Dr. Joanne Simpson who lead the TRMM mission to measure tropical rainfall has died. In the hurly burly of the comments section here there was a wonderful tribute from one of the anonymice, which touches on the unseemly rush to use her eulogy as a club, but captures her spirit
Very sorry to hear Dr. Simpson died.Eli thinks we want to keep any discussion seemly, but he can't resist this story she told at the link above
She was a dedicated and determined scientist.
She planned a trip to climb in Nepal at age 70. She had to have knee surgery not long before. She recuperated and went on her trip as scheduled.
She ran long meetings at this time, so long and uninterrupted I couldn't sit. I nicknamed her (entirely to myself) "Iron Butt". I had to get up and stretch, but then I hadn't begun my day with a long run, although Simpson had.
She promoted and was Project Scientist on the TRMM satellite, which measured tropical rainfall and developed understandings of it.
That a memo of hers after retirement was ripped out of context and used to provide a misleading impression of her was sad. She was an experimentalist and didn't delve into climate models -- or anything to do with computers. Like most scientists, she did not give equal weight all aspects, her understanding was deeper in some areas than others. She didn't understand why "scientific arguments" were being played out in newspapers -- naive about the anti-AGW hacks.
As a female, she pioneered in science and achieved with an iron will in spite of obstacles that would have daunted most men.
“I had never in my life been at a place before where anyone else other than the secretaries and me used the ladies room,” says Simpson. She recounts that the second day she arrived at Goddard Space Flight Center, she went to the ladies room to freshen up and found to her surprise two other women scientists washing their hands and discussing meteorology. Never before had she encountered a working environment so friendly to women.There was a 2003 AMS Festschrift for Dr. Simpson, but the articles are not on line although the abstracts are. Links to two of them can be found below
The Research of Dr. Joanne Simpson: Fifty Years Investigating Hurricanes, Tropical Clouds, and Cloud Systems. W.-K. Tao, J. Halverson, M. LeMone, R. Adler, M. Garstang, R. Houze Jr., R. Pielke Sr., and W. Woodley
From Hot Towers to TRMM: Joanne Simpson and Advances in Tropical Convection Research. Robert A. Houze Jr.