W. David Rust, distinguished member of the Atmospheric and Space Electricity focus group and AGU Fellow, passed away peacefully in Norman, Oklahoma on 8 May 2017, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. After graduating with his Ph.D. from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Dave Rust spent the bulk of his research career at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). There he was a pioneer in using balloon-borne instruments to measure in situ electric fields within thunderstorms, and he led the development of the mobile research facilities at NSSL to support this work. Along the way, he co-authored dozens of research articles, and co-wrote the leading textbook in the field. These works made countless fundamental contributions to our understanding of how clouds electrify and how charge is distributed within thunderstorms. For his profound and lifelong impact on the science of Atmospheric and Space Electricity, Dave was elected Fellow of the AGU in 2014.
To the many students and researchers who worked with him, Dave was always recognized as a generous teacher, colleague, mentor, friend, inspiration, and (in some cases) life-changing force. His legacy, in adding to our knowledge and in changing the way we conduct storm research, is enormous.
If you would like to make a memorial donation to charity for Dave, his family suggests the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma (720 W. Wilshire, Suite 109, Oklahoma City, OK 73116; parkinsonoklahoma.com), or the Oklahoma chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (2915 N. Classen Blvd., Ste. 060, Oklahoma City, OK 73106; firstname.lastname@example.org), or any charity you choose.