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Bernhard Haurwitz collection

Identifier: COU:4059

Scope and Contents

The Bernard Haurwitz collection contains the scientific papers of Dr. Haurwitz and his academic associates encompassing a wide variety of topics including: physics, neurology, meteorology, and Oceanography, as well as: recordings, photographs and biographical information.. The first section includes papers written by Haurwitz, organized chronologically and by topic. The second section includes papers written by others, organized by author. The third section is a card catalogue, organized alphabetically. The fourth section includes audio cassettes of interviews with Dr. Haurwitz, and transcripts of those interviews.


  • Creation: 1921 - 1995

Biographical Note

Bernhard Haurwitz was born in Glogau, Germany on August 14, 1905. Haurwitz began his career as an undergraduate at the University of Breslau in geophysics and mathematics. After graduation, he moved on to study dynamic meteorology at the Geophysical Institute in Leipzig, Germany where he received his PhD (on the same material).

He lectured at the University of Leipzig from 1931-1932, where he studied wave behavior in compressible fluids, before moving to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1932 at the invitation of Carl-Gustaf Rossby. This stay in the United States was supposed to be short lived, however with the rise of the 3rd Reich, Haurwitz decided to stay in the States. During his time at MIT he empirically proved (this was later discovered physically) that the height of hurricane pressure equalization is 10km.

From 1932 to 1935, Haurwitz lectured and conducted research at MIT, the Blue Hill Institute, and the California Institute of Technology. This was until he secured a Carnegie Institution Grant and was able to move to the University of Toronto (UT) where he lectured and worked at the Canadian Meteorological Service (1937-1941), as well as conducting research on large scale atmospheric disturbances (of which his papers are still considered classics) and the Coriolis force. He also gave courses though a cooperative meteorological training program at UT and the meteorological service for newly hired meteorologists.

Just prior to his movement to Canada, he married Eva Schick (1934). She was a German immigrant who also studied physics. In 1938 she gave birth to their only son Frank. Unfortunately, Eva and Bernhard divorced in early 1946 due to marital problems.

In 1941, Haurwitz and his family moved back to Cambridge, MA at the request of Sverre Pettersson who was then chair of the Meteorology Department at MIT. Haurwitz returned as an associate professor of meteorology (MIT) and Abbott Lawrence Rotch Research Fellow at the Blue Hill Observatory (Harvard). During this time the United States began a meteorology officer training program in anticipation of entering WWII. After the US entered the war, Haurwitz was appointed the director of this program. Though his role was ‘unofficial’ director because of his status as enemy alien, he was able to work with Edward Lorenz and Richard Craig; two prominent meteorological figures.

In 1946 after the war had ended and Eva and he were divorced, Haurwitz accepted an invitation from Herbert Riehl to visit the Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Puerto Rico. The Institute at that time was administered by the University of Chicago. Here he studied diurnal and semidiurnal pressure and temperature oscillations in the oceans, earth’s surface, and free air (to heights up to 100km). This research kept him occupied for the rest of his professional life.

After his time in Puerto Rico, Haurwitz moved back to the east coast where he worked as a research associate at Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in the summer of 1947. That year, He was offered the Department chair position for New York Universities (NYU) meteorology department. He accepted and remained part of NYU faculty until 1955. Each summer, from 1947-1955, Haurwitz conducted research on tidal oscillations and internal waves with Andrew Bunker, Henry Stommel, and others at WHOI.

During the summer of 1954, Haurwitz spent some time at Sacramento Peak Observatory (Sac Peak) in New Mexico. This is when his love of the west began. From 1955-1958 he slowly moved his research from WHOI to the Sac Peak Observatory and the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) in Boulder, CO. This was at the invitation of Walter Orr Roberts, who eventually offered Haurwitz a full time appointment as a professor of geophysics at the University of Colorado and research associate at HAO, which Bernhard accepted in 1959.

After his move to Boulder, Haurwitz continued his research in diurnal surface pressure oscillations and daily variations of surface temperature at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). It was here that he met his second wife Marion Wood. She and Bernhard were married in 1961. She worked as a scientist for the national Bureau of Standards. Marion and Haurwitz were married until his death in early 1986.

Every summer beginning in 1964, Marion and Bernhard would travel to the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska. Here Haurwitz continued to study noctilucent clouds, a problem that he had encountered in Germany as well as MIT and was eager to continue researching. This continued until he fell ill in 1985.

During this period (from 1964-1985), Haurwitz taught at the University of Colorado (CU) as well as Colorado State University (CSU). In 1976 he officially resigned from his position at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), however he remained active with the organization.

Haurwitz received many awards and fellowships including an appointment from the National Academy of Sciences (United States) in 1960, an appointment to the German Academy of Science (1964), the Carl-Gousaf Rossby Award (1962), and the Bowie Medal from the American Geophysical Union (1972).

Bernhard passed away on February 27, 1986 after being diagnosed with pneumonia in Fairbanks, AK in December of 1985. He and Marion returned to Fort Collins before he passed.


11.5 linear feet (25 boxes)

Language of Materials



Bernhard Haurwitz was a professor and researcher for all of his adult life. He studied atmospheric waves, pressure variations, and other dynamic meteorological phenomena for more than 60 years. Teaching and doing research at, and for, various institutions across the world; Haurwitz is known as one of the fathers of dynamic meteorology. He received many accolades for his work in the fields of Meteorology and Geophysics including: a position at the National Academy of Science (in both the United States and Germany), the Carl Gustaf-Rossby Award for Extraordinary Scientific Achievement, and the Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union. Haurwitz was married twice, first to Eva Schick from 1934 to 1946, with whom he had a son, Frank; then to Marion Wood in 1961, who he stayed married to until his death in 1986.


This collection is arranged into the following series: I. PUBLICATIONS BY HAURWITZ II. PUBLICATIONS BY OTHERS III. Card Catalog IV. A/V Material

Physical Location

A21 M4-7 P42-3

Processed by: Kara Epple,2011 Edited by: Noah Crocker, 2014
January 2014
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States