About Prof. Kusaka

Professor Kusaka is very busy and active, but he is a bright, cheerful and friendly with a great smile.
Moreover, he cares about students and secretaries and respects the intentions of them.
It is very well known as well that he is a devoted husband.
As he is a professor who immediately carries out his ideas, students believe what he says and work hard to fulfill his expectations.  
Talking to him with a sincere smile should be a major step toward making a good relationship with him.

(Nana Furuhashi and Ayaka Kuramochi)

Making up for his small stature with a smile that brims from ear to ear, Professor Kusaka is well known in the lab for his energy and cheery attitude. These are words from one of the academic staff in his group: “His cheerfulness is absolutely contagious!”

Professor Kusaka is an expert in urban climate research, numerical modeling, and regional climate projection (dynamical downscaling). He is especially known for participating in the development of the WRF model, and the development of the Urban Canopy model, which was the first urban canopy scheme implemented in the WRF model (The WRF model was developed in the United States and has become the most widely used regional climate model).

His reputation is well established internationally with 78 peer-reviewed papers. In particular, Kusaka et al. 2001 has been cited over 300 times (600 times according to Google Scholar) in international journals registered with the ISI Web of Science. The following paper has been known as the most read one out of the papers in the Boundary-Layer Meteorology (springer) during 2013-2014. He is also the first Japanese to be elected as a board member of the International Association for Urban Climate.

The Professor is also very active in international collaborative research activities with overseas research institutes. In addition to maintaining a strong relationship with the developers of the WRF model at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado, the Kusaka research group has vigorously pursued research partnerships in Asian countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Even within the Kusaka research group itself there exists quite a bit of diversity: there are researchers from five different countries, and there are plans to increase that number in the future.

Research activities within Japan are also in full order. Energetically pursing projects in the public sector, the Kusaka research group has taken on multiple projects commissioned by the government. In the weather research field collaboration with the private sector is rare, but the Kusaka research has a deep connection with a variety of private corporations.

The Kusaka research group is not limited to urban climate research and numerical modeling. The group’s interests span from small-scale atmospheric processes such as atmospheric boundary layer and local weather/climate, to large-scale processes like global warming. Professor Kusaka’s research theme is best summed up by his own words, “Basically, as long as it falls within the scope of a synoptic weather chart, anything goes!” As a result of Professor Kusaka’s friendliness, and in combination with his “student-friendly” research themes, it is only natural that many students with a variety of interests and aspirations are gathering in one place: the Kusaka research lab. That number has grown to an astounding 24 students (as of 12/2013). The Kusaka research group is a large family, but professor Kusaka makes it a point to think very highly of each and every student.

(Asuka SUZUKI-PARKER)