Tom Matejka (1959-2019)
Atmospheric Sciences Ph.D. 1980
Thomas John Matejka died in Boulder, Colorado, on April 7, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. Tom grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree from MIT in 1972 and then pursued his graduate degree in the University of Washington’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences. Professor Robert Houze was his Ph.D. advisor. He used radar and aircraft data to study the structure of storms passing over the Cascade Mountains. After receiving his Ph.D. he was a post-doc at the University of Chicago, working with the famous radar meteorologist and cloud physicist Ramesh Srivastava. He then worked for the National Severe Storms Laboratory for two decades before becoming a high school math teacher in Boulder. Tom participated in several field campaigns including TOGA COARE in 1992-3, and he is well known for developing a way to derive wind divergence profiles from single Doppler radar data. His passion in life was composing music. Each field program inspired compositions, one of which he played on a dulcimer at his Ph.D. celebration in 1980.