Tuesday, 7 October 2008: 9:20 AM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 362DE
As a young faculty at Penn State John Norman quickly became known, both in his home Department of Meteorology and across campus in the College of Agricultural Sciences, as a somewhat unconventional, creative, thought-provoking and hard working colleague and mentor of students. Although his heart was in the physiology and physics of plant-atmosphere interactions, he realized that some "simple" problems had to be solved before intelligent modeling of many complex turbulent and biological processes could be effectively pursued. Atmospheric models were not yet meaningfully functional at the plant level and the plants, alas, weren't able to communicate how they responded to fine scale atmospheric forcing. Consequently, much of John's early work was concentrated on developing new experimental methods which could cost effectively be used in and above real farm fields and forests, and on the design of models of "practical" scale and application. He focused on observations spatially of down to leaf-scale structure and temporally on the turbulent eddies which control fluxes of energy to and from the leaves. Not only did he work on the development of both some new sensors and some highly creative ways to use old ones, he contributed generously to other experimental work, including some instrumentation for airborne measurements. Those of us who knew and worked with John at Penn State would like to believe that at least we provided him with the opportunity to build a solid foundation for the work he subsequently pursued so successfully at the Universities of Nebraska and Wisconsin. In this talk I share some fun and frustrating details of work and projects in which he and I, and our students were jointly involved.