Since childhood, Jiwen Fan looked to the skies for inspiration

Jiwen Fan stands atop an observational platform at her home base, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Jiwen Fan stands atop an observational platform at her home base, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

As a girl in a farming village in Hunan Province, China, Jiwen Fan—now a fast-rising atmospheric scientist—grew up in a household with earthen floors and no electricity. She was the eldest of four children in a family of rice farmers and started working in the fields at age 5. One of her secret pleasures was leading the cow out to graze.

“Every time I did that, I looked in the sky,” Fan says. “Sometimes it was so beautiful, with these puffy clouds, and sometimes it was so stormy. But I never connected it with my career.”

Today, much of Fan's work is ASR-funded, and she is a member of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Research Facility's User Executive Committee. Read the rest of her story.

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This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research as part of the Atmospheric System Research Program.