About John:


Dr. John R. Christy is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he began studying global climate issues in 1987. Since November 2000 he has been Alabama's State Climatologist. In 1989 Dr. Roy W. Spencer (then a NASA/Marshall scientist and now a Principle Research Scientist at UAH) and Christy developed a global temperature data set from microwave data observed from satellites beginning in 1979. For this achievement, the Spencer-Christy team was awarded NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1991. In 1996, they were selected to receive a Special Award by the American Meteorological Society "for developing a global, precise record of earth's temperature from operational polar-orbiting satellites, fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate." In January 2002 Christy was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Christy has served as a Contributor (1992, 1994, 1996 and 2007) and Lead Author (2001) for the U.N. reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in which the satellite temperatures were included as a high-quality data set for studying global climate change. He has served on five National Research Council panels or committees and has performed research funded by NASA, NOAA, DOE, DOT and the State of Alabama and has published many articles including studies appearing in Science, Nature, Journal of Climate and The Journal of Geophysical Research. Dr. Christy has provided testimony to several congressional committees.

Dr. Christy received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois (1984, 1987). Prior to this career path he had graduated from the California State University in Fresno (B.A. Mathematics, 1973, Distinguished Alumnus 2007) and taught Physics and Chemistry as a missionary teacher in Nyeri, Kenya for two years. After earning a Master of Divinity degree from Golden Gate Baptist Seminary (1978) he served four years as a bivocational mission-pastor in Vermillion, South Dakota where he also taught college math. He was featured in the February 2001 issue of Discover magazine and in a National Public Radio profile in 2004 in which his diverse background was highlighted.

Dr. Christy has been active in local educational groups. At Grissom High School he served as chairman of the Facilities committee, helping to secure the new Science wing and Gymnasium and was President of its PTSA, Alabama's largest, in 1997-98. He also served on the Huntsville City Schools Strategic Planning Committee and its Finance sub-panel. He is a member of the Huntsville City Surface Water Management Committee.

Dr. Christy is married to the former Babs Joslin, a fellow missionary whom he met in Kenya. They have two married children, Mrs. Alison Fields, an Applied Math graduate of Auburn University and Brian, a Physics/Math graduate of Auburn and PhD graduate from University of Maryland. He is now a Post-Doc Physicist at Franklin and Marshall University. Garet and Alison Fields are parents of three of their grandchildren and Brian and Kristen Christy of their fourth. Dr. Christy's favorite hobby is gold panning which he developed as a teenager in California, and he also runs, completing races from 2 to 31.1 miles over rugged terrain.

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