Vital Statistics

Born, 6 December 1915
Died, 30 July 1995
Married Paula Meyer, 1941
Father of Lois, Steven, and Eric

Degrees and Appointments

  • B.S., 1938, Winona Teachers’ College, Winona, MN
  • Hired by Department of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison), 1948
  • Ph.D., 1953, University of Chicago
  • Chair, Department of Meteorology, UW–Madison, 1950–52, 1954–57
  • Associate Program Director for Atmospheric Sciences, National Science Foundation, 1962
  • Chief Scientist, U.S. Weather Bureau, 1964
  • Founded SSEC, 1965
  • Began GARP with Jules Charney and Pierre Morel, 1970s
  • Brought to SSEC a group of researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 1977
  • Founded jointly with NOAA, the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at SSEC, 1980


  • Developed flat plate radiometer to measure Earth’s heat balance, late 1950s
  • First meteorological experiment on Explorer VII, 1959
  • Conceived spin-scan camera technology for geostationary orbit, 1963
  • Proposed a Visible Infrared Spin-Scan Radiometer Atmospheric Sounder, 1971
  • Directed development of McIDAS, 1970s
  • Member, Venus/Mercury Imaging Science Team, 1973
  • Member, Mariner/Jupiter/Saturn Imaging Science Team
  • Member, Pioneer Venus Science Steering Group and directed Net Flux Radiometer development, late 1970s
  • Advised on use of GPS for meteorology, 1990s

The Verner E. Suomi Virtual Museum development funded in part by the National Science Foundation Grant #EAR9809458.  Material presented is Copyrighted (C) 1999 by Steve Ackerman and Tom Whittaker.  If you have questions or comments, please let us know!