Alex B. Guenther received the Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting, held 5–9 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “broad influence in atmospheric science through exceptional creativity, inspiration of younger scientists, mentoring, international collaborations, and unselfish cooperation in research.”
The Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards the 2011 Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award to Alex B. Guenther of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). His qualifications for this award can best be expressed by quoting from those who know him best, as expressed in his nomination letters: “Despite his formidable research reputation—he is without question the world’s leading expert [on the subject of] emissions of volatile organic compounds from the biosphere to the atmosphere—Alex has always remained extremely approachable and friendly and encourages interactions with early career scientists.” “I can say without reservation that he is the most unselfish scientist I have ever had dealings with. Alex has always been incredibly generous with his time and has always gone out of his way to help students and others starting out.” “Alex Guenther has been the catalyst for much of the cohesiveness that has developed within the community of scientists and students conducting research on the topics of biogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds to the atmosphere and their effects on atmospheric chemistry.” “As you can see from the publications produced from the EXPRESSO campaigns, African colleagues were a central component of the study. More recently, Alex has organized studies in Brazil as part of the NASA LBA [Large-scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia] effort. Once again, in that study, he has organized research teams around collaborations of both North American and South American scientists to conduct the research. Thus, in all of his recent research activities, Alex Guenther has applied the normal operating paradigm of bringing together scientists from around the globe to converge on common topics involving vegetation-atmosphere interactions.”
Alex B. Guenther clearly merits the Yoram J. Kaufman Award for broad influence in atmospheric science through exceptional creativity, inspiration of younger scientists, mentoring, international collaborations, and unselfish cooperation in research.—Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.
I am honored by this award and the kind words from my colleagues. It is both rewarding and humbling to be recognized for “exceptional creativity, inspiration of younger scientists, mentoring, international collaborations, and unselfish cooperation in research.” I have been incredibly blessed by opportunities to accomplish this while simply doing what I enjoy.
Although there are still examples of science being advanced by individuals working in solitude, the collaborative approach in the manner of Yoram Kaufman is increasingly necessary. I learned this as a graduate student with Brian Lamb and others in the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (LAR) at Washington State University, in Pullman. The LAR team is one of the best examples of unselfish and effective cooperation that I have experienced. My career at NCAR, with an institutional emphasis on serving the community, provided an exceptional opportunity to tackle scientific challenges associated with understanding the role of reactive trace gases in the coupling between the physical, chemical, and biological processes operating across the relevant scales of the Earth system. This undertaking requires collaborative efforts of a multidisciplinary and global community of scientists sharing the reward of exciting discoveries and the steady advancement of knowledge. I am especially indebted to the teamwork and excellence of the NCAR Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions group members including students, postdoctoral scientists, and visitors with whom it has been my pleasure to work. My enjoyment of this research was greatly enhanced by the overwhelming hospitality of field study hosts in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and South and North America.
Above all, I am thankful for the support, guidance, and encouragement of my family. My parents and brothers provided my first and most important examples of unselfish cooperation and community building. My wife and children graciously endured my absences while I was traveling around the world. I could not have accomplished anything without them.—Alex B. Guenther, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.