Ganti Receives 2015 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award

Vamsi Ganti will receive the 2015 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “a young scientist for making a significant and outstanding contribution that advances the field of Earth and planetary surface processes.”


It is an honor to present Vamsi Ganti as the recipient of the American Geophysical Union Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award for 2015. Vamsi has earned the Leopold Award for rigorous, creative work bridging stochastic and mechanistic approaches in geomorphology and hydrology. His starting point was stochastic hydrology, and his first major research contribution focused on so-called heavy-tail (power law) stochastic processes and what they mean for Earth surface behavior. Vamsi played a major role in understanding how power law distribution of transport step lengths in fractal landscapes leads to new fractional diffusion laws that change the way we think about erosional landscapes—the flux is no longer set by the local slope but instead is influenced by slopes elsewhere. This leads to replacement of ordinary integer-order derivatives in the diffusion equation with fractional-order derivatives and, in turn, to new solutions for the evolution of surface profiles with time. Moving to the opposite end of the source-sink system, Vamsi and colleagues showed that even though the physical geometry of stratigraphic recording (bed thickness) is dominated by “thin-tail” (exponential) statistics, the recording of time is thick tailed (power law), bounded by a time scale that is, on independent evidence, set by the avulsion frequency. He has also made important contributions on subjects ranging from controls on the shape of stratal boundaries to how backwater dynamics influences delta morphology.

Vamsi has already compiled a remarkable record of highly creative, quantitative research across a broad range of Earth surface dynamics. He has also been very deliberate—and not a little courageous—in leaving his comfort zone in mathematical statistics to develop a unique research style that is breaking down two of the major, and increasingly anachronistic, divides in the surface process world: between erosional and depositional systems and between stochastic and deterministic approaches. Although Vamsi’s starting point on the road linking mathematics with the Earth’s surface has been opposite to Luna Leopold’s, Vamsi has ended up at a point that I think nicely reflects the spirit of Leopold’s work. It is entirely fitting that he is the 2015 Leopold Award recipient.

—Chris Paola, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis



I thank the Earth and Planetary Surface Processes focus group (EPSP) and the people who nominated me for this award. I am deeply honored to receive this award. During my short career, I have been incredibly lucky to be part of interdisciplinary research environments at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (at a time when the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics was in full flight), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and now Imperial College, which shaped my scientific outlook. I share this award with my collaborators, colleagues, and mentors—both past and present—who have contributed in various ways to my development as a scientist. Thank you to Bill Dietrich, Gary Parker, Sanjeev Gupta, Woody Fischer, Vaughan Voller, Kyle Straub, Brandon McElroy, Colin Stark, Paola Passalacqua, Roman DiBiase, and Joel Scheingross for support and insightful discussions.

I would like to, however, single out three people to whom I owe much of my scientific growth and development. Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, my Ph.D. adviser, patiently guided me through my early years in science and provided me with unparalleled freedom to pursue a diverse set of research problems. Chris Paola introduced and inspired me to the fascinating worlds of laboratory experiments and the sedimentary record and encouraged me to blend stochastic and deterministic approaches in geomorphology and sedimentology. Mike Lamb advised my postdoctoral work, and his creativity and simplicity in approach and diversity of topics have been instrumental in fostering my scientific growth. It was under Mike’s mentorship, I believe, when I made the transformation from being an engineer interested in Earth science problems to an Earth scientist who uses engineering and mathematical tools.

It is my pleasure to be a part of such an invigorating and vibrant community like EPSP. I look forward to many engaging and fun years of collaboration with my past and future colleagues. Thank you.

—Vamsi Ganti, Imperial College London, London

Kapnick Receives 2015 Cryosphere Early Career Award

Sarah Kapnick will receive the 2015 Cryosphere Early Career Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for “a significant contribution to cryospheric science and technology.”


In a warming world, snow is a threatened resource, yet the dynamics of this threat are quite complicated, as evidenced by the 2015 record low snow along the west coast of the United States with simultaneous record high snowfall across the northeast coast. Scientifically, the diminishing snowpack has been well documented with numerous publications, but the authors generally split into two groups: those who specialize in snow processes (yet are not experts in atmospheric circulation and climate change) and those who specialize in atmospheric and/or climatic factors (yet are not experts in snow). Sarah’s key contribution to cryospheric science and to society is her deep understanding of both fields. She bridges the gap rigorously in her publications and her communication to both scientists and the general public.

All of Sarah’s work demonstrates a balanced approach to reconciling controversial problems dealing with snow and climate change. She presents clearly all sides of each issue (including the strengths and weaknesses of available observational data sets and models) and ties in the observations and model analysis with what we know physically and theoretically to move the science forward productively. In this way, all of her publications demonstrate that prior results (which at first glance may appear contradictory or ripe for climate skepticism) when taken together tell a coherent story—there will be “winners and losers” in snow accumulation in complex terrain because of combinations of orographic precipitation enhancement, warming temperatures (where areas with temperatures well below freezing will be much less sensitive than areas with temperature close to freezing), and atmospheric circulation shifts. Each of her publications provides guidance to where the community’s efforts should be focused to answer pressing societal questions about changing snow and water resources.

In addition, Sarah takes considerable effort to communicate her work effectively to a much broader scientific and public audience than the snow hydrology community. Her ability to convey the widespread importance of her work is exemplified by Kapnick et al., published in Nature Geoscience (2014, doi:10.1038/ngeo2269). This paper, in addition to its scientific importance, presented cutting-edge snow hydrology research in a high-profile forum, which is very unusual for the discipline.

It is clear that Sarah not only is an accomplished scholar but is emerging as a key figure in identifying where the research needs to go and exhibiting substantial influence on the field of snow hydrology.  She is clearly an emerging leader in the science of snow hydrology.

Previous American Geophysical Union Cryosphere Early Career Award winners have become leaders in their field, and Sarah has clearly demonstrated herself to be very deserving of this recognition and to be counted among the ranks of emerging leaders in the cryospheric sciences

—Robin E. Bell, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y.



Thank you, Robin, for your kind words. I am deeply honored to receive the Cryosphere Early Career Award and thank the National Snow and Ice Data Center for their generous monetary support of it. I am humbled to join the ranks of the previous accomplished awardees.

Throughout my career I have been fortunate to have many people who have stimulated my research and nurtured my creativity and must be thanked here. My Ph.D. adviser, Alex Hall, first suggested I look at California snowpack and has always given me advice and served as a sounding board for my ideas. My postdoctoral adviser, Thomas Delworth, helped me develop as a scientist and still emboldens me to take risks. Jessica Lundquist, Jeff Dozier, Gabriel Vecchi, Elena Shevliakova, George Philander, and Mimi Hughes have all provided support at important stages of my career. My collaborators have all helped take me in new directions. I would also like to thank my family, especially my husband and daughter, for their encouragement and for reminding me that there is a human aspect to my work.

Receiving this award serves as motivation to continue to uphold its legacy and push myself as I conduct my research. I hope I can live up to its significance.

—Sarah B. Kapnick, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, N.J.

Varner Receives 2015 Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring

Ruth Varner will receive the 2015 Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given for “significant contributions by a mid-career female scientist as a role model and mentor for the next generation of biogeoscientists.”


Ruth Varner is acknowledged as a highly distinguished researcher in the field of biogeochemistry, where she leads projects spanning field observations through global modeling and devised novel techniques to measure methane. As an educator, she demonstrates long-term and substantial commitment to outreach and mentorship in a wide spectrum of community and academia. Letters in support of her nomination repeatedly acknowledge the centrality of education and outreach to her research program, with particular praise for the “cascade mentorship model” that she helped to develop. Dr. Varner has an impressive track record as a generous mentor, a distinguished researcher, and effective director of the Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

—Marilyn L. Fogel, University of California, Merced



It is a great honor to receive the 2015 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Sulzman Award. Being recognized for my teaching and mentoring and placed alongside Dr. Sulzman is truly humbling.

During my career I have been able to do research in remote locations and work alongside students. Early on, I recognized that each student I worked with was a unique individual, that while one student could be very independent, another needed a more hands-on approach. For science to be accessible, we have to acknowledge and support these differences. This supportive research environment may require multiple mentors: graduate students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. My research group practices what we call “cascade mentoring.” This approach came out of a partnership between our research group at UNH and Dr. Jill Bubier at Mount Holyoke College. Simply put, cascade mentoring succeeds because it recognizes that each student needs different things at different times in their development as a scientist. Most recently, I have used this approach in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program I run. The students in this program receive support from multiple mentors—faculty, postdoctoral scholars, international partners, and grad students. It takes a lot to succeed as a team. But the core component of this success is collaboration built on the ability to recognize the strengths of each individual member. I believe my career is not only about grants and publications but about training the next generation. Every day I marvel in how lucky I am to have the job I have.

The reason I have been able to understand what makes mentoring work is that I have been fortunate to have had supportive mentors during my career. From my beginnings as an undergraduate in Hartwick College’s Geology Department and continuing through my graduate, postdoctoral, and faculty career at the University of New Hampshire, my mentors, Dr. Alexandra Moore, Dr. Dave Hutchison, Dr. Patrick Crill, Dr. Jill Bubier, Dr. Michael Keller, and Dr. Frank Birch, have supported and believed in me as a unique individual, each providing me with different kinds of support. I can’t thank them enough. I have also had tremendous support from faculty, staff, and administrators here at UNH. They are too numerous to name individually, but I am grateful to them all. In their own way, each person has enabled me to combine my research and mentoring in a way that allows many students and teachers to have access to research opportunities. I am also grateful to the National Science Foundation for fostering the development of programs that include an appropriate level of support to let me implement mentoring activities.

Thank you, Dr. Scott Saleska, for writing my nomination letter, and Dr. Robert Harriss, Dr. Patrick Crill, and Dr. Maria Hunter, for writing letters in support of my nomination. Special thanks to the Biogeosciences section of AGU for giving me this wonderful honor.

—Ruth K. Varner, University of New Hampshire, Durham

Steiner Receives the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Allison Steiner will receive the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


The Atmosphere Sciences section of AGU is pleased to award one of the four 2015 Ascent Awards to Professor Allison Steiner, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, for “her outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary studies encompassing biosphere-atmosphere interactions, regional climate, air-quality and chemistry-climate connections.”Dr. Steiner is a world leader in the field of biosphere-atmosphere interactions. She employs a variety of tools and techniques involving both physical and chemical process models, regional chemistry-climate models, and laboratory measurements. With these tools, she has positioned her research group for decades of discovery at the intersection of fields often considered separately, including climate, atmospheric chemistry, air pollution, and land-biosphere-atmosphere exchange. Allison’s scientific leadership, communication skills, and engaging personality make her a highly sought after speaker at major conferences and workshops. As a testimony to her stature in the field, she was invited by the National Science Foundation and the National Research Council to serve on a highly visible National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel tasked to help chart the future path for the atmospheric chemistry discipline.

In addition to her outstanding research contributions, Allison has also been a pioneer and leader in strengthening the geoscience community. Examples include serving as founder and leader of the Earth Science Women’s Network and as editor for Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, with special responsibility in biosphere-land-atmosphere areas.

We are extremely pleased to present a 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Professor Allison Steiner.

—William K. M. Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD



Thank you very much for this award, and I am very grateful to my nominators and the Atmospheric Sciences section awards committee for this honor. I pursued a degree in atmospheric sciences as a way of trying to understand the world around me—looking up at the sky, watching the trees, and visualizing the chemistry of these interactions are a constant source of inspiration to me. This award is particularly meaningful to me as I realize that this pursuit is as much about the scientific community as it is about the science, and I would not be at this point without this community support. I would like to thank my dissertation adviser at Georgia Tech, Bill Chameides, for allowing me to find my own scientific path and providing an amazing example of the ingenuity and commitment required for this career. I thank my postdoctoral advisers at the University of California, Berkeley, including Allen Goldstein, Ron Cohen, and Rob Harley, as well as Inez Fung for providing an extremely exciting and rewarding place to be a postdoc. I would also like to thank my colleagues at Michigan and members of my research group over the past 10 years for helping me to grow as a scientist and develop the research that is being honored today. And perhaps just as important as the formal mentors has been my peer network, including the founding members of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN). ESWN grew out of conversations at a 2002 AGU meeting, and these women continue to advise and inspire me throughout my career. Finally, a special thank you to my family and my husband, Deryl Seale, for his constant support and covering childcare to enable me to take “just one more trip.”

—Allison L. Steiner, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Robinson Receives the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Allen L. Robinson will receive the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


Allen Robinson has transformed our understanding of primary aerosol emissions. Fine particles dominate uncertainties in climate forcing and health effects from pollution. Atmospheric evolution receives substantial focus, but sources are often neglected. This is a pity; without good emissions data model results are guaranteed to be garbage. For whatever reason, particle nucleation is a hot topic generating frequent papers in Science and Nature, but primary emissions are an “engineering” problem. Robinson et al. (Science, 2007, doi:10.1126/science.1133061) is a counterexample. Allen’s paper established that primary organic emissions are substantially semivolatile, with a great deal of evaporation happening while plumes dilute down to ambient conditions, along with simultaneous oxidation chemistry driving recondensation of organic oxidation products as secondary organic aerosol.

Allen and his research group have systematically explored this cycle of emission, evaporation, oxidation, and secondary condensation for major primary organic aerosol sources. Another paper in Science (Jimenez et al., 2009, doi:10.1126/science.1180353) put into context ambient observations using an aerosol mass spectrometer, which almost always reveal that most organic particulate matter is highly oxidized, with only a small fraction consisting of reduced material characteristic of primary emissions. This contradicts predictions by chemical transport models representing the state of the art in the mid-2000s that most organic aerosols were primary. The Robinson cycle was key to resolving this apparent contradiction. The same cycle also explains aerosol observations off of the Deep Water Horizon spill (de Gouw et al., Science, 2011, doi:10.1126/science.1200320).

Allen is a fantastic colleague and collaborator. Collaboration comes so easily that it is hard to write the detailed management plans for proposal calls that presume it is hard; “he sits on the couch in my office and we figure it out” does not always review well. He sees real-world problems with clarity and depth and makes the work easy and fun.

—Neil M. Donahue, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA



I am grateful for and humbled by the acknowledgement of this award. Thank you to my nominators and the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section awards committee for this honor.

I have so much appreciation for all of those who have influenced my path, starting with my mother, my uncle (Nick Latham), and my grandfather (Allen Latham Jr.). They instilled a love for the outdoors and engineering. I was introduced to environmental engineering as student at Stanford and Berkeley. As a postdoctoral fellow at Sandia, I learned about combustion and emissions. I am grateful for sage advice from my mentors (Gil Masters at Stanford, Rich Sextro and Bill Nazaroff at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/University of California, Berkeley, and Larry Baxter at Sandia). My career took a strong turn toward the atmosphere when I joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon. The Environmental Protection Agency had recently promulgated a new standard for fine particulate matter. I can still remember my lunch with Spyros Pandis that started me down the path of characterizing particle emissions from combustion systems. I cannot thank my colleagues at Carnegie Mellon enough—Spyros Pandis, Cliff Davidson (now at Syracuse), Neil Donahue, and Peter Adams. I attribute much of my success to our vigorous collaboration. I especially want to thank Neil, with whom I have explored problems ranging from organic aerosols to bike wobble. He is an incredible colleague. I also want to thank my many other colleagues at Carnegie Mellon and other institutions with whom I have worked and from whom I have learned over the years. Finally, none of this would have been possible without the many fantastic students and postdocs with whom I have had the honor to work. It really takes a village.

To my amazing and supportive wife, Kathy, and our two sons, Jack and Gus, thank you for being a constant source of joy.

—Allen L. Robinson, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Gettelman Receives the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Andrew Gettelman will receive the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


Andrew is best known for his powerful contributions to the understanding of exchange processes between the stratosphere and troposphere and the representation of clouds in global climate models. His work led to substantially improved understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the dehydration of air entering the tropical stratosphere. His transformative studies on the tropical tropopause layer helped define a new research area. “Andrew’s studies on tropical tropopause layer, cloud microphysics and aerosol-cloud interactions place him at the top of his field,” stated one of the supporting letters. His nominator pointed out that “Andrew’s work is unique in that it links basic processes and observations with global models. Andrew is an exceptional scientist: I know very few atmospheric scientists at his stage of career whose accomplishments have Andrew’s breadth and depth.”

We congratulate Dr. Andrew Gettelman, winner of a 2015 Ascent Award “for outstanding contributions to the understanding of stratosphere-troposphere exchange and modeling and understanding of cloud effects in the climate system.”

—William K. M. Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD



It is a great honor to receive this award. I have been fortunate in my career to have had the support and the opportunity to learn from some fantastic mentors. These include some who are no longer with us. I want to recognize the enduring impact of Professor Jim Holton, my adviser, and Dr. Byron Boville, one of my postdoctoral supervisors and mentors as a young scientist. I learned from them explicitly and by example not just how to do research but to conduct science collaboratively. Their examples taught me how to critically work with data and models together and also how to work with a community of researchers.

Science, particularly atmospheric science, does not take place in a vacuum. I have also been privileged to work with expert collaborators over the years as well, from whom I have learned much, including Qiang Fu, Bill Randel, Phil Rasch, Hugh Morrison, and Vincent Larson. I thank many different other mentors at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and beyond for believing in me and supporting my work and providing an exciting and amazing environment in which to conduct research and a platform for collaborating with and communicating that research to others.

I hope I can justify my colleagues’ confidence in me with high-quality and impactful future research and by instilling in the next generation of scientists some of the things that I have learned from the previous generation.

Finally, I wish to thank my family, especially my wife, Francesca, and our kids, Fiona and Natalie, for their support and willingness to explore new opportunities and new places with me as I have collaborated with other researchers around the world.

—Andrew Gettelman, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

Fan Receives the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Jiwen Fan will receive the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


Jiwen’s research covers a broad scope ranging from tropospheric chemistry to aerosol-cloud interactions. Among her most impressive contributions is her dedicated effort in providing better understanding of aerosol effects on deep convective clouds. Over the last 10 years, she conducted a series of seminal studies in which she used advanced methodologies and computationally intensive modeling tools to demonstrate how aerosols can impact convection, clouds, weather, and climate through various mechanisms. Of these studies, her findings that vertical wind shear is one of the key environmental factors determining whether aerosols invigorate or suppress convection and that aerosol microphysical invigoration is a dominant mechanism explaining the ubiquitously observed increase of cloud cover and cloud top height by aerosols are widely recognized. Additionally, Jiwen has also been at the forefront of addressing the challenge of improving cloud microphysics parameterizations, particularly on ice nucleation for models.

Her accomplishments and contributions are succinctly summarized in a statement in one of her supporting letters: “I consider that the combination of the breadth, productivity, and impact of her research most uniquely distinguishes her from most of her peers.” Another stated that “she is the most creative, productive, and diligent young scientist I have ever known and worked with.”

We are extremely pleased to present a 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Dr. Jiwen Fan.

—William K. M. Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD



Thank you, Bill, for the generous citation. I am honored to be selected as one of the recipients of the Ascent Award. I am grateful to the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section and the selection committee for this recognition. I humbly accept on behalf of the many people who helped make this possible. Deepest thanks to Zhanqing Li for the nomination and to Daniel Rosenfeld, Bob Houze, and Gerald North, who wrote supporting letters.

I am extremely grateful to my Ph.D. dissertation adviser, Renyi Zhang, for introducing me to the atmospheric field, mentoring me in my efforts to become a scientist, and guiding my career development over the years. I extend many thanks to my postdoc mentors Jennifer Comstock and Mikhail Ovchinnikov for bringing me to PNNL and to the field of atmospheric observation.

I consider myself very fortunate to be able to sustain long-term collaborative relationships with several people through working on challenging problems in the field of aerosol-cloud-climate interactions. I would like to mention especially Zhanqing Li, Danny Rosenfeld, Ruby Leung, Alex Khain, Wei-Kuo Tao, and, more recently, Guang Zhang, Kuan-Man Xu, and Steve Ghan. Whatever success I have had in research is due in large part to them, as well as to my past and current postdocs, visiting scientists, and graduate students. I hope that we are able to keep working together in the future as well.

In my very early career, I learned a lot from colleagues in Renyi’s group, Wei-Kuo Tao’s group, and Zhanqing’s group, and I appreciate their help and collaboration. I wish to thank my PNNL colleagues and managers for their help and support of my professional growth.

I also want to thank Department of Energy program managers Ashley Williamson, Sally McFarlane, Renu Joseph, and Dorothy Koch and PNNL project managers Ruby Leung, Steve Ghan, and Jerome Fast for their funding support of my research.

Finally, I want to thank my family, my parents, sisters, and brother and my husband and our two sons, for their love and support.

—Jiwen Fan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington

Zerefos Receives 2015 Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award

Christos Zerefos will receive the 2015 Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 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 AGU Atmospheric Sciences section is pleased to present the 2015 Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award to Professor Christos Zerefos, Research Center for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology, Academy of Athens, for “his outstanding contributions in advancing the sciences of ozone, aerosols and ultraviolet radiation through international collaborations.”

Professor Zerefos is known internationally for his research in stratospheric ozone depletion and his studies demonstrating the interconnections between ozone, tropospheric aerosols, and ultraviolet radiation. Over the past several decades, he has been a leading force in developing and promoting ozone and ultraviolet radiation measurements in Greece and around the world.

Professor Zerefos has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals, about 25% of which are in AGU journals. These publications are only a small part of his contributions to the advancement of ozone science. Most important, throughout Professor Zerefos’s career, he has worked tirelessly to train and promote young scientists, including developing numerous research programs at traditionally nonresearch institutions. He has organized several large international ozone conferences, including the 1988 and 2004 Quadrennial Ozone Symposia and a symposium to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. In recognition of his leadership, he was elected as president of the International Ozone Commission in 2008.

Professor Zerefos’s record of research and service in ozone studies was recognized at the 10th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol with the award of the prestigious United Nations Environment Programme Global Ozone Award. In addition to his role as both scientist and mentor, Professor Zerefos has applied this scientific expertise in the service of the government of Greece and the European Union (EU). He served as an adviser at the ministerial level on ozone depletion and ultraviolet B threats and as the science-policy interface at the EU with similar responsibilities.

In the words of one of the supporting letters, “his knowledge and enthusiasm in promoting atmospheric science were an inspiration for all who came in contact with him, particularly the young generations of atmospheric scientists.”

We are extremely pleased to present the 2015 Kaufman Award to Professor Christos Zerefos.

—William K. M. Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD



It is a great honor for me, and I am humbled to receive the 2015 Yoram Kaufman Award from AGU. I was even more touched when one of several supporters of my candidacy congratulated me by saying that “I think that you really deserve this recognition on a great research carrier and service to our community. It is very rare that a non-American wins such an AGU prize, making it even more special.” Among other awards, I will particularly treasure this award because it will remind me of the decades of collaboration with both younger and elder colleagues in a period when man-made global changes have been on the front page in all international media. I would like to thank my colleagues who have offered me this honor, which also treasures the memory of an important scientist and colleague, who left us tragically in 2006, Yoram Kaufman. Not only tragedy but also the science of the atmosphere and the observations of our environment have been invented and thoroughly studied in Greece in the past 25 centuries. My base of activities has always been in this beautiful, but unfortunate in history, country. Working always with the international community on the complex processes in nature kept me and still keeps me involved in the fast-growing scientific cloud of global change. Today’s research can be successful only through team work, something that I have incorporated in all my life. This is why I feel great respect for all the excellent scientists with whom I have collaborated over the past 40 years. As Socrates said, “γηράσκω αεί διδασκόμενος” (“As I age, I always learn”).

—Christos S. Zerefos, Academy of Athens, Greece

Holben Receives 2015 Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award

Brent Holben will receive the 2015 Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 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 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Atmospheric Sciences section is pleased to present the 2015 Yoram Kaufman Unselfish Collaboration for Research Award to Brent Holben of the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, for “his seminal theoretical and experimental contributions to the remote sensing of clouds and aerosol properties, particularly in the development of AERONET.” Brent’s vision and pioneering work led to the creation of the AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) project in which a worldwide network of Sun/sky radiometers enabled observations of the aerosol optical thickness, size distribution, and refractive index at numerous sites around the world. AERONET is the first and continues to be the only global network of ground-based aerosol measurements, embraced and supported by countries and scientists throughout the world. Throughout his illustrious career, Brent has taken special pride in working with students and collaborating with a large number of scientists in Europe, the United States, South America, Africa, and Asia. He has published journal articles with over 700 different scientists, including scientists from more than 50 countries. As of March 2015, he has 27,970 article citations, with an h-index of 79, and his work has penetrated the communities of ground-based and satellite remote sensing of aerosol properties. Among his 372 publications to date, his singular AERONET overview paper of 1998 has garnered over 2420 citations alone—a rare record in the field of geosciences.

The following statements from one supporting letter succinctly summarize Brent’s spirit of unselfish collaboration: “Brent has always been exceedingly generous with his time, with his knowledge and with his resources. … I was a recipient of Brent’s mentoring and encouragement, even through some tough times.” Another supporting letter stated, “It is beyond my imagination what formidable tasks Brent has faced in establishing and operating all of these AERONET sites for the past two decades. The most challenging among all tasks is undoubtedly countless travels required to set up, inspect and trouble-shoot any problems that arise.”

We are extremely pleased to present the 2015 Kaufman Award to Brent Holben.

—William K. M. Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD



It is indeed a great honor for me to receive the Kaufman Award. I worked with Yoram, who shared his intellect, insight, and unbridled curiosity with all he touched. For me, this honor is an opportunity to recognize the very large and diverse community that shaped my oftentimes circuitous career through their generous cooperation. My work is most easily road-marked by the ground-based Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). Although I can’t possibly acknowledge all those who influenced my career, I would like to cite a few here, including my older brother, Rick, who blazed the path from farm to academia. My colleague Compton Tucker inspires science with art, humor, and friendship. Robert S. Fraser, a pioneer in the field of aerosol remote sensing, spent endless hours with me shaping my early understanding of remote sensing science at NASA. Yoram, from the Goddard Space Flight Center, and Didier Tanré, from Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique (LOA), were ever present in the formative years of AERONET, and indeed, LOA remains an integral part of the global AERONET program today. The AERONET folks at Goddard are brilliant and dedicated, led by Tom Eck and Ilya Slutsker, who have been with the program from the beginning. Michael King, from the Earth Observing System (EOS) Project Science Office, provided the resources, intellect, and autonomy to allow the project to grow to a global resource for the remote sensing community. Thus, my job was simple: use AERONET to understand aerosol properties for satellite validation. The project expanded, the collaborations grew, and research flourished. I have been extremely fortunate to be affiliated with NASA, researchers, educators, students, and movers of various types in over 80 countries. It is those people who have participated with me, the AERONET program, and like-minded researchers across the globe to foster aerosol research for the benefit of all. It is in recognition of those people that I humbly accept this honor inspired by Yoram and as a tribute to his legacy of selfless cooperation.

—Brent Holben, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Lu Receives the 2015 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award

Chunsong Lu will receive the 2015 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within three years of his or her Ph.D.”


Lu_Chunsong (Headshot Photo)The Atmospheric Sciences section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) is pleased to present the 2015 Holton Junior Scientist Award to Dr. Chunsong Lu, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, for “his original contributions in observational and modeling studies of cloud microphysics, turbulent mixing, and convective entrainment.”

Chunsong has demonstrated exceptional purposefulness, creativity, and originality in the challenging and critical problems of convective entrainment, turbulent mixing processes, and their interactions with cloud/fog microphysics. Following from his Ph.D. dissertation, Chunsong has (1) proposed new dynamical and microphysical measures to quantify different mixing mechanisms that likely occur in ambient clouds, (2) developed a new parameterization for mixing mechanisms based on the relationship between the two measures, (3) elucidated the effects of secondary entrainment-mixing events on the new parameterization, (4) proposed an approach for distinguishing and linking entrainment mixing and collision coalescence in clouds, and (5) explored the scale dependence of mixing mechanisms. In the words of one of the supporting letters, Chunsong’s work “opens the door for possible routine monitoring of entrainment profiles using environmental soundings and surface-based microwave radiometer remote sensing of cloud liquid water content.” His research has tremendous implications for improving cumulus parameterization in global climate models, for improving the representation of intrinsic atmospheric convective processes from the diurnal cycle to the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

In his very young scientific career, Chunsong has already published a total of 35 peer-reviewed papers; for 18 of them, he has the prestigious role of first author. He is the principal investigator of many research projects and the recipient of numerous awards, including, among others, an AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award and the Meteorological Science Award for Young Scientists from Peking University, China. In summary, Chunsong’s accomplishments are truly outstanding on several fronts, including academic research and leadership, which epitomize the spirit of the Holton Award.

We are extremely pleased to present the Atmospheric Sciences section Holton Junior Scientist Award to Dr. Chunsong Lu.

William K. M. Lau, University of Maryland, College Park



It is a great honor to be selected as the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences section Holton Award honoree. The prestigious award named after James Holton is particularly inspiring at this early stage of my career.

I thank the Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU and the members of the award committee for the award. I am truly grateful to my two dissertation advisers; I thank Dr. Shengjie Niu at the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China, for his constant and invaluable guidance and help and Dr. Yangang Liu at Brookhaven National Laboratory, United States, for giving me the freedom and encouragement to explore the research topics of my interest. I am grateful to the two institutions and fortunate to have worked with many outstanding colleagues. I am also grateful to my family and my friends for their unconditional support at home as well as abroad.

I have been focusing on understanding entrainment-mixing processes, turbulence, and their interactions with cloud physics and trying to improve their representation in climate and weather prediction models. I regard the prestigious Holton Award as an encouraging message from the scientific community and will continue to pursue the challenges in atmospheric science.

—Chunsong Lu, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China