Associate Professor

Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment


Ph.D., Colorado State University, Atmospheric Science

Contact info:

Mailing Address:

Department of Geography

A-227 Brewster Bldg.

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC 27858  USA


Voice - (252) 328-1039

Fax - (252) 328-6054


rickenbacht at ecu.edu


A-239 Brewster Building

Spring 2016 Office Hours:

MW 2-3PM; TuTh 3-4PM


Op-ed piece on societal implications of Mars water discovery, Raleigh News & Observer (30 Sept. 2015)

“The Flying Trapeze” - the story of my experience as a climate scientist on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., Feb. 2015.

Op-ed piece on climate change prediction and uncertainty, Raleigh News & Observer (13 Dec. 2009).


Dr. Tom Rickenbach’s research investigates how weather systems, from thunderstorms to hurricanes, control and respond to changes in regional climate. He is also interested in the different hydrological impacts associated with seasonal and year-to-year variability in rain system structure. As a radar meteorologist, Dr. Rickenbach has traveled around the world in NASA-sponsored field programs to study the local and global impacts of weather systems. His work has been applied to reducing the uncertainties in computer model simulations of future climate.

Dr. Rickenbach’s work has been published in leading journals including Journal of Climate, Journal of Atmospheric Science, Journal of Geophysical Research, International Journal of Climatology, Monthly Weather Review, and the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Rickenbach spent eight years as a research meteorologist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, studying precipitation system variability from spaceborne and surface radars. He previously worked as an environmental consultant in southern California, in the area of air quality regulatory compliance.

Dr. Rickenbach received his B.S. degree in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in atmospheric science at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Dr. Rickenbach was awarded a National Research Council Fellowship at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, before joining the Joint Center for Earth System Technology at NASA GSFC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is currently an associate professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geography at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.