David A. R. Kristovich
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Stanley A. Changnon, a highly prolific researcher in applied climatology, died on 1 May 2012. Stan had an exceptionally wide range of research interests; he published hundreds of journal articles in the areas of climate change, physical and societal impacts of climate, and weather and climate extremes (his obituary can be seen online at http://www.isws.illinois.edu/hilites/press/120508stan.asp). While much will be written in other forums about Stan’s many accomplishments, the editorial staff at the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology (JAMC) recognizes his outstanding contributions to this journal.

Stan’s professional career occurred at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), which is now part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He started as a student researcher in 1951 and ultimately rose to the level of Chief of the Survey. Even after retiring in 1985, he continued part-time efforts at the ISWS and as a scientific consultant for Changnon Climatologist.

During the last five decades, Stan authored or coauthored more than 60 articles in JAMC. These papers covered a wide range of topics, including climatological analyses of high-impact conditions (especially hail, but also lightning, rain, freezing rain, and temperatures), how climate data are used (especially by the agriculture industry), intentional weather modification, and inadvertent weather modification by urban areas.

Perhaps the most important of Stan’s impacts on the atmospheric science field is on his collaborators and those he mentored. In JAMC alone, he had more than three dozen coauthors. Many of his coauthors often started their professional careers at the ISWS and went on to play important roles at other leading national research institutions such as the National Climatic Data Center. Other coauthors included leaders in the climate sciences who continue to help in shaping our understanding of climate and its impacts.

On the day that Stan died, severe convective weather spread across much of the U.S. Midwest, including a tornado that occurred within a few miles of the ISWS. Little damage and no injuries resulted, but the local warning sirens seemed to provide a nod of recognition of the passing of a world-class scientist, mentor, and friend.