WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

NCSU weather prof wins teaching award

Posted January 21, 2015

NC State meteorology professor Gary Lackmann accepts the Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award from the American Meteorological Society [Photo Credit: John Knox]

More than a decade’s worth of meteorology students have known that professor Gary Lackmann is an excellent teacher. And now the entire American Meteorological Society knows.

At the Society’s annual meeting in Phoenix earlier this month, Lackmann was awarded the 2015 Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award. The award was given "for synthesizing theory and application in synoptic meteorology with consistent enthusiasm and excellence, and for his positive impact on students' professional and life trajectories.”

Dr. John Knox, associate professor of geography in the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia and chair of the AMS Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award Committee, said, “This national award is named after one of the most distinguished meteorologists in history who also won multiple teaching awards at MIT. This year all the nominees exhibited a high quality of teaching success and level of commitment to teaching and mentoring. But, despite the intense competition, every committee member felt that Dr. Lackmann was highly worthy.”

Lackmann said it was a “tremendous honor” to receive the award.

"I work very hard to ‘protect' time for teaching, including lecture preparation, developing labs and homework assignments, grading and meeting with students. I am constantly working to improve as a teacher,” he told WRAL. The award represented "recognition, and validation, for dedicating time to teaching. This isn't to say that I don't work hard on research and service, but building teaching strongly into the balance of what we do is what distinguishes universities from research laboratories.”

Lackmann’s ability to teach doesn’t stop with students. Count WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel as someone who has benefited from Lackmann’s ability to relate advanced meteorological concepts in an understandable way. Says Fishel, “Gary is one of those rare guys that is brilliant but doesn’t realize it. He doesn’t come across as someone who thinks he knows everything. That’s what makes people feel comfortable approaching him and tapping into the vast array of knowledge he has."

This isn’t the first time Lackmann has been recognized for teaching excellence. Since joining the faculty at NC State in 1999 from the State University of New York, College at Brockport, he has been awarded the LeRoy and Elva Martin Award for Teaching Excellence (in 2004) and the NC State Outstanding Teacher Award for 2012-2013.

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  • missdawg Jan 29, 2015

    Gary Lackmann was a horrible teacher. I was in the meteorology program at State about 15 years ago, and he was one of the most condescending professors I encountered while I was there. He also countered everything that was in our textbooks, claiming that they were outdated and that he knew more than the authors did. Riordian was the only one at State's meteorology department who actually knew what he was talking about.