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