Indiana University Bloomington

Lisa M. Pratt

Sara C. Pryor

Provost Professor of Atmospheric Science

Office:   MSBII 301
Phone:   812-855-5155
Slides: Hybrid Downscaling of Wind Climates over the Eastern USA
Research Web site:

Educational Background

  • PDF, 1993–1995, Atmospheric Science, University of British Columbia
  • Ph.D., 1992, Environmental Science, University of East Anglia
  • B.Sc (hons, first class), 1989, Environmental Science, University of East Anglia

Research Interests

Atmospheric chemistry and micrometeorology: Atmosphere–surface exchange of reactive gases and particles. Particle formation, dynamics and deposition processes. Numerical modeling of gas to particle conversion and pollutant transport.

Physical climatology/climate change and variability: Climate downscaling. Regional manifestations of climate change and variability, with a specific focus on extreme events. Scaling issues in atmospheric science.

Boundary–layer dynamics: Application of innovative ground-based remote sensing techniques and numerical simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting model to improve understanding of boundary-layer dynamics.

Courses Recently Taught

  • G304/G532 Physical Meteorology & Climatology
  • G339 Weather Analysis and Forecasting
  • G433/G533 Synoptic Meteorology & Climatology
  • G434/G534 Air Pollution Meteorology
  • G602 Seminar: Climate Change: Scientific Basis, Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

Recent Research Projects

  • Particle nucleation events in the Ohio River Valley (NSF, recently concluded)
  • Improved observations and models of particle dry deposition (NSF, ongoing)
  • Human health consequences of heavy metals in atmospheric particles (IU, ongoing)
  • Development and evaluation of downscaling techniques for near–surface wind climates (NSF, one project concluded, one ongoing)
  • Downscaling of extreme precipitation regimes (NSF, recently concluded)
  • Climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. With a focus on extremes and critical energy infrastructure (IAEA, ongoing, NSF, ongoing)
  • Boundary–layer dynamics. Application of remote sensing and numerical models (DoE, ongoing).
  • Multiple wake interactions in large wind farms (NSF, ongoing)

Graduate Students


  • Mark Belding (M.S.)
  • Fredi Birsan (Ph.D.)
  • Paola Crippa (Ph.D.)

Recently completed:

  • Jessica Howe (M.S.) Analysis of extreme precipitation across the Midwest during the twentieth century
  • Jennifer Hutton (Ph.D.) In–canopy dispersion and oxidation of isoprene
  • Andrea Spaulding (M.S.) Meteorological influences on particle nucleation over a deciduous forest in the Midwest

Post Doctoral Associate Projects

Karen Hornsby. Karen is working with me on my particle flux project conducting both in situ flux measurements and chamber research to investigate controls on atmosphere–vegetation particle exchange.

Undergraduate Student Projects

Hannah Furbeck 2012 Particle fluxes over forests

Recent Publications

Pryor S.C., Nikulin G., Jones C. (2012): Influence of spatial resolution on Regional Climate Model derived wind climates. Journal of Geophysical Research 117 D03117
DOI: 10.1029/2011JD016822

Pryor S.C., Barthelmie R.J., Clausen N.E., Drew M., MacKellar I., Kjellström E. (2012): Analyses of possible changes in intense and extreme wind speeds over northern Europe under climate change scenarios. Climate Dynamics 38 189–208

Pryor S.C., Barthelmie R.J. (2011): Assessing climate change impacts on the near-term stability of the wind energy resource over the USA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 8167–8171 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1019388108

Pryor S.C., Barthelmie R.J., Sørensen L.L., McGrath J.G., Hopke P., Petäjä T. (2011): Spatial and vertical extent of nucleation events in the Midwestern USA: Insights from the Nucleation In ForesTs (NIFTy) experiment. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11 1641–1657

Pryor S.C., Spaulding A.M., Barthelmie R.J. (2010): New particle formation in the Midwestern USA: Event characteristics, meteorological context and vertical profiles. Atmospheric Environment 44 4413–4425.

Barthelmie R.J., Pryor S.C., Frandsen S.T., Schepers K.S., Rados K., Schlez W., Neubert A., Jensen L.E., Neckelmann S. (2010): Quantifying the impact of wind turbine wakes on power output at offshore wind farms. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 27 1302–1317.

Schoof J.T., Pryor S.C., Suprenant J. (2010): Development of daily precipitation projections for the United States based on probabilistic downscaling. Journal of Geophysical Research 115 D13106. DOI: 10.1029/2009JD0130308

Pryor S.C. and Schoof J.T. (2010): Importance of the SRES in projections of climate change impacts on near–surface wind regimes. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 19 267–274

Pryor S.C. and Ledolter J. (2010): Addendum to: Wind speed trends over the contiguous USA. Journal of Geophysical Research 115 D10103 doi:10.1029/2009JD013281.
DOI: 10.1029/2009JD013281

Pryor S.C. and Barthelmie R.J. (2010) Climate change impacts on wind energy: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14 430–437.

Recent Awards and Honors

Rank of Provost Professor bestowed in 2010.
Indiana University Presidents Award in recognition of outstanding teaching, research and service bestowed 2008.

Current Service

  • Associate Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Indiana University 2011–2014
  • Federal Advisory Committee for the National Climate Assessment and Development Committee (NCADAC), convened by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2011–2013
  • Editor: Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres 2010–2014
  • Contributing author to IPCC report: Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) (Chapter Wind Energy) 2009–2011

Laboratory Facilities

I have extensive atmospheric equipment (focused primarily on particle sizing and composition instrumentation, trace gas measurements and micrometeorological instruments (e.g. sonic anemometers)). My group operates an experimental chamber (link) and also conducts field research at the AmeriFlux tower I helped to establish in southern Indiana. Here is a schematic of the current experimental set-up at the tower site (link), a video showing the site and describing some of my research (link) and some data from our earlier research (link).