Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is a leading international expert in the area of weather, climate, and atmospheric related sciences. Dr. Shepherd was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS), the nation’s largest and oldest professional/science society in the atmospheric and related sciences. He is only the 2nd African American to hold this post. Dr. Shepherd is Director of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program and Full Professor in the Department of Geography. In 2013, he was named an endowed UGA Athletic Association Professor. Prior to UGA, Dr. Shepherd spent 12 years as a Research Meteorologist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, a multi-national space mission which launches in 2014. President Bush honored him on May 4th 2004 at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for pioneering scientific research. Dr. Shepherd is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and in 2014, he was asked to join the Board for Climate Central, a leading science and media non-profit organization. Two national magazines, the AMS, and Florida State University have also recognized Dr. Shepherd for his significant contributions.
Dr. Shepherd is frequently sought as an expert on weather, climate, and remote sensing. He routinely appears on CBS Face The Nation, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News, The Weather Channel and several others. Dr. Shepherd is also frequently asked to present findings and results to key leaders at NASA, Congress, Department of Defense, and to officials from foreign countries. In February 2013, Dr. Shepherd briefed the U.S. Senate on climate change and extreme weather. He has also written several editorials for CNN, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and numerous other outlets and has been featured in Time Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and NPR Science Friday. He is also a contributing author to Ebony Magazine. He has over 70 scholarly publications. NASA, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and U.S. Forest Service have funded his scholarly research. Dr. Shepherd was also instrumental in leading the effort for UGA to become the 78th member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a significant milestone for UGA.
Dr. Shepherd currently serves on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Science Advisory Board, the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Visiting Committee. He was a member of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization steering committee on aerosols and precipitation, 2007 Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR4 contributing author team, a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel considering the security implications of climate change on U.S. Naval operations, and a NAS Committee on Urban Meteorology. Dr. Shepherd is a past editor for both the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology and Geography Compass, respectively.
Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. and PhD in physical meteorology from Florida State University. He was the first African American to receive a PhD from the Florida State University Department of Meteorology, one of the nation’s oldest and respected. He is a member of the AMS, Association of American Geographers (AAG), Sigma Xi Research Honorary, Chi Epsilon Pi Meteorology Honorary, and Omicron Delta Kappa National Honorary. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and serves on various National Boards associated with his alma mater. Dr. Shepherd is the author of forthcoming textbook, The Urban Climate System, and co-authored a children’s book on weather and weather instruments called Dr. Fred’s Weather Watch. Dr. Shepherd is originally from Canton, Georgia. He is married to Ayana Shepherd and has two kids, Anderson and Arissa.
Former deputy project scientist and current science team member J. Marshall Shepherd tells us why missions like NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) are vital to our way of life.