John Barnes

Research Scientist III


Mailing Address:
NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory
325 Broadway R/GML
Boulder CO 80305-3328

Phone: 303-497-6966

John Barnes

Job Description:

After working at the NOAA/GML Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii for over 23 years, 17 years as the station chief, John is now working at the Boulder, Laboratory as a guest researcher. His research mainly involves measurement of stratospheric and tropospheric aerosols (particles). He is Principle Investigator on the aerosol/water vapor/temperature lidar (laser radar) at Mauna Loa as well as the Boulder lab aerosol lidar. While at Mauna Loa he developed a very simple, inexpensive technique for measuring tropospheric aerosols called Camera Lidar or CLidar. The technique is accessible to scientists in developing countries as well as teachers at 4-year colleges and universities. Improving and making the CLidar available to researchers around the world is a second ongoing project. The third area of research involves a polar nephelometer design that he invented and patented (#8,531,516). A polar nephelometer is an in-situ instrument that measures the light scattering characteristics of aerosols. He formed a small business, BJE Environmental Optics, to commercialize the CLidar and polar nephelometer.


John majored in physics and mathematics in college and received an M.S. in physics from Colorado State University. After working in the private sector he continued his graduate work at the University of Minnesota where he began working in atmospheric physics. His Ph. D. research involved measuring optical properties of ozone, and the formation of heavy ozone isotopes. He worked at the University of Michigan for five years on oxygen spectroscopy, part of the High Resolution Doppler Imager satellite program, and Doppler wind lidar. He moved to the Hilo, HI and the Mauna Loa Observatory in 1993, and to the Boulder area in 2016.