David Fahey

Director, NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory

Office of the Director



NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory
325 Broadway, R/CSL
Boulder, CO 80305 USA


Dr. Fahey is the Director of the NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory. He joined NOAA in Boulder in 1979 after receiving advanced degrees in physics from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Missouri. As a Research Physicist in the ESRL Chemical Sciences Division and the former Aeronomy Laboratory, his principal research interests have been measurements of trace gases and aerosols in the troposphere and lower stratosphere using instruments on board research aircraft with an emphasis on stratospheric ozone depletion and the roles of black carbon, biological aerosol, and water vapor in the climate system. He is also interested in scientific assessments and the communication of scientific results to stakeholders, decision-makers, and the public. He is currently a Co-Chair of the Scientific Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. He is a coauthor of recent assessments of stratospheric ozone depletion, aviation and climate change and the role of black carbon in the climate system. He is also an author of the 2017 Climate Science Special Report of the US National Climate Assessment.

Dr. Fahey has received the U. S. Department of Commerce Silver and Bronze Medals for Meritorious Federal Service, the American Meteorological Society Henry G. Houghton Award, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.


PhD - University of Missouri-Rolla
BA - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Current Topics

  • Scientific analysis and assessment of issues related the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
  • Scientific analysis and assessment of the impact of aviation on future climate understanding.
  • Geoengineering of climate through solar radiation management.
  • Water vapor measurements in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.
  • Design and construction of the next generation detectors for atmospheric composition for use on manned and unmanned airborne platforms.
  • Use of NASA's Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for Earth science research.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

last modified: April 24, 2020