Rick Saylor, Ph.D.

Title: Physical Scientist

Programs: Surface-Atmosphere Exchange

Contact: rick.saylor@noaa.gov

Current Research:

My research focuses on interactions between the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface, including exchanges of energy, momentum, water vapor and trace gases and particles.  These interactions affect weather, climate and air quality and my research is aimed at improving the scientific understanding of these processes and how to better represent their effects in NOAA’s forecast models.

Honors, Awards and Professional Recognition:

  • U. S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal for Scientific or Engineering Achievement, For development and implementation of Air Quality Model v6 to significantly advance operational air quality predictions for the Nation, January 2023.
  • U. S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for Scientific or Engineering Achievement, For the development of the Global Ensemble Forecast System – Aerosols (GEFS-Aerosols) model to support air quality alerts and visibility forecasts, September 2021.
  • NOAA Administrator’s Award in 2020 for work related to the support of the National Air Quality Forecast Capability.
  • Selected as one of the “Best Reviewers” for the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association for 2012.


University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, 1989

M.S., Chemical Engineering, 1985

B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1981

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Certificate of Unix Systems Programming,
College of Computing, 1999

Professional Experience:

Physical Scientist

NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, Oak Ridge, TN
July 2009 to present

Acting Director

NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division, Oak Ridge, TN
February 2022 to March 2023

Senior Scientist

Atmospheric Research and Analysis, Inc., Snellville, GA
April 2004 to April 2009

Software Engineer

Radiant Systems, Inc./Quantum Corp./Connex Inc., Atlanta, GA
September 2000 to March 2004

Senior Research Scientist

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Atlanta, GA
July 1995 to August 2000

Senior Research Scientist

Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Environmental Sciences Division,
Richland, WA
July 1992 to June 1995

Assistant Scientist

University of Kentucky, Center for Applied Energy Research, Lexington, KY
August 1989 to June 1992