Navy rear admiral appointed to direct new center on weather and climate risk solutions

Titley brings his knowledge of climate change as it relates to national security to Penn State

From Penn State News
May 13, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rear Adm. David W. Titley has been appointed as a faculty member in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State, beginning July 1. Titley will serve as senior scientist and director of a new center being formed on weather and climate risk solutions in the Department of Meteorology. 

As director of the center, Titley will be responsible for forging a pathway for research, development, communications and learning at the intersection of business, and weather and climate risk.

"The advent of advanced large-data handling and numerical techniques have enabled scientists to provide detailed and highly useful assessments of the risks associated with a variety of weather and climate conditions.  Penn State's Meteorology Department endeavors to be a leader in understanding and quantifying weather and climate risk.  The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and Department of Meteorology are honored to welcome Dr. David Titley, Rear Admiral (Ret.) to establish and direct the Department's newly formed center on weather risk solutions," said Bill Easterling, dean.  "Admiral Titley is a decorated leader and distinguished scientist who has time and again demonstrated the ability to pioneer and lead new scientific directions.  Under Admiral Titley's leadership I anticipate that the Center will quickly become a world leader in the study of weather and climate risk."

In addition to serving as a naval officer for 32 years in which he rose to the rank of rear admiral, his career has included duties as oceanographer and navigator of the Navy and deputy assistant chief of naval operations for information dominance. While serving in the Pentagon, Titley initiated and led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. After retiring from the Navy, he served as the deputy undersecretary of commerce for operations, the chief operating officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Titley has been invited to speak across the country and throughout the world on the importance of climate change as it relates to national security. He was invited to present on behalf of the Department of Defense at both Congressional Hearings and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meetings from 2009 to 2011. He has presented a TEDx talk on climate change and speaks regularly on this topic at universities across the country.  Titley serves on the National Research Council Committee on Geoengineering Climate, as well as participating on numerous other boards and committee appointments.

Titley holds a bachelor of science in meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University and a master of science in meteorology and physical oceanography and a doctorate in meteorology, both from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. He was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2009 and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

“Weather and climate affect everyone, from individuals to business to governments and societies. Although we cannot control weather and climate, we can take advantage of predictions and observations to improve business performance, make government more efficient, and mitigate the weather’s effects on society,” according to William Brune, head of the Department of Meteorology.

“Growing recognition of this impact is driving the demand for professionals who are innovative in using emerging technologies to predict, communicate, and manage weather and climate risk. The vast knowledge, experience and connections that Rear Admiral Titley brings to this appointment will propel Penn State Meteorology to a unique position in this field,” said Brune. “We are extremely pleased that David has decided to join the Penn State Meteorology family.”

View the story on the Penn State Newswire.