Gary Rottman, Ph.D.

Career Title:  Associate Director,  Laboratory for Atmospheric
and Space Physics,  University of Colorado, Boulder

B.A. (Physics), Rockhurst College, 1966
M.S. (Physics), The Johns Hopkins University, 1969
Ph.D. (Physics), The Johns Hopkins University, 1972

Email: Email Gary

Career Profile:  Gary is a native of Colorado, born in Denver and raised in Colorado Springs. After receiving his graduate education at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, he was eager and ready to accept a post-doctoral position in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics of the University of Colorado, Boulder.  He remained there for over thirty years, and was promoted to the position of Associate Director until he retired in 2005. He continues to work and consult at the University one to two days a month.

At Hopkins Gary developed a deep interest in optical spectroscopy, with special emphasis on ultraviolet spectroscopy.  His thesis reported on the first ultraviolet spectrum of the planet Venus obtained by a sounding rocket experiment in 1971. Additional research on the ultraviolet spectrum of Jupiter and the star Arcturus were also published. After coming to the University of Colorado his interests veered slightly to ultraviolet observations of the Sun. He became a Co-investigator on the University’s Orbiting Solar Observatory-8 experiment, and in conjunction with that program he developed a sequence of sounding rocket observations of the Sun’s ultraviolet irradiance.

At about this time the catalytic loss of atmospheric ozone due to fluorocarbons (Freons) became a hot topic national and international research. Gary’s solar observations were key to ozone photochemistry, and consequently NASA selected his instruments for the Solar Mesosphere Explorer Mission (1981 to 1989), the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (1991 to 2005), and the Earth Observing System (1997 to the present). These research endeavors culminated with the development of the Solar Radiation and Climate experiment (SORCE) launched in 2003 and continuing operation today. Gary was the Principal Investigator of SORCE.  This small NASA Mission was managed entirely by the University — where the instruments were designed and fabricated, where the spacecraft is controlled and operated, and where the data are analyzed and published. These programs at the University have supported and trained several hundred graduate and undergraduate students.

At the University Gary taught in the Physics Department, the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and the Aerospace Engineering Department. He is a member of several scientific societies, and was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He has also received the Robert L. Sterns Award from the University of Colorado.

Present Interests and Affiliations:  Gary is a member of the Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College. He is a Firewise Neighborhood Ambassador for Shenandoah Highlands, and on the Board of the Shenandoah Highlands Homeowners Association. He is also a volunteer with the Adaptive Sports Association. Gary enjoys skiing, hiking, mountain biking, river rafting and many other activities of the Four-Corners Area.