Maloney Receives 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Eric Maloney will receive the 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”

Citation for Eric Maloney

For fundamental studies enhancing the understanding of the Madden and Julian Oscillations, and their impacts on a wide range of tropical phenomena including tropical cyclones

The body of work that Eric conducted in his early career has had a profound impact on the field of tropical large-scale dynamics and convective organization. His papers on the dynamics of Madden and Julian Oscillations (MJO) and relationship to hurricanes in the East Pacific and Gulf region were very influential and form the bases for the development of the real-time multivariate MJO indices that are now routinely used by weather forecasting services in monitoring and predicting the MJO. His more recent work, which covers a wide range of topics including the African monsoon, North American climate, and global climate projections are equally impressive, and highly cited. His scientific leadership is reflected in his very active roles as, among others, editor of Journal of Climate, chair of the NOAA MAPP Model Diagnostic Task Force, and co-chair of the WGNE MJO task force. Eric has been appointed to these positions not only because of his research expertise, but also his unique ability to bring diverse groups to work together in a collaborative way.

Eric’s research talents are best summarized in a statement in one of his supporting letter: “A key strength of Eric’s research is his grasp of the underlying physics. This is especially true in his papers on how the MJO modulates TCs, on the basic mechanism of the MJO and more generally how convection interacts with the large-scale environment. His papers are thoroughly grounded in fundamental physics…”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present a 2016 ASCENT Award to Professor Eric Maloney.

—William K. M. Lau, President, Atmospheric Sciences section, AGU


I am extremely humbled to receive this award from the Atmospheric Sciences section at AGU and to be placed among these highly distinguished past and current awardees. I express my deepest gratitude to Richard Johnson for nominating me, and to Kerry Emanuel, Harry Hendon, and George Kiladis for writing supporting letters. I don’t think that this accomplishment could have been remotely possible without the enormous support I have received over the years from my parents at an early age, as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois where I did independent study with Walter Robinson, in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington as a student of Dennis Hartmann, through the support of the NOAA Climate and Global Change Program as a postdoctoral fellow at NCAR under the mentorship of Jeffrey Kiehl, and as an Assistant Professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University where I had outstanding mentors like Dudley Chelton and Steve Esbensen. I would especially like to thank the current faculty, students, and researchers at the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, who have provided an intellectually stimulating and collegial environment that has contributed to my mid-career success. My publication list reflects the numerous collaborators I have worked with over the years across multiple institutions, states, and countries, and I would not be where I am today without their intellectual stimulation, energy, and friendship.

Finally, I would of course like to thank my wife Heather and daughter Isabel. Life as a spouse and daughter of a faculty member at a major research institution is not always easy, and so I owe them an enormous amount of love and gratitude for the patience and support that they have provided.

—Eric Maloney, Colorado State University, Fort Collins