Department Chair Applied Aviation Sciences and Professor of Meteorology
Applied Aviation Sciences Department
Prescott College of Aviation
Prescott campus


Curtis James is Professor of Meteorology and Department Chair of Applied Aviation Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Prescott, Arizona. He has taught courses in beginning meteorology, aviation weather, thunderstorms, satellite and radar imagery interpretation, atmospheric physics, mountain meteorology, tropical meteorology and weather forecasting techniques for over 16 years. He has also served as Director of ERAU’s Undergraduate Research Institute and as faculty representative to the university’s Board of Trustees. He participates in ERAU’s Study Abroad program, offering alternating summer programs each year in Switzerland and Brazil.

He earned a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington (2004) and participated in the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP; 1999), an international field research project in the European Alps. His research specialties include radar, mesoscale, and mountain meteorology. He earned his B.S. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Arizona (1995), during which time he gained two years of operational experience as a student intern with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Tucson, Arizona (1993-1995).

Dr. James is a native of Arizona where he currently resides with his wife and five children. He is active in his community, having served on the Prescott SciTechFest Advisory Committee and as a Board Member for the Children's Museum Alliance, Inc. On his spare time, he enjoys weather watching, backpacking, camping, fishing, caving, mountain biking, acting, and music. He is an Eagle Scout and serves as the scoutmaster for a local scout troop.


  • Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington
  • B.S. - Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, University of Arizona

  • WX 201: Survey of Meteorology
  • WX 427: Forecasting Techniques
  • WX 499: Special Topics in Applied Met

WX 201 Survey of Meteorology

WX 301 Aviation Weather

WX 363 Thunderstorms

WX 364 Weather for Aircrews

WX 365 Satellite and Radar Weather Interpretation

WX 390 Atmospheric Physics

WX 399 Mountain Meteorology

WX 399 Tropical Meteorology and Climate

WX 427 Forecasting Techniques



Articles/Books:

  • James, C.N., and Weber, J., 2016. Cloud Computing in Education. In: Vance, T.C., Merati, N., Yang, C., Yuan, M. (Eds.), Cloud Computing in Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Academic Press, pp. 107-119.
  • Panziera, L., James, C. N. and Germann, U., 2015: Mesoscale organization and structure of orographic precipitation producing flash floods in the Lago Maggiore region. Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc.., 141, 224-248.
  • James, C. N., and R. A. Houze, Jr., 2005: Modification of precipitation by coastal orography in storms crossing northern California. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 3110–3131.
  • James, C. N., 2004: Radar observations of orographic precipitation, P.D. dissertation submitted to the University of Washington, 196 pp. (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/MG/PDFs/PHDTHESIS_James.pdf)
  • James, C. N., and R. A. Houze, Jr., 2001: A real-time four-dimensional Doppler dealiasing scheme. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 18, 1674-1683.
  • Houze, R. A., Jr., C. N. James, and S. Medina, 2001: Radar observations of precipitation and airflow on the Mediterranean side of the Alps: Autumn 1998 and 1999. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 127, 2537-2558.
  • James, C. N., S. R. Brodzik, H. Edmon, R. A. Houze, Jr., and S. E. Yuter, 2000: Radar data processing and visualization over complex terrain. Wea. Forecasting, 15, 327-338.
  • Chong, M., J.-F. Georgis, O. Bousquet, S. R. Brodzik, C. Burghart, S. Cosma, U. Germann, V. Gouget, R. A. Houze, Jr., C. N. James, S. Prieur, R. Rotunno, F. Roux, J. Vivekanandan, and Z.-X. Zeng, 2000: Real-time wind synthesis from Doppler radar observations during the Mesoscale Alpine Programme. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 81, 2953-2962.

 
External Talks/Papers/Posters Presented:

  • James, C. N., and J. Weber, 2016: Cloud computing in atmospheric science education. 25th Symp. on Education, New Orleans, LA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • Diels, E., J. Perry, M. Wetzel, M. Sinclair, and C. James, 2015: Application of meteorological observations from Technologically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) to support flight training operations and regional forecasting. Aviation / Aeronautics / Aerospace International Research Conference, Phoenix, AZ, Jan 2015. (http://commons.erau.edu/aircon/2015/)
  • James, C. N., J. Weber, G. R. Woodall, and B. A. Klimowski, 2015: A cloud-based mobile weather server to support emergency response meteorology training and operations. 24th Symp. on Education, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • Woodall, G. R., C. N. James, and B. A. Klimowski, 2015: The “Emergency Response Meteorologist” curriculum development at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ. 24th Symp. on Education, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • Panziera, L., C. James, and U. Germann, 2014: Frequent flash floods in southern Switzerland: Why? EGU General Assembly Conf. Abstracts, 16, 6642.
  • Panziera, L., C. N. James and U. Germann, 2014: Mesoscale organization and structure of orographic precipitation producing flash floods in southern Switzerland. Extended abstracts, 28th Conf. on Hydrology, Atlanta, GA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • Panziera, L., Germann, U., and James, C. N., 2014:  Convective orographic precipitation in sheared flow: a conceptual model. 16th Conf. on Mountain Meteorology, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • James, C. N., A. Wardall, L. Panziera, and U. Germann, 2014: Characteristics of synoptically and orographically forced convective flash flood events in southern Switzerland. Southwest U.S. Convective Weather Workshop, May 2014. 
  • Wardall, A., and C. N. James, 2014: Dynamical causes of Echo Training in the Southern Swiss Alps. NASA Space Grant Symposium, April 2014.
  • Panziera, L., C. N. James and U. Germann, 2014: Mesoscale organization and structure of orographic precipitation producing flash floods in southern Switaerland. Extended abstracts, 28th Conf. on Hydrology, Atlanta, GA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • James, C. N., 2014: Experiential learning on hydrometeorology through a university study abroad program. Extended abstracts, 23rd Symp. on Education, Atlanta, GA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • Singleton, J. D. and C. N. James, 2013: Numerical simulation of a heavy local rain event. NASA Space Grant Symposium, April 2013.
  • James, C. N., 2012: Anatomy of a thunderstorm, Southwest Airlines’ Range Magazine, March 2012.
  • Padian, E. and C. N. James, 2012:  Validation of Polarimetric Data for Hail Reports in the Phoenix Area. SRP-WFO Phoenix Weather Workshop, May 2012.
  • Collins, M. and C. N. James, 2012: Dynamics of Pre-Frontal Rainfall in the Southern European Alps. NASA Space Grant Symposium, April 2012.
  • Mazon, J. J. and C. N. James, 2011: Survey of convective weather impacting commercial aviation operations at Sky Harbor International Airport. Southwest Aviation Weather Symposium (SAWS) IV. Albuquerque, NM, Oct. 2011. Reprints available online at the URL: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/psr/SAWS4/index.php.
  • Padian, E., M. Collins and C.N. James, 2010. WRF EMS simulation of the Pearl Harbor Day windstorm December 7-8 2009. Southwest Winter Weather Conference, Flagstaff, AZ, November 2010.
  • Space, C. and C. N. James, 2011: Summer heavy precipitation events in the southwest. Southwest Weather Workshop, Phoenix, AZ, May 2011.
  • James, C. N., 2010: In-flight convective weather avoidance. Southwest Aviation Weather Symposium (SAWS) III. Salt River Project. Phoenix, AZ, April 2010. Reprints available online at the URL: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/psr/aviation/SAWS3_Workshop/.
  • James, C. N., 2009: Proper weather radar interpretation. M/MOPA 19th Annual Convention.  Scottsdale, AZ, October 2009.
  • Grey, P., D. Ivanova, and C. James, 2008: A review of the temporal and spatial variability of the monsoonal boundary layer and atmospheric circulation in Arizona. Eos Trans. AGU, 89(53), Fall Meet. Suppl., AbstractGC53A-0690.
  • Ivanova, D., S. Lackey, B. Peacock, C. N. James, and M. R. Sinclair, 2008. Analysis of a North American monsoonal surge event, and its relation to hazardous aviation weather, Southwest Aviation Weather Symposium (SAWS) II. Phoenix, AZ, October 2008. Preprints available online at the URL: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/psr/aviation/SAWS2_Workshop/.
  • James, C. N., 2008: Weather radar imagery interpretation in the cockpit. Southwest Aviation Weather Symposium (SAWS) II. Phoenix, AZ, October 2008. Preprints available online at the URL: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/psr/aviation/SAWS2_Workshop/.
  • James, C. N., 2007: Integration of NEXRAD, Airborne radar and Stormscope. M/MOPA 17th Annual Convention.  Tulsa, OK, April 2007.
  • James, C. N., 2007: Anticipating aviation weather hazards in the Southwest. Southwest Aviation Weather Symposium, Phoenix, AZ., October 2007.
  • Ivanova, D., and Curtis N. James, 2007: Mesoscale computer modeling of the North American monsoon in Arizona. American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting.
  • German, U., G. Galli, A. Hering, K. Friedrich, P. Tabary, and C. N. James, 2005: Innovations in monitoring and nowcasting orographic precipitation by radar. Amer. Meteor. Soc. Joint Session of the 32nd Conference on Radar Meteorology and the 11th Conference on Mesoscale Processes, Oct. 2005, paper J8J.4.
  • Parsons, K., M. Sinclair, C. James, and R. Tomkins, 2005: A Weather Degree Program for the New Millenium: Phase II. 14th Symposium on Education, 85th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, San Diego, California, January 9-13, 2005.
  • James, C. N., and R. A. Houze, Jr. 2004: Radar observations of orographic precipitation over coastal northern California. Preprints, 11th Conference on Mountain Meteorology, June 2004. Preprints online at the URL: http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/77273.pdf.
  • James, C., S. Brodzik, H. Edmon, R. A. Houze, Jr., and S. E. Yuter, 1999: MountainZebra: Real-time archival and 4-D visualization of radar volumes over complex terrain. Preprints, COST-75 Final International Seminar on "Advanced Weather Radar Systems," Locarno, Switzerland, 297-306.


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ
Position: Department Chair, Applied Aviation Sciences
Duration: Aug. 2014 - Present

Undergraduate Research Institute

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ
Position: Professor of Meteorology
Roles: Student research mentorship, administrative duties, budget manager, chair of the Ignite Committee
Duration: Jan. 2000 – Present 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ
Position: Director, Undergraduate Research Institute
Roles: Student research mentorship, administrative duties, budget manager, chair of the Ignite Committee
Duration: Jan. 2012 – Aug. 2014

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ
Position: Board of Trustees Faculty Representative
Roles: Student research mentorship, administrative duties, budget manager, chair of the Ignite Committee
Duration: 2006 - 2009

UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Seattle, WA
Position: Research assistant / Teaching assistant / Lead teaching assistant
Courses Taught: Weather (T.A.)
Duration: Sept. 1995 - Dec. 1999
 
Northwest Aviation College, Auburn, WA
Position: Part-time meteorology instructor
Courses Taught: Aviation Weather
Duration: Sept. 1998 - Dec. 1998
 
National Weather Service, Tucson, AZ
Position: Meteorological technician / Student intern
Duration: May 1993 - Aug. 1995


Activities and Awards:

Chair, Department of Applied Aviation Sciences, 2014 - Present
Distinguished Faculty Award, Prescott, Arizona Campus, 2013 - 2014
Director, Undergraduate Research Institute, 2012 - 2014
College of Aviation Researcher of the Year, 2011 - 2012
IEFAC Committee, 2011 - 2014
Campus Planning Committee, 2009 - 2010
Board of Trustees Representative and Senate Executive Committee, ERAU, 2006 - 2009
Chair of Institutional Effectiveness Committee, ERAU, 2004 - 2006
SGA Faculty of the Semester, ERAU, Fall 2005
Visiting Scientist, MeteoSwiss, Summer 2005
Service Excellence Award, ERAU, January 2005
Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers 2002, 2004, 2005
Outstanding Faculty Award, College of Aviation, ERAU, May 2002
Senator on Faculty Senate, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2001 - 2003
Outstanding Meteorology Faculty, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Dec. 2001
Outstanding Club Advisor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2000 - 2001
Senator on Graduate and Professional Student Senate, University of Washington, 1997 - 1998
Outstanding Senior Award: Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, May 1995
American Meteorological Society Dr. Pedro Grau Scholarship, Oct. 1994

 
Societies:

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, PR Officer, 2016 - Present

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, May 1995 - Present

American Meteorological Society, 2004 - Present