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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962



J. W. Zillman Director of Meteorology
The Seven Stages in the Life and Career of Dr W. J. Gibbs
The Meteorological Legacy of Dr Gibbs
Dr Gibb's Career—An Appreciation


Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Numerical Weather Prediction

Bill was one of the earliest believers in the potential of numerical weather prediction in the southern hemisphere and held firm views as to how numerical systems should be migrated from the research to the operational environment. His foresight in providing opportunities for overseas study and experience by a number of young Bureau meteorologists who were to later emerge as international leaders in the field has served Australia extremely well.

Research Environment

Bill believed passionately in the importance of the research role of the Bureau and of the importance of good research to sound application and service provision, During his years as Assistant Director Research, he lifted both the standard and standing of Bureau research and, on becoming Director, he worked uncompromisingly in a highly unsympathetic Public Service environment to establish the research role of the Bureau and implement an appropriate research staffing structure. After the creation of the joint Bureau-CSIRO Commonwealth Meteorology Research Centre (CMRC) in 1969, he turned his personal efforts to the task of achieving effective flow-on of research results into operations and services.

Antarctic Meteorology

In the planning for and early years of the ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions), Bill provided personal scientific leadership on several of the key issues of Antarctic meteorology and was instrumental in the convening of the highly successful 1959 Melbourne Symposium on Antarctic Meteorology. He remained a strong supporter of the Bureau-hosted International Antarctic Analysis Centre (IAAC) and International Antarctic Meteorological Research Centre (IAMRC) and ensured strong Australian leadership in the WMO handling of Antarctic meteorological matters.

Air pollution Meteorology

Bill was among the first, if not the first, in Australia to appreciate the importance of meteorology to an assault on the growing problem of urban air pollution in the 1950s and 1960s. By the mid 1960s, he had developed a clear vision for a strong Bureau contribution to a Commonwealth leadership role in monitoring, modelling and managing air pollution. Unfortunately, his views were not adopted and his advice not followed leaving Australia a legacy of uncoordinated air quality monitoring networks and incomplete and inhomogeneous air quality records.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Commonwealth Meteorology Research Centre; International Antarctic Analysis Centre; International Antarctic Meteorological Research Centre

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill)

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher