Reid Bryson has significantly advanced the understanding of climate as part of his teaching and research obligations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has been on the faculty since 1946. He has penned more than five books and 200 articles on climatology-related topics, including meteorology, archeology, geography, geology and limnology. He received his B.A. degree in geology at Denison University (1941) and a doctorate in meteorology at the University of Chicago (1948). In 1963, Bryson founded the Center for Climatic Research, where he continued to serve in 2007 as a Senior Scientist.
As of 2007, Reid Bryson is an Emeritus Professor of the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, which helped originally found. He has been identified by the British Institute of Geographers as:
- the most frequently cited climatologist
- the 5th most cited physical geographer
- the 11th in list of all geographers.
While in the military, where Reid Bryson rose to the rank of major in the Air Weather Service of the U.S. Army Air Corps, he helped prepare the aviation weather forecast that predicted discovery of the jet stream by a group of B-29s flying to and from Tokyo. His prediction was proved to be correct despite disapproval by his superior. Bryson himself flew into typhoons in 1944, and prepared the forecast for the homeward flight of the Enola Gay.
Bryson often focused on how climate relates to human ecology, particularly in Asia. His work led to the introduction of pen-feeding of goats in Rajasthan, now widespread. Bryson has also contributed to the understanding of:
- the Indian monsoon
- airstream analysis
- quantitative, objective methods of reconstructing past climates.
Bryson has been innovative in developing computer models of climate. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Meteorological Society. He is also a charter member of the World Council for the Biosphere.
- Bryson, Reid, A; Hopkins, Edward J.; Moran, Joseph M. (2002). Wisconsin's Weather and Climate. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-2991-7184-1.
- Bryson, Reid, A; Murray, Thomas J (1979). Climates of Hunger: Mankind and the World's Changing Weather, New Ed edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-2990-7374-9.
- Bryson, Reid, A; Hare, F. Kenneth (1974). Climates of North America (World Survey of Climatology, V. 11). Amsterdam, New York: Elsevier Scientific Pub. Co. ISBN 0-4444-1062-7.
- Bryson, Reid, A; Kolkenow, Robert J. (1974). Physical Geography Today; : a Portrait of a Planet. ISBN 0-8766-5172-4.
- Bryson, Reid, A; Kutzbach, John E. (1968). Air pollution. Washington: Association of American Geographers. ASIN B0006BWL46.
- Bryson, Reid, A (1966). Airmasses, streamlines, and the boreal forest. Madison, University of Wisconsin, Dept. of Meteorology.
- Honorary Degree and Distinguished Achievement Medallists, Colorado School of Mines, May 2003
- The Faithful Heretic, Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, May 2007
- Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, May 2007
- 1st Annual Bryson Colloquium, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 2006
- Why Files talks with Reid Bryson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 2006
- Global Warming? Some common sense thoughts, Sitewave.net, March 2004
- The Bryson Interdisciplinary Climate, People, and the Environment Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, accessed June 2007
- A global flashback, Baptist Press, May 2007
- Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics, Canada Free Press, May 2007
- Let Us tell you about PRI, PaleoResearch Institute, accessed June 2007
- The Plowboy Interview, Mother Earth News, March/April 1976