Chris Castro, HAS Professor and University Distinguished Department Head, Begins a New Chapter and Takes On A New Challenge at NCAR!

May 24, 2024
Christopher Castro

Our warmest congratulations go to friend, colleague, HAS Professor, University Distinguished Department Head, and our Fierce and Fearless Leader, Chris Castro, as he begins a new chapter and takes on a new challenge as the new Director of the Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado!

Chris joined the University of Arizona over 18 years ago with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and later with the merged Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. In addition to his duties as a HAS Professor, he has served as the Director of the Center for Applied Hydroclimate Sciences (CAHS) in the Arizona Institute for Resilience. 

Chris began his journey as HAS Interim Department Head in October 2022 upon the tragic death of our dear friend and colleague, Tom Meixner. We could not have navigated the past few years without his compassion, integrity, and steadfast leadership. His support of and advocacy for students, staff, faculty, and the Meixner-Cotter families has been exemplary and unwavering. 

Chris is, in fact, returning to his academic roots. He completed his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and, as he commented to the Provost: 

"NCAR holds a very special place for me in my life. I started out my journey in atmospheric science as a student protégé in the inaugural class of the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program in the late 1990s and have maintained collaborations and professional connections with the organization ever since. I currently serve as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on University Relations (PACUR)."

"The RAL Directorship position provides me an exciting, once in a lifetime, opportunity to give back to an organization that has made such a profoundly positive impact on my life and well aligned with my professional ideals. I will be leading the laboratory within NCAR that is paving the way toward actionable science for society."

Chris will assume his new position as Director of the Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) at NCAR on August 1.

Kudos, Chris, and many, many thanks!

We wish you the very best as you take on this new role and look forward to the new and remarkable UArizona-HAS-NCAR collaborations that will undoubtedly emerge and be strengthened as you bring a new vision to NCAR's Research Application Laboratory. 

Christopher Castro
Erma Santander