Professor and Chair

Dept. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
City University of New York (CUNY)
City College of New York
New York NY 10031

Office: Marshak 927
Phone: 212-650-8936
Email: zluo at


CV           Publications

Leadership in NASA Mission

Receiving NASA Award

  Flying into Hurricane Ingrid

  Field campaign in Guam

  NASA News Release

Radio program interview

   IEEE Cover Page

  INCUS mission

New Book!

My research interest is clouds and convection. Most of my past and ongoing research activities focus on space-borne remote sensing, and use of remote sensing data to investigate convective dynamics . More recently (since 2012), I've started participating in airborne field campaigns to study convective transport of pollutants and trace gases, including flying into and around convective storms (heck of a ride! see video) and hurricane (photos below show our adventure into Hurricane Ingrid in 2013). An important purpose of my research is to gain process-level understanding of clouds and convection to help improve their representations in weather and climate models.

On satellite remote sensing, I am a member of NASA CloudSat/CALIPSO Science Team and NASA INCUS (INvestigation of Convective UpdraftS) team. On field work, I served as a Science Leader of NASA SEAC4RS field campaign (photos below), and was a member of NSF's CONTRAST and ACCLIP . On modeling, I served as a PI of NASA's MAP (Modeling, Analysis and Prediction) Program, focusing on assessing GCM cumulus parameterizations using satellite-based estimates of convective mass flux. I have also been a member of NASA Decadal Survey, Aerosol and Cloud, Convection and Precipitation (ACCP) Science Community Committee (SCC), an academic Advisory Board for NASA.


1. EAS 488/B8800: Climate & Climate Change (syllabus)

2. EAS 417/A417: Satellite Meteorology (syllabus)

3. EAS 42000/B9036: Statistics in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (syllabus)

My teaching interest is Atmospheric Science in general with emphasis on satellite remote sensing and cloud-water vapor-climate topics. Throughout my class, I will involve students with my own research, especially those related to satellite remote sensing and atmosphere/climate data analysis.

It's important to note that Atmospheric Science is a quantitative field. Strong math, physics and programming backgrounds are important prerequisites. Here is a good introduction to the modern Atmospheric Science prepared by the National Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAR).


(Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Amel Derras-Chouk

(Current Graduate Students)

  • Jeyavinoth Jeyaratnam (JJ)
  • Yuliya Selevich
  • Albana Hoxha


  • G. Y. Liu (postdoc 2007-10)
  • Cheila Cullen (MS 2010)
  • Mya M. Teiktin (MS 2010)
  • Hanii Takahashi (PhD 2013)
  • Ricardo Anderson (MS 2015)
  • Nazia Shah (MS 2016)
  • Sofia Chelpon (MS 2018)
  • Cindy Wang (Macaulay Honors 2019)
  • Chad Small (MS 2022)
Looking for graduate students to work on NASA projects!

We are recruiting graduate and undergraduate students to work in the area of tropical convection and convective transport of trace gases. Atmospheric Science (or similar background) and strong programming skills are needed. Contact me if you are interested.

These three photos nicely summarize the theme of the group: Big Apple and Deep Convection! What's the 4th photo stand for? Well, that's an important character needed for success in academia - patience!

Last modified: Aug 2022