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Keywords:

  • obituary;
  • Leovy;
  • Mars

Conway Leovy, professor of atmospheric sciences and geophysics at the University of Washington (UW) and AGU member since 1961, died in Seattle on 9 July 2011, a week before his 78th birthday. His career of understanding planetary atmospheres spanned more than 40 years. Conway's interest in atmospheres was kindled soon after he received a degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Southern California in 1954. He was a U.S. Air Force weather forecaster from 1954 to 1958, which included service at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and in Seoul, South Korea. After completing a Ph.D. in meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1963, Conway did research at the Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif., on ozone chemistry, the planetary boundary layer, and mesosphere dynamics. Each area served as a springboard for subsequent activities. Knowledge of stratospheric chemistry allowed Conway to advise the U.S. Senate in the early 1970s about the effects of supersonic transport. Similarly, his research into dynamics and radiation informed a lifetime's work in these fields. Also at Rand, Conway began research about Mars, a significant topic for much of his career.