Adjunct, Atmospheric Science
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Valparaiso University
Ph.D. Space Physics and Astronomy, 1995, Rice University, Houston, TX
M.S. Space Physics and Astronomy, 1992, Rice University, Houston, TX
B.A. Physics and Mathematics, 1989, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Office: 432-E SR1
Phone: (281) 506-2699
Google Scholar Profile
Dr. Gary A. Morris has significant experience in ozonesonde (ozone measuring instruments on weather balloons) measurements and has been responsible for >600 ozonesonde flights in Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Panama, Japan, and Costa Rica. He founded the Tropospheric Ozone Pollution Project (TOPP) in Houston in July 2004. The project continues to the present day, with initial funding support from Rice University's Shell Center for Sustainability and subsequent funding from the NASA Office of Earth Science and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. His projects have involved more than 50 students (mostly undergraduate) in meaningful roles, and his data (all accessible through the project website at www.valpo.edu/ozone) have been the subject of more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications and more than two dozen conference presentations.
A secondary area of research, Dr. Morris also purses studies of the effectiveness of teaching, with work primarily focused on introductory physics classes. This area of his research has led to two publications in the American Journal of Physics and an active collaboration with the Mazur Group at Harvard University.
Dr. Morris began his research career studying atmospheric electricity with his Ph.D. advisor, Arthur Few (retired, Rice University, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy), and in collaboration with James Benbrook (retired) and Edgar Bering (University of Houston, Dept. of Physics). He continued his research at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center studying satellite data on trace gases in the stratosphere and dynamical models of the stratosphere, developing the trajectory mapping technique under Mark Schoeberl. This analysis technique remains widely used by the atmospheric research community to the present day. He then worked at NASA as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow under James Gleason before moving to the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he began his teaching career.
The Dept. of Physics & Astronomy at Valparaiso University is Dr. Morris' primary home now, but he regularly visits Houston and the Dept. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Houston where the ozonesonde project continues, now finishing its 10th summer of Houston observations, resulting in the largest urban mega-city ozone profile database in the world.