Tatsumi Receives 2012 N. L. Bowen Award

Yoshiyuki Tatsumi received the 2012 N. L. Bowen Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions to volcanology, geochemistry, or petrology.”


TatsumiIt is a pleasure to present to you the 2012 Bowen Award winner, Professor Yoshiyuki Tatsumi, of Kobe University. Yoshi is well-known because of his work over the last 30 years on magma genesis and solid Earth geochemistry. His approximately 115 papers have advanced our understanding of the sources of magma in arcs, ocean islands, and continental interiors; the role of fluids in the transfer of elements from subducted slabs into the mantle wedge; the differentiation of basalts; and how juvenile crust develops its seismic and chemical stratification through time. His work combines experimental petrology with trace element and isotope geochemistry.

Yoshi’s rise as a petrologist began as a student of Professor Ishizaka at Kyoto University, studying the geology and petrography of Setouchi high magnesian andesites, then high-P experiments in Ike Kushiro’s piston cylinder lab. He later spent 1 year each in Manchester and Hobart before working for 16 years at Kyoto University. As program director at the Institute for Frontier Research on Earth Evolution, he initiated interdisciplinary efforts in petrology, geochemistry, geophysics, and ocean exploration. He also served in many senior positions within the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. Largely because of his leadership, 6 months of drilling related to volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology (VGP) objectives are now scheduled for the JOIDES Resolution in 2014. If we do use Chikyu to drill 5.5 kilometers into the middle crust of the Izu arc, it will be because of Yoshi’s dream and initiative.

In addition to being an excellent scientist, Yoshi is also a gracious host, an excellent cook, and a talented pianist. He was a star basketball player both in high school and at the Kyoto University. He has also played the important role of television scientist, teaching the public about our science. We hope he continues for many more years as a leader in our field.

—ROBERT J. STERN, University of Texas, Dallas


Thank you, Bob, for your kind words. I am most grateful to everyone involved in the nomination and evaluation processes, the VGP section, and AGU for affording me this much-appreciated honor, the 2012 Bowen Award. Also, I would like to thank my seniors and many colleagues for sharing the fun of decoding how magmas form in the Earth’s interior.

The first target in my scientific career was unusually magnesium-rich andesites that occur on a small island in the southwestern Japan arc. Through this work, although it is still going on, I strongly recognized the importance of the local study with the global viewpoint. I also learned that multidisciplinary approaches, in addition to classic petrology, are needed for comprehensive understanding of magma genesis. These experiences greatly affected the later works on magma genesis in subduction zones and hotspots and led me to the fantasy of the subduction factory.

One of the great experiences for me is to have been able to work with those who are living on the continents, through staying in the United Kingdom and Australia and numerous meetings for IODPs (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and International Ocean Discovery Program). I deeply acknowledge them, because they freed me from the island-country mentality, and I really hope to collaborate with them further, in order to understand how continents have been made in the ocean on this planet Earth.

—YOSHIYUKI TATSUMI, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan

Capitanio Receives 2012 Jason Morgan Early Career Award

Fabio Capitanio received the 2012 Jason Morgan Early Career Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for significant early-career contributions in tectonophysics.


CapitanioFabio Capitanio is one of the brightest and most dedicated young scientists. His work combines geology, plate reconstruction, numerical models, and basic physics. He has developed a powerful description of the processes underlying plate tectonic motions that greatly enhances our view of the way Earth works. His recent work models convergent margins at high resolution in three dimensions, including deforming overriding plates, buoyancy variations in the slab, melt generation, and the effect of surface processes. These models are an order of magnitude more advanced than their immediate predecessors, are well resolved, and provoke new understanding of the distribution and evolution of forces in subduction systems. Fabio’s work draws out the simplicity inherent in a complicated system.

Fabio is naturally creative and expressive—he had a background in art and music before beginning his research career; this gives him the capacity to reach out and communicate his scientific ideas in a direct and easily understood fashion. His style is well received by students; Fabio is a popular and effective teacher in the undergraduate classes at Monash University.

He is an excellent and deserving choice for the Jason Morgan Early Career Award this year.

—LOUIS MORESI, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia


I am deeply grateful for the Jason Morgan Early Career Award. It is an honor to be considered for this prize and a privilege to be the 2012 recipient. Access to unprecedented technologies and knowledge makes this a thrilling time to be a scientist. At the same time, it has made it increasingly difficult for an early-career researcher to find a way to make an individual and original contribution. The support of the community becomes instrumental for early-career scientists, and awards such as this one are a clear expression of encouragement from distinguished members of our community.

My research interests lie at the intersection between geology and geodynamics. Most of my time was spent figuring out where exactly I was standing. As this award would suggest, it has been a worthwhile effort. Indeed, it has been a team effort, and I have to thank all the colleagues who contributed in different capacities to the shaping of my own research.

A special mention goes to my mentors and friends Claudio Faccenna, Saskia Goes, and Louis Moresi, whose advice and directions were invaluable for the development of my career. I am indebted also to many people for the fun they have infused in our time spent together because this is what makes work interesting and life enjoyable. In particular, guys like Gabriele Morra, Dave Stegman, and Manuele Faccenda have made the journey so far a pleasant one. Last, but not least, I thank the people who supported my nomination: Shijie Zhong, Thorsten Becker, and Dietmar Müller. Receiving the support of such great colleagues is already rewarding.

The Jason Morgan Early Career Award acknowledges previous work but raises the bar for the future. Luckily, the continuing support of these excellent people will make this new challenge achievable.

—FABIO A. CAPITANIO, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Squyres Receives 2012 Whipple Award

Steven Squyres received the 2012 Whipple Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of planetary science.


SquyresThe Whipple Award is the highest honor given by the AGU Planetary Sciences section. The award is named for Fred Whipple, a gifted space scientist most noted for his work on understanding comets.

I’m very pleased that our award winner this year is Dr. Steven Squyres. Steve serves as the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell. He has been involved, at some level, with many of the most exciting planetary missions we’ve flown, including Voyager, Magellan, Cassini, Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR), Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and, of course, as principal investigator for the science payload on the Mars Exploration Rovers Project, with its two Energizer Bunny rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

Steve’s work has focused on Mars and the moons of the outer planets. He is best known for research on the study of water on Mars and of a possible ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa. He has also served as an “aquanaut” on two NASA NEEMO missions (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations), spending many days underwater in a habitat designed to advance our understanding of challenges faced in human exploration beyond Earth.

Steve’s service to our community is extensive and well known. He chaired the most recent planetary decadal survey for the National Research Council. He is currently the chair of the NASA Advisory Council. His past honors include the American Astronomical Society’s Harold C. Urey Prize, the Space Science Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Astronautical Society’s Carl Sagan Award, the National Space Society’s Wernher von Braun Award, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In summary, to borrow from his nomination letter, Steve excels in all key criteria for a Whipple Award recipient. He has propagated planetary science by testing old paradigms and creating new ones, by prolificacy in publications, by engaging the public, by guiding the next generation of planetary scientists, and by leading the planetary science community.
Congratulations to Steve Squyres, winner of the 2012 AGU Whipple Award.

—LAURIE A. LESHIN, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Loudonville, N. Y.


I started down this road a long time ago, and I’ve had the good fortune to be guided by many people along the way. Joe Veverka was my advisor in grad school, and he taught me both how to do science and, by his example, how to be a generous mentor and colleague. Joe was last year’s recipient of the Whipple Award, and in a lovely twist, Joe’s advisor when he was in grad school was none other than Fred Whipple himself. So I dedicate this to my academic father and my academic grandfather.

Over the years I’ve gotten to work with some of the best in the business on a number of NASA flight projects. As a brand-new grad student working on the Voyager project, I decided that Larry Soderblom was the guy I wanted to be like when I grew up. I’m still working on that one. Ray Arvidson has been my partner and friend through all the years that we’ve worked on Spirit and Opportunity, from the very beginning right up to yestersol. And, of course, the rover science is the product of the whole Athena science team, more than a hundred scientists whom I’m very proud to be one of.

Finally, we scientists sometimes have a tendency to forget about the people who make what we do possible—the engineers who build our instruments and our spacecraft. All the science done by the Mars Exploration rovers was made possible by people like Pete Theisinger, Richard Cook, Matt Wallace, my good friend Barry Goldstein, and literally thousands of others. I am deeply in their debt, as are we all.

—STEVEN W. SQUYRES, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.

Hayes Receives 2012 Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science

Alexander G. Hayes Jr. received the 2012 Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes significant early-career contributions to planetary science.


HayesThe first Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science is presented to Alex Hayes, an assistant professor of astronomy at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. from Caltech and did a postdoc at Berkeley. His record is impressive, and he is very well suited to be the first Greeley Award winner; he has a mix of science and engineering experience and training, leading to special insights into how to best optimize use of spacecraft data to make scientific breakthroughs. Among a group of highly qualified nominees for the first Greeley Award, Alex’s accomplishments clearly stood out—he has already coauthored more than 40 papers.

Alex uses spacecraft-based remote sensing to study the properties of planetary surfaces and their interactions with the interior and atmospheres, with a recent focus on Titan and Mars. Titan is the only planetary object besides Earth that supports standing bodies of liquid on its surface. Alex uses the Cassini Radar to study and model surface morphologies on icy satellites, including the distribution and evolution of Titan’s hydrocarbon lakes and seas. His first paper became a common reference for Titan’s northern lake distribution because Alex carefully and systematically mapped their distribution and classified them into types that have now become standard. He is also interested in studying the depositional and diagenetic history of early Mars, leveraging data from the Mars Exploration rovers and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

But in fact, the best words I can use to describe Alex come from his nominators. Here is just a taste of what they had to say:
“Alex is unquestionably one of the most exciting new planetary science Ph.D.s in the world. He is particularly prominent in ­mission-­related science (as was Ron Greeley), notably the lakes and morphology of Titan. From personal experience, I can say that Alex is unusually interactive, insightful, and engaged on just about any issue having to do with planetary geology, especially morphology.”

“He has an unquenchable curiosity, performs to the highest standards that one can expect, and will unquestionably emerge as one of most influential planetary scientists of his generation. While his natural abilities are all very strong, perhaps his most notable attribute is his tenacious drive to learn.”

“In addition to Alex’s accomplishments, I think he is a particularly appropriate candidate for the first Greeley award because of some surprising similarities between them…Like Ron, Alex started out working on Mars. Later, Ron considered wind speeds necessary to lift grains on Mars; Alex considered winds necessary to raise waves on Titan. Both studied dunes. Both used radar to probe planetary surfaces. Both wrote about icy satellites. Comparing their early careers, they were both astonishingly productive.”
Congratulations to the winner of the first Ronald Greeley Early Career Award in Planetary Science, Alex Hayes.

—LAURIE A. LESHIN, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Loudonville, N. Y.


I am deeply honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Ronald Greeley Early Career Award. Ron was an icon in the field of planetary science, and the establishment of this award is a fitting way to pay tribute to his legacy. I applaud Laurie Leshin, Bill Mc­Kinnon, and the rest of the AGU Planetary Science section officers and selection committee for taking the time to organize this memorial. Ron is remembered not only for his fundamental scientific contributions but also for his mentorship and support of early-career scientists, both his own students and postdocs and those of his colleagues.

Though I never worked with Ron directly, he always took the time, whether we met at a conference or a Viennese concert, to stop what he was doing and ask me how things were going. It is in the same spirit that I would like to thank my mentors and colleagues who have provided the opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of. This includes my undergraduate advisors Steve Squyres and Jim Bell, who continue to support me to this day, as well as the entire Mars Exploration rover science team, notably including Ken Herkenhoff, Phil Christensen, and John Grotzinger.

I must also extend my most heartfelt gratitude to the Cassini Radar Science Team and Charles Elachi for not only developing a world-class instrument but welcoming me into their family and actually letting me use it from time to time. Most important, however, I must acknowledge my nominator and graduate advisor Oded Aharonson, who I count not only as a mentor but also as a friend. This memorial award is about these people and the connections we all enjoy in this community. Thank you.

—ALEXANDER G. HAYES JR., Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.

Belanger Receives 2012 Natural Hazards Focus Group Award for Graduate Research

BelangerJames Belanger has been awarded the Natural Hazards Focus Group Award for Graduate Research, given annually to a recent Ph.D. recipient for outstanding contributions to natural hazards research. Belanger’s thesis is entitled “Predictability and prediction of tropical cyclones on daily to interannual time scales.” He gave an invited talk and was formally presented with the award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif.
James received his B.S. in Earth and atmospheric sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 2003. After spending a year at the State University of New York at Albany, under the instruction of John Molinari, James returned to the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed his Ph.D. in atmospheric dynamics under the supervision of Judith Curry in August 2012. His research interests include tornadoes, hurricanes, and atmospheric predictability.

Katul Receives 2012 Hydrologic Sciences Award

Gabriel G. Katul received the 2012 Hydrologic Sciences Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for outstanding contributions to the science of hydrology.


KatulI am delighted to present Professor Gabriel Katul of Duke University with the 2012 Hydrologic Sciences Award. He has made massive contributions to the understanding and prediction of hydrology, and it is for his work that we (Professors Poporato, Hornberger, Rinaldo, Rodriguez-Iturbe, Brutsaert, and Raupach) nominated him.

I highlight a few of Gabriel’s contributions: He pioneered our understanding of the role of organized, multi-scale eddy motion in the transport of heat and water from forested ecosystems. He also derived coupled Lagrangian-Eulerian turbulence theories that were the first to include plant physiology and developed a fundamental understanding of how complex topography modifies the exchange of mass, energy, and momentum. He provided leadership in the FACE and Fluxnet experiments critical to understanding the carbon cycle and explained the role of atmospheric boundary layer dynamics in controlling convective precipitation.

His impact is well quantified by incredible numbers of papers and citations, but most important, by his outstanding Ph.D. graduates and post docs who have gone on to great success around the world. Those who have had the pleasure to interact with Gaby know he is enthusiastically brimming with ideas, generous, and always full of energy to make headway tackling new research problems. Please join me in warmly applauding the selection of Gabriel Katul as the 2012 Hydrology Awardee, a wonderful human being, colleague, and friend.

—MARC B. PARLANGE, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland


Thank you, Marc, for the kind comments and unwavering support as a mentor and friend. I am honored by this award, which I share with many people.

I was fortunate to commence my graduate work with Richard Cuenca at Oregon State University, who introduced me to the field of land-surface processes and how to conduct long-term experiments, as well as to Marc Parlange, who later accepted me as his first Ph.D. student before arriving at University of California, Davis. Marc set the agenda on how to move the field of land-atmosphere interactions forward by diffusing into it advances in turbulence. I was fortunate to overlap at Davis with John Albertson, a friend who became a colleague at Duke University and whose guidance on uncountable aspects of hydrology, turbulence, and academia I had to consult with before making any decision or progress.

Immediately after my graduate work, luck brought me to the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where I formed partnerships with exceptional colleagues such as Ram Oren and David Ellsworth—whose encyclopedic knowledge about ecosystem carbon-water cycling led us to discover numerous intersections between ecology, hydrology, and fluid mechanics—as well as Brani Vidakovic, whose expertise on multi-scale analysis was crucial to manuscripts utilizing wavelet transforms. Another fortuitous event occurred when Amilcare Porporato joined Duke University, which led to a quantum jump in our ability to provide solutions to the stochastic representation of the soil-plant system.

But most important, I wish to acknowledge the contributions of my graduate students and postdocs, Cheng-I Hsieh, Chun-Ta Lai, Mario Siqueira, Karen Wesson, Paul Stoy, Jehn-Yih Juang, Kimberly Novick, Sally Thompson, Alexandra Konings, Tirtha Banerjee, Cheng-Wei Huang, Davide Poggi, Edoardo Daly, Sari Palmroth, Annalisa Molini, Stefano Manzoni, Guilia Vico, and Tomer Duman as well as all the visitors who spend time in my group.

I am grateful to the Hydrologic Sciences Award committee for their confidence and to the American Geophysical Union.

—GABRIEL G. KATUL, Duke University, Durham, N. C.

Di Baldassarre Receives 2012 Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

—ALBERTO MONTANARI, University of Bologna, Italy


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

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

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

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

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


Kopp Receives 2012 William Gilbert Award

Robert E. Kopp received the 2012 William Gilbert Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding and unselfish work in magnetism of Earth materials and of the Earth and planets.


KoppI take great pleasure in presenting Robert Kopp with the 2012 William Gilbert Award, recognizing his impactful, original, rigorous, and interdisciplinary scientific research spanning much of Earth history and his service to the geomagnetism and paleomagnetism (GP) research community.

Bob’s Ph.D. work focused on fossil magnetotactic bacteria and the development of techniques, such as ferromagnetic resonance spectroscopy, for rapidly detecting them in sediments. This work led to the discovery of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum magnetofossil “Lagerstätte” in the mid-Atlantic United States (dating to about 56 million years ago) and the bizarre, unusually large, and likely eukaryotic “Death Star”–like magnetofossils found therein, a real breakthrough in magnetic paleobiology and in its application to paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

Deeper in Earth history, Bob’s provocative modeling of the biogeochemical context of low-latitude “snowball Earth” glaciation in the Paleoproterozoic (about 2.3 billion years ago) and its relationship to the Great Oxygenation Event suggests a tight chronological coupling between the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the onset of global glaciation. Much more recently in geological time, his probabilistic analyses of the sea level records from the last interglacial stage (about 125,000 years ago) provide the most quantitative assessment to date of sea level change before the current glacial cycle.

Bob also contributed to the GP community as the original software guru for the Rock and Paleomagnetics Instrumentation Development consortium. In this capacity, he helped lay the foundations for automatic sample changers for superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometers that are now deployed in a dozen labs on five continents. His open-source control software allows those instruments to do productive paleomagnetic and rock magnetic work, automatically, around the clock, liberating our students from the task of manually emplacing samples one at a time.

In summary, Bob has made major discoveries in biogeomagnetism and has strengthened the analytical and experimental infrastructure of the entire paleomagnetic and rock magnetic community. I look forward to seeing what he does next!

—JOSEPH L. KIRSCHVINK, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena


I have many people to thank for the honor of receiving the William Gilbert Award. Joe Kirschvink must sit at the top of the list, not just for the generosity—I hope at least partially deserved!—of his citation but also for his role as my Ph.D. mentor. During the 5 years I spent working with him at Caltech, Joe was always supportive; was as generous with his time as he has been in his words; and served as a role model for me in the way he fearlessly marched through our planet’s history, building bridges between magnetism and our understanding of climate, the biosphere, and the Earth system as a whole.

I am also truly grateful to the GP community and the support it provides its young researchers. We may be small, but there is real intellectual firepower in a community where small workshops can address meteorites one day, bacteria the next, and crystallography and dynamos on a third. And this community does not just provide its younger members support through intellectual breadth—the community spirit is well illustrated by the way the Gilbert award is given in alternate years to young scientists and to our luminaries.

I have been blessed throughout my time as a scientist with a wonderful set of mentors. In addition to Joe, my postdoc mentors Michael Oppenheimer and Adam Maloof and my American Association for the Advancement of Science Science and Technology Policy Fellowship mentor Rick Duke played key roles in shaping how I do science today. I would certainly be remiss if I did not mention my undergraduate advisor, Munir Humayun, who gave me first experiences doing science, setting me to work analyzing and modeling the Martian meteorite ALH84001, and then guided me toward graduate school with Joe. And though they are too numerous to name, my work would not be possible without my network of outstanding collaborators.

Finally, I must thank my family, without whose love and support none of my work—indeed, none of that which I am today—would have been possible.

—ROBERT E. KOPP, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.

King Receives 2012 Geodesy Section Award

Matt A. King received the 2012 Geodesy Section Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of major advances in geodesy.


KingWe have known Matt for more than a decade, since shortly after he completed his Ph.D. research at the University of Tasmania, Australia, in 2001 and relocated to Newcastle University, U.K. His work has concerned geodetic applications in solid Earth and cryospheric studies, with his pioneering use of precise Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in glaciology especially notable. His research has involved novel and fruitful studies to mitigate a range of GNSS error phenomena, particularly subdaily errors related to tides and multipath and their biasing effects on longer-term coordinate time series. From these technical insights, Matt and collaborating glaciologists have made groundbreaking discoveries of the nonlinear behavior of glaciers and ice streams. His current research efforts focus on constraining Antarctic Holocene deglaciation and Earth rheology through measurements of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), with an end goal of improving our understanding of the present-day ice mass balance.

Matt is a tireless collaborator and has been unstinting in his efforts on behalf of the community and with training the next generation of “cryogeodesists” by leading workshops at UNAVCO and in Europe and by supporting students. He has also been a strong mentor to other early-stage researchers at Newcastle and elsewhere. His community leadership includes serving AGU by chairing the Fall AGU Geodesy Program Committee (2009–2010) and leading Newcastle’s hosting of the International GNSS Service Workshop 2010. He proposed and chaired COST Action ES0701 (2008–2012), a research network of around 80 European geodesists and modelers of GIA, and, similarly, the Detection of Offsets in GPS community Experiment (DOGEx). He is now leading the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) subcommission on cryospheric deformation.

His earlier research has been recognized with a Philip Leverhulme Prize and several personal research fellowships, and we are delighted to see him receive this award—we can think of no better recipient for 2012.

—PETER CLARKE, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK; and SRIDHAR ANANDAKRISHNAN, Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park


It is a great honor to receive the AGU section award. After a fairly unpromising start to my undergraduate studies at the University of Tasmania I gained an interest in geodesy under the instruction of Richard Coleman, with whom I later completed a Ph.D. and to whom I give significant credit for this award.

My work with Richard involved applying geodetic techniques to the study of the dynamics of an Antarctic ice shelf. Some of our new GPS data exhibited unexpected periodic variations in the horizontal coordinate components. As a group we identified that some of these signals were entirely spurious due to incorrect GPS processing strategies conventionally applied in glaciological studies and then developed improved analysis strategies.

Around the time I finished my Ph.D., I was blessed to be connected to leading glaciologists investigating similar phenomena—notably Bob Bindschadler and Sridhar Anandakrishnan—by a former University of Tasmania (UTAS) colleague, Helen Fricker. Those connections were extremely fruitful and led to further rewarding collaborations with other glaciologists in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe.

My time within the geodesy group at Newcastle University has been especially rewarding. They took a chance on appointing a young postdoc from the other side of the world, and I’d like to thank them for that and then giving me the opportunity to pursue my own research interests as well as learn from, and collaborate with, them. More recently, and not far from Newcastle at Durham University, I’ve worked with another set of fantastic collaborators, namely, Mike Bentley and Pippa Whitehouse, on the problem of Antarctic GIA as it pertains to the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).

It’s been an honor to work with such good scientists while having such fun times. But most of all, I’d like to thank my wife, Julia, and our children for supporting me.

—MATT A. KING, School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Eisenman Receives 2012 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award

Ian Eisenman received the 2012 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for “a significant contribution to cryospheric science and technology.”


EisenmanOne can appreciate that sea ice is a barometer and important feedback for climate change when one considers the ice-albedo feedback in a comparative sense. Whereas the Greenland ice sheet is 3 kilometers thick, sea ice is 3 meters thick, underlain by an ocean deeper than the Greenland ice sheet is thick. During a season, the areal change of Arctic sea ice cover is roughly 4 times larger than the area of Greenland. These huge annual oscillations in the ice cover have occurred for longer than humanity has been able to ponder them. This is just one of the many aspects that capture our attention in considering the scientific problem of sea ice and climate, which is a principal area of interest for Ian Eisenman.

There are three general approaches to the problem: using climate models, interpreting satellite data, and developing ­low-­order theoretical descriptions. All encounter significant but varied problems; all are necessary ingredients to develop a tapestry of understanding. Ian’s background in applied mathematics and geophysics has allowed him to embrace all of these approaches. In the middle of his Ph.D. at Harvard with Eli Tziperman, he began to develop a dual approach—theory and climate models—triggered by the 2006 summer program in geophysical fluid dynamics at Woods Hole. The participation of the late Norbert Untersteiner in that program provided a motivation to pursue the goal of constructing an observationally consistent low-­order thermodynamic theory coupling sea ice growth to climate. Ian excels at distilling the complex processes governing sea ice into relatively simple theoretical models, which he studies carefully to enrich our intuition of how sea ice cover varies naturally and may respond to climate changes. In addition, understanding that our main daily observables of ice cover come from satellites, Ian delved into their analysis, among many other things, with Tapio Schneider and David Battisti, from tropical to polar, while a postdoc at both Caltech and the University of Washington. This year he joined the faculty at Scripps, where he continues to think about the ice while gazing out at the beach.

It is a pleasure that a person of Ian Eisenman’s creativity and skills is being recognized by the AGU Cryosphere Young Investigator Award. We all look forward to seeing what set of issues in the cryosphere he will address next.

—TAPIO SCHNEIDER, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; ELI TZIPERMAN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; and JOHN S. WETTLAUFER, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.


I am honored to receive this award from the Cryosphere Focus Group and glad for the opportunity it gives to acknowledge some of the people who have contributed to my scientific growth.

I have been fortunate to have terrific mentors who have shaped my approach to science: Daniel Aalberts, who mentored my transition into the physical sciences when I was an undergraduate philosophy major; Eli Tziperman, my Ph.D. advisor, who taught me a broad approach to research questions; Tapio Schneider, my postdoc advisor, who showed me how to be rigorous and thorough while he led a fun and effective research group; and David Battisti, my postdoc coadvisor, who insightfully guided my work and continues to be an inspiration.

Other less formal mentors have also profoundly influenced my development. I am grateful to John Wettlaufer, who nominated me for this award. He supervised me during a summer in Woods Hole, when my interest in the cryosphere firmly took root, and he has been a mentor and collaborator ever since, teaching me about sea ice and frequently providing guidance. I am also grateful to the late Norbert Untersteiner, whose wisdom and friendship gave me insight into the physics of sea ice as well as confidence in my research, and to Cecilia Bitz, who taught me about modeling sea ice and helped guide much of my research.

I thank many members of the cryospheric sciences community for inspiring conversations and encouragement, including Ron Kwok, John Walsh, Ron Lindsay, Don Perovich, Steve Vavrus, Walt Meier, Helen Fricker, Hajo Eicken, Mike Winton, Ken Golden, and Eddy Carmack. It’s truly a privilege to work and interact with this community.

I am grateful to have wonderful peers, as both collaborators and friends, including Woody Fischer, Kyle Armour, Tim Merlis, Simona Bordoni, Yohai Kaspi, Jen Kay, Mark Flanner, Brian Rose, and many others.

And lastly, I would like to thank my wife and children, who have enriched my life.

—IAN EISENMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.