather-related science projects and understanding basic weather information.
Dr. Shepherd is married to Ayana Shepherd and has a 2-year old daughter named Arissa. They reside in Georgia. In his spare time, Dr. Shepherd is an avid sports fan and also enjoys fitness training. Dr. Shepherd is also an audio-video-home theater enthusiast, scrabble expert, and CD collector (approaching 2000). Dr. Shepherd is originally from Canton, Georgia.