Steiner Receives the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Allison Steiner will receive the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


The Atmosphere Sciences section of AGU is pleased to award one of the four 2015 Ascent Awards to Professor Allison Steiner, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, for “her outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary studies encompassing biosphere-atmosphere interactions, regional climate, air-quality and chemistry-climate connections.”Dr. Steiner is a world leader in the field of biosphere-atmosphere interactions. She employs a variety of tools and techniques involving both physical and chemical process models, regional chemistry-climate models, and laboratory measurements. With these tools, she has positioned her research group for decades of discovery at the intersection of fields often considered separately, including climate, atmospheric chemistry, air pollution, and land-biosphere-atmosphere exchange. Allison’s scientific leadership, communication skills, and engaging personality make her a highly sought after speaker at major conferences and workshops. As a testimony to her stature in the field, she was invited by the National Science Foundation and the National Research Council to serve on a highly visible National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel tasked to help chart the future path for the atmospheric chemistry discipline.

In addition to her outstanding research contributions, Allison has also been a pioneer and leader in strengthening the geoscience community. Examples include serving as founder and leader of the Earth Science Women’s Network and as editor for Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, with special responsibility in biosphere-land-atmosphere areas.

We are extremely pleased to present a 2015 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Professor Allison Steiner.

—William K. M. Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD



Thank you very much for this award, and I am very grateful to my nominators and the Atmospheric Sciences section awards committee for this honor. I pursued a degree in atmospheric sciences as a way of trying to understand the world around me—looking up at the sky, watching the trees, and visualizing the chemistry of these interactions are a constant source of inspiration to me. This award is particularly meaningful to me as I realize that this pursuit is as much about the scientific community as it is about the science, and I would not be at this point without this community support. I would like to thank my dissertation adviser at Georgia Tech, Bill Chameides, for allowing me to find my own scientific path and providing an amazing example of the ingenuity and commitment required for this career. I thank my postdoctoral advisers at the University of California, Berkeley, including Allen Goldstein, Ron Cohen, and Rob Harley, as well as Inez Fung for providing an extremely exciting and rewarding place to be a postdoc. I would also like to thank my colleagues at Michigan and members of my research group over the past 10 years for helping me to grow as a scientist and develop the research that is being honored today. And perhaps just as important as the formal mentors has been my peer network, including the founding members of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN). ESWN grew out of conversations at a 2002 AGU meeting, and these women continue to advise and inspire me throughout my career. Finally, a special thank you to my family and my husband, Deryl Seale, for his constant support and covering childcare to enable me to take “just one more trip.”

—Allison L. Steiner, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI