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John A. Knox

Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
Undergraduate Advisor for ATSC

Contact info

Geog-Geol Bldg, 210 Field Street, Athens, Georgia 30602, Room 139
Phone Number:
Research Interests:

Physical geography, specifically dynamics of weather and climate, geoscience education, atmospheric hazards, meteorological applications of social media data


I study the wind: why it blows, where it blows, what it blows around, and how to protect people from it.  This subject is called atmospheric dynamics, and I teach the core courses in this subject in our atmospheric sciences major.  I also teach a wide variety of classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Like my own professors in college at UAB, I put students first, and devote much of my time to teaching, academic advising, student organization advising, and mentoring.

  • Ph.D. (1996), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Atmospheric sciences
  • B.S. (1988), UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Mathematics

Extramural and Intramural Grants (26; Total activity: $6.73 million; To UGA: $1,360,119)

Developing New Storm Design Criteria for Natural Hazards Planning Research and Practice.  UGA Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant.  $150,000; Funded 1/22-6/23.

Weather and Climate Software License for Teaching and Forecasting Applications.  UGA Learning Technologies Grant.  $13,500; Funded 7/21-6/22.

Hidden Figures in the Atmospheric Sciences.  UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Innovation in Multicultural Curriculum Grant.  $2000; Funded 12/20-5/21.

Data Assimilation Experiments Using WRF in the Undergraduate Classroom.  NCAR Computational and Information Systems Laboratory University Allocation.  402,000 hours of core use computer time; Funded 4/19-5/19.

An Updated and Free GEOG 1112L Laboratory Manual. UGA Affordable Course Materials Grant. $5000; Funded 3/19-6/19.

Solidarity and Storytelling: Debris and Visual Expressions of Collective Community After the 2019 Lee County Tornado (co-PI); CU-Boulder Natural Hazards Center; $1,925; Funded 3/19-6/19.

A 3D Active Teaching Tool for Learning about Atmospheric Sciences (3D-ATTLAS): Incorporating Augmented Reality into a Cutting-Edge Weather and Climate Teaching Solution at UGA (co-PI); Learning Technologies Grant, UGA Center for Teaching and Learning; $21,017; Funded 7/17-6/18.

Writing Intensive Program, UGA Franklin College of Arts and Science; 2 full-time TA positions. Approx. $12,000. Funded 8/15-12/15.

M. G. Michael Award (excellence in research), UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; $3000; Funded 7/14-6/15.

Collaborative Research in Atmospheric Science: Probability Forecasting-Perception of the Probability of Precipitation (co-PI); UGA Innovative Instruction Grant Program; $5000; Funded 5/13-8/13.

Development of a Hands-On Laboratory Component of a New Geography/Atmospheric Science Course, Introduction to Data Assimilation (PI); UGA Innovative Instruction Grant Program; $5000; Funded 5/12-8/12.

Improving Clear Air Turbulence Forecasts at the NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Aviation Weather Center with State-of-the-Art Research Diagnostics (PI); UCAR/COMET; $60,000; Funded 7/09-6/12.

Teaching Science Teachers about Masters of Disaster in Socioeconomically and Climatologically Vulnerable Counties of Georgia (co-PI); National Science Foundation; $149,642; Funded 8/10-8/12.

Teaching Science Teachers About Masters of Disasters (consultant); Georgia Teacher Quality in Higher Education Program; $31,000; Funded 6/10-6/11.

Teaching Science Teachers About Masters of Disasters (consultant); Georgia Teacher Quality in Higher Education Program; $31,000; Funded 6/09-6/10.

Climatological and Demographic Aspects of Late-Summer Heat Waves in Georgia (PI); UGARF; $9707.10; Funded 1/09-12/09.

Development, Implementation and Research of Rotating-Tank Laboratory Experiments in Undergraduate Geosciences Courses at the University of Georgia (co-PI); USG Board of Regents STEM Initiative; $7990; Funded 11/08-6/09.

Integrated Hydrologic/Hydrodynamic Modeling System for Collection of Pollutant Signatures (co-I); DOE; $750,000 to UGA; Funded 10/08-10/11.

Teaching Science Teachers About Masters of Disasters (consultant); Georgia Teacher Quality in Higher Education Program; $31,000; Funded 6/08-6/09.

Enhancing Undergraduate Geography Courses with New Data-Intensive Multimedia Modules on the Ozone Hole and El Niño (PI); PRISM; $4000; Funded 8/04-2/05.

The Assimilation Process in the Earth, Space and Social Sciences (PI); Georgia Space Grant; $5562; Funded 3/04-2/05.

Mesoscale Tropopause Dynamics Diagnosed in GOES (PI); NOAA/NESDIS; $66,000; Funded 10/03-9/05.   

Diagnostic Studies of Tropical Dynamics with UARS and CRISTA (co-I); NASA (Subcontract to NWRA); $72,000; Funded 11/01-2/04.                                                                                                   

Hands-On Cutting-Edge Scientific Visualization in Meteorology (PI); Valparaiso University Danztler Fund; $2000; Funded 4/99-5/00.

Explaining the Edmund Fitzgerald Shipwreck: Synoptic-Dynamic Analysis of Mesoscale Surface Jets Associated with Mid-Latitude Cyclones (PI); Valparaiso University Summer Research Fellowship; $2500; Funded 11/98-8/99.   

GISS Institute on Climate and Planets (co-I); NASA; $5,300,000; Funded 6/98.


Of note:

National/International Research Awards:

  • Fellow, American Meteorological Society, 2020
  • T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award, National Weather Association, 2010
  • Highly commend, Royal Meteorological Society‘s IBM Award for Meteorological Innovation That Matters international competition, 2009

Campus/Regional/National Teaching Awards:

  • Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award, American Meteorological Society, 2020
  • Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Geography, 2020 (first-ever geography professor selected)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, SouthEastern Division of the American Association of Geographers (SEDAAG), 2016
  • "Best 300 Professors" selection, The Princeton Review, 2012 (only geographer in U.S. selected)
  • Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, UGA, 2013
  • Sandy Beaver Excellence in Teaching Award, UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, 2011
  • UGA Student Government Association Professor Recognition Award, 2005, 2010, 2011
  • Who‘s Who Among America‘s Teachers, 2004
  • UW-Madison Wahl Meteorology Teaching Award, 1994
  • UW-Madison Teaching Fellow, 1994-95

National Educational Publication Awards:

  • William Henry Fox Talbot Prize for Visual Excellence in a College Textbook, Society of Academic Authors, 2003
  • APEX Grand Award for Publication Excellence in Writing, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 2007

Institutional Outreach and Service Awards and Nominations:

  • NASA/GISS Best Popular Science Award, 1997
  • UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Advisor Award nominee, 2005, 2008, 2010

National Weather Forecasting Awards:

  • "Final Four" forecaster, WxChallenge national weather forecasting contest tournament, 2011
  • 1st-place trophy for best faculty forecast for New Orleans, LA, WxChallenge contest, 2012
  • 2nd-place trophy for best faculty forecast for Providence, RI, WxChallenge contest, 2012

Selected National Academic Awards and Honors:

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, 1988
  • Rhodes Scholar Finalist, 1987
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Fellow, 1988
  • U.S. Presidential Scholar, 1983

Research Projects

  1. Clear-air turbulence forecasting (Wilson M.S.; with Silberberg, Ellrod and UGA students)
  2. Geoscience education research at the pre-college and college levels (Qureshi Ph.D.; with Stewart and others)
  3. Hyperthermia and its effects on athletes (Petro M.S.; with Grundstein and UGA students)
  4. Late-summer heat waves in the Southeast U.S. (Petro M.S.)
  5. Drought in the Southeast U.S. (Campana M.S.; with Grundstein and Dowd)
  6. Inertial instability and convection initiation (with Schumacher and Schultz)
  7. Non-convective high wind events (with Durkee, Frye, Fuhrmann, Lacke and UGA students)
  8. Other extreme weather events and their societal impacts (with Gill, Novlan and UGA students)
  9. Extreme climate indices (Pauline M.S.)
  10. Tornado debris research (with UGA students)
Courses Regularly Taught:
Selected Publications:

Since 2017: (underlined indicates current or former student/advisee)

Knox, J. A., T. E. Gill, C. A. Williams, J. Smith, L. V. Boggs, H. Skypek, and A. W. Black, 2022: Wind-related bounce house incidents: Meteorological, regulatory, and outreach contexts.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, in revision.

Knox, P., J. Knox, E. Pauline, C. Scarborough, and H. Stuckey, 2019: The weather and climate of Wormsloe and surrounding areas. Chapter 1 of Social Roots: Reconnecting Lowcountry Foodways with the Landscape, ed. Sarah Ross.  UGA Press, in press.

Harvey, V. L., R. Lieberman, G. Manney, J. A. Knox, M. Hitchman, P. Hitchcock, T. Hirooka, Y. Tomikawa, and T. Sakazaki, 2021: Upper Stratosphere and Lower Mesosphere.  Chapter 11 of SPARC Reanalysis Intercomparison Project, in review since 2019.

Pauline, E., J. A. Knox, L. Seymour, and A. J. Grundstein, 2021: Revising NCEI’s Climate Extremes Index and the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index to Analyze Climate Extremes Vulnerability across the United States.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 102, E84-E98.

Black, A. W., Knox, J. A., and J. A. Rackley, 2019:  Tornado debris from the 23 May 2017 “Tybee Tornado.”  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 100, 217-222.

Harvey, V. L., and J. A. Knox, 2019: Beware of Inertial Instability masquerading as gravity waves in stratospheric temperature perturbations.  Geophysical Research Letters,

Kerr, G. H., M. J. Krocak, M. D. Flournoy, and J. A. Knox, 2018: Weathering Together: Building a climate of diverse community perspectives.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99, 2150.

Knox, J. A., E. N. Wilson, N. J. Morgan, E. M. Sullivan, and D. S. Nevius, 2018: Aviation Meteorology.  Oxford Bibliographies.

Stewart, A. E., J. A. Knox, and P. Schneider, 2018: Reaching students and parents through weather science and safety workshops for teachers.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99, 1545-1555.

Knox, J. A., D. Nevius, and P. N. Knox, 2017: Two simple and accurate approximations for wet-bulb temperature in moist conditions, with forecasting applications.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 98, 1897-1906.

Grundstein, A. J., J. A. Knox, J. Vanos, E. R. Cooper, and D. Casa, 2017: American football and fatal exertional heat stroke: A case study of Korey Stringer.  International Journal of Biometeorology, 61, 1471-1480.

Fujiwara, M., J. S. Wright, G. L. Manney, L. J. Gray, J. Anstey, T. Birner, S. Davis, E. P. Gerber, V. L. Harvey, M. I. Hegglin, C. R. Homeyer, J. A. Knox, K. Krüger, A. Lambert, C. S. Long, P. Martineau, B. M. Monge-Sanz, M. L. Santee, S. Tegtmeier, S. Chabrillat, D. G. H. Tan, Y. Zyulyaeva, D. R. Jackson, S. Polavarapu, G. P. Compo, R. Dragani, W. Ebisuzaki, Y. Harada, C. Kobayashi, W. McCarty, K. Onogi, S. Pawson, A. Simmons, K. Wargan, J. S. Whitaker, and C.-Z. Zou, 2017: Introduction to the SPARC Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (S-RIP) and overview of the reanalysis systems.  Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17, 1417-1452.  doi:10.5194/acp-17-1417-2017.

Williams, C. A., P. W. Miller, A. W. Black, and J. A. Knox, 2017: Throwing caution to the wind: National Weather Service wind products as perceived by a weather-salient public.  Journal of Operational Meteorology, 5, 103-120.

Knox, J. A., and P. N. Knox, 2017: Atmospheric/general circulation.  The Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology, Volume V, 243-250.

Articles Featuring John A. Knox
Friday, April 29, 2022 - 3:50pm

March 25, 2022 marks one year after the killer EF-4 tornado tore through Newnan, GA. The AthensGaWeather broadcasting team, composed of Atmospheric Sciences undergraduates in the Geography department, was one of the many broadcasting studios to livestream…

Friday, January 28, 2022 - 5:04pm

Atmospheric Sciences alumna, Emily Wilson, was recently recognized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the "critical support [she] provided to Operation Allies Welcome", an initiative set forth by the DHS to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghan…

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

Three undergraduates in the Geography Department's Atmospheric Sciences Program have been awarded the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Congratulations to Kathryn Boyle, Chase…

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 10:02am

John Knox, an associate professor of geography in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers.

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 1:21pm

You heard about the diversity furor at the Academy Awards. Here's one you didn't hear about -- but should have

Monday, January 9, 2012 - 1:26pm

"By impact, drought the worst seen," reads a headline in today's Athens Banner-Herald. In a recently published trade article, one of the paper's authors, UGA geography professor John Knox, said "the smoking gun is pointing at population increases.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 1:28pm

A team of science and educational experts led by a University of Georgia psychologist and atmospheric scientist will teach a group of Bibb County school teachers what they should teach their students about the science of weather and how to respond safely when…

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