• (202) 865-8678
  • vmorris@howard.edu
  • Howard University


Dr. Morris is a full Professor in the Department of Chemistry, and the Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at Howard University. He also has joint appointments in the Environmental Engineering Program at Howard University; and is a member of the graduate faculty at both the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Texas, El Paso.  He earned his PhD in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Georgia Tech; and completed postdoctoral study at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California Davis.  He also earned recognition as an NSF CAREER awardee, and a NASA Administrator’s Fellow before returning to HU to lead NCAS.

Dr. Morris serves as the Director of NCAS {2001 – 2017} and currently directs the NOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M) {2017 to present}.  In this capacity, Dr. Morris provides the executive leadership for the 13-member academic consortium, including the overall scientific design and implementation.  He has sustained international research collaborations in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Philippines and coordinated memoranda of understanding for research and education with nine (9) academic institutions in six (6) different countries. Dr. Morris has published over 60 papers and has delivered more than 100 invited talks and national/international conference presentations.

Vernon Morris PhD Biographic Sketch

Current Research:

Dr. Morris’ research activities focus on field measurements of trace gases and aerosols in the urban environment, long-range transport of mineral dust aerosols, aerobiology, and environmental chemistry.  He has led 15 interdisciplinary field observation missions since 2001, including environmental justice studies in Memphis, TN and Washington, DC.

The AERosols and Oceanographic Science Expeditions (AEROSE) comprise a principal effort. The AEROSE cruises are an internationally recognized series of field campaigns designed to explore African air mass outflows and their impacts on climate, weather, and environmental health. This projects began with a dedicated cruise in 2004 and has been conducted annually since 2006 to generate the most comprehensive data set of complementary atmospheric measurement and oceanographic observations aimed at characterizing the impact and microphysical evolution of Saharan dust aerosols transported across the Atlantic Ocean.


    1. Nalli, C. D. Barnet, T. Reale, Q. Liu, V. R. Morris, J. R. Spackman, E. Joseph, C. Tan, B. Sun, F. Tilley, L. R. Lueng, and D. Wolfe, Tropospheric Moisture Transport Regimes: Saharan Air Layers, Hadley Cells, and Atmospheric Rivers Journal of Hydrometeorology Published online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-16-0163.1, 2016
    2. Jones, E. Igbinigun, Y. Liu, R. Malaisamy, and V Morris, Graphene Oxide Functionalized Polyethersulfone Membrane to Reduce Organic Fouling J. Membrane Science 514: 518 – 526, 2016
    3. Lee, D. Hanlon, R. Sakai, V. Morris, B. Demoz, and S. A. Gadsden, Development of an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial System for Atmospheric Data Collection and Research SPIE Proceedings of the Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies XIII , 96820A (May 9, 2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2224547.
    4. Liu, J. X. L. Wang, X.-Z. Liang, and V. R. Morris, A Hybrid Approach to Improving the Skills of Seasonal Climate Outlook at the Regional Scale, Climate Dynamics 46(1):483-494 2015
    5. D. Allen, B. Eribo, M. A. Velez-Quinones, V. R. Morris, MALDI-TOF MA and 16SrRNA as Tools of the Evaluation of Bacterial Diversity in Soils from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas Aerobiologia 31:111-126, 2015
    6. –L. Min, R. Li, B. Lin, E. Joseph, V. Morris, Y. Hu, S. W. Li, and S. Wang, Impacts of Mineral Dust on Ice Clouds in Tropical Deep Convective Systems Atmospheric Research 143, 64-7, 2014
    7. Nalli, N. R., C., D. Barnet, A. Gambacorta, E. S. Maddy, H. Xie, T. S. King, E. Joseph, and V. R. Morris, On the angular effect of residual clouds and aerosols in clear-sky infrared window radiance observations 2. Satellite experimental analyses. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118, 1420-1435 2013
    8. C. D. Galvez, H. C. Jayo, E. A. Vallar, and V. R. Morris, Elemental Composition of Fine Particulate Matters from the Exhaust Emission of Jeepneys Plying the Route of Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER) Vol.3, No.1, 406-410, Jan-Feb 2013
    9. Xie, N. R. Nalli, S. Sampson, W. W. Wolf, J. Li, T. J. Schmidt, C. D. Barnet, E. Joseph, V. R. Morris, and F. Yang, Integration and Ocean-Based Pre-launch Validation of GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager Legacy Atmospheric Products. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol. 30, 1743–1756 2013.
    10. Morris, T.-W. Yu. H. M. Mogil, A Growing Network of Weather Camps with a CAREER Focus Eos, Vol. 93, No. 15, 10 April 2012
    11. -Z. Liang, M. Xu, X. Yuan, T. Ling, H. Choi, F.Zhang, L. Chen, S. Liu, S. Su, F. Qiao, Y. He, J. Wang, K. Kunkel, W. Gao, E. Joseph, V. Morris, T.-W. Yu, J. Dudhia, and J. Michalakes, Regional Climate-Weather Research and Forecasting 1 Model (CWRF) Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00180.1 2012
    12. Morris, E. Joseph, S. Smith, and T-W. Yu, The Howard University Program in Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS): A Program Exemplifying Diversity and Opportunity Journal of Geoscience Education 60, 45-53, 2012


AMS Fellow (2016)
Fulbright Specialist (2014)
HBCU Awards – Best Research Center (2013)
The HistoryMakers – Science Makers (2013)
Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teacher Award (2012)
Selection as One of the 50 most Influential Blacks in Technology (2011)