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JAMES R. HOLTON AWARD

Information on the award

The James R. Holton Award is presented annually and recognizes outstanding scientific research and accomplishments from honorees within three years of receiving their Ph.D. Established in 2004, this award serves to acknowledge exceptional contributions at an early stage of the awardee’s career.

This award was named in honor of past AGU Revelle medalist, James R. Holton, who was an accomplished atmospheric scientist, educator, and mentor. This award is presented at the Atmospheric Sciences section dinner at the AGU Fall Meeting.

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Award Benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our section honorees. Recipients of the James R. Holton Award will receive the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1
    Award certificate
  • 2
    $1,000 monetary prize
  • 3
     Recognition in Eos
  • 4
    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
  • 5
    Complimentary ticket to the Atmospheric Sciences section dinner at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year 

Eligibility

To better understand eligibility for nominators, supporters and committee members, review AGU’s Honors Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • The nominee is required to be an active AGU member.
  • The nominee must be within three years of receiving their Ph.D. or the highest equivalent terminal degree prior to 1 January of the award presentation year.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be candidates for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • James R. Holton Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff

  • Nominators are required to hold an active AGU membership.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be nominators for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • James R. Holton Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff

  • Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be supporters for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • James R. Holton Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff

The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to the Award Committee but will not disqualify individuals from participating in the nomination or committee review process. These apply to committee members, nominators, and supporters:

  • Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee);
  • Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years; and/or
  • An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.

Individuals with the following relationships are disqualified from participating in the award nomination process as a nominator or supporter:

  • Family member, spouse, or partner.
  • A previous graduate (Master’s or Ph.D.) and/or postdoctoral advisor, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.
  • A former doctoral or graduate student, or a former postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter for a former advisor but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.

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Nomination Package

Your nomination package must contain all of the following files, which should be no more than two pages in length per document. Learn how to successfully submit a nomination package or read our guide on how to submit a successful nomination.

  • A nomination letter that states how the nominee meets the selection criteria. It should include details about the outstanding scientific research and accomplishments of an early-career nominee. Nominator’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required. Letterhead is preferred.
  • A curriculum vitae for the nominee.
  • A selected bibliography stating the total number, the types of publications and the number published by AGU.
  • At least one but no more than three letters of support. Supporter’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required. Letterhead is preferred. We encourage letters from individuals not currently or recently associated with the candidate’s institution of graduate education or employment.

Submission Process

Submissions are reviewed by the Holton Award Committee. Nominations should be submitted online.
Submit
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Recipients

Field Photos:

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Field Photo:

Megan Willis Field Photo

Nadir Jeevanjee received the 2019 James R. Holton Award at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2019, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “outstanding scientific research and accomplishments of early-career scientists” who are no more than 3 years past receiving the Ph.D. degree.

 

Citation

Nadir Jeevanjee is awarded the James R. Holton Award for his groundbreaking contributions to atmospheric sciences, in particular, to the fundamental understanding of convection.

Although the notion of Archimedean buoyancy is among the classics in science, the idealized concept of buoyant accelerations as driven by local density variations suffers important limitations. First, the motion of a buoyant plume induces a response in the environment through which the plume moves, establishing a nonhydrostatic vertical pressure gradient. Second, environmental fluid surrounding the plumes is mixed, or entrained, into the plume. Both reduce the acceleration of the plume. Nadir’s studies of effective buoyancy have provided a robust interpretation of the environmental pressure gradients associated with buoyant plumes. The roles of buoyancy and turbulence in entrainment are a more recent focus of these studies.

Nadir has connected his findings on plume dynamics with cold pools and convective organization, both areas currently receiving extensive attention in studies of convection. His incisive analysis of the sources of acceleration in convection showed the importance of mechanical forcing to the initiation of deep convection. As with his results on the effective buoyancy of plumes, these results have important implications for the parameterization of convection in complex Earth system models. Nadir’s powerful application of analytic methods in his studies has imbued these results with physical intuition, but he has also explored numerical models of convection. In addition to proving consistent with analytic results, these studies have produced important results in their own right, for example, by illuminating the “gray zone,” where models begin to resolve motions parameterized at coarser resolutions. Other innovative studies are providing new insights on fundamentals of radiative transfer, including its relationship to precipitation changes in warming climates as well as cooling to space.

—Leo Donner, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, N.J.

Response

I am honored to receive this year’s James R. Holton Award. It is humbling and inspiring to consider how deeply Holton shaped our field, not only through his influential books and papers, but also through the many younger scientists whom he mentored and who continue to shape the field today.

This honor adds to the extraordinarily good fortune I’ve already had in being mentored myself. At University of California, Berkeley, I was privileged to work with David Romps, a fellow physicist by training who inspired me with his incisive thinking, clever use of numerical models and analytical methods, and simultaneous emphasis on simplicity and rigor. Whatever I have accomplished, I owe much of it to him. After transitioning to Princeton and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory for postdoctoral work, I was quickly taken in by Leo Donner, Isaac Held, Stephan Fueglistaler, and Rob Socolow, each of whom have broadened my thinking, opened doors, and generally made an intellectual home for me here in Princeton.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of receiving an award like this is the sense that one’s research is valued, and the encouragement that follows. This is all the more meaningful for me, given the unconventional path I have taken thus far. I would not have made it without the support of loved ones, especially my parents, Kamila and Mushtaq, and my wife, Erika. I hope to pay my good fortune forward in the future and follow Holton’s example as a scholar and community member.

—Nadir Jeevanjee, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.

Ángel F. Adames-Corraliza will receive the 2018 James R. Holton Award at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2018, to be held 10–14 December in Washington, D. C. The award recognizes “outstanding scientific research and accomplishments of early-career scientists” who are no more than 3 years past receiving the Ph.D. degree.

 

Citation

Ángel Francisco Adames is awarded the James R. Holton Award for his groundbreaking contributions to atmospheric sciences, in particular, to the theory of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO).

As the MJO slowly propagates from the tropical Indian Ocean to the Pacific, it influences global weather and climate, including many types of high-impact events, such as floods, wildfires, tropical cyclones, heat waves, cold surges, tornadoes, and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It has been a great challenge to explain the existence and slow propagation of the MJO. Adames was able to cleverly combine the moisture mode concept of the variability in the tropical atmosphere with the existing dry dynamic theory of equatorial waves and develop an elegant theory that not only explains the selection mechanism of the MJO’s temporal and spatial scales and its slow eastward propagation but also predicted a nonzero group velocity. Using this theory, he elucidated the observed 3-D wind and moisture structure of the MJO in an expansive series of papers.

In a pair of more recent papers, he addressed the question of how global warming would affect MJO behavior using a NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies climate model. In further work, he has examined synoptic-scale monsoonal disturbances, showing how dry quasigeostrophic dynamics interacts with the time evolution of moisture (precipitation), explaining the propagation of moist static energy and its gentle ascent, and making the atmosphere more conducive to deep convection. His theoretical work on the monsoonal disturbances is the first that successfully combines the conventional potential vorticity thinking with the moisture dynamics of the monsoon.

As noted in Ángel’s nomination letter, “What is truly amazing about Ángel’s voluminous body of work is that it brings together all three ‘pillars’ of atmospheric research—theory, observation, and modeling—in such a synergistic way that they ‘amplify’ one another.” Few junior faculty and scientists have achieved so much at such an early stage of their careers.

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present the 2018 James R. Holton Award to Dr. Ángel F. Adames.

—Joyce E. Penner, President, Atmospheric Sciences Section, AGU

Response

I want to begin by expressing my gratitude to the Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU and the members of the award committee. It is simply humbling to receive an award named after James R. Holton. I remember using his book for my first class in dynamic meteorology, which not only became my favorite topic in atmospheric sciences but also defined the course of my scientific career. I hope to transfer this excitement toward atmospheric dynamics to the students I will teach at the University of Michigan.

I am lucky to have met numerous outstanding people who have played a pivotal role in my development. Tom Ackerman and the people at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) were the first who provided me an opportunity to perform research and paved the way for my career. Jerôme Patoux, Mike Wallace, and Daehyun Kim supported me throughout grad school and taught me to do research with care, rigor, and enthusiasm. My postdoctoral supervisor, Yi Ming, with whom I had many fruitful science conversations, and I shared the joy of being the loudest people at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). I would also like to thank my collaborators and reviewers, whose support and feedback have been crucial for my work.

During my years at the University of Washington and GFDL, I was fortunate to have many friends who not only created many unforgettable memories but also made me feel at home. Also, much of my strength and inspiration have come from friends and colleagues from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, especially those from the program in atmospheric sciences and meteorology. I cannot express how grateful I am to have met all these people. Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to my family for their unconditional support. This award is as much theirs as it is mine.

—Ángel F. Adames-Corraliza, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Jianfei Peng will receive the 2017 James R. Holton Award at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 11–15 December in New Orleans, La. The award recognizes “outstanding scientific research and accomplishments by early-career scientists” who are “no more than three years past the award of the Ph.D. degree.”

 

Citation

“For his innovative studies of aerosol aging, including the aging of black carbon”

Dr. Peng is mainly known for his experimental work examining a wide variety of aerosol issues. At the time of his nomination, he had already written 20 peer-reviewed articles in high impact, top-tier journals. One important paper elucidates the formation mechanisms for haze in Beijing, China, via two distinct processes governed by meteorology. Another examines severe haze formation due to sulfur during the 1952 London fog events as well as in China. Probably his most influential work was explaining the rapid timescale of aging for black carbon, which, when implemented in climate studies, leads to an improved evaluation of the direct radiative forcing of black carbon, thereby closing the gap between model predictions and observations of the effect of black carbon aerosols on climate.
As noted in his nomination letter, Peng’s “work is clearly distinguished from those of his peers in terms of its breakthrough nature and societal significance,” and a supporter writes, “His scientific record is truly impressive, not only in terms of the quantity but also the quality and impacts of his publications. Few junior faculty and scientists have achieved so much at such early stage of their career.”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present the 2017 James R. Holton Award to Dr. Jianfei Peng.

—Joyce E. Penner, President, Atmospheric Sciences Section, AGU

Response

It is truly a great honor for me to be selected as the 2017 James R. Holton Award honoree. I was very humbled when I knew I will receive such an award and would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU and the members of the award committee.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the people from whom I have benefited greatly. I am truly grateful to Renyi Zhang, who shares his insightful understanding in atmospheric sciences as well as his enthusiasm and passion, and provides me the platform and opportunity in my early scientific career. My deepest appreciation also goes to my thesis adviser, Min Hu, who is a wonderful mentor and has been providing constant support to me in the past 10 years. I would like to thank Limin Zeng, Song Guo, Zhijun Wu, Min Shao, and Yuanhang Zhang at Peking University (PKU) for their guidance on my research, and to thank Shijin Shuai, Zhanqing Li, Charles E. Kolb, and Mattias Hallquist for the encouragement and opportunities they provided. My gratitude is also extended to all my friends and colleagues at PKU and Texas A&M University, whom I am fortunate enough to work with. And, of course, I thank my family for their unconditional support through all of this.

I never thought I could win an award named after a person as exceptional as James Holton was. This award is truly an incredible inspiration to my scientific life. I will live up to the scientific excellence that this award embodies.

—Jianfei Peng, Texas A&M University, College Station

Karin van der Wiel will receive the 2017 James R. Holton Award at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 11–15 December in New Orleans, La. The award recognizes “outstanding scientific research and accomplishments by early-career scientists” who are “no more than three years past the award of the Ph.D. degree.”

 

Citation

“For her creative studies of climate extremes, in particular, those involving precipitation”

Dr. van der Wiel has distinguished herself by her ability to combine modeling with observations in new ways to explain various atmospheric phenomena. She began her career by studying the tropical dynamics related to the diagonal subtropical convergence zones of the Southern Hemisphere, developing a theory to explain why the South Pacific and Atlantic convergence zones are diagonal, the origin of their location and strength, and how they influence Rossby wave propagation. She then looked at extreme precipitation. She brought new insight into the fundamentals of our ability to model extreme precipitation in global climate models and how the field should interpret and test trends in observed and modeled precipitation extremes. She has brought an enthusiasm and creativity that is far beyond other scientists at a similar place in their careers. Her research has been picked up by the general press, and she has adeptly responded to their requests for information as well as to requests from governmental sources.
A statement in her supporting letter best summarizes Dr. van der Wiel’s research talents:“She amazed her supervisors with her insight into dynamical meteorology, theoretical and technical skills, and her ability to clearly communicate the main issues she was working on and always see the big picture. Her rate of progress was astounding.”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present the 2017 James R. Holton Award to Dr. Karin van der Wiel.

—Joyce E. Penner, President, Atmospheric Sciences Section, AGU

Response

It is a great honor to have been selected as one of the recipients of the award for junior atmospheric scientists this year. I would like to thank AGU, the Atmospheric Sciences awards committee, and those who put together my nomination. Seeing the somewhat daunting list of previous winners, I feel humbled yet excited to be at this stage in my scientific journey.

I was first introduced to atmospheric dynamics by means of James R. Holton’s textbook; it has served as an encyclopedia ever since. Receiving an award that bears his name is a recognition I never expected to receive.

One of the privileges of starting a (my) scientific career is that one gets to meet many inspiring people from around the world. I have been very lucky to have met, learned from, and sometimes worked with many passionate, smart, and kind people. All my accomplishments are a direct result of these interactions, and I would not be where I am today without the support of this community.

In particular, I would like to thank Adrian Matthews for his guidance and encouragement during my Ph.D.; also, David Stevens and Manoj Joshi; Gabriel Vecchi for his support over the years and all advice offered; and, finally, Sarah Kapnick for her mentorship. I feel empowered through knowing her.

I hope to be able to continue working in the atmospheric science field for many more years and eventually return as much as I have received from the scientific community.

—Karin van der Wiel, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt

Yuan Wang will receive the 2016 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within three years of his or her Ph.D.”

 

Citation

“For groundbreaking research advancing the understanding of the impact of aerosols on a variety of convective, mesoscale, and weather scale atmospheric phenomena”

Dr. Wang’s main research involved modeling the aerosol effects on clouds and precipitation using the mesoscale cloud-resolving model and global climate models. Noticeably, he implemented an explicit two-moment bulk cloud microphysical scheme in the WRF model and developed a hierarchical modeling approach by upscaling the regional aerosol forcing to the global climate simulations. His work has led to breakthrough findings in enhancing the understanding of several key atmospheric topics, including the changes in precipitation extremes due to different anthropogenic forcings, intensification of North Pacific storm by Asian aerosol outflow with possible downstream effects over the U.S. west coast, and modulation of hurricane intensity by aerosols. In just 3 years after his Ph.D., he has already accrued an outstanding research record of 22 refereed publications (10 as first author), many of them in high-impact journals such as Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Geophysical Research Letters.
Yuan is very active in serving the community by chairing and co-chairing sessions in major conferences, providing extensive service as a reviewer. He received numerous awards, including the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS) Early Career Scientist Medal (2015) and the AGU Editor’s Citation Award for Excellence in Scientific Refereeing (2013).

A statement in his supporting letter best summarizes Dr. Wang’s research talents: “Yuan has the rare combination of the ability to analyze complex climate dataset for extracting aerosol signals in a clear and concise way, and in parallel develop microphysical scheme for WRF that is capable of simulating the observed effects, as well as replicate the observations with the simulations.”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present the 2016 James R. Holton Award to Dr. Yuan Wang.
—William K. M. Lau, President, Atmospheric Sciences section, AGU

Response

Thank you, Dr. Lau and the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section awards committee. I am truly honored and humbled to be selected as the recipient of the 2016 James R. Holton Award.

Having conducted atmospheric research for the past 9 years, I am very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to interact with many excellent mentors, colleagues, and collaborators in the field. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my Ph.D. advisor, Prof. Renyi Zhang for his guidance and support, with whom I benefited enormously from his vision in atmospheric sciences and high standard in mentoring students. My special thanks also go to Jonathan Jiang, for providing me the platform and freedom of pursuing my postdoctoral research; to Zhanqing Li, Yuk Yung, Danny Rosenfeld, Jerry North, and Ruby Leung, for constantly encouraging me to achieve a higher level and supporting me in different ways; to Jiwen Fan, Hui Su, and others, for the tremendous help and inspiration in sharpening my research skills. My heartfelt gratitude and appreciation are extended to everyone I worked with at Texas A&M University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The first 3 years after Ph.D. graduation is arguably the most challenging period in the career of a scientist, and I sincerely thank the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section for the establishment of this priceless award for junior atmospheric scientists named after the late Prof. James R. Holton. I certainly wish to live up to the expectations and inspiration of this award in my future professional life.

—Yuan Wang, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Chunsong Lu will receive the 2015 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes "outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within three years of his or her Ph.D."

 

Citation

The Atmospheric Sciences section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) is pleased to present the 2015 Holton Junior Scientist Award to Dr. Chunsong Lu, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, for “his original contributions in observational and modeling studies of cloud microphysics, turbulent mixing, and convective entrainment.”

Chunsong has demonstrated exceptional purposefulness, creativity, and originality in the challenging and critical problems of convective entrainment, turbulent mixing processes, and their interactions with cloud/fog microphysics. Following from his Ph.D. dissertation, Chunsong has (1) proposed new dynamical and microphysical measures to quantify different mixing mechanisms that likely occur in ambient clouds, (2) developed a new parameterization for mixing mechanisms based on the relationship between the two measures, (3) elucidated the effects of secondary entrainment-mixing events on the new parameterization, (4) proposed an approach for distinguishing and linking entrainment mixing and collision coalescence in clouds, and (5) explored the scale dependence of mixing mechanisms. In the words of one of the supporting letters, Chunsong’s work “opens the door for possible routine monitoring of entrainment profiles using environmental soundings and surface-based microwave radiometer remote sensing of cloud liquid water content.” His research has tremendous implications for improving cumulus parameterization in global climate models, for improving the representation of intrinsic atmospheric convective processes from the diurnal cycle to the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

In his very young scientific career, Chunsong has already published a total of 35 peer-reviewed papers; for 18 of them, he has the prestigious role of first author. He is the principal investigator of many research projects and the recipient of numerous awards, including, among others, an AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award and the Meteorological Science Award for Young Scientists from Peking University, China. In summary, Chunsong’s accomplishments are truly outstanding on several fronts, including academic research and leadership, which epitomize the spirit of the Holton Award.

We are extremely pleased to present the Atmospheric Sciences section Holton Junior Scientist Award to Dr. Chunsong Lu.

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

Response

It is a great honor to be selected as the 2015 Atmospheric Sciences section Holton Award honoree. The prestigious award named after James Holton is particularly inspiring at this early stage of my career.

I thank the Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU and the members of the award committee for the award. I am truly grateful to my two dissertation advisers; I thank Dr. Shengjie Niu at the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China, for his constant and invaluable guidance and help and Dr. Yangang Liu at Brookhaven National Laboratory, United States, for giving me the freedom and encouragement to explore the research topics of my interest. I am grateful to the two institutions and fortunate to have worked with many outstanding colleagues. I am also grateful to my family and my friends for their unconditional support at home as well as abroad.

I have been focusing on understanding entrainment-mixing processes, turbulence, and their interactions with cloud physics and trying to improve their representation in climate and weather prediction models. I regard the prestigious Holton Award as an encouraging message from the scientific community and will continue to pursue the challenges in atmospheric science.

—Chunsong Lu, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

Elizabeth A. Barnes and Timothy M. Merlis received 2014 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Awards at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, held 15–19 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes "outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within three years of his or her Ph.D."

 

Citation

The Atmospheric Sciences section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) awards the 2014 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award to Elizabeth A. Barnes. Dr. Barnes is an assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University. She has already made major contributions to our understanding of midlatitude atmospheric circulation. Although receiving her Ph.D. only 2 years ago, at the time of her nomination she had published 23 papers in high-quality journals and was the lead author on 18 of them.

Elizabeth “Libby” Barnes’s accomplishments can best be described by quoting from her nomination letters. “I cannot think of a more deserving candidate among her peers. She is an extraordinarily good scientist. … The amazing fact is this: the quality of her scientific work matches the quantity.” “Bottom line: Libby Barnes is spectacularly good. I have no doubt she will become a major force in atmospheric and climate science in the next decade. … She is destined for greatness.”

“The diversity of Dr. Barnes’ research interests and skills is impressive, particularly for someone so early in their career. She is equally adept at working with observations and numerical models. She has used both a barotropic model and the dynamical core of a GCM to great effect in her research, and has considerable expertise in the analysis and diagnosis of observations. She is widely sought for and gives very clear presentations. Her physical arguments are lucid and her papers are clearly written. Dr. Barnes is a ‘star’ junior scientist by any measure. She is highly productive, very well known, and has already made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the climate system.”

For these reasons, the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section is proud to award the 2014 Holton Award to Elizabeth A. Barnes.

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

Response

I wish to begin by simply saying thank you.

It is an honor to receive this award, but even more so, a humbling experience. I must admit I was surprised to have even been nominated, let alone to have received this award. I suppose that is why one does not nominate oneself!

While there are many people who have helped me along the way, I wish to explicitly express my gratitude to a few key people who supported and guided my enthusiasm for science over the past decade or so: Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, for giving me the opportunity to explore a whole new world of questions; Julia Slingo, for providing me with my very first look at atmospheric science; Dennis Hartmann, for many things, but especially for consistently setting the bar one rung higher than was comfortable while continuing to nurture my scientific development; Lorenzo Polvani, for showing me how to ask interesting questions; and Arlene Fiore, for putting up with me, a dynamicist, while I tried to learn a little bit of chemistry.

Although I received my Ph.D. from the University of Washington, where Jim Holton was a professor for 38 years, I never had the honor of meeting him. I am told he was a wonderful mentor and teacher, and it is, of course, evident that he was also an outstanding scientist. It goes without saying that it is an incredible honor to receive this award bearing his name.

—Elizabeth Barnes, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Elizabeth A. Barnes and Timothy M. Merlis received 2014 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Awards at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, held 15–19 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes "outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within three years of his or her Ph.D."

 

Citation

The Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards the 2014 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award to Timothy M. Merlis. Dr. Merlis is an assistant professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Merlis is an atmospheric and climate dynamicist who works on baroclinic instability, the dynamics of extrasolar planets, tropical circulation, volcanic eruptions, and global hurricane frequency.

Timothy Merlis’s accomplishments can best be described by quoting from his nomination letters. “Tim Merlis ranks at or very near the top of his age group in atmospheric science. His contributions to date are first-rate and are among the very best papers in our field over the last decade. His work is marked by an excellent choice of questions to pose and issues to address, a meticulous but creative approach to addressing these issues, and a clear and effective writing and speaking style. He is both broad and deep.” “Tim is the best recent graduate in atmosphere/ocean physics I know. His versatility and familiarity both with large-scale dynamics and mesoscale dynamics is unmatched by anyone else I know at a similar career stage.”

“The common thread to all of his papers is his extraordinary ability to isolate simple physical mechanisms within very complex dynamical systems. In most cases, he has done so by performing elegant numerical simulations with idealized models.” “The breadth of his research interests, together with his desire to tackle fundamental questions, his rigorous thinking, his creativity and originality, all make Tim a truly exceptional young scientist, who promises to be an intellectual leader in his generation.”

For these reasons, the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section is proud to award the 2014 Holton Award to Timothy Merlis.

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

Response

I am grateful to receive the AGU Atmospheric Science section’s James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award. It is excellent to receive the award in the same years as Elizabeth Barnes, whose research I admire.

This is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the support from which I have benefited greatly. My advisers, Tapio Schneider and Isaac Held, have played an invaluable role in my development. The time I spent as a Ph.D. student with Tapio was truly exceptional. Beyond his scientific insights, Tapio guided my growth in all aspects of the profession. I am deeply appreciative of Isaac’s thoughtful scientific advising. It has been wonderful to discuss a wide range of ideas with him.

I am grateful to the group of early career scientists with whom I have had the opportunity to extensively discuss research and other important topics. I treasure interacting with Paul O’Gorman, Simona Bordoni, Yohai Kaspi, Ian Eisenman, Xavier Levine, Gretchen Keppel-Aleks, Nicole Feldl, and others. I also thank the senior scientists who have generously spent time supporting me: Adam Sobel, George Philander, and Kerry Emanuel, among others.

Last, I thank Shanon Fitzpatrick and the rest of my family.

—Timothy M. Merlis, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Massimo A. Bollasina received the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “outstanding research contributions by a junior atmospheric scientist within three years of his or her Ph.D.”

 

Citation

Dr. Massimo Bollasina, a postdoctoral scholar at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) through the Princeton University Atmospheric and Ocean Science Visitors Program, is this year’s recipient of the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award from AGU’s Atmospheric Sciences section, named after a pioneer in atmospheric dynamics, the late James R. Holton of the University of Washington. Since its inception in 2004, the Holton Award has become a highly sought honor. It recognizes the achievements and potential of a junior AGU member whose Ph.D. was awarded within 3 years of the nomination deadline.

Dr. Bollasina received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOSC) Department in 2010 under the direction of Professor Sumant Nigam. His thesis, entitled “Surface and Aerosol Effects on the South Asian Monsoon Hydroclimate,” won every award in the AOSC Department, including a Green Fund Foundation Fellowship for “his passion, excellence, and achievements in doctoral research,” to quote a letter from the University of Maryland in College Park. The thesis led to six peer-reviewed publications.

Since the Ph.D., Dr. Bollasina has continued in the general area of land-aerosol-precipitation interactions with a focus on tropical rainfall. To quote from one of Dr. Bollasina’s nominating letters, “At GFDL…he has carried out breakthrough studies on how aerosols and greenhouse gases, two of the man-made climate-altering agents, affect regional climate…The first-author paper (2011, Science, 334, 502–505) finds that anthropogenic aerosols, not long-lived greenhouse gases, are the major causal factor in the observed decrease of the summer monsoon rainfall in northern India over the last few decades of the 20th century. That paper was honored with the highly competitive World Meteorological Organization Norbert Gerbier MUMM International Award.”

In summary, Dr. Bollasina is an innovative scientist who has made and will continue to make important contributions to monsoon dynamics and climate effects of aerosols. Dr. Bollasina is a future leader who is injecting fresh atmospheric dynamics—Holton’s legacy—into the challenge of regional climate change research.

—ANNE THOMPSON, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Response

I am deeply honored to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award, and I receive it with heartfelt gratitude and humility. I clearly remember Peter Webster’s call announcing the amazing news and how I literally remained speechless and overwhelmed. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU and the members of the award committee. I am even more appreciative to have been presented this award handed by two outstanding scientists—Peter Webster and Bill Lau—who have remarkably contributed to our understanding of the Asian monsoon and tropical climate, my area of expertise.

I am truly grateful to the many people who have contributed to my growth. Among them, the late John Roads, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who genuinely shared his enthusiasm and passion during my early years; Sumant Nigam, my thesis advisor, for his constant and invaluable guidance and support; Yi Ming and V. Ramaswamy, my postdoctoral supervisors, who generously helped me to grow as a scientist and with whom I am happy to share unforgettable years; many colleagues and friends at GFDL, for their precious help and advice and for introducing me to exciting research areas; my family, for being close to me every moment.

I did not have the privilege to meet Jim Holton personally. However, he has undoubtedly left an outstanding and indelible memory across our field and, even more so, in those who have known him. Receiving the award named in his honor is an incredible source of inspiration and encouragement for me.

I hope to live up to the excitement and excellence embodied by this award in my new appointment as a faculty member at the University of Edinburgh.

—MASSIMO A. BOLLASINA, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Daehyun Kim received the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 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.

 

Citation

Daehyun Kim, the winner of the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award, works on intraseasonal variability (especially the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)) and deep convection, including convective parameterization and climate model development. Although only receiving his Ph.D. 2 years ago, he has published 21 papers in high-quality journals.

His accomplishments can best be described by quoting from his nomination letters. “I would argue that Daehyun has done as much as any other single individual (at any career stage) in the last few years to push forward our understanding of the MJO using GCMs.” “His work is distinguished from that of others in the field by two things. First, Daehyun is able to get into a model—including into the guts of the parameterizations—and manipulate it with great facility. He is also unparalleled at model diagnosis and analysis.” “This kind of deep analysis is needed if we are to learn about the atmosphere from flawed models—and when we study the MJO, all models are flawed.”

“Simply put, Daehyun is a scientific phenomenon. He is one of those rare individuals who possess keen scientific insight as well as the boundless enthusiasm and energy to carry out his ideas. We could tell that Daehyun was someone special when he took it upon himself to lead development of the MJO Diagnostics package of the CLIVAR [Climate Variability and Predictability] MJO Working Group as a student. This comprehensive package is considered the gold standard for MJO diagnosis. Amazingly, he did this project on the side while developing a convection parameterization for his Ph.D. research.” “I consider Daehyun to be the best young scientist to enter the field of tropical meteorology in the last few years, and I feel fortunate to have interacted with him.”

“After arriving at Columbia, Daehyun made it a point to learn the gory details of our GCM [general circulation model] so he could design and implement his own improvements. Almost no one ever has the tenacity and insight to do this successfully with GCMs except the people who build them and run them. To paraphrase the old saying—everyone always complains about climate models but nobody ever does anything about them. Daehyun was the exception—he did something.”

“The energy and fundamental insights Daehyun brings to any problem he tackles, combined with his tremendous intellectual curiosity and a humility that too few scientists exhibit, account for the steep arc his career has taken.”

“Daehyun Kim is really a prototype for the 21st-century leader in the climate community. There are not many tropical meteorologists (of any age) who can translate theoretical insights into practical approaches that actually make climate models more realistic.”

For these reasons, the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section is proud to award the 2012 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award to Daehyun Kim.

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

Response

It is my great honor to be selected as a recipient of the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award by AGU. I appreciate AGU and the award committee for the award. I first saw Professor Holton’s name on his famous textbook when I was an undergraduate student. I remember his book made me think that atmospheric science was fun. I personally regard the prestigious award given to me as an encouraging message from the society, and I also feel that I have to pay back to the society in any way I can.

I should acknowledge the names of people who have heavily influenced my research career. I know the award would not be mine if I had not met these people: In-Sik Kang, my thesis advisor, who taught me how to live as a scientist; Adam Sobel and Tony Del Genio, my postdoc advisors, who broadened my view on science and provided me with endless opportunity; and Duane Waliser, Ken Sperber, Eric Maloney, Chidong Zhang, and other scientists in the U.S. CLIVAR MJO Working Group, who have continuously helped me and encouraged me since I was a graduate student. Finally, I would like to mention the two women I love the most: my wife Mijung Lim and my daughter Irene Kim. Thank you.

—Daehyun Kim, Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y.

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.

 

Citation

The 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.

Response

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.

William R. Boos received the 2010 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, held 13–17 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.

 

Citation

The AGU Atmospheric Sciences section has awarded the 2010 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award to William R. Boos, an assistant professor at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. His qualifications for the award are best expressed by the nomination letters. One pointed out that his Ph.D. dissertation “contributed significantly to our understanding of the role of wind induced surface heat exchange on monsoon onset, both theoretically and observationally, and reflected a deep and broad understanding of monsoons and general aspects of tropical meteorology.” In addition, as documented in a 2010 paper in Nature, “Among other accomplishments, Bill showed that the conventional view that the Asian monsoon is driven primarily by heating of the Tibetan Plateau…is probably wrong; instead, it seems to be driven by surface fluxes from the Bay of Bengal, aided by the prevention of southward flow of low entropy air by the Himalayan range.” “This is a very fundamental contribution to our understanding of the South Asian monsoon” and “will impact the field for many years to come.”

—Peter J. Webster, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

Response

It is a surprise and an honor to receive the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award, and I am humbled and a bit embarrassed to see my name now following the list of previous recipients of the award. As someone who works in the field of atmospheric dynamics, it is a particular privilege to receive an award in the name of Jim Holton, who was such a prominent dynamicist. And since I work on the tropical atmosphere in particular, it is an honor to be presented the award by Peter Webster, who has made so many contributions to the field of tropical meteorology and climate. It seems like not very long ago that I was a new graduate student deciding to focus my thesis on monsoon dynamics, wondering if I was choosing a small, niche field that was of little interest to the broader Earth science community. So it is affirming to see this recognition of the importance of monsoon circulations and the role they play in both regional climate and the general circulation of the atmosphere.

There are many friends, family, and colleagues I would like to thank, but I will limit my attention now to Kerry Emanuel, my graduate school advisor, and Zhiming Kuang, my postdoctoral advisor. Both of them provided invaluable scientific guidance, mentoring, and support for which I am deeply thankful.

—William R. Bross, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Simona Bordoni received the 2009 James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2009 AGU Fall Meeting, held 14–18 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.

 

Citation

At this early stage in her career, Simona Bordoni has become a specialist in monsoon meteorology, advancing our understanding of the mesoscale dynamics of the North American monsoon and identifying fundamentals of the dynamics of large-scale monsoon circulations worldwide. Her work on monsoon dynamics published in Nature Geoscience and elsewhere describes truly exciting research. These form a set of very innovative papers, ranging from careful observational studies to highly theoretical general circulation model studies.

As a student, she was considered one of the “most talented and mature,” not only in her class but also “in a decade of students at University of California, Los Angeles” (UCLA). Her seminars have been described as “exceptionally clear,” a skill she is no doubt using regularly now since beginning as an assistant professor at California Institute of Technology this fall.

On behalf of the Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU, I would like to congratulate Simona Bordoni for being selected as this year’s recipient of the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award.

—M. Joan Alexander, NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., Boulder, Colorado

Response

I am deeply honored and humbled to receive an award from the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section that bears the name of James Holton.

I did not have the pleasure of meeting Jim personally, but I still remember a very inspiring lecture that he gave at UCLA during my very first quarter there as a graduate student. Since then and through the years, I have become even more appreciative of Jim’s scientific excellence and outstanding contribution to atmospheric dynamics by studying many of his papers, interacting with students he mentored and colleagues he worked with, and learning from and, now as an instructor myself, teaching out of his textbook.

People who have contributed to my personal and scientific growth during these first few years of my career have been numerous, and I cannot thank them all here. However, I would like to acknowledge those who have been the most influential: Bjorn Stevens, my Ph.D. advisor at UCLA, who has provided excellent guidance yet has given me the freedom and encouragement to explore my own research interests; Tapio Schneider at California Institute of Technology, coadvisor in the last 2 years of my Ph.D. work and postdoctoral advisor, who has shaped my view of the general circulation of the atmosphere and has motivated exciting research; and Maura Hagan, National Center for Atmospheric Research deputy director and director of the Advanced Study Program, who has provided continuous support during my Advanced Study Program postdoc and represents a great role model for women in science.

I have just joined the faculty at California Institute of Technology in fall 2009.

I am very excited at the opportunity to build my own research program and group and to teach future generations of atmospheric scientists. It is very inspiring to receive at this early stage of my career this award, named after somebody whose career was as successful and exceptional as James Holton’s was. I thank the section for this honor, and I hope my future work will reflect the excitement and scientific excellence that this award embodies.

—Simona Bordoni, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

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.

 

Citation

Courtenay 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

Response

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

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.

 

Citation

Alfonso 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.

Response

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.

Noah Diffenbaugh received the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award at the 2006 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.

 

Citation

Noah Diffenbaugh is a truly interdisciplinary geoscientist who has already made significant contributions to the field of highresolution climate modeling. His interests are varied and include climate/carbon dioxide/vegetation interactions, the response of extreme temperatures and precipitation events as well as the response of eastern boundary current regions to anthropogenic radiative forcing, mechanisms of Holocene climate variability, and the potential impacts of future climate on human systems. An outcome of his climate studies is the discouraging prognosis for U.S., especially California, viticulture and enology in light of anticipated global warming. Noah is at the forefront of computational high-resolution climate modeling, which will become an essential tool for policy planners by providing details that cannot be simulated by global models.

In the relatively short time that he has been at Purdue, Noah has played a critical role in developing our interdisciplinary program, including the establishment of a climate change research center. His contributions to date and his anticipated innovative work on the impacts of climate change on phytonatural and human systems make him an ideal recipient of the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award.

—Harshvardhan, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Response

I am deeply honored to receive this award. I hold AGU in the highest regard, and I am particularly honored that it comes from the Atmospheric Sciences Section. My interests are rather eclectic, and I often wonder if I actually am an atmospheric scientist! It is also very inspiring and very humbling that the award bears James Holton’s name. One of my students keeps a copy of An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology just to the left of his keyboard—I see it nearly every day.

I have been very fortunate in my short career to have a number of fantastic mentors, including my Ph.D. advisor Lisa Sloan, Paul Koch, Patrick Bartlein, and Filippo Giorgi. They have all provided excellent guidance, have been more than generous with so many resources, and above all have been great collaborators. I have also been fortunate to have a number of other outstanding colleagues and collaborators—many of whom I first met at the AGU Fall Meeting—and these interactions are ultimately what make this job so much fun. Further, I have received tremendous support at Purdue University, which has provided a fantastic platform for pursuing my intellectual interests.

I feel extremely blessed to be an Earth scientist. In spite of all of its challenges, Earth really is a beautiful planet! As scientists, we are very lucky to have the freedom to ask questions, to pursue the answers, to be proven right, to be proven wrong. For me there is no greater professional thrill than viewing the results of an experiment for the first time. It can be a brutally humbling job, but that society affords us the opportunity to feel this thrill on a daily basis is a great privilege.

It is daunting that an award given at such an early stage bears the name of someone whose career was as exceptional as Holton’s. I thank the Section for this great honor, and I hope I can live up to it!

—Noah Diffenbaugh, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Arlene M Fiore

2005

Tapio Schneider

2004

Honors Contacts

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