Richard Collins

Atmospheric Science
Poker Flat

Richard Collins is a professor of atmospheric science (, His research is primarily focused on Arctic meteorology and remote sensing based on observations from the Lidar Research Laboratory at Poker Flat Research Range (, most recently on the MTeX rocket investigation (  His teaching is primarily focused on undergraduate laboratory classes in engineering and science, most recently on teaching laboratory science by distance ( He has served as a faculty member in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Atmospheric Science. Collins has developed both software and hardware technology for remote sensing.  Collins has conducted science and technology reviews for the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Defense in support of both fundamental research and Small Business Innovation Research. Richard Collins was appointed director of the office of intellectual property and commercialization (OIPC; in October 2015.  As director of OIPC works with the OIPC staff and UAF students, faculty and staff, to commercialize and license the intellectual property developed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and market those inventions in keeping with UAF’s core themes: educate, research, prepare, connect and engage.  In collaboration with Nanook Innovation Corporation (NIC;, and Nanook Tech Ventures (NTV; OIPC also works with UAF inventors and Alaska’s investor and economic development communities to establish start-up businesses in Alaska. Collins joined UAF in 1994 as a research faculty member in the Geophysical Institute.  Collins’ education is in electrical and computer engineering.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from the National University of Ireland, his master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University, and his doctorate from the University of Illinois.

Current Positions: 
Professor Atmospheric Science, Director Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization, Chief Scientist for the Poker Flat Research Range
Selected Pubs: 
  • R. L. Collins, J. Li, and C. M. Martus, First lidar observation of the mesospheric nickel layer, Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 665–671, doi:10.1002/2014GL062716, 2015.
  • B. K. Irving, R. L. Collins, R. S. Lieberman, B. Thurairajah, and K. Mizutani.  Mesospheric Inversion Layers at Chatanika, Alaska (65°N, 147°W): Rayleigh lidar observations and analysis, Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, 119, doi:10.1002/2014JD
  • A. Chandran, R. L. Collins, V. L. Harvey, Stratosphere-mesosphere coupling during stratospheric sudden warming events, Advances in Space Research, 53, 1265–1289, doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2014.02.005, 2014.
  • A. Chandran, R. L. Collins, R. R. Garcia, D. R. Marsh, V. L. Harvey, J. Yue, and L. de la Torre (2013), A climatology of elevated stratopause events in the whole atmosphere community climate model, Journal of Geophysical Research, 118, 1234-1246, doi:10.1
  • R. L. Collins, G. A. Lehmacher, M. F. Larsen, and K. Mizutani, Estimates of vertical eddy diffusivity in the upper mesosphere in the presence of a mesospheric inversion layer, Annnales Geophysicae, 29, 2019-2029, doi:10.5194/angeo-29-2019-2011, 2011.