A man in a suit smiles at the camera.

Weather, Defense Professional to Lead UA Water Security Initiative

A man in a suit smiles at the camera.
Michael Gremillion

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – An experienced weather and intelligence professional in the military and intelligence communities will lead global water and security initiatives at The University of Alabama.

For more than 27 years Michael Gremillion provided scientific leadership and expertise for national security environmental support under the U.S. Department of Defense. At UA, he is charged with directing federal initiatives to mitigate the impact of water-related disasters. He begins Sept. 7.

“Mike’s history of innovative solutions and operational expertise in environmental systems that support our national security will enrich the efforts of our faculty and students in providing applied scientific techniques and groundbreaking research in the area of water security,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, vice president for research and economic development. “He will be crucial in developing strategic relationships with defense and intelligence agencies that benefit our researchers and our educational mission.”

Gremillion comes to UA from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, where he is the senior meteorology and oceanography officer. Before joining NGA in March, he worked nearly seven years at the U.S. Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon, with his last assignment as deputy director of weather. He held posts of increasing responsibility and influence within the Air Force since joining in 1993.

He has engaged the White House, congressional leaders and senior personnel within the national security, defense and intelligence communities on environmental policy issues during his career.

Some of his career achievements include facilitating procurement of a $30 million high performance computer installed at Oak Ridge National Lab that improved numerical weather prediction and operated the first-ever operational global hydrological model. He also initiated development of a climate analysis, monitoring and prediction system that provided strategic indications and warnings to prepare leaders for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, security instability, disaster risk reduction and public health contingencies.

At UA, he will work with researchers connected through the Alabama Water Institute to develop the tools and analysis that allow policy makers to plan for potential water security impacts, predict future water security issues, and improve mitigation, recovery and restoration.

“AWI intends to establish a first-of-its-kind global water security initiative at The University of Alabama. Alabama will harness its intellectual power and associated analytical capability in order to predict and mitigate the impact of water-related disasters,” said Scott Rayder, incoming executive director of the Alabama Water Institute.

”Mike is exactly the type of operational professional that can fully develop this unique capability at UA by migrating cutting-edge research into operations and these products will be of great use to both the government and private sector.”

Water is a signature research and academic focus at UA. AWI was formed to find transformative solutions for complex water management, security and policies challenges. AWI promotes applied research and knowledge gains in areas of remote sensing, biodiversity of aquatic systems, hydro-informatics and disaster management.

“I am excited about this opportunity to leverage my personal and professional interests to achieve groundbreaking results in water security that benefit our society and further the University’s mission of teaching, research and service,” Gremillion said.

Gremillion earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in meteorology from Texas A&M University and a master’s in business administration from Regis University.


Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328, adam.jones@ua.edu