Robert A. Muller

1929 - 2020

Robert A. Muller, a 2003 AAG honoree for Lifetime Achievement in climatology, died on March 12, 2020 in Baton Rouge. He was 91 years old. A graduate of Lyndhurst High School in 1945, Bob worked as a printer adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge in Lower Manhattan for seven years, and served in the US Army in Germany during the Korean War. He graduated in geography from Rutgers University in 1958, earning an MS and PhD in physical geography and climatology at Syracuse University in 1962.

During his career, Muller served with the U.S. Forest Service and the University of California at Berkeley in a joint position, as well as and served as an associate professor at Rutgers University. He joined the Department of Geography and Anthropology faculty as a climatologist at Louisiana State University in 1969. He reestablished the position of State Climatologist and initiated the Office of State Climatology. With federal funding he founded the Southern Regional Climate Center, which he directed for six years before retirement. Muller’s research applied water-budget climatology models to floods and droughts, for the pioneering development of synoptic climatology in Louisiana. With his colleague Barry Keim, he studied the geography and history of tropical storm and hurricane strikes along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to the Yucatan.

Muller is survived by his wife, Beate “Sonni” Eckenbach-Fiedel Muller; a daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Justin Bourgeois and two grandchildren, Ashton Leigh and Myles Patrick; a son John Henry Muller; and a brother, Jim Muller. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jeanne Underhill Muller, and his parents, Albert and Helen Muller, and a sister, Jean Marshall.