Cover photo for Alfred K. Blackadar's Obituary
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Alfred K. Blackadar

July 6, 1920 — January 17, 2015

Alfred K. Blackadar, 94, passed away at The Atrium, in The Village at Penn State on January 17,2015.

Born in Hampton Falls, N.H., he was the son of W. Lloyd Blackadar and Harriett D. White Blackadar. On March 23, 1946, he married Beatrice Fenner, a 1938 classmate at North Plainfield High School in N.J. Each of them has been named to the Hall of Fame at the high school.
He received his AB degree at Princeton University, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1942. A member of the U.S. Army Air Corps class in Meteorology at New York University in 1943, he served as Station Weather Officer in Keflavik, Iceland during World War II. Their mission was to provide weather observations, forecasts, and briefings for bomber ferrying flights to Europe and for military transport operations.

Over the years he was an Associate Professor of Meteorology at New York University, where he earned his PhD; a lecturer at Columbia University, and a Professor at The Pennsylvania State University, where he served as Department Head from 1967-1981 and was named Professor Emeritus in 1985. He was a Humboldt Foundation Visiting Professor at Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet in Mainz, West Germany, and a Guest Professor at the Institut fuer Meereskunde in Kiel, and the Universitaet Karlsruhe, both in West Germany.
His professional societies include: The American Meteorological Society, which he served as president, fellow, secretary, council, chair of The Publications Commission, and Certified Consulting Meteorologist; He was a fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of The American Geophysical Union, and a foreign member of the Deutsche Meteorologische Gesellschaft.

Among his professional activities were: Trustee of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and a member of The National Science Foundation, The National Academy of Science, The U.S. National Committee for the Global Atmospheric Research Program, The National Research Council, The International Commission on Dynamic Meteorology, and The Society of Sigma Xi. He served as Executive Editor of Weatherwise magazine for many years.
Awards received from The American Meteorological Society include: The Charles F. Brooks Award, The Cleveland Abbe Award, the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Meteorology, and Honorary Member of the Society.

His scientific interests were on turbulent processes and the atmospheric boundary layer. In 1955 he proposed a theory for a jet layer in the nighttime boundary layer. The understanding of this phenomenon is credited for the prevention of jet plane landing accidents at night. His planetary boundary layer scheme for numerical models has long been used in regulating air quality in the USA and for the Florida Citrus Industry.

He authored more than 100 articles in professional journals, encyclopedias, and books.
A member of The University Baptist and Brethren Church, he was a life-long birder, and formerly sang with The State College Choral Society. His retirement years were devoted to a genealogy of the Blackadar family, which had its roots in Scotland.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a sister-in-law Phyllis Blackadar, a sister Margaret Dean, and her husband John; three sons: Bruce, and his wife Martha, Russell and his wife Susan, Thomas and his wife Marcia, and three grandchildren: Gabriel, Annalisa, and Katarina.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the loving care shown during his illness by The Village of Penn State and especially the staff of The Atrium.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 24th at University Baptist and Brethren Church, 411 S. Burrowes Street, State College.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to: The Alfred K. Blackadar Graduate Fellowship Fund, c/o The Office of Gifts and Endowments, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802. Checks should be made out to “Pennsylvania State University”

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