Mayyasi-Matta Receives the 2015 Fred L. Scarf Award

Majd Mayyasi-Matta will receive the Fred L. Scarf Award. She will be formally presented with the award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif.

 

CITATION
Majd Mayyasi-Matta produced a hallmark for a Ph.D. dissertation’s goal.  She pushed the envelope of knowledge outward to explain how the ionosphere of Mars responds to hydrogen in its atmosphere, plasma temperatures far warmer than its neutral gas conditions, and dynamical adjustments due to crustal magnetic fields. These were not merely newer and faster simulations of past single-point observations, but fundamental advances in our understanding of the full diurnal and spatial contexts of driving mechanisms.

—John Clarke, Michael Mendillo, and Paul Withers, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

 

RESPONSE

I have taken a nontraditional path toward a career in science. I started off as a computer engineer and worked in industry for a few years. I started a family and decided life was too short to not be doing what one is most passionate about. For me, it was astronomy. Over 9 years, I pursued the appropriate background: a B.S. in physics, minor in mathematics, a master’s and Ph.D. in astronomy. I am currently settled in academic research trying to improve our understanding of water escape at Mars.

I grew up in a society where women typically did not go into technical fields and, as such, had very few role models to look up to.  The resulting social and time management challenges overshadowed any technical or academic ones. This has cultivated a deep respect and appreciation for my accomplishments and for the mentors who helped me achieve them, namely, my advisers, Michael Mendillo, Paul Withers, and John Clarke. I could not have picked a more personally rewarding career.  I am mindful of my potential and as such have been participating in initiatives that provide underrepresented minority women with mentors and accessible role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

I am grateful for the Scarf Award honors recognition that my colleagues and the American Geophysical Union have provided me with. I look forward to the opportunities it will provide.

—Majd Mayyasi-Matta, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

Chappell Receives 2015 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington Award

Charles “Rick” Chappell will receive the 2015 Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of significant and outstanding impact on students’ and the public’s understanding of our science through education and/or outreach activities.

 

CITATION
While being a leading researcher in the area of space physics, Rick Chappell has always recognized the importance of public understanding of science in general and in the research field of solar terrestrial research in particular.

Early in his NASA career he worked with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to create a major exhibit for the museum about the solar-terrestrial system. Later, as mission scientist and active public spokesperson for the international Spacelab 1 mission, which conducted multiple space physics and aeronomy experiments, he led daily press conferences about the science results during the mission and subsequently did science commentary for CNN on other Spacelab missions.

Rick later became a visiting scholar at Vanderbilt University in 1996 in order to conduct a study on the interaction between the science community and the media. Together with science journalist Jim Hartz, he coauthored the book Worlds Apart, which made recommendations to improve the science-media interaction and effectiveness. The results were presented at multiple panel discussions at many universities, on C-SPAN, and in interviews on NPR’s Science Fridays show.

He joined Vanderbilt as a research professor of physics and worked with multiple departments to create an interdisciplinary major in the communication of science and technology that for more than 10 years has been producing graduates who work at the interface between science and the public.

Chappell became the director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory in 2003, and he led a renovation of the observatory to make it an outreach facility for science and exploration for K–12 students and the public. He created summer space camps for middle school students where students learned about space science and built satellite mock-ups.

Rick also developed a partnership between Vanderbilt and Nashville Public Television in 2010 to create television shows about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) explorers. These programs were designed for middle school and high school students as well as adults.

In summary, Rick Chappell has worked diligently and effectively in space physics and aeronomy education and public outreach for 4 decades and is most deserving of the 2015 Richard Carrington Award.

—Edgar A. Bering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

 

RESPONSE

I want to give my sincere thanks to the Space Physics and Aeronomy section of the American Geophysical Union for selecting me for the Richard Carrington Award. Through its recognition, this award reminds all of us about one of our important roles as explorers—the role of communicating to the public what we have learned and the adventures that we have lived. Our intense curiosity about the space environment around us drives us continuously to learn new things. In so doing, our interest in learning can cause us to forget about “reporting to our stockholders,” whose support has enabled us to explore.

We are all explorers, although many of us do not think of ourselves in this way. As young students, we remember reading about explorers in history class, not in science class. Explorers were people who went to places where others had never been before. In reality, explorers are people who learn things that have never been known before, such as understanding the solar-terrestrial environment. We have been given the privilege of spending our lives as explorers.

We all must take the time to tell our stories of exploration and to communicate our discoveries effectively to the public. We must work with the wonderful teachers who inspire the explorers of tomorrow. We must be accessible mentors for students of all ages so that they can feel our enthusiasm and begin to think that they can and they will become explorers. We must share the thrill of discovery and the great adventure of exploration in order to give back to those who have given to us.

The programs that I have worked to create have all been directed toward communicating our stories of exploration and the knowledge of discovery to our stockholders and to the student explorers of tomorrow.

In accepting this award, I want to thank all of the people whom I have been so fortunate to work with during my life in space exploration. They all follow the NASA mindset that there is nothing we cannot do; we just have to figure out how to do it.

—Rick Chappell, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Cottaar Receives 2015 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award

Sanne Cottaar will receive the 2015 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes the scientific accomplishments of a young scientist who makes outstanding contributions to the advancement of seismology.

 

CITATION
Dr. Sanne Cottaar received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with distinction from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2013.  As a graduate student, she was awarded the Tocher Fellowship, and as a research fellow of Pembroke College and a research associate at the University of Cambridge, she was awarded the Drapers’ Company Research Fellowship.

Sanne has worked, and published, on a wide range of topics concerning the structure and dynamics of Earth’s deep interior.  She used full-waveform modeling to document a very large ultralow-velocity zone at the base of the mantle near Hawaii.  She has used thermochemical convection modeling to argue for convective stability of the inner core. She has used Sdiff waves to study the strength and extent of the Perm anomaly.  She has studied seismic anisotropy at the base of the mantle and identified an asymmetry of azimuthal anisotropy with respect to the edge of the African superplume.  She also carried out multidisciplinary work that explored a model of a subducted slab interacting with the core-mantle boundary. More recently, she has turned her attention to constraining the structure of upper mantle discontinuities.

In addition to these topics, Sanne cocreated the publicly available BurnMan code with a group of junior scientists, which allows investigation of elastic properties for different mineral compositions under different pressures and temperature conditions deep in the Earth (Cottaar et al., Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2014, doi:10.1002/2013GC005122).

Sanne Cottaar is a creative scientist who has contributed significantly to understanding the deep Earth.  Her approach is primarily seismological but is well informed by information and modeling from allied disciplines.  The Aki Award recognizes the significance of these accomplishments and anticipates further outstanding contributions in the future.

—Gregory C. Beroza, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

 

RESPONSE

It is with great gratitude and joy that I receive the 2015 Keiiti Aki Award. This has only been possible because of many supportive and generous scientists, of whom I can only name a few here. I thank Barbara Romanowicz,  Arwen Deuss, and Bruce Buffett for the many inspiring years of mentoring, teaching, and supporting the development of my research style and drive. Hanneke Paulssen and Jeannot Trampert introduced me to seismology and research; thank you.

I have benefited greatly from being in many stimulating and welcoming environments, the broader communities at the University of California, Berkeley, University of Cambridge, Pembroke College, and the Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research (CIDER). I also thank their staffs, who keep these institutes up and running. With the research labs, my science siblings, I have enjoyed a lot of pleasurable time in and out of the office; by naming Vedran Lekic and Elizabeth Day,  I thank you all.

I feel very fortunate to be part of the seismology and deep Earth communities. I regard so many of you as collaborators, mentors, and friends. This is also a place to recognize those countless involved in collecting and distributing seismic data, without whom my work on the deeper Earth is not possible.

I thank my parents for my initial conditions and their ever-continued support, my siblings for always challenging me, and now my “niblings” for reminding me to play. I thank my friends across continents for their continual support and welcome distraction.

It remains a privilege to continue learning, being part of a research family, and studying an amazing planet—Earth.

—Sanne Cottaar, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.

Smith Receives 2015 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service

Robert Smith will receive the 2015 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish collaboration in research.

 

CITATION
Bob received his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in 1960 and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1967. Soon thereafter, he joined the University of Utah faculty. He is a talented geophysicist whose scientific work focused on Yellowstone and the tectonics of the Basin and Range. To a remarkable degree, he has made outstanding contributions to each of the areas of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) sections sponsoring the Silver Award.

Bob played an important role in the development of multiple major initiatives over the last 30 years. He helped form the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) in 1984. His contributions as an early developer of scientific GPS geodetic networks helped lead to the creation of the University Navstar Consortium (UNAVCO) in its early days in the 1980s, and he helped guide it through its eventual incorporation. He served many years on the Advisory Council for the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), including as its first chair. He was a cofounder of the National Science Foundation (NSF) EarthScope program focused on understanding the structure, evolution, and active tectonics of North America. He was the founding scientist of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory in 1990 and continues as coordinating scientist.

Bob represents the best in unselfish collaboration in scientific research and in scientific organization and infrastructure development. In addition to the many students he trained in his own group at Utah, his influence extends internationally through collaborations he fostered with younger scientists around the world.  He is also known for the exceptional time and energy he devotes to educating the public, civil and emergency response authorities, and politicians on earthquake and volcano hazards.  The Paul G. Silver Award recognizes Robert Smith’s outstanding, multifaceted, and sustained record of service to the AGU community.

—Gregory C. Beroza, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

 

RESPONSE

It is most rewarding to receive the Silver Award in the name of Paul G. Silver, a long-time scientific collaborator, and I thank the Seismology, Geodesy, and Tectonophysics sections, with whom I have been affiliated for than 45 years. I formulated much of my philosophy when I experienced the 1959 M 7.3 Hebgen Lake, Mont., earthquake that was closely followed when I learned how to fly a jet in the U.S. Air Force in 1963 and in only 1 year learned how to drive a dog team exploring Antarctica as the U.S. exchange scientist to the British Antarctic Survey. My early academic efforts involved, with associates, forming the Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL) consortium for seismic instrumentation that later merged into IRIS. On the basis of my using GPS and leveling work in Yellowstone, colleagues and I formed a geodetic instrument consortium, UNAVCO. Again, associates and I formed a consortium to study the evolution of North America, treating it as a natural geologic laboratory, forming the EarthScope program. Moreover, my interests in understanding earthquake physics through integrating multiple geologic data led me to become a member of SCEC, where integration of methods and tools is practiced so well. And I have always viewed Yellowstone as “a window into Earth processes” that led me along with National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists to form the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. Critically, I have always involved and mentored young faculty, successfully supervising 70 graduate students, and tried to set an example of how to organize their own science programs. In closing, I am grateful to the NSF and the USGS for their support and to the University of Utah, which has always supported my academic interests.

—Robert B. Smith, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Jiang Receives 2015 Basu Early Career Award in Sun-Earth Systems Science

Chaowei Jiang will receive the Sunanda and Santimay Basu Early Career Award in Sun-Earth Systems Science. He will present a talk and will be formally presented with the award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif.

 

Chaowei Jiang has been awarded the Sunanda and Santimay Basu Early Career Award in Sun-Earth Systems Science. The award recognizes an individual scientist from a developing nation for making outstanding contributions to research in Sun-Earth systems science that further the understanding of both plasma physical processes and their applications for the benefit of society.

Chaowei Jiang received his B.S. in astronomy from Beijing Normal University in 2006 and a Ph.D. in space physics from the Graduate College of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2011 under the supervision of Xueshang Feng and Fengsi Wei. He is currently working as an associate research scientist within the SIGMA Weather group at the State Key Laboratory for Space Weather, National Space Science Center of CAS. His research interests include reconstruction and analysis of the solar magnetic field, data-driven models of solar flares and coronal mass ejections, and advanced numerical techniques for space weather–related modeling.

Duly Receives 2015 Basu United States Early Career Award for Research Excellence in Sun-Earth Systems Science

Timothy Duly will receive the 2015 Basu United States Early Career Award for Research Excellence in Sun-Earth Systems Science at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. This award is given annually to one early-career scientist (no more than 3 years postdegree) from the United States in recognition of significant work that shows the focus and promise of making outstanding contributions to research in Sun-Earth systems science that further the understanding of both plasma physical processes and their applications for the benefit of society.

 

Timothy received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the Ohio State University in 2009 and a M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011 and 2014, respectively, under the supervision of Jonathan Makela.  He is currently a research engineer at Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates (ASTRA) in Boulder, Colo. His research interests include measuring and modeling traveling ionospheric disturbances and understanding their impact on radio frequency systems.

Garrick-Bethell Receives 2015 Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science

Ian Garrick-Bethell will receive the 2015 Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes significant early-career contributions to planetary science.

 

CITATION
The Greeley Early Career Award is named for pioneering planetary scientist Ronald Greeley. Ron was involved in nearly every major planetary mission from the 1970s until his death and was extraordinarily active in service to the planetary science community. Ron’s greatest legacies, however, are those he mentored through the decades, and it is young scientists whose work and promise we seek to recognize.

This year’s Greeley Award winner is Ian Garrick-Bethell, an assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ian received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009, working with Maria Zuber and doing a second project with Ben Weiss, and moved afterward to a postdoc at Brown University.

Ian began by studying the long-wavelength topography and the inertial moments of the Moon. Ian first suggested that the Moon might not have spent its orbital evolution in a circular, synchronous orbit but may have moved through other orbital configurations, including a 3:2 spin orbit resonance. Ian went on to show that the Moon’s fossil shape is consistent with being a tidal-rotational bulge that formed when the Moon was at 32 Earth radii. Ian’s first lunar work was published in Science.

Ian then worked with Ben Weiss to use modern techniques to investigate the source of remanent magnetism in some lunar rocks. The resulting paper, also published in Science, provided the first convincing evidence of an ancient core dynamo on the Moon. Now, Ian is the principal investigator on a Discovery mission proposal to investigate the high-albedo swirls visible on the Moon’s surface, which he suggests are caused by locally strong crustal magnetic fields.

It’s often said that the difficult part of science is not finding answers, but asking the right questions. Ian has the gift of asking the big questions. Congratulations to Ian Garrick-Bethell, the 2015 recipient of the Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science.

—Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Arizona State University, Tempe

 

RESPONSE

I am deeply honored to receive the Ronald Greeley Award this year. Ron’s interest in the Moon at the start of his career is particularly inspiring to me, as I have also started my career studying the Moon.  Ron eventually contributed to the study of many solar system objects, and I hope my research may eventually have the same reach.

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support I’ve had from my Ph.D. advisers, Maria Zuber and Benjamin Weiss.  I am very grateful for their roles in my career.  I’d also like to acknowledge and thank my outstanding postdoc advisers, Carle Pieters and Jim Head.  Many thanks to the support from NASA Ames Research Center in developing mission concepts with me, especially with the assistance of Pete Worden and Belgacem Jaroux.  I’d like to thank Bob Lin for his early enthusiasm for many of these concepts.  I’d also like to acknowledge my Korean collaborators, who I have enjoyed working with enormously, particularly Ho Jin and Dong-Hun Lee.  Also, I am deeply indebted to the work of my graduate and undergraduate students.  Finally, I’d also like to acknowledge the essential support from my friends and family.

—Ian Garrick-Bethell, University of California, Santa Cruz

McEwen Receives 2015 Whipple Award

Alfred McEwen will receive the 2015 Whipple Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of planetary science.

 

CITATION
The Whipple Award, the highest honor given by the American Geophysical Union Planetary Sciences section, is named for Fred Whipple, a famed space scientist most noted for his work on comets.

This year, we have selected Alfred McEwen, professor at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, as the 2015 Whipple Award winner. Before, during, and after his Ph.D. at Arizona State University, Dr. McEwen worked at the U.S. Geological Survey branch of astrogeology in Flagstaff, moving to the University of Arizona in 1996.

Dr. McEwen is interested in how planets evolve. His mission involvement began in 1989 as a guest investigator with the Voyager imaging team for Neptune encounter. Since then, he has been involved with Galileo, Cassini, Clementine, the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, as well as current proposals for future missions. He is deputy principal investigator (PI) of the new Europa Imaging System.

Perhaps his first revolutionary work was the discovery of especially high temperature volcanism on Io. He has published ~200 papers with a who’s who of planetary scientists as collaborators. He has served as an indispensable reminder that better mission data produce better understanding of planets and provide the surprises that we don’t anticipate.

Alfred is the principal investigator of the incredibly successful High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on MRO. Along with critical data about the planet’s past, HiRISE has provided conclusive evidence that Mars remains a dynamic planet. Dr. McEwen’s most important contribution to our field may be the linear features that darken and lengthen during the warmest periods, only to fade away as surface temperatures drop—these recurring slope lineae are most probably seasonal flows of brine on Mars today.

That inquisitive nature, the openness to new ideas and people, and—most of all—his ability to produce results have marked his career and are worthy of the Whipple Award. Many congratulations to Alfred S. McEwen for outstanding contributions to planetary science.

—Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Arizona State University, Tempe

 

RESPONSE

I truly appreciate this unanticipated recognition. I’ve had awesome role models in past Whipple recipients Larry Soderblom, who hired me off the street and changed my life, and Gene Shoemaker, whose enthusiasm and generosity are legendary. The success of HiRISE is due to many people, including Alan Delamere (instrument design), Rich Zurek (project scientist), Candice Hansen (deputy PI), and the munificent science and operations teams. Those 200 papers Lindy mentioned are due to my past and present students and postdocs, who have been fruitful collaborators. For the Whipple lecture I hope to leave a few takeaway messages: (1) high-resolution repeat imaging is key to understanding active, “ground-breaking” geologic processes, (2) NASA needs more PI-led missions, and (3) planetary scientists should pay close attention to what’s happening on Earth, which, to exoscientists, has to be one of the most interesting exoplanets in the galaxy.

My personal scientific bucket list includes understanding (1) how the recurring slope lineae (RSL) form on Mars, (2) the very high temperature volcanism on Io, and (3) the active geologic processes on Europa. The RSL have a suite of characteristics consistent with seasonal seeps of water in equatorial and midlatitude regions of Mars, but where does that water come from? If humans are really going to live on Mars at any future time, we must understand the RSL. Galileo spacecraft and Earth-based telescopic observations suggest that very high temperature volcanism occurs on Io, consistent with ultramafic lavas. A dedicated mission to Io could be the best way to understand komatiite volcanism and other processes in the early evolution of terrestrial planets. Finally, there is controversy about whether Europa is currently active, but we have almost no appropriate observations to address this question. The new NASA Europa mission will have the capability to definitively answer this question.

—Alfred S. McEwen, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson

White Receives 2015 Ocean Sciences Early Career Award

Angelicque White will receive the 2015 Ocean Sciences Early Career Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “significant contributions to and promise in the ocean sciences.”

 

CITATION
For her contribution to the mechanistic understanding of exchanges of elements between microbial communities and surrounding seawater, it is my great pleasure to announce that Dr. Angelicque “Angel” White is the recipient of the 2015 American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences Early Career Award. Angel’s research focuses on the natural exchanges of elements between marine microbial communities and their environment. Highlights of her work include key advances on (1) how marine phosphorus dynamics modulates oceanic nitrogen fixation, a key source of new nitrogen in the tropics and subtropics, (2) the possible positive feedback mechanisms between mid–water column anoxia and surface nitrogen fixation, (3) mechanisms driving summer phytoplankton blooms in the subtropical North Pacific, and (4) new pathways of methane production in the surface ocean that may explain the decades-old mystery of surface water methane supersaturation. Angel’s insight and ability to creatively link a variety of disparate approaches have resulted in numerous high-impact publications that will be cited for years to come. Angel is also known for her superb communication skills and ability to work with others. She has initiated collaborations and contributed to projects with scientists from a number of institutes and raised several million dollars in grant funds from sources including the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Simons Foundation. In addition to being a seagoing research scientist, Angel also finds time to contribute to substantial outreach and education while also participating in numerous services to the oceanographic community. This is well beyond the call of duty for a young soft-money scientist at this career stage. Given her current trajectory in the field, I am excited to see where Angel’s research will lead next. I know it will continue to be exceptional.

—Claudia Benitez-Nelson, University of South Carolina, Columbia

 

RESPONSE

I would like to first thank Mark Abbott, Scott Doney, Fred Prahl, and Claudia Benitez-Nelson for the nomination as well as Adina Paytan and the Ocean Sciences section for selecting me. I also thank my colleagues in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University for fostering a supportive and collaborative research environment. Oceanography is a team sport. The research highlights cited above are not solely my own. They are all the result of strong collaborations and interdisciplinary science. And so, in receiving this award, I have to primarily acknowledge my colleagues for broadening my research, sharing their knowledge and skills, and expanding my intellectual horizons. Together, we have the privilege to study the oceans, to learn how they function, to outline the biological and physical structures, and to document change. The task is grand, formidable even. We dunk bottles into the ocean, we send little drones into the seas, we tether moorings and launch drifters, we scan the surface with satellites, yet in the end we see so very little of this immense, moving, alive, and fluid ocean. Oceanography is a bold science. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling career for myself. While it is an honor to have my work recognized by my peers, it is an honor that I share with my collaborators, students, and technicians.

—Angelicque White, Oregon State University, Corvallis

Rice Receives 2015 Ocean Sciences Award

Donald Rice will receive the 2015 Ocean Sciences Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of outstanding and long-standing service to the ocean sciences.

 

CITATION
Don Rice is well known for his successful direction of the chemical oceanography program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) over the past 2 decades. The vibrant health of the program today, even within a declining research budget, speaks to his leadership, vision, and diligence in the pursuit of research excellence, a diverse portfolio, and cultivation of scientists at all career levels.

Don has been instrumental in developing the field of ocean biogeochemistry through his leadership in the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) and the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry program (OCB). His tactical skill in finding ways to support critical science informs his success as much as his intellectual acumen. JGOFS and OCB followed different programmatic models, and yet a third is employed for GEOTRACES, at the intersection of trace metal biogeochemistry, paleoceanography, and physical oceanography. Don’s exemplary broad, balanced, and objective style of program management has advanced and nurtured ocean sciences.

Many of us go into science believing our work will one day benefit society, but for Don Rice, this responsibility is a centerpiece of his career. After establishing himself for his research in ocean sediment chemistry, Don obtained a master’s degree in public health to help promote research on the impact of ocean processes on human health, as well as the impact of human activities on the health of the ocean. To this end, he serves as lead NSF program officer in the NSF–National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Joint Program for Centers of Excellence in Ocean and Human Health.  Both ocean and society are threatened by global warming, and Don has acknowledged this by his tenure on the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s subcommittee on “Global Change and Human Health” since 1997, as well as the U.S. Global Change Research Program Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group.

Don Rice’s intellectual creativity extends beyond the ocean sciences, including mastery of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. He is truly a Renaissance man, making him uniquely deserving of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Ocean Sciences Award.

Robert F. Anderson, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, N.Y.

 

RESPONSE

I am deeply grateful to the AGU Ocean Sciences section for this award and to Bob Anderson, a longtime colleague-in-arms from the days of U.S. JGOFS down to U.S. GEOTRACES, for the kind words in his citation.  Rewards for doing what one loves doing can come in many forms, but the recognition of one’s peers is hard to beat.

My career as an NSF program officer came about quite by accident and, as far as I know, without malice aforethought.   Beginning in 1990, Dr. Neil Andersen, my predecessor at the helm of the NSF Chemical Oceanography Program, began encouraging me come to NSF to serve as a rotator in the program.  As ocean chemists in academia continue to do down to the present day when approached with such an alarming suggestion, I always had plenty of good reasons to decline.  But I eventually ran out of excuses:  my postdoc left for a real job, my anticipated new doctoral student got a better offer, and for the first time in 12 years my NSF grant was not renewed (for good reason, I will admit).  In any event, I agreed to join up as a rotator “for one year, Neil.”  That was 1994.  In 1997, when I was offered Neil’s old job, I accepted it as an honor.  I have had no regrets.

I am grateful to my family for their support for forbearance of my eccentricities and absences over the years, to my graduate students who taught me far more than I could ever have presumed to teach them, and to the hundreds of colleagues in the worldwide ocean sciences community who have made my life’s work a joy and an adventure.  I share this award with them all.

—Donald L. Rice, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Va.