Andrea J. Ray

Image of Andrea J. Ray




Director's Office




(303) 497-6434


Andrea Ray (Ph.D.) is a scientist with the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory. Dr. Ray does inter-disciplinary research to study the needs of natural resource and other decisionmakers for weather, water and climate knowledge to better inform them about critical environmental vulnerabilities. She then works to infuse these needs back into science planning, and is also active in transitioning research into applications and operations, including developing R2X transition plans from across PSL. Her background is a hybrid of physical and social science, and environmental policy. Dr. Ray often serves as a technical expert and participant in planning and policy teams, working to transition research results into applications, as operational products or directly to decisionmakers via assessments. She was active for many years in the NOAA-CIRES Western Water Assessment RISA. Recent activities include working with NOAA Fisheries on guidance to incorporate climate change into the design of fish passage (NMFS 2022) and to incorporate risks of climate change into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission planning process for licensing or re-licensing dams, climate analysis for the Fish & Wildlife Service to inform an endangered species assessment (Barsugli et al 2020, Ray et al 2017), and serving on the Climate Projections Team for the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (Lipshultz et al, 2019). She also serves programmatic and program development roles as the Chair of the cross-NOAA Testbed and Proving Ground Coordinating Committee and as the PSL Coordinator of the PSL-Weather Prediction Center Hydrometeorological Testbed. In 2020 she did an assignment to the NOAA Weather Program Office as the acting US Weather Research program manager.

Previously, Dr. Ray worked for the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research headquarters offices for planning, coordination, and evaluation; the NOAA Policy and Strategic Planning Office; and was a program manager for the NOAA Pan-American Climate Studies research program. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography (Environment and Society Interactions), and a graduate certificate in environmental policy from the University of Colorado, an M.S. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies, and an A.B. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Research Interests


  • Ph.D., Environment & Society Geography, University of Colorado, Dec 2004
  • Certificate, Environmental Policy, University of Colorado, Jan 2000
  • M.S., Oceanography, University of Delaware, Aug 1989
  • A.B., Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Jun 1985

Professional Activities

Professional Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU )
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS)
  • AMS Awards Nomination Committee
  • Association of American Geographers (AAG)

Honors and Awards

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