HIPPO Project Staff

Field Project Services (FPS)

Research Aviation Facility (RAF)

Computer Data Services (CDS)

Field Project Services (FPS)

Brigitte Baeuerle, Global Operations

Brigitte_BBrigitte is the Manager for the Field Project Services facility within NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. She works with a small group of Project Managers who help scientists in the planning, implementation, and coordination of scientific field campaigns such as HIPPO.

In short, her group takes care of all the arrangements that need to be in place before our scientists arrive on site to start the research operations. Once the project starts, she helps with the day-to-day operations by conducting the daily planning meetings, setting up the infrastructure (including computer networks), and providing administrative help as needed.

Jose Meitin, Associate Scientist

Jose_MeitinJose is one of the field project coordinators at EOL- During Phase II of HIPPO, he will be returning to Alaska to provide ground support at the Anchorage resupply station. He will handle security arrangements to access the FAA hangar,  will arrange for a supply of cryogenics to be available for the instrumentation and he'll  assist the onboard science crew with shipping their samples from the first leg and the North Pole flight back to their home institution. When the GV heads southward, he will return to Colorado to assist the Global Operations team with the daily weather briefings, flight planning and overall coordination. 

Alison Rockwell, EOL Field Campaign Media and Outreach Coordinator

Alison_RockwellAlison is the liaison between the incredible science that EOL supports the greater community and she's the energy behind the website, the Facebook page and the global outreach events. Alison has worked in the outdoor and science education for years, including several years as an Outward Bound instructor and a high school science teacher. When she's not in the office, you can usually find her on the trails either running or mountain biking. Alison lives in Boulder, CO with her husband and a menagerie of pets.

Vidal Salazar, Project Manager - Ground-based Field Support, Field Project Services

Vidal_SalazarOriginally from Mexico, Vidal has always been involved in science. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Organic Chemistry from the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila in Northern Mexico. He started working in NCAR in 1996 for a field project that was doing air chemistry and cloud physics research to try to understand the changing patterns of rain and cloud occurrences in northern Mexico Vidal became fascinated with field work and clouds and aerosols that he decided to pursue a graduate degree in atmospheric sciences. Vidal graduated in the summer of 2000 with a masters degree in astrophysics, planetary and atmospheric sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He started traveling all over the world, helping scientists do research in atmospheric science in many disciplines. Vidal hopes to finish his doctorate degree sometime in the future. His involvement in field projects has been very diverse from working on global projects from pole to pole and from continent to continent Vidal has collaborated with scientists to achieve the goals of the scientific projects.

Vidal loves to work with scientists, but he thinks that we need to focus on the younger generation of scientists, so he tries to involve students and early career scientist in field projects so they can too fall in love with atmosphere science.

During his free time, Vidal likes to exercise, hike, bike, rock climb and watch movies, he is a techy guy who can not be too far away from his iPhone or computer. He is an avid player of trivia games. Vidal has a lot of experience in foreign cultures; this makes him a very easy person to approach and to talk to. He can relate to cultural problems because he himself, coming from Mexico, got to experience it. He is the most approachable person you will ever meet, so if you see him in the field, don't be shy and go and say hi!

Research Aviation Facility

Tom Baltzer, RAF Software Engineer

Tom_BaltzerTom Baltzer is a Software Engineer with NCAR's EOL working at the Research Aviation Facility. Having been with RAF just over a year, he's still adjusting to the jet setting pace, dizzying heights and occasional turbulence offered by the experience.  Tom was responsible for the software side of the HIPPO I and HIPPO II data system uploads and in field support. Working in close partnership with RAF technicians, other EOL Software Engineers and RAF staff, he makes sure that all data signals are being correctly received, stored and processed for use by the science team. He also assures that the science team has all the software tools that they need to get their work done.

Tom keeps his wings under him by leveraging his experience working in remote sensing and scientific application software development as a contractor for JPL, the Alaska SAR facility, Byrd Polar Research Center, NOAA and the US Army Corp of Engineers as well as recent experience working for UCAR's Unidata Program Center.

Henry Boynton, Chief Pilot

Henry_BoyntonHenry Boynton can tell you what the atmosphere looks like at 51,000 feet above Earth's surface, a good 15,000 feet higher than most commercial airplanes venture. "The biggest thing you notice is that the sky is a lot bluer," he observes.

Cruising to that altitude is just part of a day's work for Henry, NCAR's chief pilot. He and the three other pilots on his team Scotty McClain, Ed Ringleman, and Steve Thompson's fly NCAR/EOL research aircraft: HIAPER, a modified Gulfstream V jet designed to fly at the cutting-edge of scientific research; and the C-130, a four-engine turboprop built for military transport and adapted for a variety of research missions. Both planes are owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by NCAR.

Greg Bruning, Technician

Greg_BrunningGreg is a Technician at NCAR's Research Aviation Facility (RAF). He works on installing and maintaining the scientific payload on the NSF/NCAR GV. He has been on various stages of the  HIPPO I & II, and will fly on HIPPO III from Colorado to Christchurch, New Zealand with the HIPPO team.



John Cowan, Senior Technician

John_CowanJohn is a Technician at NCAR's Research Aviation Facility (RAF). He works on installing and maintaining the scientific payload on the aircraft. He also will fly the first North Pole mission with the NSF/NCAR GV and support the plane while it is in Anchorage. 



Bill Irwin, Technician, Inlet Specialist

Bill_IrwinBill is one of the lead tech IV's at RAF, been at NCAR since 1982, his first project was JAWS with ATD/EOL.

Bill works on installing, maintaining and calibrating various RAF instrumentation, with special emphasis on some of the wing probes. He helped with the design and build up all the HIML inlets for the NSF/NCAR GV as well as other projects. Bill recently completed a winter-long deployment with RAF's other airplane, the C-130, to Peoria, IL for the PLOWS project.

Scotty McClain, Pilot

Scotty_McClainScotty will be one of the pilots during the PREDICT campaign. He has many flight hours under his belt from spending 26 years in the US Air Force flying C-130's and Gulfstreams.



Ed Ringleman, Pilot

Ed_Ringleman Ed joined NCAR's Research Aviation Facility in 1984 at the age of 22. Working full-time while attending night college and flight training he came up through the ranks and has held the positions of; Aircraft Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, Turbopropeller Powered Flight Engineer on the Lockheed L-188C Electra and C-130 Hercules, Company Flight Engineer Check Airman, Director of Aircraft Maintenance, and the past 11 years as Pilot. Ed holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with type ratings in the Gulfstream GV and Lockheed L-382 (C-130) Hercules aircraft as well as current Certified Flight Instructor/Advanced Ground Instructor Certificates.  While at the RAF he has acquired over 4300 hours of flight experience. The past 25 years at NCAR he has traveled as far north as Thule Greenland, as far south as Tasmania and to remote islands such as Christmas, Guadalcanal Solomon Islands, Wake, Midway, Antigua and Maule Maldives. Travel has also included research projects in Europe and Asia. Ed is one of four pilots that operate NCAR's fleet of aircraft and the first crew to fly the HIPPO campaign.

Pavel Romashkin, Project Manager - Aircraft Operations Support

Originally from Russia, Pavel graduated with a M.S. degree from Novosibirsk State University and came to the United States for graduate studies. Living in working in South Carolina, he completed his Ph.D. in geology in 1997 and went to work for NOAA in Boulder, CO. During the next seven years he participated in a number of research projects with NASA, addressing issues related to ozone destruction and recovery, ozone processes in the Arctic and global environmental observations. The latter involved two 4,000 mile, 14-day trips on an instrumented railroad car along the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Pavel joined NCAR in 2004 as a project manager to help the Research Aviation Facility advance the new research platform that just was coming online, the Gulfstream V aircraft (aka HIAPER). In the next years he led field projects that studied hurricane Katrina, pollutants transport from Asia across the Pacific and the first truly global airborne experiment, HIPPO. With two other project managers of RAF Pavel participated in multiple other field projects from Canada to the Carribean.

Becoming a geologist was Pavel's dream since the school years because of his early experience of working in the Soviet Union Geologic Survey. Living in the tents in the endless, untouched woods of Siberia all summer long, mosquito bitten and cold sometimes, and overjoyed by sunsets and amazing scenery on others, he decided he wanted to make this lifestyle his career. However, by the time he finished his studies in geology, the collapse of the Soviet Union and dismissal of the State Geological Services in the USSR caused him to start looking for a similar job in the U.S. The challenge of field deployment of atmospheric research instrumentation was irresistible, and following on to NCAR as a field project manager was just a logical conclusion.

Traveling to remote field sites is both rewarding and demanding. There is no place that we deployed to that would be like the United States in either the creature comforts or the operating conditions. From becoming friends with local fuelers and tower operators, to understanding the unique demands of complicated scientific instruments, to working with people from different countries and cultures, to being involved in troubleshooting aircraft problems, to working with the Air Force on military airlifts - everything has a place in the life of a project manager in research aviation. And enjoying a beautiful sunset in Tahiti or Easter Island with a Mai Tai in hand after a long work day only adds the last drop of perfection to the satisfying feeling of a job well done.

Steve Thompson, Pilot

Thompson_SteveSteve Thompson is a research Pilot flying the NSF/NCAR GV aircraft, conducting mission planning and coordination with Air Traffic Control. The majority of his flying experience comes from the U.S. Air Force where he primarily flew C-130 aircraft. After dabbling in the airline industry for about a year, he came to NCAR where atmospheric research flying has proven much more rewarding and interesting than passenger transport.

Kurt Zrubek, Electrical Systems DER, Head of Instrumentation Group

Kurt_ZrubeckKurt is an engineer at RAF where he is one of two FAA Designated Engineering Representatives (DER) at RAF. One of his responsibilities is to oversee the equipment upload and that the project equipment installed on the NSF/NCAR GV for HIPPO meet the required Federal Aviation Regulations. He works hand-n-hand with the FAA. He'll also man the RAF data system for the flights down to Christchurch, ensuring instrumentation and data quality, as well as assisting the scientific crew on the flights with technical issue.

Computer Data Services

Chris Webster, Software Engineering Group Head

Chris_WebsterChris is a Software Engineer for The Research Aviation Facility at NCAR. His primary duties are writing data acquisition, data processing and analysis software. Author of the nimbus processor for the aircraft data, ncplot, ncpp and xpms2d for data display and analysis, and of course field support.