Skip to main content

Dr. Yucheng Zhao

Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences

Researcher III

Contact Information

Office Location: SER Bldg Room 220D
Phone: 435-797-8128 Fax: 435-797-2992
Email: yu.cheng@usu.edu

Educational Background:

Work experiences and research interests:
My research in China focused on numerical model developments for studying dynamical processes in the troposphere associated with the Tibet Plateau. Upon arrival in the US, my research interests changed to mesospheric dynamics. I worked with the University of Illinois Na wind-temperature lidar data analysis to investigate atmospheric stability properties as the main topic of my Ph.D. thesis supervised by Prof. C.S. Gardner. Subsequently, at the University of Michigan, I worked as a postdoc with the HRDI/UARS global temperature data to investigate tidal properties in the lower-latitudes mesosphere. 
After joining CASS at Utah State University, I have been closely involved with several different projects (led by Prof. M. J. Taylor), utilizing data from satellites and ground-based instrumentation at low, mid and high-latitudes. I have utilized coordinated Na lidar and OH/O2 Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (MTM) measurements from the Maui-MALT program to quantify height variability in the nightglow emission layers due to tides and long-period gravity waves. Using the 5 year high quality MTM temperature data from Maui along with the TIME-GCM model, we have investigated seasonal oscillations in mesospheric temperatures at low-latitudes. I also performed an in-depth comparative investigation of MTM temperature measurements with the NASA TIMED SABER temperature soundings, and the European ENVISAT SCIAMACHY OH temperature measurements (both using different temperature retrieval techniques). Following the launch of the NASA AIM satellite (2007), I have worked on the analysis of Polar Mesospheric Cloud (PMC) image data to investigate the properties of gravity waves in the summer polar regions. Currently, I am responsible for the MTM data analysis from Andes Lidar Observatory (ALO), Chile, as part of a collaborative project (led by Dr. A. Liu, ERAU) which builds on the Maui-MALT program with coordinated measurements using MTM, Na lidar, meteor radar and other optical systems. This includes detailed comparisons of MTM OH temperatures with Na lidar temperatures at ALO and OH temperature from nearby El Leoncito, Argentina (Dr. J. Sheer). Our main focus has been to characterize the seasonal temperature structure and its observed large variability over the Andes mountains. I am also working with Dr. T. Yuan (USU) analyzing momentum fluxes using Na lidar wind and temperature data obtained from Logan, UT, and have recently started analysis of new continuous (~4 months) IR AMTM OH temperature image data from South Pole Station, Antarctica.

Education: 
Ph.D. 2000, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Atmospheric Sciences.
Thesis: “Stability of the Mesopause region: Influence of Dissipating Gravity Waves on the Transport of Heat, Momentum and Constituents.”
M.S. 1991, Atmospheric Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 
Thesis: “A case study of Southwest vortex system using the Isentropic model.”
B.S. 1988, Meteorology, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Research Experience:
July 2007-Present: Researcher III, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences, 
Utah State University
June 2002-June 2007: Sr. Research Associate, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences, 
Utah State University
May 2000-June 2002: Research Fellow, Space Physics Research Lab, University of Michigan.
Jan. 1995-May 2000: Research Assistant, Electro-Optic Systems Laboratory,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sep. 1991-Jan. 1995: Assistant Research Scientist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Sep. 1988-Aug. 1991: Research Assistant, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

 

Biography

Work experiences and research interests:
My research in China focused on numerical model developments for studying dynamical processes in the troposphere associated with the Tibet Plateau. Upon arrival in the US, my research interests changed to mesospheric dynamics. I worked with the University of Illinois Na wind-temperature lidar data analysis to investigate atmospheric stability properties as the main topic of my Ph.D. thesis supervised by Prof. C.S. Gardner. Subsequently, at the University of Michigan, I worked as a postdoc with the HRDI/UARS global temperature data to investigate tidal properties in the lower-latitudes mesosphere. 
After joining CASS at Utah State University, I have been closely involved with several different projects (led by Prof. M. J. Taylor), utilizing data from satellites and ground-based instrumentation at low, mid and high-latitudes. I have utilized coordinated Na lidar and OH/O2 Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (MTM) measurements from the Maui-MALT program to quantify height variability in the nightglow emission layers due to tides and long-period gravity waves. Using the 5 year high quality MTM temperature data from Maui along with the TIME-GCM model, we have investigated seasonal oscillations in mesospheric temperatures at low-latitudes. I also performed an in-depth comparative investigation of MTM temperature measurements with the NASA TIMED SABER temperature soundings, and the European ENVISAT SCIAMACHY OH temperature measurements (both using different temperature retrieval techniques). Following the launch of the NASA AIM satellite (2007), I have worked on the analysis of Polar Mesospheric Cloud (PMC) image data to investigate the properties of gravity waves in the summer polar regions. Currently, I am responsible for the MTM data analysis from Andes Lidar Observatory (ALO), Chile, as part of a collaborative project (led by Dr. A. Liu, ERAU) which builds on the Maui-MALT program with coordinated measurements using MTM, Na lidar, meteor radar and other optical systems. This includes detailed comparisons of MTM OH temperatures with Na lidar temperatures at ALO and OH temperature from nearby El Leoncito, Argentina (Dr. J. Sheer). Our main focus has been to characterize the seasonal temperature structure and its observed large variability over the Andes mountains. I am also working with Dr. T. Yuan (USU) analyzing momentum fluxes using Na lidar wind and temperature data obtained from Logan, UT, and have recently started analysis of new continuous (~4 months) IR AMTM OH temperature image data from South Pole Station, Antarctica.

Education: 
Ph.D. 2000, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Atmospheric Sciences.
Thesis: “Stability of the Mesopause region: Influence of Dissipating Gravity Waves on the Transport of Heat, Momentum and Constituents.”
M.S. 1991, Atmospheric Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 
Thesis: “A case study of Southwest vortex system using the Isentropic model.”
B.S. 1988, Meteorology, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Research Experience:
July 2007-Present: Researcher III, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences, 
Utah State University
June 2002-June 2007: Sr. Research Associate, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences, 
Utah State University
May 2000-June 2002: Research Fellow, Space Physics Research Lab, University of Michigan.
Jan. 1995-May 2000: Research Assistant, Electro-Optic Systems Laboratory,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sep. 1991-Jan. 1995: Assistant Research Scientist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Sep. 1988-Aug. 1991: Research Assistant, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.