Susan C. van den Heever
Monfort Professor

Home   Group   Research   Publications   RAMS Model   Classes   Awards   Theses   Links   Share


Welcome to the research group of Professor Susan van den Heever. Our research interests are in CLOUD PROCESSES, particularly cloud physics, aerosol indirect effects, storm and mesoscale dynamics and convective organization. We use cloud resolving models and satellite data sets such as CloudSat and CALIPSO to achieve our research goals. Our work has been or is currently sponsored by the NSF, NASA, DOE and CG/AR. Professor van den Heever teaches classes in cloud physics, cloud dynamics, mesoscale and synoptic meteorology, and mesoscale modeling, has authored a book on Storm and Cloud Dynamics, and has participated in several field campaigns including CRYSTAL-FACE (NASA), BAMEX (NSF) and ICE-T (NSF).

(Top row) Peter Marinescu, Aryeh Drager, Sue van den Heever, Michal Clavner, Steve Herbener, Steve Saleeby, Sean Freeman. (Bottom row) Emily Riley, Amanda Sheffield, Adele Igel, Leah Grant.



Photo c/o Christina McCluskey


MODIS Aqua true color image, 2 Sep. 2014


Animation c/o Leah Grant


Saleeby and vdH

© Copyright 2014 AMS


Photo c/o Leah Grant


CloudSat reflectivity c/o Matt Igel


June 22: Adele has been appointed as an Assistant Professor and Assistant Cloud Physicist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at the University of California, Davis. Congratulations, Adele!

June 2: Ben has arrived to start research over the summer before classes start in the fall. Welcome to the group, Ben!

Rachel Phinney

May 23: Rachel Phinney, an undergraduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is here for the summer to work with Peter on MCS research as part of the ESMEI REU program. Welcome, Rachel!

May 26: Leah has been awarded a GROW travel award! With this award, Leah will spend three months at the University of Melbourne working with Todd Lane on cold pools and characteristics of tropical convection. Congratulations, Leah!

Amanda (left) and Adele (right) in their caps, gowns, and hoods after graduation.

May 13: Graduation Day! Congratulations to Amanda, Peter, Michal, and Adele for completing their degrees. Amanda and Adele attended the graduation ceremony on campus and were officially hooded.

May 6: Leah was honored today with the Alumni Award for best paper by a PhD student. Leah is the third student in the history of the department to win both the Riehl and Alumni Awards. Congratulations, Leah!

April 27: Ben has been awarded an AMS Graduate Fellowship. Congratulations, Ben! Read more here.

March 15: Emily received a 2015 Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing from JGR-Atmospheres. Great job, Emily! See the full story here.

February 23: Peter successfully defended his Masters Thesis. Well done and congratulations, Peter!

February 15: Leah presented her cold pool research at the HD(CP)2 conference in Berlin.

February 2: Peter was awarded an OSPA for his presentation at the AMS Annual Meeting. Congratulations, Peter!

January 6: Leah was awarded an OSPA (Outstanding Student Paper Award) for her presentation at the AGU Fall Meeting. Way to go, Leah!

December 14-18: Steve S., Leah, Michal, Adele, Peter, and Sue all presented research at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

December 10: Jungmin Park will be joining our group in January as a new PhD student. We all look forward to welcoming Jungmin to CSU and Fort Collins!

December 1: Adele has officially transitioned to a postdoc position within the group. Everyone is excited that she will be staying with the group for a bit longer!

November 20: Leah wins an early career travel grant to attend the HD(CP)2 Understanding Clouds and Precipitation Conference. Have fun in Berlin, Leah!

November 19: Michal successfully defends her dissertation to complete our trifecta of PhD defenses in the past month. Congratulations, Dr. Clavner!

November 10: Amanda passes her dissertation defense. Congratulations, Dr. Sheffield!

November 5: One of Sue's new projects which will look at aerosol properties and spatial distributions in coastal zones is featured by SOURCE. Read the story here.

November 4: Sean and four other first year atmospheric science graduate students are highlighted in SOURCE for winning five of nine AMS Graduate Fellowships. Read the story here. Congratulations to all the winners!

October 29: Adele successfully defends her PhD dissertation. Congratulations, Adele!

September 8: Leah's UDP award covered by SOURCE. Read the story here.

August 28: Sue wins the Professor of the Year award from the Department of Atmospheric Science. Congratulations, Sue!

August 18: Adele wins a travel grant from the IGBP to attend the AGU Fall Meeting. Congratulations, Adele!

August 17: Sean Freeman joins our group. Before arriving, Sean won both an AMS Graduate Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Fellowship. Welcome and congratulations, Sean!

August 17: Peter and Aryeh begin service as department Graduate Representatives.

August 14: Leah wins the CSU University Distinguished Professors scholarship! The award recognizes her outstanding graduate research record and potential for future leadership and comes with $10,000 to support her research and education. Only one student at CSU is selected to receive this award each year. Congratulations, Leah!

August 12: Adele's international research experience highlighted by SOURCE. Read the story here.

August 12: Josh's paper "Observed and modeled warm rainfall occurrence and its relationships with cloud macrophysical properties" published online by JAS.

August 11: Amanda's paper "Aerosol-induced mechanisms for cumulus congestus growth" in press at JGR.

August 3-7: Aryeh, Leah, and Michal give oral presentations at the AMS Mesoscale Conference which was co-organized this year by Sue. Leah and Adele win travel grants to support their attendance at the meeting.

July 1-10: Peter participates in the field campaign PECAN helping to collect data and launch weather balloons.

May 14: Matt's paper "The relative influence of environmental characteristics on tropical deep convective morphology as observed by CloudSat" is published by JGR.

April 17: Adele is awarded the Alumni Award by the Department of Atmospheric Science for the best published paper by a senior PhD student. Congratulations, Adele!

April 16: Sue named a Monfort Professor by CSU. This is the university's premier recognition of mid-career faculty and she will receive $75,000 per year for two years to further her teaching and research goals. Read more about the story on SOURCE. Congratulations, Sue!

April: Leah's paper "Cold pool and precipitation responses to aerosol loading: Modulation by dry layers" and Steve M.'s paper "Impacts of cloud droplet-nucleating aerosols on shallow tropical convection" are published by JAS.

March 1-May 30: Adele travels to Stockholm, Sweden to collaborate with Dr. Annica Ekman and colleagues on Arctic mixed-phase clouds. The research experience is funded through an NSF GROW award.

February: Adele's paper "Make it a double? Sobering results from simulations using single-moment microphysics schemes" is published by JAS.

January 9: Leah wins the outstanding student oral presentation award in the aerosol-cloud-climate interactions session of the AMS Annual Meeting. Renee Duff, Leah's undergraduate intern from summer 2014, wins the best student poster award at the AMS Annual Meeting Student Conference for her summer research. Congratulations, Leah and Renee!

January 5-9: Peter, Leah, Steve H., Michal, and Sue give presentations at the AMS Annual Meeting. Aryeh wins a travel grant to attend.


Prof. Susan C. van den Heever
Monfort Professor
Department of Atmospheric Science
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
email: sue (at)

Webmaster: Adele Igel
email: adele.igel (at)