Dr. LaToya Myles Appointed Director of ARL’s ATDD

February 16, 2020

LaToya Myles, Ph.D. is now the permanent Director of and Supervisory Scientist of the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD) of NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory.  

Her research career at NOAA has been focused on understanding the science of atmospheric chemistry and its effects on the environment. She credits her interdisciplinary training in both atmospheric and ecosystem science with preparing her to tackle tough environmental problems holistically. Her research on the boundary layer of our atmosphere has tackled the ammonia exchange between the atmosphere and the biosphere. 

“LaToya is not only a respected scientist, but an experienced leader. Her unique professional and personal skills provide a powerful asset to NOAA. She brings a new and positive attitude to help tackle our scientific challenges and a strong commitment to advancing the Laboratory’s mission.” said Ariel Stein, Deputy Director of the Air Resources Lab.

After receiving a dual Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Biology from Alcorn State University, she joined the agency through NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI)  that she credits with providing her invaluable mentorship.  Her doctoral research was conducted with the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory for a dissertation focusing on atmospheric deposition of pollutants and their impact on ecosystems, which has implications for both human and environmental health. 

Dr. Myles earned her Ph.D. through the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center, now the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems, at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida.  Upon completion of her dissertation, Myles became a physical scientist in the NOAA ATDD; later, she was promoted to supervisory physical scientist, and finally took on the role of Director in February 2021. She is the first woman and the first Black person to hold this position in the office’s 73-year history.  

Myles has been recognized for her academic achievements with many scholarships, fellowships, and awards; including the NOAA EPP/MSI Graduate Sciences Program Fellowship and the EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship. She was recognized as a 2016 Technology All-Star at the 21st Women of Color STEM Conference. She is also a member of the American Geophysical Union and Earth Science Women’s Network.  She chairs the AGU’s Awards and Honors Committee. Myles has served as a mentor for many NOAA supported students and remains an advocate for underserved populations and STEM. 

Dr Latoya Myles, portrait of a black woman in white shirt.
Dr. LaToya Myles

What motivates you as a scientist?

As an atmospheric researcher, I enjoy making connections between our science and communities that can benefit from new knowledge and discoveries. A close second is creating opportunities for the next generation of scientists.

Want to know more? LaToya Myles talks more about her leadership style and motivations in this interview with NOAA’s Office of Education.

EPP/MSI alumna now leads a field division of NOAA’s research on atmospheric processes, quality, and climate