Huss Receives 2013 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award

Matthias Huss received the 2013 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for “a significant contribution to cryospheric science and technology.”


huss_matthiasMatthias Huss is an outstanding young glaciologist who completed his Ph.D. in 2009 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and currently has a joint appointment there and at the University of Fribourg. During his short scientific career, Matthias has made substantial and innovative contributions to a broad range of topics in glaciology, including modeling and projection of glacier mass and runoff changes, glacier outburst floods, glacier dynamics, and climate-glacier interactions. His work ranges from local-scale to regional- and global-scale studies. Of note, he developed a new cutting-edge and already widely used parameterization to model glacier retreat, which fills the gap between complex ice flow models and simple scaling methods. He also computed ice thickness distribution maps of all 200,000 glaciers in the world based on principles of flow dynamics. This unique data set has many applications, of which perhaps the most significant is the estimation of the total volume of stored ice, a quantity that is critical for projections of sea level rise and water resources during the 21st century.

Most importantly, Matthias has shown the capacity to question and deviate from conventional wisdom and think “outside the box,” to critically review existing methods and to suggest intriguing new ways of looking at glaciological problems. His ideas can be provocative and controversial, but they always evolve from thoughtful consideration. Matthias’s productivity is clearly remarkable with more than 40 peer-reviewed papers published, mostly in high-profile international journals, since his first paper in 2007.

In summary, Matthias has demonstrated excellence, independence, and a level of scientific maturity that is clearly exceptional and makes him a highly deserving recipient of the AGU Cryosphere Young Investigator Award.

—REGINE HOCK, University of Alaska Fairbanks; GRAHAM COGLEY, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada; and AL RASMUSSEN, University of Washington, Seattle


I would like to thank the AGU Cryosphere focus group for this award. Gaining such an important recognition at this stage of a scientific career is indeed both a great honor and a motivation to me. I was a little child when I first stepped onto a glacier. There was an unforgettable sensation of attraction and interest that touched me—one might call it a magic moment. Back then, I would never have imagined being a glaciologist one day. But it feels right, and I am grateful to have received the opportunity of exploring this wonderful element of nature.

However, I would not be where I am today without the continuous support of many people in the cryospheric community who have provided valuable guidance, opened up new doors for me, and taught me to critically reflect science. My most sincere thanks go to Regine Hock. Since my very first footsteps into glaciology, she has been deeply inspiring and motivating to me. I value all our hard discussions, which contributed immensely to my scientific development. I would also like to express my gratitude to my supervisors and mentors, Martin Funk, Andreas Bauder (ETH Zurich), and Martin Hoelzle (University of Fribourg), who were key personalities for my academic life. I was fortunate to be given by them the liberty to pursue my own interests and conduct independent research on various components of the cryosphere. Many thanks as well to Graham Cogley and Al Rasmussen, who wrote supporting letters. And maybe most importantly, I should mention my own generation of scientists and friends for sharing innumerous experiences and challenges with me. I am privileged to build upon such a well-balanced network that also involves my parents and Salome, who always unconditionally provided support and affection.

Being presented with this award by the whole cryospheric community really means something to me. For one who started with studying the small glaciers in Switzerland, such an honor is far from self-evident and encourages me to continue on my way. Thank you very much.

—MATTHIAS HUSS, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland

Constable Receives 2013 William Gilbert Award

Catherine Constable received the 2013 William Gilbert Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding and unselfish work in magnetism of Earth materials and of the Earth and planets.


constable_catherineI am honored to present the 2013 William Gilbert Award to Catherine Constable in recognition of her fundamental contributions to our understanding of secular variation of the geomagnetic field and exemplary service to the geomagnetism and paleomagnetism (GP) community.

Cathy’s theoretical research is steeped in observation, ranging from time variation of the geomagnetic field and its implications for the state of the Earth’s deep interior to applications of satellite magnetic field observations that bear on electrical conductivity of the Earth’s mantle. Her work directly impacts all three arms of our GP section: geomagnetism, paleomagnetism, and electromagnetism. She has authored more than 80 highly cited books and journal articles and quite simply leads the way in melding rich and disparate paleomagnetic and archaeomagnetic data sets into practical and insightful global geomagnetic models.

Cathy exemplifies true scientific leadership through her service to AGU and the GP section. She served as president-elect and president of the GP section from 2006 to 2010 during a time of dramatic change in AGU governance. She was instrumental in directing that change, serving as a voting member of the AGU Council and participant on both the AGU Future Focus Task Force and the AGU Mapping Alignment Project. Thanks in large part to her leadership in AGU, the GP section emerged from major restructuring of AGU governance with strong Council representation. Cathy now serves on the AGU Board of Directors, assuring us that she will continue to be a player in AGU and GP’s future.

Cathy is also an unselfish leader in the development of cross-disciplinary research. She is the lead principal investigator and chair of the Steering Committee for the MagIC Database initiative, a critical service for rock magnetic and paleomagnetic research. Perhaps her most obvious and prominent contribution to cross-disciplinary science is her work with the geomagnetic dynamo research community, helping to incorporate paleomagnetic statistics into dynamo models. Her geomagnetic field models are widely used by researchers outside geomagnetism as well, ranging from historians who seek past evidence of auroras in biblical times to carbon- and beryllium-dating researchers estimating isotope production in the atmosphere from cosmic rays.

For her fundamental contributions to research in time variation of the geomagnetic field and her exemplary service to AGU and the GP section, we congratulate Cathy Constable, our 2013 William Gilbert Award recipient.

—RICHARD J. BLAKELY, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California


Thank you for the generous citation. I am truly honored that the GP section considers me a worthy recipient of this award. As you might guess, I don’t deserve exclusive credit for everything in Rick’s citation, and if you look at the coauthors on all my publications, you can get a pretty good idea of who really did the work. I have been fortunate to work in a highly collegial environment at the University of California, San Diego, where my mentors, colleagues, postdocs, and students at Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Institute of Geophysics of Planetary Physics have been tremendously important to me. Additionally, this year (2013) marks 30 years since I first attended the AGU Fall Meeting, and the GP section has really been my scientific home within this organization, connecting me to a broader range of collaborators from all over the world. I owe thanks to a large number of people who have contributed to the fun of doing science and provided opportunities to discuss things in a highly collegial environment.

I think it’s also important to keep my 30 years of dabbling around in a broader perspective. Today is 10 December, the 410th anniversary of William Gilbert’s death from bubonic plague in 1603. We still consider him an intellectual giant because of his interest in experimental science and the legacy of his publications. He was part of the scientific revolution in Europe that unfolded between Copernicus’s proposition of the heliocentric cosmos and Isaac Newton’s proposition of universal laws for a mechanical universe.

Gilbert was key in developing the ideas of experimental science as a means to confirm ideas. His life work essentially produced two volumes, De Magnete published in 1600 and De Mundo published posthumously in 1651 by his half-brother, and had a strong influence on his contemporaries. If you’ve ever attempted to read De Magnete, you’ll realize that it’s quite a slog even in its 19th century English translation—in large part because at that time there was no language yet available for Gilbert to describe what he observed. Still, in De Magnete, he followed the basic structure we would today. He reviewed what others before him had said—often in disparaging terms as, for example, when citing those who claimed repeatedly that lodestone could be demagnetized by rubbing with garlic. Then he went on to describe his experiments in electricity and magnetism, which were substantial and significant. Three hundred years after his death, the Gilbert Society translated his work and reinvented him as the first great English scientist, noting that his work “constituted the absolute starting point of the science of electricity.”

Newton subsequently provided a mathematical language for doing science and noted the idea of “standing on the shoulders of giants,” but Gilbert really was building from the ground up. So the question is, Where will we be 410 years from now? We don’t want to be rubbing lodestones with garlic. We still have lots of new observations to make. In my particular world, I’m excited that the European Space Agency’s Swarm mission was launched in November 2013, with three satellites to improve high-frequency imaging of the geomagnetic field, and that at longer periods, we still have scope to improve images and understanding of magnetic field variations. I firmly believe our science must continue to be mathematical and reproducible, and we have the language for that now.

William Gilbert remains an impressive example to us as a scientist, and I am delighted to receive this award.

—CATHERINE CONSTABLE, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Yang Receives 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Cecilia M. Bitz, Paul A. Ginoux, Mark Z. Jacobson, Sergey Nizkorodov, and Ping Yang received 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


yang_pingThe Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards one of the five Ascent Awards to Professor Ping Yang of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University for significant contributions to atmospheric scattering, radiative transfer, and remote sensing.

Yang’s area of research and expertise is atmospheric scattering, radiative transfer, and remote sensing. Much of his work has been in understanding and simulating the single-scattering properties of nonspherical ice crystals and aerosol particles with various shapes ranging from quasi-spherical shapes to highly complicated geometries.

In addition, Ping has developed comprehensive databases of the single-scattering properties of ice crystals and dust aerosols (for a spectral region spanning from ultraviolet to the far-infrared). These databases have been made available to the research community and are extensively used by top research groups worldwide in the remote sensing of radiative properties of ice clouds and dust aerosols. Yang’s dust optical property database has been used not only by atmospheric scientists but also by researchers in planetary science.

Among many major accomplishments, Ping Yang was among the first to investigate the impact of ice crystal habit (shape) on the radiative forcing of tropical ice clouds using satellite retrieval products and rigorous radiative transfer modeling capabilities. The products of Ping’s research have been used by a wide range of researchers working in radiative transfer in cirrus clouds in association with climate modeling and satellite remote sensing.

His nominators noted especially his “unselfish services to the research community…serving on many boards and committees, including the International Radiation Commission.” Another noted that his “accomplishments are amazing.” They also noted, “as a mid-career researcher, Dr. Ping Yang is already an internationally recognized scientist and leader in the discipline of atmospheric scattering, radiation, and remote sensing.”

We are extremely pleased to present a 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Professor Ping Yang.

—PETER J. WEBSTER, Georgia Tech University, Atlanta


I am honored and humbled that the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section decided to select me as one of the five recipients of the 2013 Ascent Award and would like to thank the selection committee for this recognition.

I am very grateful to my Ph.D. dissertation advisor, Kuo-Nan Liou, for introducing me into the discipline of atmospheric radiation and for guiding my career development over the years. I would also like to thank Drs. Gerald North, George Kattawar, Thomas Wilheit, Kenneth Bowman, Warren Wiscombe, Michael King, James Coakley, Thomas Vonder Haar, William L. Smith, and Andrew Heymsfield for mentoring my academic growth.

Additionally, I am extremely fortunate to have had opportunities to collaborate with a number of outstanding researchers, particularly, the following individuals, listed in alphabetical order: Anthony Baran, Bryan Baum, Helene Chepfer, Peter Colarco, Andrew Dessler, Oleg Dubovik, Qiang Fu, Bo-Cai Gao, Andrew Heidinger, Christina Hsu, Yongxiang Hu, Hung-Lung (Allen) Huang, Hironobu Iwabuchi, Ralph Kahn, Jhoon Kim, Istvan Laszlo, Jun Li, Quahua Liu, Xu Liu, Alexander Marshak, Patrick Minnis, Michael Mishchenko, Martin Mlynczak, Shaima Nasiri, Lazaros Oreopoulos, Steven Platnick, Jerome Riedi, ­Byung-Ju Sohn, ­Si-Chee Tsay, Manfred Wendisch, Fuzhong Weng, and Daniel Zhou.

Furthermore, it is a great privilege to work with the former and current graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in my research group at Texas A&M University.

Last but certainly not least, I thank Hal Maring of NASA, Dr. Bradley Smull of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Sid Boukabara of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Drs. Mohan Gupta, Rangasayi Halthore, and S. Daniel Jacob of the Federal Aviation Administration for their encouragement and support.

—PING YANG, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station

Nizkorodov Receives 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Cecilia M. Bitz, Paul A. Ginoux, Mark Z. Jacobson, Sergey Nizkorodov, and Ping Yang received 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


nizkorodov_sergeyThe Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards one of the five Ascent Awards to Professor Sergey Nizkorodov of the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) for elucidating at the molecular level the formation, growth, and reactions of organic molecules in the atmosphere.

Nizkorodov works on atmospheric organic molecules describing, at the molecular level, their formation, growth, and reactions with secondary atmospheric organic aerosols The problem is described by his nominator as “representing the greatest challenge in the field of atmospheric chemistry today.”

He is described as “using laser-like focus to reveal their (organic molecules) impact on climate…to understand these molecules from ‘cradle to grave.’” Sergey conducts laboratory experimentation using high-resolution mass spectrometers to study the generation and life cycle of organic aerosols. A nomination noted that Sergey “is one of the few to address a comprehensive study of the gas-phase volatiles, the residual nonvolatile components, and the changes in absorption and related effects.”

His nominators were “impressed by the strong chemical understanding that Sergey brings to his work, in particular his appreciation of the fundamentals of photochemistry and molecular interactions.” One letter noted his growth in the community: “Sergey is now having a measurable impact on the community: by publishing an enormous amount in the past 2 to 3 years, by placing his latest graduate students in top postdoctoral positions, and by receiving a number of invitations to speak at prestigious meetings.” Furthermore, “there is no doubt that he is one of the world’s leaders in his area of study,” noting the highly competitive nature of his discipline.

We are extremely pleased to present a 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Professor Sergey Nizkorodov.

—PETER J. WEBSTER, Georgia Tech University, Atlanta


I am truly honored to accept the Ascent Award from the Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU. The amazingly dynamic and intellectually stimulating atmospheric sciences community always makes my annual trips to the AGU Fall Meeting a real treat. I feel really fortunate to be a member of this vibrant community.

This award would not have been possible without my fantastic research group at UCI. I am indebted to my past and present group members for their enthusiasm, dedication, and hard work. I would like extend special thanks to my mentors at UCI, Barbara Finlayson-Pitts and James Pitts Jr., who supported me and my group members in a number of ways throughout my career at UCI. Jim’s book Photochemistry served as an inspiration for me early on to become an atmospheric photochemist. Barbara’s leadership and vision led to the creation of the Atmospheric Integrated Research at UCI (AirUCI) Institute, which has been providing a highly stimulating and collaborative environment for doing research in atmospheric sciences for me and my colleagues.

I also want to thank my dear friends and collaborators from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Alexander Laskin and Julia Laskin. My group members and I have been enjoying a highly productive collaboration with Alex and Julia since 2007. All of the wonderful methods we use to examine photochemical transformation of aerosols at molecular level with high-resolution mass spectrometry, such as nano-DESI, have been developed by Alex and Julia. I would never be writing this response note without their support and friendship.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who spent their valuable time to nominate me for this award. I will do my best to live up to your expectations!

—SERGEY NIZKORODOV, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine

Jacobson Receives 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Cecilia M. Bitz, Paul A. Ginoux, Mark Z. Jacobson, Sergey Nizkorodov, and Ping Yang received 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


jacobson_mark-zThe Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards one of the five Ascent Awards to Professor Mark Z. Jacobson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University for his dominating role in the development of models to identify the role of black carbon in climate change.

Jacobson studies the impacts of black carbon, the major constituent in soot, on the climate of the planet. Through a series of high-impact modeling experiments, he has shown that black carbon is the second largest contributor to global warming. His model, now used by more than 1000 researchers, reproduced this dual effect of black carbon, i.e., it is a strong absorber of solar radiation, heating both the atmosphere and the ground. He also shows that there is an important secondary effect, i.e., heating the atmosphere reduces cloudiness and hence increases surface temperature even more.

Mark and his group have also studied the effects of absorbing organic aerosols (brown carbon) on ultraviolet and visible radiation; of aerosols on ozone, winds, and precipitation; of biomass burning on climate; of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on air quality and stratospheric ozone; of ethanol and diesel vehicles on air quality; of agriculture on air pollution; of aircraft on climate; of urban surfaces on climate; and of combining renewable energy on grid reliability.

His nominators noted, “Jacobson’s model is one of the few, if not the only one, which was able to simulate, and anticipate in some instances, the major features of black carbon warming identified in observations taken by aircraft and surface observatories.” Furthermore, “he is among the top few percent of aerosol climate modelers in the world and has conducted fundamental scientific studies with his models,” and “I cannot think of a more accomplished researcher in his field… He is a first-class scholar whose work is of the highest quality.”

We are extremely pleased to present a 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Professor Mark Z. Jacobson.

—PETER J. WEBSTER, Georgia Tech University, Atlanta


Thank you, Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU for bestowing this humbling honor on me. Thank you, Dr. Ramanathan, for your gracious nomination. Thank you to all my mentors, colleagues, students, special friends, parents, children, and even critics, over the years who supported my pushing the envelope to better understand the impacts of black carbon on climate and air pollution health through numerical modeling.

We have arrived at a crossroads now between understanding the intricacies of what causes global warming and solving the problem. The greatest gratification I have about working on black carbon is the knowledge that there are tractable solutions to reducing its emissions, including emission control technologies and changing our energy infrastructure to a noncombusting one. Because the atmospheric lifetime of black carbon is so short, controlling its emissions can also quickly reduce its impacts, particularly by delaying the loss of Arctic sea ice, thereby providing some additional time to transition to a clean-energy economy.

Going forward, I think it is incumbent on me as a scientist to focus on examining both problems and solutions. Solving the problems will require a large, integrated effort among scientists, business people, policy makers, and cultural figures. I hope to be a part of this effort and am optimistic that we can solve the problems together. This will make the world a better place for our children and grandchildren. Thank you again.

—MARK Z. JACOBSON, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Ginoux Receives 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Cecilia M. Bitz, Paul A. Ginoux, Mark Z. Jacobson, Sergey Nizkorodov, and Ping Yang received 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


ginoux_paul-aThe Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards one of the five Ascent Awards to Dr. Paul A. Ginoux of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for outstanding world-leading research on dust aerosols using observations and models that has contributed to a comprehensive scientific understanding of atmospheric aerosols.”

Ginoux investigates the role of dust in climate using a wide range of data and methodologies. He has extracted information from observations obtained from multiple platforms (satellites, ground-based networks, aircraft, lidar), constructed parameterizations for a range of numerical model types, and formulated model intercomparisons and assessments against observations.

In conducting his research, Paul has collaborated widely across institutions and with scientists nationally and internationally. As stated by his nominator, “he has been unselfish…freely imparting his knowledge and findings…in order for the science to become wholesome and for the knowledge to be integrated.”

Paul is responsible for the extremely important result that anthropogenic activity (primarily agricultural in origin) contributes about 25% of the observed atmospheric concentration of dust. This would seem to be of immense importance for climate research as the field attempts to determine the relative influences of man and natural variability in a changing climate.

Ginoux’s research on the physical nature of dust aerosols, their emissions, the manner in which they are transported and transformed that he has deduced from first physical principles, numerical techniques, and observations garners the following accolades from his nominators: “world-leading scientific credentials par excellence,” “among the among the top world experts spanning virtually all areas of relevance in aerosol physics,” and “is really an outstanding scientist with a lot of imagination and a sense of perfection. He is working very systematically and rigorously. I regard him as a real world scientific leader and a pioneering scholar. Undoubtedly, he is one of the few top specialists in dust modeling with a rare intellectual breadth.”

We are extremely pleased to present a 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Dr. Paul A. Ginoux.

—PETER J. WEBSTER, Georgia Tech University, Atlanta


I am honored to receive the 2013 AGU Ascent Award, although it came with some surprise. If I get quickly passionate when speaking about dust, most colleagues and friends wonder with amazement how that is possible. One reason for it is the widespread interactions between dust and all parts of the Earth’s system.

Reading a wide spectrum of scientific journals has been crucial to make such links, but access to scientific libraries is not always easy. So I would like first to thank all public libraries, particularly the Library of Congress and its mesmerizing atmosphere; the University of Colorado at Boulder Library, which I like to associate with the “Library of Babel” by Luis Borges; and the library of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where I discovered many scientific journals.

There are many people whom I would like to thank, and I will start with my dust buddies, who occasionally get more excited about dust than me, especially Joe Prospero and Tom McGill. My scientific career started with my Ph.D. advisor, Guy Brasseur, who created a wonderful atmosphere at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The opportunity to work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with Mian Chin as a postdoctoral fellow was instrumental in finding new ideas from the analysis of satellite data. I wish to thank my director Ramaswamy for giving me the chance to work at GFDL and to interact with top scientists modeling each component of the Earth’s system.

Finally, I am grateful to my nominators and supporters, and I wish to thank the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section awards committee for this honor.

—PAUL A. GINOUX, Geophysical Fluid Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, N.J.

Bitz Receives 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Cecilia M. Bitz, Paul A. Ginoux, Mark Z. Jacobson, Sergey Nizkorodov, and Ping Yang received 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


bitz_ceciliaThe Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards one of the five Ascent Awards to Professor Cecilia M. Bitz of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Washington for advancing our ability to model climate in numerous ways, especially in relation to sea ice.

Bitz is best known for her integrated and powerful contributions on Arctic sea ice. She developed improved representations of sea ice physics for implementation in coupled global climate models to determine the role of sea ice in the climate system and high-latitude climate and the role of changing sea ice in climate change. She was able to show from first principles that sea ice thinning greatly amplifies climate variability.

Working from her improved understanding of sea ice, Cecilia assessed the controls on Arctic amplification in climate models, finding strong dependence on the mean state of the sea ice. From this finding, Bitz provides a path toward improved model projections.

Her research deals with both complex systems and important problems in climate. As stated by her nominator regarding aspects of the climate system, “understanding the recent decline is a very complex challenge since its attribution requires quantification of the roles of ocean heat transport, atmospheric heat fluxes, sea-ice age distributions, and unforced interannual modes of coupled Arctic variability among many other factors.”

In noting Cecilia’s qualifications for an Ascent Award, one letter of support stated, “Professor Bitz’s scholarship on sea ice is both superlative and unmatched among her faculty peers. This is especially evident given her rapid climb in international standing as she has progressed from an early-career scientist to mid-career faculty member.” Another stated, “As a high-latitude scientist, Cecilia has gained an enormous respect in the community, and her advice and opinion is valued in the United States and the world.”

We are extremely pleased to present a 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Professor Cecilia M. Bitz.

—PETER J. WEBSTER, Georgia Tech University, Atlanta


I am delighted and honored to receive this award. I am grateful to my nominators and to the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section for this recognition. Many of my students and colleagues have become my friends over the years. It has been a pleasure to share the joy of scientific discovery and companionship with them. I am also fortunate to have had teachers and advisors who inspired me and were generous with their time and encouragement.

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be a part of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) project. From early in my career, I have been asked to serve on various committees with the CESM, National Research Council, and National Science Foundation that have helped me grow and exposed me to fantastic scientists, leaders, and mentors. I feel that some have gambled when they chose me for various positions. I shall strive to be as bold when I have the opportunity to choose others for such opportunities in the future.

—CECILIA M. BITZ, Atmospheric Sciences Department, University of Washington, Seattle

Kraus Receives 2012 Mineral and Rock Physics Graduate Research Award

KrausRichard Kraus received the 2012 Mineral and Rock Physics Graduate Research Award, given annually to one or more promising young scientists for outstanding contributions achieved during their Ph.D. research. Recipients of this award are engaged in experimental and/or theoretical studies of Earth and planetary materials with the purpose of unraveling the physics and chemistry that govern their origins and physical properties. Kraus’s thesis is entitled “On the thermodynamics of planetary impact events.” He was formally presented with the award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif.

Kraus received his B.S. in physics from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2007 and an M.Phil. in physics from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U. K., in 2008. He completed his Ph.D. in Earth and planetary sciences under the supervision of Sarah T. Stewart at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., in 2013. His research interests include experimental measurements of the equation of state of planetary materials over a wide range of pressures and temperatures.

Lamb Receives 2012 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award

Michael Lamb received the 2012 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 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.”


LambMike Lamb is an accomplished field scientist, numerical modeler, and experimentalist who has established himself as a leader in the fields of geomorphology, sedimentology, marine geology, and planetary geology. His diversity of accomplishments and interests sets him apart from his peers. Mike has worked on net erosional and net depositional terrains in both terrestrial and submarine environments on Earth, as well as the surfaces of other planets and moons. His publication record is very substantial, and his research is rigorous and quantitative.

Mike’s work is groundbreaking and attests to a remarkable scientific range and creativity. Among his accomplishments is his demonstration that the critical Shields number increases significantly with increasing slope, even for very low slopes. Mike’s work on bedrock canyons shows that they are not solely produced by groundwater sapping, but also by surface runoff, which has direct implications for the interpretation of similar geomorphological features on Mars and Titan. His experimental and theoretical work on hyperpycnal flows is seminal and an important contribution to our understanding of the processes that control delivery of river sediment to coastlines and oceans. This work reveals the processes that link the terrestrial and marine realms with regard to sediment transport and deposition. Overall, the cumulative impact of this work extends well beyond geomorphology.

Mike is carrying on three of the most important threads of Luna Leopold’s research: a rigorous, quantitative approach, great scientific range, and creativity. This combination of traits is allowing Mike to quickly become a leader in his field and makes him a fitting recipient of the Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award.

—PAUL MYROW, Department of Geology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs


It is my pleasure to be a part of the exciting community of Earth and planetary surface processes. In addition to the opportunities to participate in engaging and fundamental science, I enjoy our field because of collaborations with bright and fun people. In my short career I have had the pleasure to work with a number of colleagues, and I share this award with you.

A few people deserve particular mention for impacting my career. Chris Paola inspired me to the field of Earth and Planetary Surface Processes. Gary Parker pushed me to conduct my first independent project and introduced me to flume experiments. Jeff Parsons advised my master’s work. Bill Dietrich, my Ph.D. advisor, opened my eyes to fascinating problems and approaches in geomorphology. David Mohrig advised my postdoctoral work, and his cross-disciplinary science has been an inspiration since I was an undergraduate student. Alan Howard and Paul Myrow have been unofficial advisors who have generously guided me through a number of projects, including introducing me to Mars and the sedimentary record. In the past 4 years at Caltech, I have had the pleasure to work with Ryan Ewing, Ben Mackey, Phairot Chatanantavet, Roman ­DiBiase, Adam Booth, Vamsi Ganti, and Edwin Kite as postdocs. In addition, I thank graduate students Ajay Limaye, Joel Scheingross, Jeff Prancevic, and Mathieu Lapotre. Brian Fuller helped me build a new flume laboratory at Caltech. Thank you to John Grot­zinger, Woody Fischer, Ken Farley, Jean-Philippe Avouac, and the rest of the Caltech community for support and mentorship.

Thank you for this award.

—MICHAEL P. LAMB, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Slingerland Receives 2012 G. K. Gilbert Award

Rudy L. Slingerland received the 2012 G. K. Gilbert Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “a scientist who has either made a single significant advance or sustained significant contributions to the field of Earth and planetary surface processes, and who has in addition promoted an envi­ronment of unselfish cooperation in research and the inclusion of young scientists into the field.”


SlingerlandIt is a tremendous pleasure to see the 2012 G. K. Gilbert Award presented to Professor Rudy Slingerland, of Penn State University. Rudy has been serving the Earth sciences for more than 3 decades. He has done so through his own research contributions; through research that he has inspired in his students, postdocs, and colleagues; and through his many efforts on behalf of the larger community. These include dedication to organizations like the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, for which he ably chaired the steering committee during its critical first 5 years.

In terms of his own scientific contributions, the list of scientific topics that have drawn Rudy’s curiosity is quite impressive. To stratigraphers and sedimentologists, he is known as a founder, practitioner, and life-long champion for quantitative dynamic stratigraphy. He is known among paleoceanographers for having pioneered the computational study of circulation patterns in ancient epeiric seaways. Tectonicists may know Rudy best for his work on ancient and modern fold-and-thrust belts. Geomorphologists, on the other hand, are most attuned to his work on landscape evolution and river dynamics. It is noteworthy, for example, that his work with Scott Snow on modeling river profile evolution, beginning in the late 1980s, helped to set the stage for the recent surge of interest in that topic.

Across this diverse body of work, Rudy’s contributions have always been notable for their insistence on posing clear, precise, and carefully phrased questions—questions that cut through the seeming complexity of the natural world. In a similar way, this award’s namesake was renowned for his ability to see through the richness of the natural landscape and recognize the underlying core principles at work. Thus, it is fitting that Rudy should be recognized with an award named in Gilbert’s honor.

—GREGORY E. TUCKER, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder


I’m deeply honored to receive the Earth and Planetary Surface Processes G. K. Gilbert Award, in no small part because Gilbert’s application of simple physical principles to Earth surface processes has always been an inspiration to me. My desire to study the transportation of debris by running water started a long time ago on our family farm, where re-engineering the local stream with a backhoe was a rewarding afternoon activity.

After a Geology B.Sc. degree and 2 years in the U.S. Navy Seabees, I knew that I wanted to study with Professor Gene Williams, an intense sedimentary geologist on the graduate faculty at Penn State. His philosophical and quantitative style influenced me more than he can ever know. Five years later and armed with a fresh Ph.D., I was hired by the Department of Geosciences at Penn State to replace Gene. During the next 36 years, I never saw a job that looked better.

I know that I am accepting this award on behalf of all of my students and colleagues with whom I have worked. To all of you I give my heartfelt thanks for good times in the field, good scientific discussions, and the chance to participate with you in such a noble enterprise as geology.

—RUDY L. SLINGERLAND, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park