Dunne Receives 2011 G. K. Gilbert Award

Thomas Dunne received the 2011 G. K. Gilbert Award at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting, held 5–9 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.”


dunne_thomasThe emergence of a strong community of geomorphologists in the past 40 years owes much of its existence to the inspiring intellectual leadership of Tom Dunne. At the University of Washington and the University of California, Santa Barbara, Tom has taught generations of students. He has done this through inspiring lectures, field-based class exercises, reading seminars, joyful discussions with individual students and colleagues, and close collaboration in the field on research projects. His deeply penetrating scholarly publications (including no fewer than 18 book chapters and two books, Rapid Sediment Budgets with Leslie Reid and Water in Environmental Planning with Luna Leopold) reach the entire community.

Tom really is responsible for what could be called a school of thought that helped lead geomorphology from the backwaters of Earth science in the 1950s and 1960s to the success and excitement it now enjoys. One can easily keep busy in science. Tom asks us to do something significant, or at least try to, and have fun trying. He asks for good scholarship, fundamental questions, field observations, experimentation (field and laboratory), process understanding, and theory.

Tom discovered and explained saturation overland flow. The process goes by many names, including the Dunne mechanism. Call it what you will, its discovery, quantification, and explanation by Tom constitute a cornerstone of our understanding of runoff hydrology. Tom has now worked with over 35 graduate students on a wide range of topics, including channel networks, weathering, hillslope erosion, sediment routing and sediment budgets, river mechanics, meandering and floodplain depositional processes, and watershed management and river restoration.

For over 40 years, Tom has shaped the field of geomorphology through key discoveries, intellectual leadership, and mentorship of generations of young geomorphologists. For this leadership he is awarded the 2011 G. K. Gilbert Award of the Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union.

William E. Dietrich, University of California, Berkeley


Thanks, Bill, for the generous introduction and to those who compiled and evaluated the nomination. It’s a reminder of how helpful we all are to one another in organizations like AGU and how energizing such support is in creating and disseminating new knowledge. I never expected to be linked to Gilbert when I was introduced to his theoretical literature and exotic field adventures 50 years ago in Richard Chorley’s revolutionary geomorphology classes at Cambridge. Chorley used Gilbert to illustrate the goal of developing general theory about landscape evolution through the functioning of surface processes. That interdisciplinary goal led directly to the Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Focus Group.

This new community required a few other developments. The first was guidance from important mentors, such as Ron Shreve, Peter Eagleson, and Jim Smith, who demonstrated how to transform the study of surface processes into a geophysical science formalizing the analysis of entire evolving landforms and landscapes. Our earlier quantitative approaches were learned, for example, from agricultural and geotechnical engineering, which, however valuable, limited us to small scales of time and space and unidirectional causality. Geophysics enlarged our perspective and allowed us to study the coevolution of landscapes and processes but still promoted rigor of theory and method. Then, as geophysics itself diversified by assimilating chemical and biological studies, our field participated. We also profited from technological advances allowing measurements of Davis’s landforming triad of process, material properties, and time. Most important and promising of all, the field is being transformed by young people with modern scientific training entering the field and utilizing novel methods to study the part of Earth that affects people most immediately as well as other planetary landscapes that inspire our curiosity. It’s a wonderful prospect; this community is working very well. Gilbert, the pioneer, would have approved.

Thomas Dunne, University of California, Santa Barbara

Jerolmack Receives 2010 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award

Douglas J. Jerolmack received the 2010 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, held 13–17 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.”


jerolmack_douglasI am extremely happy to introduce Douglas J. Jerolmack as the first recipient of the Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award. Doug’s signal contribution has been to show how concepts from nonlinear dynamics can be used to construct new kinds of predictive models of pattern formation on Earth and planetary surfaces.

During his graduate research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Doug developed a novel model for river dune dynamics. At the grain scale he advanced our understanding of eolian transport mechanics, while at a larger scale he contributed new ideas on channel pattern and fan formation; both approaches were extended to Mars to constrain paleoenvironmental conditions there. Doug continued at the same rapid pace throughout his postdoc at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, and during his first 3 years at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has jump-started his own highly productive research group. Highlights of his further work include showing how autogenic (internally generated) variability in landscapes can destroy high-frequency environmental signals and the quantification of how river channels fill space to build deltas.

Doug is carrying on two important threads of Luna Leopold’s research: a rigorous, quantitative approach and great range and creativity. Luna was also a wonderfully compelling ambassador for the science of landscapes. In this sense, it is fitting that Doug is the first recipient of the Leo­pold Award: He has energy to burn, speaks and writes effusively and clearly, and is capable of making landscape science come as alive for first-graders as for mathematicians and physicists. I have had the privilege of working with Doug since 2002, when he arrived at MIT as a new graduate student with a love for sediment ripples; I know that this award is richly deserved. I also know that we can expect from him many unexpected and significant contributions to Earth and planetary surface science in the years ahead.

David C. Mohrig, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin


Thank you. I stepped into geomorphology at an amazing time, when the quantitative transformation initiated by Luna Leo­pold was hitting its stride. The past decade has witnessed the creation of the National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics; our own journal and focus group within AGU; a division for surface processes within the U.S. National Science Foundation; and the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System. These efforts have been organized by many in this room today. Through the Gilbert Club, town hall meetings, and white papers, the very same people who helped transform the science of geomorphology have also galvanized the community. That you would recognize my work as contributing to this change is a deep honor.

I grew up on Brandywine Creek, in Pennsylvania, a stream made famous by Leo­pold’s pioneering work. As a naive graduate student I explained to David Mohrig my vague notions of uniting statistical physics with geomorphology (I knew nothing about either one). Fortunately, David is a patient man, and he slowly narrowed my focus toward fundamental problems. His infectious enthusiasm, coupled with a deep physical intuition and an encyclopedic knowledge of classic rock music, showed me that it’s possible to be a great scientist and a likable person! Chris Paola, my postdoc advisor, challenged geologists’ preoccupation with fluid turbulence in sediment transport, helping to send me down a very fruitful path. David and Chris have been fountains of ideas, and they taught me that there is always more good than harm in being generous with them.

There are so many first-order problems waiting to be solved and so many enthusiastic young people—from a variety of backgrounds—who are joining our ranks and enriching geomorphology. I look forward to many fun years ahead of collaborating with my past mentors, students, and future colleagues. Thank you so much.


Douglas J. Jerolmack, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Perron Receives 2011 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award


perron_taylorWe are pleased to honor J. Taylor Perron with the Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award. Taylor has provided important contributions in an impressive range of topics, from the role of life in controlling Earth’s topography to fluvial erosion on Titan and polar wander on Mars.

His work is unusually thoughtful and elegantly presented. It contains lessons for us all on how to do exemplary science.

An important aspect of his work is the utilization of sophisticated spectral methods to examine the emergence of regular spacing in geologically simple terrains, revealing fundamental lessons about the physics of Earth surface processes. The signal insight lies in the appeal to a geologically uniform substrate to reveal the theoretically expected regularity of basic erosional processes.

While undertaking his Ph.D. work at the University of California, Berkeley, Taylor also coauthored “The search for a topographic signature of life” in Nature with Bill Dietrich, which is now widely held as a cornerstone paper in the emerging area of ecogeomorpholgy.

He has, with various colleagues, contributed important work on remote sensing of landslides, on valley formation in several contexts, on hillslope development, and on analytical methods for surface Earth science. His expertise in remote sensing has most prominently been demonstrated in his work on the analysis of processes on Mars and on Titan and on planetary geophysics.

The superior quality of Taylor’s work is marked by the number of awards he already has gathered, including the Daly Fellowship, membership to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and a Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair. It is also signaled by his immediate success in gaining support from the U.S. National Science Foundation for his research.

Alan D. Howard, University of Virginia, Charlottesville


Thank you. When I was a beginning graduate student, Bill Dietrich encouraged us to visit Luna Leopold at his home in the Berkeley Hills. Luna listened patiently while I explained the model I was developing, nodded politely, and said, “Very nice, very nice.” And then, leaning forward he said, “Now tell me this: What can you measure?” He was right, of course: The best problems often arise from a compelling observation that can eventually be compared with theory.

From that perspective, we who study surface processes are fortunate, partly because our data set—the surface itself—is eminently accessible but also because our ability to measure planetary surfaces is rapidly expanding. Laser surveys are producing topographic maps with unprecedented resolution at a quickening pace. We have maps of asteroids, images of river networks on an icy moon, hydrologic fluxes from gravity, and long-term erosion rates. We are acquiring the information to answer questions that have dangled since long before I contemplated a scientific career and to pose new questions about patterns that were previously unknown. It is a wonderful time to ask, What can you measure?

Yet many landscapes remain unexplored. The river networks on Titan are poorly resolved. Our knowledge of submarine landforms is spotty. And we have few windows onto landscapes from the geologic past.

I look forward to confronting these challenges and others alongside all of you. Of the many brilliant and generous colleagues I have encountered, I must single out a few to thank for their guidance and inspiration: Alan Howard, whose footprints encircle many good problems; my graduate advisors, Jim Kirchner and Bill Dietrich; my geophysics tutors, Jerry Mitrovica and Michael Manga; and Mike Lamb, Josh Roering, Jeremy Venditti, and Peter Huybers. And to all who contributed to this nomination: Thank you.


J. Taylor Perron, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

Worsnop Receives 2010 Yoram J. Kaufman Award for Unselfish Cooperation in Research

Douglas R. Worsnop received the 2010 Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in Research Award at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, held 13–17 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.”


worsnop_douglas1The AGU Atmospheric Sciences section awarded the 2010 Yoram J. Kaufman Award for Unselfish Cooperation in Research to Douglas R. Worsnop of Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Mass., and the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, in Finland. Worsnop’s qualifications for this award can best be expressed by quoting from those who know him best, as expressed in his nomination letters:

“He is the father of the Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS), unquestionably the most influential instrumentation advance in the field of atmospheric aerosol chemistry, period!”

“Doug Worsnop stands for everything that the late Yoram Kaufman symbolized: altruism, enthusiasm, curiosity-driven science and the willingness to share it, and an unstoppable will to spend the time with young and established scientists in order to help them do real and exciting science.”

“In addition to the one-on-one relationships, Doug Worsnop and his colleagues at Aerodyne created a unique and unprecedented international community of people who work together to improve and push to the limit the AMS. The AMS was Doug’s dream, which came into reality and changed dramatically the way we think about aerosol measurements. The AMS community is an amazing collection of people who work in Doug’s spirit: Together they improve the instrument, develop the science, share ideas, work openly, and support each other. Doug Worsnop was able to spread his personality to a global scientific community—obviously an amazing achievement.”

“As impressive as Doug’s scientific achievements are, his accomplishments in building a community of researchers are unique and an outstanding model of what selfless dedication can accomplish. As the Aerodyne AMS instruments became commercially available, Doug worked tirelessly to ensure that users are trained to use the instrument to its best advantage, both for simple operation and for research application. He traveled repeatedly across the continent and overseas from one AMS location to another, making certain that the instruments were operating properly, that they were constantly upgraded with the newest improvements, and that the users were satisfied. He brought users in contact with one another to share ideas, results, and also problems that needed intervention. In this way trust was built and a community was established.”

Douglas Worsnop clearly merits the Yoram J. Kaufman Award for broad influence in atmospheric science through exceptional creativity, inspiration of younger scientists, mentoring, international collaborations, and unselfish cooperation in research.


Thank you very much.

I knew Yoram Kaufman from discussions at meetings. Actually, he was someone I very much looked forward to getting to know better. As the global context of our aerosol chemistry measurements has grown, from my perspective it would have been inevitable for us to work together. His unfortunate accident was a tragic loss to our community. I also feel honored to follow Ross Salawitch and Ralph Kahn, the first winners of this award, both of whom are in the audience.

This is truly an amazing moment for me. I should first thank my wife, Regina, who has officially been anointed a saint by a member of our community. And I would also like to mention our son, Alec, who could not be here—he is in the midst of an applied statistics final that might do some of us a lot of good (I’ve learned a lot of statistics this semester). And I thank my sister, Pamela, and her husband, Patrick, and our two nephews, Andy an Brandon, who are here. This genuinely is a big deal in our family.

There are a whole bunch of people here I could thank, but I’ll limit myself to two: John Jayne (Aerodyne Research) and Jose Jimenez (University of Colorado). We were all together, now over 10 years ago, when we thought this aerosol mass spectrometer might really work. Its success caught us completely off guard. As I’m prone to saying, we don’t sell instruments, we share research; we share everything we know about experimental physical chemistry—with anyone who cares about aerosol chemistry. It has always been about the science, and it still is about the data, especially sharing our experience while training young people to appreciate data.

Getting into atmospheric science, which happened for me almost exactly 25 years ago when I joined Aerodyne, was the luckiest thing to happen to me professionally, for sure. This atmospheric sciences community, for me, is a remarkable enterprise. It is inherently interdisciplinary and international. I truly believe we are all searching new truths, things out there that we will figure out and that will make a difference. Again, I am honored to be up here and be acknowledged by our research community. In reality, the community of AMS users (many of whom are here tonight) is responsible for me being up here accepting an award for “unselfish cooperation in research.” (A friend lauded me for the cooperation, but he wasn’t sure about the unselfish part.) Some in the community have even made me a professor, in physics no less, at the University of Helsinki, in Finland, which happens to be a worldwide center of aerosol research.

I’ll end by saying that atmospheric aerosol research is not going away, climate change is not going away, and geoengineering may be coming. Not necessarily coming for real, but it will be talked about and analyzed more and more. As long as geoengineering schemes keep appearing, particularly schemes that utilize aerosols, we are going to be the group responsible for determining and advising whether it is a good idea or not, a role Alan Robock, our chairperson, already fulfills.

—DOUGLAS R. WORSNOP, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Mass.

—DOUGLAS R. WORSNOP, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Mass.

Saiz-Lopez Receives 2007 Holton Award

Alfonso Saiz-Lopez received the 2007 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within 3 years of his or her Ph.D.


saiz-lopez_alfonsoAlfonso Saiz-Lopez has quickly become a rising star in halogen chemistry, a subject first brought to public attention in connection with the ozone hole over Antarctica. The ozone hole is related to stratospheric halogen chemistry, while Saiz-Lopez’s work is mainly concerned with tropospheric halogen chemistry. Saiz-Lopez has done an impressive amount of fundamental work to address this issue, ranging from experimental work to satellite data analysis to modeling, leading to 12 first-authored papers and a total of 33 publications to his credit. This is exceptional for someone who completed his thesis only 2 years ago.

The general focus of his research has been the chemistry of iodine, to which he has made four important contributions. First, he showed that the major source of molecular iodine (I2) is biogenic emission; previously, scientists thought that the source was organic iodine species. Second, he showed that these I2 emissions are high enough to generate huge amounts of ultrafine aerosol particles. Third, he discovered completely unexpected concentrations of IO [iodine oxide] in the Antarctic coastal region. IO causes substantial ozone depletion and the rapid oxidation of dimethyl sulfide, a gas released by plankton and implicated in cloud changes over plankton blooms. He found the highest levels of IO ever recorded in the atmosphere. Fourth, he made the first satellite observations of the IO radical over the Antarctic and showed they are higher over Antarctic sea ice than near the coast.

Alfonso Saiz-Lopez has made these outstanding contributions through his own remarkable abilities, as well as through unselfish collaboration with a large number of people at universities and research institutes in Europe and the United States.

Warren J. Wiscombe, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of this prestigious award. It is particularly inspiring since the award bears the name of someone whose career was as exceptional as James Holton’s was.

Over the years I have been privileged to have a number of fantastic mentors including John Plane, Stanley Sander, and Kelly Chance, whose guidance, support, and advice have been instrumental in my short career. I am also fortunate to have worked with a number of outstanding collaborators who, through their exceptional work ethic and their generous spirit, represent the epitome of good science and teamwork.

As an atmospheric scientist, I get the fortunate opportunity to examine, sometimes in minute detail, the intricacies of the planet on which we live. To be able to contribute to our fundamental understanding of Earth’s processes is my life’s work, and this recognition is most rewarding. I am very grateful to the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section for the great honor of receiving this award, and I hope I can live up to it.

Alfonso Saiz-Lopez, NASA, Pasadena, Calif.

Strong Receives 2008 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award

Courtenay Strong received the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2008 AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held 17 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within 3 years of his or her Ph.D.


strong_courtenayCourtenay Strong is truly an exceptional young scientist. He is intelligent, intellectually curious, and unafraid to tackle new areas, as evidenced by his broad background, yet he is focused on the problem at hand. He has published on subjects as diverse as micro meteorology, the tropical and Arctic bound-ary layers, jet structures and trends, and the effects of atmospheric Rossby wave breaking on the atmospheric general circulation as well as the ocean sur-face. On the last topic he made the discovery that the upper tropospheric process of Rossby wave breaking has a deep three-dimensional structure that organizes patterns of surface advection and surface turbulent heat flux, directly affecting the principal pattern of Pacific extra tropical sea surface tempera-ture variability, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This discovery goes a long way to explaining the part of the “atmospheric bridge” concept that ties proc-esses in the upper troposphere to the ocean surface. His work exemplifies how pure atmospheric dynamics, the hallmark of Jim Holton’s work, remains relevant to climate dynamics and the interaction of the atmosphere with other components of the climate system. This makes him an ideal candidate for the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award.

Gudrun Magnusdottir, University of California, Irvine


I first encountered the work of James R. Holton as a student reading An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, and later began learning directly from his publications on wave-mean flow interaction and middle-atmosphere dynamics. Now, with increasing frequency, I have the pleasure of talking with scientists who remember Jim Holton as a colleague, mentor, collaborator, and friend. His career and accomplishments are an inspiration to me, and his work will continue to inspire future researchers and educators.

I am grateful for my postdoctoral mentor, Gudrun Magnusdottir. I have grown considerably as a scientist under her guidance and with our productive collaboration on exciting research. I have had many valuable interactions within Gudrun’s network of colleagues, and I thank her for bringing me to the University of California, Irvine. I am grateful to Bob Davis and José Fuentes for providing critical guidance during my graduate research at the University of Virginia and for shaping my ideas about a career in academia, and I am grateful for Mike Mann’s inspiring course on the analysis of climate data and his helpful participation on my dissertation committee.

I will join the faculty at the University of Utah this fall, and I am excited about teaching and building a research group. In these endeavors, I will aim to convey the excitement and thoughtful science embodied in the Holton Award.

Courtenay Strong, University of California, Irvine

Shaw Receives 2011 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award

Tiffany A. Shaw received the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting, held 5–9 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within 3 years of his or her Ph.D.


shaw_tiffanyThe Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards the 2011 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award to Tiffany A. Shaw, an assistant professor at Columbia University. As one of her nominators said, “Tiffany is an exceptionally promising young scientist. She combines a deep understanding of the theoretical foundation of atmospheric sciences with a keen desire to apply it to tackle complex applied issues, such as modeling of gravity waves, study of monsoonal flows, or analysis of moist processes in the stormtracks.” Another pointed out that “Tiffany is an outstandingly talented young scientist who has first-rate mathematical skills and the ingenuity needed to crack tough problems, but also has the physical intuition and motivation to carry her theory through to applications.” She has already published 14 journal articles in major journals, and another letter summarized, “there is no doubt in my mind that she is the best atmospheric scientist of her generation.”

Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.


I would like to thank AGU and the members of the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award Committee for this award. As an atmospheric dynamicist, I am humbled to be the recipient of an award named after Jim Holton, a dynamicist who had such a profound impact on the field. It is also a privilege to be put in the company of the previous recipients of the award. Given the increasing complexity of climate and Earth system models, it is more important than ever to have a solid foundation in geophysical fluid dynamics and to use that foundation to elucidate the fundamental aspects of the system and its response to external forcing.

I have many people to thank: First, Ted Shepherd, my thesis supervisor, for his support and guidance over the years and for helping to shape me into the scientist I am today; my postdoctoral advisors, Olivier Pauluis and Judith Perlwitz, who have helped me to grow as a scientist; Lorenzo Polvani and Adam Sobel for their support and mentorship; and, finally, all my collaborators, my family, and my friends, who have enriched my research and my life.

Tiffany A. Shaw, Columbia University, Palisades, N. Y.

Radić Receives Cryosphere Young Investigator Award

Valentina Radić received the 2011 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting, held 5–9 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for “a significant contribution to cryospheric science and technology.”


radic_valentina_bwValentina Radić is an outstanding young glaciologist whose trajectory has taken her from Croatia, where she had never seen a glacier, to the highest levels of cryospheric science. Having received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics and geophysics from the University of Zagreb, she launched her doctoral studies at Stockholm University, in Sweden, and completed them at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Currently she is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.

When Valentina started her doctoral work she had only a vague idea about what a glacier might be. She caught on very quickly and in a relatively short research career has made significant and enduring contributions to the field of glaciology by focusing on big questions that span several disciplines. She has made substantial contributions to global-scale glacier mass balance modeling and to projecting the future evolution of glaciers and their contribution to global sea level rise based on global climate change scenarios. Her 100-year projections for all glaciers on Earth (excepting the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets) are the most detailed ones that have been published to date. She has developed fresh approaches to deal with incomplete and inconsistent glacier data sets and applied these skills to computing a new global estimate of how much ice there is outside the ice sheets. She has critically explored the physical basis of volume-area scaling as a tool for glacier projections. Finally, she has demonstrated that gridded climate products, such as reanalysis and regional and global climate models, can be usefully applied to large-scale mass change modeling.

Valentina Radić is innovative, creative, and efficient and is fastidious on matters of detail. Her work is finding prominent entry in international assessments and has received considerable media attention. She is a truly remarkable and talented young scientist whose impressive work ethic and exemplary collegiality make her an outstandingly deserving recipient of the AGU Cryosphere Young Investigator Award.

Regine Hock, University of Alaska Fairbanks; and GARRY CLARKE, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada


Thank you, Regine and Garry, for your kind words. I am deeply honored and very thankful to the AGU Cryosphere Focus Group for this award and to the National Snow and Ice Data Center for its generous travel stipend. Also, many thanks to Graham Cogley and Roger Braithwaite for their supporting letters.

I could not hide my surprise when I heard that I was to receive the Cryosphere Young Investigator Award. Coming from a country where glaciers are seen only on television and glaciologists are perceived as a “peculiar kind” of scientist, I initially thought that I might not belong in glaciology. However, science knows no borders. The constant challenge of problem solving and knowledge seeking has helped me feel at home in the cryospheric community. Naturally, I would not have gotten to this point without the many people who provided guidance, support, and encouragement. Many thanks to all the personnel at the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, and the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks; to the Ice and Climate group at Utrecht University; and the glaciology teams at University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. I am particularly grateful to Faron Anslow, Carl Benson, Uma Bhatt, Doug Christensen, Garry Clarke, Mark Dyurgerov, Keith Echelmeyer, Gwenn Flowers, Branko Grisogono, Will Harrison, Alex Jarosch, Georg Kaser, Craig Lingle, Matt Nolan, Johannes Oerlemans, Christian Reuten, Martin Truffer, and Jing Zhang. Special thanks go to my own generation of glaciologists, who have been my colleagues and friends, sharing experiences and challenges with me as students and postdocs.

I am truly lucky to have been given so many opportunities in life and to have a family who has always believed in me. But most of all I was lucky to meet a person who opened the doors of science for me. I would like to dedicate this award to Regine Hock, one truly amazing supervisor and person.

ValentinaRadić , University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Mölg Receives 2009 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award


moelg_thomasThomas Mölg is a truly outstanding young scientist. Trained initially in glaciology, he has broadened his scientific background significantly as a postdoctoral researcher and, to date, has pub-lished in fields as diverse as boundary layer processes over glaciers, mesoscale meteorology with a focus on mountain-atmosphere interactions, and large-scale dynamics of coupled atmos-phere-ocean systems.

Thomas came into my life when he did his M.S. thesis and skillfully managed to explain the unusual recession patterns of glaciers in the Rwenzori Mountains of East Africa. In 2002 he started his doctoral research with the goal of revealing climate-glacier interactions on Kilimanjaro, and it took me a couple of months to convince him that this would be a great project, as he had a different life schedule at that time. From there on, however, he developed into an independent scientist and pursued the intelligent approach of starting with idealized models first before advancing to technical details and sophisticated simulations. As time progressed he perfectly understood that mass balance studies are not enough to unravel these interactions, and he did not hesitate to open toward atmospheric- and climate-science methods. This approach—to my mind—can lead cryospheric sciences to a new level of understanding, and Thomas demonstrated impressively how to implement it. His efforts have produced a major result in 2009: the quantification of high-altitude climate change from glacier recession on Kilimanjaro (J. Clim., 22(15), 4162–4181) and associated complexity of multiscale linkages in the climate system.

In summary, because of his broad skills in methods as well as his ability to approach scientific issues in a creative and systematic way, I deem Thomas an ideal candidate for the Cryosphere Young Investigator Award. I hope this is just one benchmark in a very promising career, which I hope to accompany further for a while.

Georg Kaser, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria


I want to thank the Cryosphere Focus Group for this recognition, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center for sponsoring the award. I am really honored! There are many people who have helped me over the past years, but I would like to emphasize three of them. Georg Kaser undoubtedly formed me as a student. I did not anticipate to any degree that my walk into his office, asking him to supervise my M.S. thesis, would end on the world stages of science. His talent in illuminating creative concepts has been most inspiring and continues to motivate me. Douglas R. Hardy (University of Massachusetts) and Nicolas J. Cullen (University of Otago) are two further key personalities who have influenced my research vitally. I also want to acknowledge funding from the Austrian Science Foundation; Kurt Cuffey and Mathias Vuille, who wrote supporting letters for the award nomination; and my awesome research group at Innsbruck.

The scientific work over the past few years was truly intense, and sticking my fingers into new fields sometimes created bittersweet experiences. But in the end a feeling of fun always overwhelmed the bitter elements. This is very important yet cannot unfold without the joy and love evoked by the people behind the scenes: my family (Helena, Harald, Irma, and Sigrid) and my wonderful friends. I think these two in concert, fun while doing research and warmth and impulses from outside the scientific world, yield the balance needed for doing good science and for following clear concepts. I am privileged to build on this balance, and receiving an AGU award at this age is fantastic! Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Thomas Mölg, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

Marshall Receives Cryosphere Young Investigator Award

Hans-Peter Marshall received the 2010 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, held 13–17 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for “a significant contribution to cryospheric science and technology.”


Hans-Peter Marshall, Geosciences, studio portraitIt gives me the greatest pleasure to introduce H. P. Marshall of Boise State University, winner of the 2010 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award. Marshall is currently an assistant professor, but I have known him since he was an undergraduate. Even back then, I might have guessed he would win this award. His research has extraordinary depth and breadth for one so new. He is the acknowledged master of the frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar for snow in the United States and is pioneering unique partnerings between snow geophysics and snow microstudies through the use of near-infrared photography and micropenetrometry. He has worked all over the Arctic and the Rocky Mountain west and is perhaps the most capable and pleasant of companions during fieldwork. The data he is collecting now may soon inform us about how snow distributes over large areas, a topic that has eluded quantification up to now. Moreover, if he is successful in developing and fielding an accurate and practical airborne snow radar, his work is likely to revolutionize snow field studies. He is fully deserving of the 2010 Cryosphere Young Investigator Award, and I expect we will continue to see excellence from him in the future.

Matthew Sturm, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Fort Wainwright, Alaska


Thank you to the AGU Cryosphere Focus Group for this award and the National Snow and Ice Data Center for the generous travel stipend—I am very honored. I would like to thank, in particular, Martin Schneebeli, my advisor while I was a visiting Ph.D. student at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, in Switzerland, for the wonderful nomination, and to Matthew Sturm for the thoughtful presentation of the award at AGU. Thanks also to Matthew, Kelly Elder, and John Bradford for supporting letters.

There is a saying, “It takes a whole community to raise a child.” The cryosphere community has certainly done this for me, as there have been so many great people who have affected my career. As an undergraduate at University of Washington I was first exposed to glaciology through the NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Research Program, working with Twit Conway and Ed Waddington studying glaciers, ice sheets, and avalanches. This experience had a huge impact, and I noticed that most of the recipients of this award also were exposed to research as undergraduates—please continue to involve young students in your work.

I would not be where I am today without the amazing research opportunities I had at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory with Gary Koh, Matthew Sturm, Jerry Johnson, and John Holmgren. Thanks to my Ph.D. advisor, Tad Pfeffer, and to Joel Harper, Chris Pielmeier, Karl Birkeland, Simon Yueh, Don Cline, Danny Marks, Rick Forster, Rajagopalan Balaji, Kenny Matsuoka, Mark Williams, Michi Lehning, Jim McNamara, and the Boise State University Geosciences Department.

I’d like to thank my own generation of cryospheric scientists, any of whom are equally deserving of this award and who have been friends as well as colleagues on this path: Shad O’Neel, Nick Rutter, Jeff Deems, Eric Lutz, Tom Neumann, Bob Hawley, Ken Tape, Andy Gleason, Marco Tedesco, Brian Lazar, James McCreight, Tim Crone, Jeff Johnson, Eli Deeb, Chris Heimstra, and many others.

Finally, I’d like to thank my parents for teaching me to never stop learning and my wife, Christina, for her unconditional support. The cryosphere community has shaped my career, and I am honored to be part of such a great group of scientists. Thank you.

Hans-Peter Marshall, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho