Sara Morris

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Research Physical Scientist


Polar Observations and Processes




(303) 497-4453


In my current position as a Research Physical Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), I have developed a number of specialty areas: 1) Arctic ground heat fluxes – a critical component of the surface energy budget, of which spatial and temporal analysis of the ground heat flux demonstrates the impact of the term on Arctic melt, 2) research in ice mitigation strategies for Arctic instrumentation, specifically broadband radiometers, to investigate the impact of data lost in Polar Regions due to harsh weather conditions. Co-leading the De-Icing Comparison Experiment (D-ICE), my research focuses on improvements to radiation instrumentation capturing measurements in harsh Arctic environments, so that the scientific community can better account for discrepancies in the radiative term of the surface energy budget, 3) Arctic radiation budgets and the collection and processing of climate grade data sets, 4) research into the spatial and annual variability of Arctic black carbon, and 5) spatial and annual variability of ozone depletion events.

I participate in weather and climate research community outreach through my role as facilitator and collaborator of the six science working groups of the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) consortium, while facilitating international Arctic working group discussions related to key Arctic climate science questions (/iasoa/science2). Additionally, as the current US Coordinator for the Multi-disciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition (, I facilitate Arctic climate science by coordinating the development and field deployment of remote flux stations to measure all components of the surface energy budget on the sea-ice. Similarly, as US Coordinator, I facilitate surface energy budget science, data science and logistical efforts while participating as a member of the Central Communications Management Unit (CCMU).

Research Interests

  • Ground Heat Flux
  • Global Radiation
  • Cold-hardening of Arctic instrumentation
  • Database Management
  • Arctic Surface Energy Budgets


  • B.A., Environmental Science w/ Emphasis in Climate, University of Colorado Boulder, May 2010
  • M.A., Physical Geography w/ Arctic Emphasis, University of Colorado Boulder, May 2018

Selected Publications

  • Eckhardt, S., Quennehen, B., Olivié, D.J.L., Berntsen, T.K., Cherian, R., Christensen, J.H., Collins, W., Crepinsek, S., Daskalakis, N., Flanner, M., Herber, A., Heyes, C., Hodnebrog, Ø., Huang, L., Kanakidou, M., Kilimont, Z., Langner, J., Law, K.S., Massling, A., Myriokefalitakis, S., Nielsen, I.E., Nøjgaard, J.K., Quaas, J., Quinn, P.K., Raut, J.C., Rumbold, S.T., Schulz, M., Skeie, R.B., Skov, H., Lund, M.T., Uttal, T., von Salzen, K., Mahmood, R., and Stohl, A. (2015), Current model capabilities for simulating black carbon and sulfate concentrations in the Arctic atmosphere: a multi-model evaluation using a comprehensive measurement data set. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15 10425-10477, doi: 10.5194/acpd-15-10425-2015
  • Uttal, T., S. Starkweather, J. Drummond, T. Vihma, C. J. Cox, E. Dlugokencky, J. Ogren, B. McArthur, L. Schmeisser, V. Walden, T. Laurila, L. Darby, A. P. Makshtas, J. Intrieri, J. F. Burkhart,T. Haiden, B. Goodison, M. Maturilli, M. Shupe, G. de Boer, R. Stone, A. Saha, A. Grachev, L. Bruhwiler, O. Persson, G. Lesins, S. Crepinsek, C. Long, S. Sharma, A. Massling, D. D. Turner, D. Stanitski, E. Asmi, M. Aurela, H. Skov, K. Eleftheriadis, A. Virkkula, A. Platt, E. Forland, J. Verlinde, I. Yoshihiroo, I. E. Nielsen, M. Bergin, L. Candlish, N. Zimov, S. Zimov, N. O'Neil, P. Fogal, R. Kivi, E. Konopleva, V. Kustov, B. Vasel, Y. Viisanen, V. Ivakhov (2014), International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA): An International Polar Year Legacy Consortium. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,
  • Cox, C.J., T. Uttal, S. Starkweather, J. Intrieri, M. Maturilli, V. Kustov, E. Konopleva, S. Crepinsek, and C. Long (2015), Using pan-Arctic, springtime, surface radiation observations to quantify atmospheric preconditioning processes that impact the sea ice melt season. , . ,
  • Evangeliou, N., et al. (2016), Wildfires in northern Eurasia affect the budget of black carbon in the Arctic – a 12-year retrospective synopsis (2002–2013), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16(12), 7587-7604.
  • Cox, C.J., C.N. Long, T. Uttal, S. Starkweather, S. Crepinsek, M. Maturilli, A. McComiskey, N.B. Miller, E. Konopleva, V. Kustov, M.D. Shupe, K. Steffen, D. Stanitski, R. Stone, V.P. Walden, 2016: Cloud radiative forcing from pan-Arctic Baseline Surface Radiation Network BSRN stations J. Clim.


  • Morris, S.M., 2018-4-4: Variability of Ground Heat Flux at Tiksi Station. Thesis Defense, Boulder, CO, United States
  • Morris, S.M., Cox, C.J., Long, C., 2018-5-22: Winter 2017-2018 Results from the De-Icing Comparison Experiment (D-ICE) at NOAA’s Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory, Utqiagvik, Alaska. Global Monitoring Annual Conference, Boulder, CO, United States
  • Crepinsek, S., Cox, C., Serreze, M., Hall, E., Long, C., 2016-11-30: Arctic Radiometer Modifications. IASOA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • Crepinsek, S., McClure, A., 2016-9-31: Ozone Working Group Climatology Publication. IASOA, Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • Crepinsek, S., 2016-11-30: Arctic Radiometer Modifications. IASOA, Boulder, Colorado, United States

Professional Activities

Professional Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Meteorological Society