Michael J. Newchurch, Ph.D.

Professor, Atmospheric and Earth Science


320 Sparkman Drive
National Space Science & Technology Center
Room 3042
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Dr. Michael J. Newchurch is a Professor in the Atmospheric Science Department at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) where he has been affiliated since 1988. He earned his B.S. degree in Industrial Sciences from Colorado State University in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from The Georgia Institute of Technology in 1986. He became an Adjunct Assistant Professor in 1988, Associate Research Professor in 1994, Associate Professor in 2000, tenured in 2003, and Professor in 2005. He was a visiting scientist at NCAR Atmospheric Chemistry Division in 1998 and an Affiliate Scientist from 1999-2001. He has taught Atmospheric Chemistry, Photochemical Modeling, Remote Sensing, Atmospheric Dynamics, and Environmental Science. He has proposed research studies totaling of $27.4 million, $9.5 million of which has been awarded.

Dr. Newchurch's most significant achievements resulted from his publication with colleagues of the first stage of the recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer. This discovery confirmed the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol and amendments. It received world-wide attention both in scientific circles and in the popular press. It was the most popular story on the AAAS website in 2003, the most popular story ever on the AGU site, and a top-10 NASA accomplishment in 2003. He was awarded the NASA group achievement award for his role as Assistant Mission Scientist on the ATLAS-2 and ATLAS-3 missions in 1992 and 1993.

Dr. Newchurch's current fields of interest include tropospheric ozone profile measurements with lidars and ozonesondes, retrievals from satellite instruments, atmospheric photochemical modeling, and ozone trend analyses. He conceived, designed, built, and now directs the Regional Atmospheric Profiling Center for Discovery (RAPCD), an active lidar and passive remote-sensing facility which includes the UAH/NOAA Ozonesonde station, a UV DIAL ozone lidar, Doppler wind lidar, elastic aerosol lidar, and several in situ aerosol and gas samplers. His past and current science team memberships include OMI, TOMS, SAGE, HALOE, AIRS, ATMOS, POAM, and SBUV. He has served on the NOAA/CREST external advisory Board, the NASA Space Station Utilization Advisory Subcommittee (SSAUS), and numerous UAH committees. He has 2 Ph.D. graduates, 3 M.S. graduates, 3 current Ph.D. students, 2 current M.S. students, and has supported 24 undergraduate researchers. His professional organizations include the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, and the Optical Society of America. He has been a science fair judge, a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, a baseball and soccer coach, and a science mentor in the NCAR SOARS program.

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website


  • Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, The Georgia Institute of Technology, 1986
  • B.S., Industrial Sciences, Colorado State University , 1974

Honors & Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Award for ARCTAS, 2009
  • Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, 2007
  • William T. Pecora Award, 2007
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for the TOMS team, 2006
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment North America Science Team, 2005
  • Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year 2004, UAH Chapter
  • Sigma Xi (Scientific research honor society) member
  • Top-10 NASA Accomplishments for 2003; most popular AAAS and AGU web science story (2003): National Press Club announcement followed by >100 world-wide news stories: First Stage of Upper Atmospheric Ozone Recovery (2003).
  • NASA Group Achievement Award (ATLAS-2 and ATLAS-3)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for ATLAS-2 mission, 1993

Recent Publications

  • Johnson, M. S., X. Liu, P. Zoogman, J. Sullivan, M. J. Newchurch,S. Kuang, T. Leblanc, T. McGee (2018), Evaluation of potential sources of a priori ozone profiles for TEMPO. Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 3457-3477, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-3457-2018.

  • Langford, A. O., Avarez II, R. J., Brioude, J., Evan, S., Iraci, L. T., Kirgis, G., Kuang, S., Leblanc, T., Newchurch, M. J., Pierce, R. B., Senff, C. J., & Yates, E. L. (2018), Coordinated profiling of stratospheric intrusions and transported pollution by the Tropospheric Ozone Lidar Network (TOLNet) and NASA Alpha Jet experiment (AJAX): Observations and comparison to HYSPLIT, RAQMS, and FLEXPART, Atmos. Environ., Volume 174, Pages 1-14.

  • De Young, R., W. Carrion, R. Ganoe, D. Pliutau, G. Gronoff, T. Berkoff and S. Kuang (2017), Langley mobile ozone lidar: ozone and aerosol atmospheric profiling for air quality research. Appl. Opt., 56(3), 721-730.

  • Kuang, S., M. J. Newchurch, A. M. Thompson, R. M. Stauffer, B. J. Johnson, L. Wang (2017), Ozone Variability and Anomalies Observed during SENEX and SEAC4RS Campaigns in 2013, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 122, 11227-11241. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JD027139.

  • Wang, L., M. J. Newchurch, R. J. Alvarez II, T. A. Berkoff, S. S. Brown, W. Carrion, R. D. Young, B. J. Johnson, R. Ganoe, G. Gronoff, G. Kirgis, S. Kuang, A. O. Langford, T. Leblanc, E. E. McDuffie, T. J. McGee, D. Pliutau, C. J. Senff, J. T. Sullivan, G. Sumnicht, L. W. Twigg, A. J. Weinheimer, Quantifying TOLNet Ozone Lidar Accuracy during the 2014 DISCOVER-AQ and FRAPPÉ Campaigns, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 3865-3876, 2017, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-3865-2017.

  • Travis, K. R., D. J. Jacob, C. A. Keller, S. Kuang, J. Lin, M. J. Newchurch, A. M. Thompson, Resolving Ozone Vertical gradients in Air Quality Models, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-596, in review, 2017.

  • Huang, G., X. Liu, K. Chance, K. Yang, P. Bhartia, Z. Cai, M. Allaart, G. Ancellet, B. Calpini, G. Coetzee, E. Cuevas, M. Cupeiro, H. Backer, M. K. Dubey, H. E. Fuelberg, M. Fujiwara, S. Godin-Beekmann, T. J. Hall, B. Johnson, M. Yela, ..., M. J. Newchurch, et al., (2017), Validation of 10-year SAO OMI Ozone Profile (PROFOZ) Product using Ozonesonde Observations, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, doi: 10.5194/amt-10-2455-2017.

  • Reid. J. S., R. E. Kuehn, R. E. Holz, E. W. Eloranta, K. C. Kaku, S. Kuang, M. J. Newchurch, A. M. Thompson, C. R. Trepte, J. Zhang, S. A. Atwood, J. L. Hand, B. N. Holben, P. Minnis, D. J. Posselt, (2017), Ground based high spectral resolution lidar observation of aerosol vertical distribution in the summertime Southeast United States: Aerosol vertical distribution, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 122, 2970-3004, doi: 10.1002/2016JD025798.

  • Kuang, S., M.J. Newchurch, M. S. Johnson, L. Wang, J. Burris, R. B. Pierce, E. W. Eloranta, I. B. Pollack, M. Graus, J. de. Gouw, C. Warneke, T. B. Ryerson, M. Z. Markovic, J. S. Holloway, A. Pour-Biazar, G. Huang, X. Liu, N. Feng, (2017), Summertime tropospheric ozone enhancement associated with a cold front passage due to stratosphere-to-troposphere transport and biomass burning: simultaneous ground-based lidar and airborne measurements, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 122, 1293-1311, doi:10.1002/2016JD026078.

  • Zoogman P., X. Liu, R.M. Suleiman, W.F. Pennington, D.E. Flittner, J.A. Al-Saadi, B.B. Hilton, D.K. Nicks, M.J. Newchurch, J.L. Carr, S.J. Janz, M.R. Andraschko, A. Arola, B.D. Baker, B.P. Canova, C. Chan Miller, R.C. Cohen, J.E. Davis, M.E. Dussault, D.P. Edwards, J. Fishman, A. Ghulam, G. Gonzalez Abad, M. Grutter, J.R. Herman, J. Houck, D.J. Jacob, J. Joiner, B.J. Kerridge, J. Kim, N.A. Krotkov, L. Lamsal, C. Li, A. Lindfors, R.V. Martin, C.T. McElroy, C. McLinden, V. Natraj, D.O. Neil, C.R. Nowlan, P.I. Palmer, R.B. Pierce, M.R. Pippin, A. Saiz-Lopez, R.J.D. Spurr, J.J. Szykman, O. Torres, J.P. Veefkind, B. Veihelmann, H. Wang, J. Wang, and K. Chance (2017), Tropospheric emissions: monitoring of pollution (TEMPO), Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 186, 17-39.