Published: March 21, 2018

Roger Barry, longtime faculty member, colleague, and friend to many, passed away March 19, 2018 at the age of 82. Roger had lifelong research interests ranging widely from polar climates to mountain climates to climate change. He was the author of hundreds of research papers and review articles and an avid author and co-author of textbooks, including Atmosphere Weather and Climate, Synoptic and Dynamic Climatology, Mountain Weather and Climate, and Microclimate and Local Climates. His final book, focusing on polar environments, will be published posthumously. Roger was recognized around the world for both his scientific accomplishments and his service to the community. 

Roger Barry photo portrait

Roger Graham Barry, 11/13/1935 - 3/19/2018
  • PhD University of Southampton, 1965
  • Joined CU Geography in 1968
  • Full Professor, 1971
  • Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), 1976-2008
  • Distinguished Professor of Geography, 2004
  • Supervised 67 graduate students between 1971 and 2011.
  • 36 of Roger's students received their PhD degrees, 31 received their master’s degrees, and 8 received both degrees at the University of Colorado. 
  • Retired in 2010 and awarded Professor Emeritus status
  • Emeritus CIRES Fellow

Career Advice from Roger Barry
"A career is a mixture of serendipity and being in the right place at the right time, but also requires patiently working in your areas of interest or pursuing unplanned developments at a particular point in time, without expectation that they will necessarily lead anywhere. Years later, some of these pursuits may unexpectedly bear fruit."

"My messages to current students would be to:

  • Persevere with what you consider to be important.
  • Continually retool your techniques.
  • Know who is doing what, not only in the English-speaking world, but internationally.
  • Network with others of the clan!"

Barry, R. G.: The shaping of climate science: half a century in personal perspective, Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 6, 87-105, doi:10.5194/hgss-6-87-2015, 2015.

Honors and Awards

  • J S Guggenheim Fellow (1982-83)
  • Fellow: American Geophysical Union (1999)
  • Fellow: Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, Geography Faculty, Dept. of Cryology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia (April-June 2001)
  • Foreign Member: Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, (RAEN) (June 2001)
  • Byrd Polar Medal, Ohio State University (2006)
  • Humboldt Research Fellowship in Geophysics, Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Commission on Glaciology, Munich, Germany
  • Founder's Medal, one of two gold medals awarded annually by the Royal Geographical Society, London (2007)
  • Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of Colorado (2004)
  • Review Editor and Contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which received the Nobel Peace Prize (2007)

More Recent Highlights

  • Aug 2012–March 2014: Roger was on short term contract as Director of the International Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Project Office at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK
  • 2009–2012: Was awarded a Humboldt Prize Fellowship to work at the Commission for Glaciology at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich, Germany, from May–October 2009 and August–October 2010. He prepared (with Thian Gan, University of Edmonton) a book on the cryosphere for Cambridge University Press during this time. The book The Global Cryosphere: Past, Present and Future was published in June 2011.

Covers of Roger's Books

 Atmosphere, Weather and Climate Past, Present, and Future Mountain Weather and Climate Microclimate and Local Climates Essentials of the Earth's Climate System Synoptic and Dynamic Climatology