Elen M.C. Cutrim

1949 - 2011

Elen Maria Camara Cutrim, Professor of Geography at Western Michigan University (WMU), died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 62. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cutrim earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Pontifical Catholic University in 1970, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah in 1975, and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1983.

Cutrim began her academic career at institutions in Belem, Brazil, where she served as an instructor of civil engineering, an Assistant Professor of geology, meteorology and geophysics, and finally headed the Department of Meteorology at the Federal University of Para, while directing Belem’s Regional Meteorological Training Center of the World Meteorological Organization.

In 1990, Cutrim joined Western Michigan University’s Department of Geography first as adjunct and later as a tenured faculty, and was promoted to Professor in 2006. She was fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and French. She primarily taught and conducted research on South America, meteorology and global climatic change. Two special areas of focus included precipitation climatology of Michigan and Brazil and meteorology and climate as they relate to the interaction of atmosphere and land cover in Brazilian Amazonia. Cutrim received grant funding from such organizations as the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in support of her research.

Cutrim was active in several professional and academic organizations, including the AAG, American Meteorological Society Board of Higher Education and American Geophysical Union. She also served on the NSF/Unidata Users Committee, and was a past president of the WMU chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She also was instrumental in helping found WMU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Committee.

Elen M.C. Cutrim (Necrology). 2011. AAG Newsletter 46(4): 29