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J. Vern Hales professional files

 Collection — Carton: 1
Identifier: MSS 2101

Scope and Contents note

Includes meteorological research; environmental impact studies; other scientific data; and resource materials for university courses by B. F. Skinner and Vern's father, Wayne B. Hales.


  • 1943-1976


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the J. Vern Hales professional files must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

J. Vern Hales was born in Provo, Utah, on July 21, 1917. He died at his residence in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 29, 1997.

Hales began his education at Brigham Young University in his home state, receiving a B.S. in physics and mathematics in 1938. He continued his graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, receiving an M.S. in meteorology in 1941, and in 1952 he received a Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Between his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Hales worked in the government sector as a weather observer for the U.S. Weather Bureau. After receiving his M.S., he entered the private sector for a short time, working as a meteorologist for Pan-American-Grace Airways, Inc. He then joined the war effort, enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he served as a weather officer from 1942 to 1946. He was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1946 until his death.

Hales became a professor of meteorology at the University of Utah in 1946. He established the Meteorology Department at that time and was the first department head, a position he held until 1963. He founded Intermountain Weather, Inc., in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1954. He was president of the company until 1966, when he left Salt Lake City and moved to Pennsylvania. He worked several years for the General Electric Missile and Space Division in Pennsylvania, and he founded Hales and Company while working there.

A member of the AMS, Sigma XI, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Hales served as chairman of the Committee of the Sciences and the Arts of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Vern was an industrious person, a devoted husband, a father of a large family, a dedicated religious leader in his church, and a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He was strict with himself in meeting deadlines. He had a keen and unusual abiliby to follow details of research projects of graduate students and ongoing research in the consulting firm. He had a remarkable ability for directing the research projects and preparing timely reports of technical research efforts. He seemed to be able to simulate in his mind results of lengthy research efforts and direct timely publication of the results. Numerous theses, technical reports, and published papers in scientific journals have resulted from his knowledge and direction.

Hales directed research in many varied aspects of meteorology. He performed early pioneering work in weather modification, particularly the practical operation of fog seeding to disperse supercooled fog at airports. He directed studies of infrared radiative transfer processes in the atmosphere. These studies assisted with improved understanding of minimum temperature forecasts; fog formation caused by radiative cooling; the influence of clouds, haze layers, and greenhouse gases on infrared radiative transfer processes; and design of infrared sensors on satellite platforms.

Biographical information taken from: Henderson, Donald. J. Vern Hales 1917-1997 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; Jan. 1998, Vol. 79 Issue 1, p. 112.


1 carton (1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Includes meteorological research; environmental impact studies; other scientific data; and resource materials for university courses by B. F. Skinner and Vern's father, Wayne B. Hales.

Other Finding Aids note

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

Box-level inventory available online.

Custodial History note

Received in archives, via library acquisitions; 1992.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Acquired; 1992.

Appraisal note

Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Separated Materials note

The following two items were removed from the collection on 17 February 2000, to be cataloged separately as part of Americana in Special Collections:

Clair Keith Anderson, An Evaluation of the Effects of Summer Cloud Seeding in Southern Utah (master’s thesis, University of Utah, 1956). Dr. J. Vern Hales is mentioned in acknowledgment on p. iv.

Citizens’ League for the Protection, Planning and Development of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, A Major Tourist and Recreational Development on the Great Salt Lake: The Southeast Shore of the Great Salt Lake, circular no. 5 (Salt Lake City: January 1965).

Processing Information note

Processed; Brian D. Reeves (University Archivist); March 2000.

Register of the J. Vern Hales professional files
Brian D. Reeves
March 2000
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States