Michael Newchurch

Professor, Atmospheric Science Department


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. His 70 refereed papers, numerous conference publications, and research summaries appear on his web page at nsstc.uah.edu/atmchem.

Visit Michael Newchurch's personal website


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

Classes Taught


  • Buckley, P. I., Bowdle, D. A., Newchurch, M. J., Sive, B. C., Mount, G. H. (in press). Extractive FTIR Spectroscopy with Cryogen-Free Low-Temperature Inert Preconcentration for Autonomous Measurements of Atmospheric Organics: 1: Instrument Development and Preliminary Performance. Applied Optics.
  • Newchurch, M. J. (2015). 93 Articles at nsstc.uah.edu/atmchem/publications. multiple. nsstc.uah.edu/atmchem/publications
  • Huang, G., Newchurch, M. J., Kuang, S., Buckley, P. I., Cantrell, W., Wang, L. (2015). Definition and determination of ozone laminae using Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT) analysis. Atmospheric Environment, 104, 125-131.