DaNa Carlis


Director Staff

Job Title:Director


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Phone:(405) 325-6904


DaNa L. Carlis, Ph.D. is an award-winning meteorologist and serves as the Director at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). At NSSL, he is responsible for leading the scientific and information technology efforts of the laboratory. As Director, he leads the premiere severe weather research laboratory with more than 180 scientists, engineers, and administrators. DaNa is the first African American to be Director of one of NOAA Research laboratories. Prior to NSSL, DaNa served as the Deputy Director of NOAA’s Global Systems Laboratory (GSL) in Boulder, CO and prior to GSL he worked at the Weather Program Office (WPO) in Washington, DC where he was the founding program manager of the Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC) program. DaNa enjoys the fact that he’s able to work between science, policy, and society to ensure better products and services to the American people. DaNa has published papers in peer-reviewed journals and in 2016 wrote a children’s book titled “MIT: Meteorologist in Training.”

DaNa attended Howard University in Washington, DC where he obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry (2000), as well as a MS (2002) and PhD (2007) in Atmospheric Sciences. In 2007, DaNa was the 2nd African American male to receive his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from Howard University. His dissertation focused on modeling island-scale airflow regimes over Maui and implementing semi-operational MM5 and WRF models over the Hawaiian Islands.

He is originally from Tulsa, OK where he developed a love for science and math. For his scientific achievements, DaNa was inducted into the Booker T. Washington High School Distinguished Hall of Fame Class of 2018. In 2023, Mayor G.T. Bynum proclaimed February 17th as Dr. DaNa Carlis Day in the city of Tulsa in recognition of his scientific achievements and return to his home state of Oklahoma.

As an active member of the community, DaNa serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees at the Early Childhood Academy and is a charter member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In his spare time, DaNa enjoys cheering for his favorite sports team the Oklahoma Sooners, mentoring and coaching students, and spending time with his family. DaNa is married to Dr. Lydia Carlis, Chief Learning and Impact Officer at Acelero Learning and Founder/CEO of Eyemagination Enterprises LLC, and they have a daughter, Dia Carlis, who attends Georgia State University.

Degree (Ph.D, M.S, B.A, etc.) Major Subject University or College Name Year (YYYY) (optional)
B.S. Chemistry Howard University 1999
M.S. Atmospheric Science Howard University 2002
Ph.D. Atmospheric Science Howard University 2007
Research Interests
  • Numerical Weather Prediction (Regional and Global)
  • Data Assimilation (OSE/OSSE)
Professional Activities
  • AMS Councilor 2023-2025
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Member, Board of Trustees at the Early Childhood Academy in Washington DC
  • Charter Member, National Museum of African American History and Culture
Honors & Awards
Award Name Year
NOAA Bronze Medal Award 2022
NOAA Bronze Medal Award 2022
NOAA Research Employee of the Year Award – Personal & Professional Excellence 2021
NOAA Research Employee of the Year Award – Leadership 2018
Booker T. Washington High School Distinguished Hall of Fame Inductee 2018
NOAA Research EEO/Diversity Award 2018
NOAA Administrators Award 2017
NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program Class IX 2014-2016
NOAA Administrators Award 2016
Diversity and Professional Advancement Working Group Leadership Award 2016
Department of Commerce Gold Medal 2015
Selected Publications

Tripati, A., M Shepherd, V. Morris, K. Andrade, K. Powys-Whyte, D. David-Chavez, J. Hosbey, J.E. Trujillo-Falcon, B. Hunter, D. Hence, D.L. Carlis, V. Brown, W.L. Parker, A. Geller, A. Reich, and M. Glackin, 2023: Centering Equity in the Nation’s Weather, Water, and Climate Services. Environmental Justice, 00.

Brotzge, J., D. Berchoff, D.L. Carlis, F. Carr, R. Hogan-Carr, J. Gerth, B. Gross, T. Hamill, S. Haupt, N. Jacobs, A. McGovern, D. Stensrud, G. Szatkowski, I. Szunyogh, and X. Wang, 2023: Challenges and Opportunities in Numerical Weather Prediction. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 104, E698-E705.

Cikanek, H., P. Burke, D. Snowden, E. Clark,B. Gross, M. Ji, I. Stajner, H. Tolman, C. Alexander, S. Benjamin, J. Mahoney, W. Anderson, E. Burger, D.L. Carlis, J. Cortinas, S. Gopalakrishnan, T. Hamill, J. Whitaker, R. Webb, L. Wicker, W. Lapenta, 2019: A Vision Paper for the Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC).

Arzayus F., D.L. Carlis, C. Decker, S. Hayes, L. Kraatz, M. Westley, and M. Womble, 2016: Prospectus for Cooperative Institutes in the 21st Century.

Carlis D. L., Y-L. Chen, V. R. Morris, 2009: Numerical simulations of island scale airflow over Maui and the Maui Vortex under summer trade-wind conditions. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 2706-2736.

Ma, Jian, and Coauthors, 2009: Student-proposed cruise captured wakes of Oahu and Kauai islands. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 1073–1077.