Boos Receives 2010 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award

William R. Boos received the 2010 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, held 13–17 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within 3 years of his or her Ph.D.


boos_william-rThe AGU Atmospheric Sciences section has awarded the 2010 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award to William R. Boos, an assistant professor at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. His qualifications for the award are best expressed by the nomination letters. One pointed out that his Ph.D. dissertation “contributed significantly to our understanding of the role of wind induced surface heat exchange on monsoon onset, both theoretically and observationally, and reflected a deep and broad understanding of monsoons and general aspects of tropical meteorology.” In addition, as documented in a 2010 paper in Nature, “Among other accomplishments, Bill showed that the conventional view that the Asian monsoon is driven primarily by heating of the Tibetan Plateau…is probably wrong; instead, it seems to be driven by surface fluxes from the Bay of Bengal, aided by the prevention of southward flow of low entropy air by the Himalayan range.” “This is a very fundamental contribution to our understanding of the South Asian monsoon” and “will impact the field for many years to come.”

Peter J. Webster, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta


It is a surprise and an honor to receive the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award, and I am humbled and a bit embarrassed to see my name now following the list of previous recipients of the award. As someone who works in the field of atmospheric dynamics, it is a particular privilege to receive an award in the name of Jim Holton, who was such a prominent dynamicist. And since I work on the tropical atmosphere in particular, it is an honor to be presented the award by Peter Webster, who has made so many contributions to the field of tropical meteorology and climate. It seems like not very long ago that I was a new graduate student deciding to focus my thesis on monsoon dynamics, wondering if I was choosing a small, niche field that was of little interest to the broader Earth science community. So it is affirming to see this recognition of the importance of monsoon circulations and the role they play in both regional climate and the general circulation of the atmosphere.

There are many friends, family, and colleagues I would like to thank, but I will limit my attention now to Kerry Emanuel, my graduate school advisor, and Zhiming Kuang, my postdoctoral advisor. Both of them provided invaluable scientific guidance, mentoring, and support for which I am deeply thankful.

William R. Bross, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.