Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Bob Baxter’s friends and colleagues were tremendously saddened by the news of Bob’s sudden passing due to a stroke in March 2017.
Bob’s career spanned 40 years in the meteorological and air pollution research field, including design and operation of measurement systems, development and implementation of quality assurance programs, evaluation of environmental impacts and development of air quality models through model validation programs using traditional and remote profiling systems. His specialties included remote sensing for meteorological and ambient air monitoring, in-situ monitoring using traditional meteorological and air quality sensors, tracer studies for model validation, ventilation and source reconciliation, ultrasonic leak and flow measurements in refinery processes, quality assurance in monitoring and environmental analysis programs, and training in the application of quality assurance principles to the collection of environmental data. He applied these specialties to a variety of measurement and analysis studies including compliance with local and federal ambient air quality standards, PSD monitoring and analysis studies, odor, particulate matter and hydrocarbon source/receptor reconciliation programs and aiding the EPA in development of guidance for various measurement systems. He was also responsible for the evaluation of the air quality related analyses on numerous environmental studies related to space launch activities. These analyses included air quality impact, global climate change, ozone depletion, reentry of space debris and visibility degradation due to rocket exhaust plumes. He was actively involved with the EPA in development of guidance for the use of remote sensors in collection of meteorological data and has served as a faculty member at multi-day workshops on quality assurance in the operation and evaluation of data from remote and in-situ instrumentation.
After graduating from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Meteorology in 1977, Bob joined AeroVironment, Inc. (AV), where he made many lifelong friends. While at AV, he specialized in the development and application of unique measurement methodologies, including remote upper air meteorological measurements and real-time tracer analyzers. In addition, he developed an interest in quality assurance of air quality and meteorological measurements that persisted throughout his carrier. In 1986, he led the establishment of AV’s Santa Barbara office for Quality Assurance support to the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District. He also developed auditing procedures and QA standards lab, and managed several large auditing contracts for clients such as the National Park Service and the California Air Resources Board.
In 1991, Bob moved to Parsons Corporation, where he continued to manage and direct projects for government and industry relating to ambient air issues, meteorological and air quality data collection, and quality assurance in measurement programs. While at Parsons, he again managed several large regional air monitoring efforts and quality assurance auditing contracts. Beginning in 1993, Bob teamed with the Meteorological Standards Institute, participating as faculty staff in several workshops on quality assurance and quality control of upper-air and surface meteorological measurements, as well as surface air quality measurements. Based on his experience obtained through these efforts, he became a major contributor for revisions to the EPA meteorological guidance and the release of the new document Meteorological Monitoring Guidance for Regulatory Modeling Applications published in 2000. In 1994, he received his Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) certification (#531) from the American Meteorology Society (AMS). His involvement in the AMS continued through his career, including participation as a CCM board member from 2003 through 2008. In addition to the AMS, Bob was a longtime member of the American Society for Test and Materials (ASTM).
In 2002, Bob moved to Technical & Business Systems, Inc. (T& B Systems), building upon his growing expertise in innovative air quality sampling techniques, remote sensing, and quality assurance. In 2010, he became co-owner of T&B Systems. Most recently, Bob has been enthusiastically pursuing the use of off-the-shelf unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to make above surface air quality and meteorological measurements. This effort embodies much of what was key to Bob’s professional life: his love of meteorology, his excitement and enthusiasm in developing new measurement techniques, and an insistence on quality measurements.
We will all miss him greatly.