Di Baldassarre Receives 2012 Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award

Giuliano Di Baldassarre received the 2012 Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for outstanding contributions to the science of hydrology.


DiBaldassareIt is a great pleasure for me to introduce Giuliano Di Baldassarre as the recipient of the AGU Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award.

My pleasure is rooted back in the years during which Giuliano took his undergraduate studies at the University of Bologna, in Italy, and I taught hydrology to him and his classmates. It was clear at that time already that Giuliano was more than brilliant; he was really outstanding. In fact, he graduated cum laude, with an academic curriculum that was, and still is, unique.

Later on, I had the pleasure of coadvising Giuliano during his Ph.D., establishing a cooperation that is still lasting today, one from which I gained unforgettable research experiences and, above all, a personal friendship.

After the Ph.D., Giuliano moved abroad to Bristol University and to Delft at UNESCO-IHE, where he is still based. During these years, he developed brilliant research ideas to address relevant problems related to hydrology and society, and, in particular, floodplain modeling.

What is most impressive in Giuliano is his independence. Giuliano is really self-made, is conceiving and developing original research ideas that have proved to be successful. And, last but not least, Giuliano has a very modest attitude, which makes him an excellent example for young researchers.

Ladies and gentleman, on behalf of all of you, I am pleased to congratulate Giuliano Di Baldassarre, a most deserving recipient of the AGU Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award.

—ALBERTO MONTANARI, University of Bologna, Italy


Thank you very much, Alberto, for your nice comments and the precious support you have given me since the very beginning of my scientific career.
I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the AGU Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award, and I would like to thank the Award Committee.

There is a long list of colleagues and friends whom I would like to thank, as well as my family that has always supported and encouraged my work. I must acknowledge here the fact that I have had the privilege of studying and working in scientifically stimulating places across Europe. I did my Ph.D. at the University of Bologna, in Italy, and then I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom. Lastly, I moved to UNESCO-IHE Delft, in the Netherlands, where I was given a concrete opportunity to grow and broaden my scientific work.

My research work has mainly concerned the study of floodplain dynamics, and I have focused on three major points: the understanding of flood inundation processes and human population dynamics in a changing environment, the exploitation of remote sensing data to monitor sociohydrological systems, and the estimation of flood risk and the associated uncertainty.

I have recently had the opportunity to move into new scientific areas that I find very challenging. Along with many colleagues, I am trying to understand how (and to what extent) human societies influence the frequency of floods, while the frequency of floods (in turn) shapes human societies. In this context, I am very thankful to many collaborators and graduate students who inspire me every day with their excellent work.

I am really, truly honored to receive this award, and deeply grateful to the American Geophysical Union for promoting a supportive environment for many young scientists.