Kerry H Cook

Kerry H Cook
Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
John E. "Brick" Elliott Centennial Endowed Professorship in Geological Sciences (Holder)

Work: +1 512 232 7931
Office: JGB 5.220FA
Mailcode: C9000

Kerry Cook came to The University of Texas at Austin in August, 2008. She began her career at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at Princeton University, followed by 18 years as a professor at Cornell University where she taught courses in Climate Dynamics, Atmospheric Dynamics, and Atmospheric Physics and was a founder of the Science of Earth Systems major. She is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and has served on the Board of Trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and as an editor of the Journal of Climate. She is currently the Chair of the American Meteorological Society's Board of Climate Variability and Change and serves on the NSF GEO Advisory Council.

Dr. Cook's research centers on predicting and understanding climate change and climate variability around the world, including Africa, South America, the central U.S., and home in Austin, TX. She and her group use numerical models of the climate system, including atmosphere, ocean, and vegetation components, along with observational analysis to improve our understanding about how features and processes at the earth's surface interact with atmospheric circulation and precipitation fields.

Dr. Cook has published a text on Climate Dynamics (2013, Princeton University Press); a second edition is expected in 2021. Supplemental resources for Climate Dynamics are available at:

Areas of Expertise

Climate dynamics, atmospheric dynamics, global climate change, paleoclimate, climate and weather of Africa and South America, climate system modeling, climate change in Texas

Research Locations

Current Research Programs & Projects

Regional climate change prediction: Ausitn, Central and eastern Texas, Africa

Understanding the basic dynamics, and interannual variability, of the West African monsoon system

Understanding the physics of abrupt climate change - past and future - over northern Africa and the central U.S.

Predicting the fate of the Amazon basin climate and vegetation under greenhouse gas-induced climate change

Understanding the seasonal cycle and potential for climate change over East Africa

Understanding the dynamics of the Caribbean low-level jet, and its relationship to the Great Plains low-level jet and regional drought

Joanne Simpson Tropical Meteorology Research Award - American Meteorological Society (2020)

Outstanding Graduate Instruction - Jackson SChool of Geosciences (2012 - 2012)

Fellow - American Meteorological Society (2009)

Outstanding Educator - Merill Presidential Scholar (2007)

Board of Trustees - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (2006 - 2013)

Outstanding Educator - Merrill Presidential Scholar (2003)

Member, Geological Sciences (GEO) Advisory Committee, National Science Foundation (2020)

Chair, Climate Variability and Change Committee, American Meteorological Society (2018)

Member, Working Group: Changing Width of the Tropics, US CLIVAR (2016 - Present)

Advisory Board, Future Climate for Africa Program, UK Dept. Of International Development (2016 - Present)

Chair, Endowment Committee, Jackson School of Geosciences (2016 - Present)

Co-chair, Climate Variations and Change Meeting, 2018, American Meteorological Society (2016 - 2018)

Member, Awards Nominating Committee, American Meteorological Society (2015 - Present)

Guest Editor, Special issue of Earth Systems Dynamics on “Climate, Land Use, and Conflict in Northern Africa”, European Geosciences Union (2015 - Present)

Editor, Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Society (2014 - 2019)

Member, Committee on Climate Change and Variability, American Meteorological Society (2014 - Present)

Member, Scientific Organizing Committee, Workshop on Climate Change, Land Use and Conflict in Northern Africa, Max Planck Institute (2014 - 2015)

Editor, Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Society (2011 - 2015)

Member, Committee on Communicating Climate Change, American Meteorological Society (2010 - Present)

Board of Trustees, .University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), (2007 - 2013)

Executive Committee, Board on Oceans and Atmosphere, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (2007 - 2013)


Rory Fitzpatrick, 2019 - 2020

Fan Han, 2017 - 2018

Jaya Khanna, 2016 - 2017

Xiaoming Sun, 2015 - 2017

Julien Cretat, 2012 - 2014

Graduate Students

Patrick C Andrews , Ph.D., expected 2025 (Supervisor)
My research centers on Africa's Congo Basin and modifying our understanding of the processes that underlie its rainfall from the synoptic to the climatic scale, especially in relation to MCS's, such as to evaluate the potential for future change to the climate.

Siyu Zhao (Supervisor)

Allysa Dallmann (Supervisor)

Harisankar Manoj, M.S., 2023 (Supervisor)
Jackson School of Geosciences

Weiran Liu, Ph.D., 2019 (Supervisor)
Department of Geosciences, UT Austin

Gang Zhang, Ph.D., 2015 (Supervisor)
Department of Geosciences, UT Austin

Caroline Binkley, M.S., 2015 (Supervisor)
Department of Geosciences, UT Austin

Naresh Neupane, Ph.D., 2014 (Supervisor)
Department of Geosciences, UT Austin

Meredith Brown, M.S., 2012 (Supervisor)
Department of Geosciences, UT Austin

Bing Pu, Ph.D., 2010 (Supervisor)

Christina Patricola, Ph.D., 2010 (Supervisor)

Samson Hagos, Ph.D., 2007 (Supervisor)

Jen-Shan Hsieh, Ph.D., 2005 (Supervisor)

Ned Vizy, Ph.D., 2003 (Supervisor)
Cornell University

Torsten Duffy, M.S., 2000 (Supervisor)
Cornell University

Corinne Carter, M.S., 1997 (Supervisor)
Cornell University

Leslie Greene, M.S., 1997 (Supervisor)
Cornell University

John Lenters, Ph.D., 1996 (Supervisor)
Cornell University

Todd Ringler, Ph.D., 1996 (Supervisor)
Cornell University

Predicting 21st Century Climate Change over Africa, Brown International Advanced Research Institutes, Brown University, Providence RI (2011)

African Climate Change and Variability, Summer Colloquium, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (2011)

Toward confident and useful climate change projections: West Africa and the Sahel, International Union of Geogesy and Geophysics, Melbourne, Australia

2023Spring GEO 387D Climate Dynamics
2023Spring GEO 347D Global Warming
2022Spring GEO 391 Atmospheric Dynamics
2022Spring GEO 347D Global Warming
2021Spring GEO 387D Climate Dynamics-Wb
2021Spring GEO 347D Global Warming-Wb
2020Spring GEO 347D Global Warming
2019Spring GEO 387F Dynams Of Atmospheres & Oceans
2019Spring GEO 371T Dynams Of Atmospheres & Oceans
2019Spring GEO 347D Global Warming
2018Spring GEO 347D Global Warming
2018Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Spring GEO 347D Global Warming
2016Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2016Spring GEO 387F Dynams Of Atmospheres & Oceans
2015Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2015Fall GEO 347D Global Warming
2015Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Climate Dynamics
2015Spring GEO 387D Climate Dynamics
2014Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Climate Dynamics
2014Fall GEO 347D Global Warming
2014Spring GEO 387F Dynams Of Atmospheres & Oceans