Fielding Receives 2016 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership

Eric Jameson Fielding will receive the 2016 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “major achievements in service and/or leadership to the geodesy community.”


It is a great pleasure to write this citation for Eric Fielding, who is this year’s winner of the Ivan I. Mueller Award. The Ivan I. Mueller Award was established in 2013 to recognize major achievements in service and/or leadership to the geodesy community that go above and beyond scientific and research contributions.

Eric is a world-leading geodesist and geophysicist who has pioneered and enabled the use of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) as a mainstream tool for tectonics. Teasing out small deformation signals from large collections of raw radar data is not straightforward. Eric has patiently and generously used his deep understanding of radar processing to mentor and support a large number of scientists, allowing them to make advances in InSAR techniques or in their application. A dozen or more of these are now well-established researchers or university professors. Eric has been one of the main users and supporters of the InSAR software tools developed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech, which have been the principle processing packages used by the scientific community, fixing bugs and ensuring updated versions are released to community. Since 2008, he has been teaching an annual InSAR short course, hosted by UNAVCO, which has now been taken by several hundred participants. It is not an exaggeration to say that without Eric’s selfless support many of the scientific advances that have relied on InSAR observations would not have been possible.

Eric’s unselfish mentoring provides a model for future geoscientists, especially for those who work with new technologies; he has provided, promoted, and supported rapid dissemination of space observing techniques and software to the broad benefit of our community; his work is geodetic but also benefits the seismology, tectonophysics, and volcanology sections of the AGU. I can think of no more deserving winner than Eric for this year’s award.

—Tim J. Wright, University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K.


I would like to thank the American Geophysical Union Geodesy section and those involved in this nomination, especially Tim Wright, for the great honor of being selected for this year’s Ivan I. Mueller Award. I am happy to be the first Mueller awardee working in the field of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). I was fortunate to start working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), operated by California Institute of Technology, when InSAR was starting to be applied to geodetic and geophysical problems, including wide-area mapping of topography and surface deformation.

I have greatly benefited from the close collaboration between radar engineers and geophysicists at JPL and Caltech that allowed us and other collaborators around the world to extend InSAR and related methods to study many solid Earth processes. Paul Rosen leads the InSAR software development at JPL, releasing both the Repeat Orbit Interferometry package (ROI_pac) and InSAR Scientific Computing Environment (ISCE), and he and Scott Hensley always helped me understand the theory and implementation. Gilles Peltzer, Mark Simons, Matt Pritchard, Rowena Lohman, Paul Lundgren, Piyush Agram, Eric Gurrola, Walter Szeliga, and many others have collaborated on improving the system for getting the InSAR results, converting to geophysical measurements, and modeling the processes. UNAVCO has generously sponsored InSAR short courses for the past 8 years, with Scott Baker providing excellent help.

I started radar imaging of the Earth with Art Bloom at Cornell University, and learned about geophysics and earthquakes from Bryan Isacks and Muawia Barazangi. Their teaching helped me to join the early InSAR community, and Bryan and Muawia also encouraged me to create a prototype system for sharing geophysical results. The open collaboration of faculty, students, and researchers at Cornell University inspired my later efforts in spreading InSAR in geodesy. I am grateful to my wife for her encouragement.

—Eric Jameson Fielding, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Hill Receives 2016 Geodesy Section Award

Emma M. Hill will receive the 2016 Geodesy Section Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given in recognition of major advances in geodesy.


Throughout her career, Emma Hill has endeavored to develop the breadth of research interests and geodetic expertise that are now her hallmark, addressing an array of multidisciplinary problems that includes sea level, glacial isostatic adjustment, atmospheric turbulence, hydrology, GNSS accuracy, and tectonics.

As a student and postdoc, Emma focused on GNSS studies of the Basin and Range. This work included the tectonics of the region and also characterization of atmospheric turbulence. She also has the distinction of publishing a GPS time series having an RMS residual of 50 microns! Emma later pioneered Bayesian combination of data from GRACE, tide gauges, and GNSS that enabled inversion for Fennoscandian glacial isostatic adjustment without estimation of parameters from a simplified Earth model.

Her recent research has focused on Southeast Asia, studying deformation associated with the Sunda megathrust using GNSS, InSAR, and coral uplift histories. These studies have led to an improved understanding of the tectonics of this region, and to discovery of a 15-year-long slow-slip event.

Emma has a strong commitment to the Earth science community. She has served as judge for the Outstanding Student Paper Award and organized a student poster competition for EarthScope. She served as Chair of the UNAVCO E&O Advisory Committee. Her activities in AGU governance include the AGU International Participation Committee and AGU Council. She is currently serving as an associate editor for Journal of Geophysical Research.

Emma is a devoted mentor and has attracted an outstanding assembly of students and postdocs to her group. She is highly valued as a mentor, group leader, and as a collaborator.

We are very pleased that the AGU Geodesy section has recognized Emma’s scientific achievements and leadership with the 2016 Geodesy Award.

—Kristine M. Larson, University of Colorado, Boulder; and James L. Davis, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y.


I feel honored to receive this award, and am grateful to Jim and Kristine for their kind citation. The award is particularly special to me because the AGU Geodesy section has long felt like my academic family; I have always been grateful for the spirit of collaboration and friendship in our community.

I feel lucky to work in a field where we connect with many disciplines in Earth science, and one in which our research is directly applicable to the significant challenges facing our communities and environment. This has been particularly clear to me since working in Southeast Asia, where some of the highest population densities on Earth are faced with tectonic, volcanic, and climate hazards for which we are answering first-order questions using geodetic data.

To maximize scientific impact, we must build capacity in the areas in which we work. It has been deeply rewarding to work with and train young scientists from Southeast Asia; I am grateful for their hospitality, enthusiasm, and introductions to tasty food.

It is impossible to individually thank everyone who has helped me along the way, but I would here like to thank Geoff Blewitt and Jim Davis for their mentorship and encouragement; Kerry Sieh and Paul Tapponnier for giving me so many exciting opportunities in Singapore; my students and postdocs for making every day at work delightful—Lujia Feng, Eric Lindsey, Louisa Tsang, Qiu Qiang, Rino Salman, Paul Morgan, Rishav Mallick, and Dongju Peng—and a host of colleagues and collaborators who have shared their time and wisdom—Mark Tamisiea, Pedro Elosegui, Aron Meltzner, and Sylvain Barbot to name just a few. I would also like to give heartfelt thanks to all the generous souls who unselfishly collect data, maintain networks, release processing code, and thus make our science possible.

—Emma M. Hill, Earth Observatory of Singapore and Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Duvall Receives 2016 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award

Alison R. Duvall will receive the 2016 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “a young scientist for making a significant and outstanding contribution that advances the field of Earth and planetary surface processes.”


It is an honor to present Alison Duvall as the recipient of the Luna B. Leopold Award for 2016. Alison’s contributions have fundamentally advanced understanding of landscapes across a range of scales—from the width of bedrock channels, to the uplift of Tibet, quantitative analysis of landforms across strike-slip faults, and landslides in the Pacific Northwest. It is particularly appropriate for her to receive this award as one of the hallmarks of Leopold’s career was merging field observations and theory to develop insights into a wide range of geomorphological features and processes.

Alison played a key role in early efforts to understand controls on bedrock channel profiles, publishing one of the first papers that helped establish bedrock channel width as a degree of freedom in accommodating spatial variation in rock uplift and erodibility. She influenced thinking about the tectonic geomorphology of Tibet, establishing that faulting began in northeastern Tibet far earlier than previously believed and challenging models for the development of the plateau. She applied low-temperature detrital thermochronometry to rivers draining the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau and found evidence for regionally synchronous late Miocene exhumation and uplift. In applying landscape evolution modeling to the quantitative analysis of strike-slip landforms, she developed methods for quantifying the topographic signature of the deformation of catchments along strike slip faults, opening up new ways of analyzing landscapes in tectonically active regions. She was a driving force behind using surface roughness to date Holocene landslides in area around the deadly Oso landslide, demonstrating how to rapidly assess risk in landslide-prone terrain. Alison has established herself as a researcher adept at field, laboratory, and modeling approaches across fluvial, tectonic, and hillslope geomorphology. She is a deserving recipient of an award that honors a scientist whose breadth and depth of interests continue to inspire.

—David R. Montgomery, University of Washington, Seattle


Thank you for the generous citation. I am deeply honored to receive the 2016 Luna B. Leopold Award and thrilled to join the list of esteemed scientists who received this award before me.

Looking back, I cringe a little recalling my master’s degree application. I think I checked almost every desired specialization—a classic mistake. Somehow, Doug Burbank and Eric Kirby looked past my greenness and took a chance on me. I am forever grateful that they did.

Through the next years, I sharpened my interests and learned much about rising mountains and the surface processes that act to shape them. But the greatest lesson they taught me was that it was okay, advantageous even, to cross disciplinary boundaries in order to chase big scientific questions.

And so I have.

Asking questions beyond a narrow subfield helped give me the confidence to say yes when Marin Clark offered me a Ph.D. tackling problems as heady and complex as the formation of the Tibetan Plateau. With Marin’s guidance, I gained a fuller appreciation for how what happens far below Earth’s surface affects the processes that we study above. She showed me how to meld geodynamics, tectonics, and geomorphology with a tool kit that stretches from the field to the lab to the equation on the back of a napkin.

Marin was also the first female geoscience mentor in my life. Her success and positive example influenced me profoundly as a young woman forging a path in a male-dominated profession.

Finally, I thank Greg Tucker for agreeing to take me as a postdoc, despite my glaring lack of modeling experience. His kindness, generosity, and landscape brilliance have contributed richly to my science and allowed me to interweave my core research pillars—rivers, hillslopes, and faults—using a single beautiful landscape model.

Thank you!

—Alison R. Duvall, University of Washington, Seattle

Paola Receives 2016 G. K. Gilbert Award

Christopher Paola will receive the 2016 G. K. Gilbert Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 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.”


Prof. Chris Paola merits the G. K. Gilbert Award for his leadership in shepherding a generation of Earth surface process researchers through the maze of complexity, to the beauty of insight via first-order simplification. Prof. Paola is

A researcher of peerless insight and innovation in the field of Earth surface processes;

A leader in defining the underlying commonality between the otherwise disparate fields of geomorphology and stratigraphy;

A visionary in terms of his conception of a) the subsiding experimental facility at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, b) his co-leadership of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, and c) his leadership of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics;

An integrator of diverse lines of research and diverse research groups via at least nine review and synthesis papers; and

A freely-giving and deeply dedicated educator of undergraduates, graduate students, and younger researchers in the Earth sciences, regardless of whether or not a given individual is under his direct supervision.

I make a key observation about Prof. Paola’s research philosophy. He is a cracker of hard walnuts who has no nutcracker. In the absence of a nutcracker, one could use a stone, a sledgehammer, or indeed a focused beam of sound to open the nut. The process of doing so may be so destructive that post processing of the bits of shell and nut becomes more challenging than the process of cracking the nut. Prof. Paola, instead, places two walnuts in his hand, squeezes at just the right angle and with just the right pressure, and pops the desired one open, cleanly, with its internal structure readily apparent. It is this ability to abstract problems to their first-order simplicity and elegance that ranks Prof. Paola as peerless.

—Gary Parker, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana


This is an occasion for nothing but the deepest gratitude: to my parents and teachers, to many people along the way, to those who supported me for this award, and especially to Gary for his generous citation. I will return to his kind words shortly.

Three groups of people make our careers: our mentors, the “research apprentices” with whom we work, and our colleagues. When I went to college, I never imagined a career in research, and when I embarked on my career I had no idea how much it would enrich my life. I have been extremely fortunate: in my students and postdocs, who have been as much a part of this work as I have, and who I hope will see this as recognition of what we all did together; and in working for many years with Gary, who has influenced me far more than he realizes. Much of the work mentioned in the citation was inspired by discussions with him, my scientific older brother.

I want also to acknowledge my debt to my friend and long-time collaborator Paul Heller, whom we lost in July. He was one of the most creative and original scientists I have ever met. I owe my involvement with large-scale river and basin dynamics to Paul, who helped me see how grain-scale dynamics could change the way we think about continents.

Finally, I want to highlight the culture of Earth-surface dynamics. I know of no other field that does so well at maintaining high standards of both research and collegiality. Perhaps our positive culture is related to the pleasure of working on something so intrinsically appealing and beautiful. This brings me back to Gary’s citation. His words express a set of ideals that apply across our community. The spirit they represent is something for all of us to cherish, and to join in sustaining. I am very grateful to be part of it.

—Christopher Paola, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Paden Receives 2016 Cryosphere Early Career Award

John Paden will receive the 2016 Cryosphere Early Career Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for “a significant contribution to cryospheric science and technology.”


A key to understanding the history, structure, and evolution of ice sheets is being able to observe the geometry and characteristics of the ice/bed interface, as well as the internal structure of the ice. John Paden’s pioneering efforts led to the first successful demonstration of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging of an ice bed interface. Using radar systems and processing techniques he developed as a student at the University of Kansas, during his Ph.D. work, John was able to image the ice bed at Summit Greenland, covered by more than 3 kilometers of ice, demonstrating that radars can be used to image the ice/bed interface, even when covered with very thick ice, opening up exciting new opportunities for understanding ice sheet characteristics and processes.

After finishing his Ph.D., he joined VEXCEL Corp. in Boulder, Colo., and in his spare time conducted research on radar direction of arrival (DoA) algorithms and generated 3-D topography of the ice bed using data collected at Summit Greenland with multi-beam radars. This was the first successful application of parametric signal processing algorithms to multibeam SAR data to demonstrate 3-D imaging (imaging across a swath) of the ice/bed interface. This work has laid important groundwork for future mapping of the Antarctic ice sheet bed in 3-D, both with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellites. These novel observations can contribute substantially to models of ice sheet behavior in a changing climate.

In addition to these innovations, perhaps John’s greatest strengths and contributions to the cryospheric sciences come from the tremendous service he provides the cryospheric research community through processing and distributing large amounts of airborne radar data. These data have been collected over the past 2 decades through various NASA-sponsored and NSF-sponsored campaigns. John, a veteran of 17 airborne field campaigns in Greenland and Antarctica, has been instrumental in developing the processing software that made these data usable to the scientific community, and to date, more than 100 papers, many of which constitute major scientific breakthroughs, are based on the radar data sets he developed. Some of these include: the first reconciled assessment of ice sheet mass balance, new bed elevation maps for Greenland, improved ice core interpretation, ice-sheet-wide radiostratigraphy, and the rapid retreat of Zachariae Istrom in Greenland. Without John’s efforts, these and many other studies would not have been possible or they would have had a far less significant impact. In this sense, John is more than an accomplished researcher and engineer, he is an enabler of a vast array of research, and is an exemplary citizen of the cryospheric community. As one of our colleagues has said, “John has strong shoulders on which many have stood.”

As a leader, selfless enabler, valued colleague by many, John has demonstrated himself to be very deserving of this recognition, and we look forward to his continued contributions and scientific and technical leadership in the future.

—Robin Bell, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, N.Y.


I am deeply honored to receive this award and thankful to those who generously put the nomination together and to the cryosphere community that all this work comes from. I am humbled too because there are many early-career scientists in our community who deserve this award at least as much as myself.

The common theme of my work is that every accomplishment has been part of a team effort and the best motivation the whole way were the amazing people, many now close friends, that I have had the privilege to work with. They, especially my colleagues at KU who work on the radar systems that produce the data that I work with, deserve much of the credit.

I stumbled into this career with a little apprehension in the beginning because it was not my original direction upon entering graduate school, but I became hooked when I realized I could merge my interest in engineering with my desire to contribute in some way to one of the big problems facing humanity. For this, I am grateful to my Ph.D. advisor and committee members Chris Allen, Jim Stiles, and Prasad Gogineni.

By far, the best part of working at CReSIS has been the engagement with the science community. I especially thank the Operation IceBridge team for connecting me with so many scientists that I have since collaborated with and for all the encouragement. I also thank Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and Heinz Miller for their remarkable leadership in research and their leadership of people. It is truly humbling to work alongside them.

Finally, I want to thank my family for being the greatest joy in my life and for being the foundation that supports my ability to passionately pursue my research.

—John Paden, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Marín-Spiotta Receives 2016 Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring

Erika Marín-Spiotta will receive the 2016 Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given for “significant contributions by a mid-career female scientist as a role model and mentor for the next generation of biogeoscientists.”


Erika Marín-Spiotta, an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was awarded the 2016 Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring. The Sulzman Award is given annually for significant contributions as a role model and mentor for the next generation of biogeoscientists. Erika perfectly fits this role through her excellent research, service, and teaching. Not only does Erika lead a cutting-edge research program at the interface of biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, soil science, and geography, she is widely recognized as a dedicated advisor, mentor, and advocate of students of all levels. As one letter writer states, “Erika fully deserves such recognition for her dedication to ideals and practice of mentorship, from which not only her lab “family” greatly benefits, but which also benefit a much broader network of people throughout the Earth Sciences community.” Further, Erika is a tireless advocate for women and those from underrepresented groups. This is highlighted across many of her activities, from Erika’s work as a board member of the nonprofit Earth Science Women’s Network, to her leadership to educate the geoscience community about the problem of sexual harassment.

As another letter writer wrote, “In summary, [Erika] is an excellent candidate for [the Sulzman Award] because she is a strong mentor and educator, as well as a strong intellectual role model. Her public work advocating for women in science is also fundamentally intersectional, recognizing the importance of addressing gender inequality in the context of race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. She is clearly making the academy a better place.” Erika Marín-Spiotta’s contributions to the field of biogeosciences, and beyond, have been transformative.

—Christine Wiedinmyer, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.


It’s an honor to receive the Sulzman Award. I would like to thank Christine Wiedinmyer for nominating me, my letter writers for their support, and the volunteers who served on the selection committee. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is working with students inside and outside the classroom. Teaching has made me a better scientist, and my work has benefited from engaging with students from different backgrounds who bring new perspectives to the learning process and content. I am a strong advocate of early and active engagement in research for undergraduate students, as this has been shown to have a transformative effect on student achievement, especially for historically underrepresented students. My lab has a strong mentoring culture, and I actively encourage mentor training and the professional development of my graduate and undergraduate students. I am fortunate to work in a place that recognizes the value of teaching and mentorship. I have benefited from several programs led by colleagues on campus that train faculty to be better mentors and educators as well as provide mentorship at different career stages. I am thankful for the opportunities to take on leadership roles through the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) and here at AGU to make science more inclusive. I am especially proud of the work we are doing to come up with solutions to the vile problem of sexual harassment and other forms of bullying and discrimination, and have been inspired by the broad coalition of individuals, organizations, and institutions coming together. I am thankful for a network of generous mentors and mentees who have helped me along my career and inspired me to help others.

—Erika Marín-Spiotta, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison

Van den Heever Receives 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Susan C. van den Heever will receive the 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”

Citation for Susan C. van den Heever

For fundamental advances to our understanding of the influence of microphysical processes on atmospheric convection, and feedback processes

Susan has pioneered our understanding of the effects of aerosol on convection and firmly established herself as the recognized world’s foremost authority on aerosol-convection interactions, even at a relative early stage of her career. Her work and influence on aerosol-cloud interactions go beyond cloud scales, but extend to larger domains and climate relevant time scales such as radiative-convective equilibrium. Her meteoric rise in scientific stature is evident in her very impressive publication record, number of funded research grants, invited presentations, community service, and graduate students she has mentored, all within the last 10 years. Susan currently serves as member, chair or co-chair of no less than five national and international committees, working groups, and advisory panels. Among many awards she has received for her outstanding achievement in research, teaching, and mentoring, she was awarded the prestigious Monfort Professor Award in 2015, presented biennially to only 2 (out of 1400) professors at Colorado State University.As stated in one of her support letters, “She is a talented scientist, an outstanding educator, an inspiring mentor and role model, and a person of the highest integrity. Perhaps the most impressive trait of all is the quality of mentoring she provides to her graduate students—the hall-mark of someone who will influence and shape our science for years to come.”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present a 2016 ASCENT Award to Prof. Susan van den Heever.

—William K. M. Lau, President, Atmospheric Sciences section, AGU


I am grateful to Dr. Bill Lau and the Atmospheric Sciences section awards committee for selecting me, as well as to those who nominated me. I feel very honored to have won this award.

I would like to thank my dissertation advisor Bill Cotton for imparting his knowledge of cloud systems, encouraging me to become an independent scientist, and for his strong support of my professional development. I am grateful to Graeme Stephens for his mentorship and significant contributions to my career, for teaching me to think big and then bigger still, for sharing his visions of the role of convection in climate, and for providing guidance on the “business” of science.

Sonia Kreidenweis is a trusted colleague and friend. She has provided great insights into aerosol processes and ice structures, and the ways that aerosols and storms regulate one another. Ed Zipser has inspired me through his questions about convection. His love of observations has kept me honest as a numerical modeler. I value Jeff Collett’s thoughtful responses and wisdom, and for supporting my professional development. Thank you to my colleagues at Colorado State University, as well as my other national and international colleagues from whom I have learned much. Special appreciation goes to Liz Page for her support. Finally, it has been my great honor to work with many remarkable students, postdocs, and research scientists who have provided daily inspiration.

I thank my parents, both caring educators, who instilled in me a love of the sciences. I also thank my children, Nikki and Matt, who constantly inspire me with their insightful questions and for their unconditional love. Finally, my greatest appreciation goes to my husband Steve, my lifelong mentor and ultimate supporter, who sees me at both my best and worst and loves me in spite of it.

—Susan C. van den Heever, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Scaife Receives 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Adam Scaife will receive the 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”

Citation for Adam Scaife

For his insightful studies in the coupling of diverse components of the climate system, and in improving climate predictions from monthly to decadal scales

Adam’s research cut across many areas including ocean-atmosphere coupling, stratosphere-troposphere interaction, long-range prediction, solar-atmosphere effects, and climate impacts. His publication record is impressive. Since getting his Ph.D. in 1998, he has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, with many in highly impactful journals such as Nature, Nature Climate Change, Nature Geosciences, Nature Communications, Geophysical Research Letters, and Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, with more than 10 papers already cited over 100 times.

Adam is well recognized for his research achievements and scientific leadership. He has headed the UK Met Office of Monthly to Decadal Prediction since 2008, and served as principal investigator for several major national and international climate research projects since 2012. He has also led many international programs including, among others, co-chairing the World Meteorological Organization’s international Working Group on Seasonal to Interannual Prediction, and is currently co-chairing the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge on Near Term Prediction. Besides research, Adam has an outstanding record in the public communication of science, ranging from lectures to the public and learned societies, to numerous television and radio interviews, and writing popular science books.

Adam’s research talents are best summarized by a statement in his nominating letter: “His work combines a deep scientific insight, a strong background in dynamical climatology, a strong practical outlook and excellent leadership skills—a highly effective combination.

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present a 2016 ASCENT Award to Prof. Adam Scaife

—William K. M. Lau, President, Atmospheric Sciences section, AGU


Thank you so much for this kind citation. It is a great honor to receive the AGU ASCENT Award and the acknowledgement that this implies, and I am truly delighted. Thank you also to the prominent scientists that made and supported my nomination—I am extremely grateful for the time they put aside from their busy schedules.

I am indebted to the Met Office in the UK for giving me the chance to pursue a career in atmospheric science, which I think it’s fair to say is one of the most vibrant areas of terrestrial physics. There is also a whole series of key influential people I would like to thank. Ian James, my Ph.D. supervisor and my colleague Neal Butchart taught me the importance of simplifying apparently complex problems down to their dynamical bare bones, and how careful and concise scientific description feeds back on our understanding to aid progress. Of course there are also the seminal giants of our field like Michael McIntyre who provide a strong background source of inspiration. Just listening to them give talks, or being party to their conversations at meetings sent an enormous cascade of key knowledge my way.

I must also give my deep thanks to Chris Folland, who pulled me out of a pack of keen young scientists and first gave me the opportunity to guide and steer my own research group. I thrived on his enthusiasm, knowledge, and simple straightforward encouragement to think boldly about our research. Similarly, Chris Gordon and Julia Slingo had the vision to see the potential for improving climate models and delivering climate predictions from months to years ahead. They gave me the opportunity and resource to lead this initiative in the Met Office Hadley Centre which was an opportunity that I eagerly took and has since proved successful. Finally, I am indebted to the members of my research group; they make it a pleasure to arrive at work each day and I feel truly privileged to work with such a driven, genuine, and hardworking bunch of down-to-Earth people.

I therefore accept this award with deep gratitude to all of the colleagues I have worked with over the years. As well as the excitement and joy of scientific discovery, it is the great fun I’ve had with the many inspiring and interesting characters over the years that I am particularly grateful for.

—Adam Scaife, Hadley Centre, Met Office, Exeter, U.K.

Maloney Receives 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Eric Maloney will receive the 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”

Citation for Eric Maloney

For fundamental studies enhancing the understanding of the Madden and Julian Oscillations, and their impacts on a wide range of tropical phenomena including tropical cyclones

The body of work that Eric conducted in his early career has had a profound impact on the field of tropical large-scale dynamics and convective organization. His papers on the dynamics of Madden and Julian Oscillations (MJO) and relationship to hurricanes in the East Pacific and Gulf region were very influential and form the bases for the development of the real-time multivariate MJO indices that are now routinely used by weather forecasting services in monitoring and predicting the MJO. His more recent work, which covers a wide range of topics including the African monsoon, North American climate, and global climate projections are equally impressive, and highly cited. His scientific leadership is reflected in his very active roles as, among others, editor of Journal of Climate, chair of the NOAA MAPP Model Diagnostic Task Force, and co-chair of the WGNE MJO task force. Eric has been appointed to these positions not only because of his research expertise, but also his unique ability to bring diverse groups to work together in a collaborative way.

Eric’s research talents are best summarized in a statement in one of his supporting letter: “A key strength of Eric’s research is his grasp of the underlying physics. This is especially true in his papers on how the MJO modulates TCs, on the basic mechanism of the MJO and more generally how convection interacts with the large-scale environment. His papers are thoroughly grounded in fundamental physics…”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present a 2016 ASCENT Award to Professor Eric Maloney.

—William K. M. Lau, President, Atmospheric Sciences section, AGU


I am extremely humbled to receive this award from the Atmospheric Sciences section at AGU and to be placed among these highly distinguished past and current awardees. I express my deepest gratitude to Richard Johnson for nominating me, and to Kerry Emanuel, Harry Hendon, and George Kiladis for writing supporting letters. I don’t think that this accomplishment could have been remotely possible without the enormous support I have received over the years from my parents at an early age, as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois where I did independent study with Walter Robinson, in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington as a student of Dennis Hartmann, through the support of the NOAA Climate and Global Change Program as a postdoctoral fellow at NCAR under the mentorship of Jeffrey Kiehl, and as an Assistant Professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University where I had outstanding mentors like Dudley Chelton and Steve Esbensen. I would especially like to thank the current faculty, students, and researchers at the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, who have provided an intellectually stimulating and collegial environment that has contributed to my mid-career success. My publication list reflects the numerous collaborators I have worked with over the years across multiple institutions, states, and countries, and I would not be where I am today without their intellectual stimulation, energy, and friendship.

Finally, I would of course like to thank my wife Heather and daughter Isabel. Life as a spouse and daughter of a faculty member at a major research institution is not always easy, and so I owe them an enormous amount of love and gratitude for the patience and support that they have provided.

—Eric Maloney, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Jakob Receives 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Christian Jakob will receive the 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”

Citation for Christian Jakob

For outstanding contributions to the better understanding of atmospheric deep convection, and forceful advocacy for the development and improvement of atmospheric models”

Christian has made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of atmospheric convection at the process level using observations from weather and research radars, and linking his superb knowledge of weather models to radar observations. He has made crucial contributions to weather prediction model development and model evaluation at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and developed numerous improvements to the treatment of clouds and atmospheric convection in the ECMWF models. Christian has demonstrated exceptional leadership in many national and international programs, including WCRP Modeling Advisory Panel, and the GEWEX Cloud System Studies, and as lead author of a chapter of the 2013 IPCC WG1 5th Assessment Report. He has a great passion for training new generations of atmospheric modelers, and has played leading roles in the organization of summer schools, Gordon conferences for mentoring early-career scientists in atmospheric modeling research, and model development.

Christian’s research talents are best summarized in a statement in his nomination letter: “Few scientists can claim such a well-rounded contribution to their field. Dr. Jakob’s work and energy has touched on virtually every dimension of our science, ranging from its intellectual content, to how it is organized, and communicated to the public.”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present a 2016 ASCENT Award to Dr. Christian Jakob.

—William K. M. Lau, President, Atmospheric Sciences section, AGU


I am both thrilled and humbled by receiving this award. I sincerely thank the Atmospheric Sciences section of the AGU for bestowing this honor on me. Thank you Neville, Bjorn, Bill, and Martin for your support in the nomination process.

The award celebrates 20 years of the privilege of being supported by and collaborating with many extraordinary colleagues and friends, too many to name them all. It was Michael Tiedtke and Martin Miller who gave me my start in the field of parameterizing clouds and convection at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Without them, I would not have dared to leave the confines of my home country and discover the world. Without them I would also not have developed the passion for trying to apply my work and ideas to improving models. The international nature of the ECMWF enterprise was the ignition charge for my involvement in the many activities of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) to which I was allowed to contribute and that shaped me. Thank you WCRP for making me part of the journey. A special thanks goes to the GEWEX Cloud System Study team, which not only allowed me to do better science but also produced several lifelong friendships.

Thank you Peter May for getting me to Australia and for opening my eyes to radar observations. This whole new world turned out to be crucial in developing ideas for future representations of convection in models and it continues to excite me. A special thanks to Michael Reeder for convincing me to come to Monash University and for being a great colleague and friend since my move there. And last but not least, thank you to all my coauthors, especially students and postdocs, for accompanying me on the journey through our science and for letting the rest of the world know about what we do through publications. There would be no award without you.

—Christian Jakob, Monash University, Clayton, Australia