Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Professor Daniel Keyser Receives Teaching Excellence Award

Dan Keyser, Feb. 5, 2014 (photo courtesy of Dr. John Knox, University of Georgia)

Our department is very pleased to announce that Professor Daniel Keyser received the Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).  Dan formally accepted the award on Thursday, February 5, during the AMS Awards Banquet, which took place in the Murphy Ballroom at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.  Outgoing AMS President J. Marshall Shepherd presented Dan with his award.  The included photo shows Dan giving his acceptance speech during the banquet.

Daniel Keyser received the B.S. with highest distinction in 1975, the M.S. in 1977, and the Ph.D. in 1981, all in meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University.  He began his professional career through an internship as a meteorological technician at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between 1964 and 1971, was employed as a research meteorologist at the Naval Postgraduate School during the 1977–78 academic year, and was an instructor in the Department of Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University during fall 1980.  After receiving the Ph.D., Dr. Keyser was affiliated with the Severe Storms Branch of the Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, until 1987, when he joined the Department of Atmospheric Science, now the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he holds the rank of Professor.  Dr. Keyser has taught lower-division courses in introductory atmospheric science, upper-division courses in atmospheric thermodynamics and dynamics, and graduate courses in synoptic-dynamic meteorology, the structure and dynamics of extratropical cyclones, and mesoscale dynamics.  To date, he has sponsored or cosponsored five postdoctoral scholars and has advised or coadvised 40 graduate students.  Dr. Keyser’s research interests are in synoptic-dynamic and mesoscale meteorology; his research has consisted of phenomenological and process studies conducted through the application of dynamical models and diagnostics to selected types of weather systems, such as extratropical and tropical cyclones, fronts, jet streaks, coherent tropopause disturbances, banded precipitation systems, and inertia-gravity waves.  Dr. Keyser began his affiliation with the American Meteorological Society as an undergraduate student and was elected to the rank of Fellow in 2005.  He was a member of (1984–87) and subsequently chaired (1987–1990) the American Meteorological Society Committee on Mesoscale Processes; he also served as an Associate Editor (1986–90, 1994–97, 2004–06) and Editor (1991–93) of the Monthly Weather Review.  Dr. Keyser has been recognized by the American Meteorological Society at various stages of his career through conferral of the Howard H. Hanks, Jr., Scholarship in Meteorology (1974), Howard T. Orville Scholarship in Meteorology (1975), Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award (1989), and the Editor’s Award (1989), prior to his now receiving the Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award (2014). 

Befitting the award bestowed upon him, Dan addressed the nearly 1,000 assembled students as part of the AMS Annual Student Conference on Sunday, February 2.  Additionally, as part of the Symposium on Education, he presented a talk on Tuesday, February 4, entitled “Teaching Atmospheric Dynamics at the Education—Research Interface”, on behalf of his co-authors, Ph. D. students Alicia Bentley and Kyle MacRitchie.  Dan also was co-author on four additional papers, presented by his graduate students and a post-doctoral fellow.

The award citation nicely captures the spirit which motivated his legions of past and present students to advance his nomination.  Specifically, the award is given to Dan “For his meticulously crafted and inspiring lectures, his individualized mentoring and unwavering commitment to students, and his landmark contributions to synoptic and mesoscale meteorology education.”

Dan’s prepared remarks in acceptance of his award appear below.  From all of your friends and colleagues in the department, university, and community-at-large, hearty congratulations for a job well done!

Daniel Keyser’s Acceptance Speech for the 2014 Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award

I never expected to receive an award for teaching, let alone an award
named after Ed Lorenz.
 
I offer my heartfelt thanks to my former and current students who 
nominated me for the Lorenz Award and to the Selection Committee 
for conferring the Award.  
 
It is an honor and a privilege to join the list of prior Lorenz Award 
winners, many of whom I have known, admired, and been inspired 
by from the start of my professional career.
 
I will now share some words of wisdom about teaching that I have 
collected during my academic career:
 
Teaching allows you to leave students better off than you found them.
 
Teaching allows you to learn more from your students 
than they learn from you.
 
Teaching allows you to amplify your impact.
 
Teaching requires you to listen more and talk less, 
for me an acquired skill.
 
It takes a faculty, not just an individual faculty member,
 to educate a student.
 
In closing, it has been said that to save a life is to save the world.  
These words of wisdom may be adapted for the teaching profession to 
say that to educate a student is to change the world.
 
Thank you.