William Bowie Medal
Information on the Bowie Medal
AGU’s highest honor, the William Bowie Medal, is given annually to one honoree in recognition of outstanding contributions to fundamental Earth and space science and for unselfish cooperation in research. Unselfish cooperation is considered volunteer activity above and beyond any job requirements.
The medal was established in 1939 in honor of William Bowie for his spirit of helpfulness and friendliness in unselfish cooperative research. In addition to serving as the first president of AGU (1920–1922), Bowie was also the first recipient of this medal.
AGU is proud to recognize our honorees. Recipients of the William Bowie Medal will receive an engraved medal, as well as the following benefits with the honor:
1Awardee will be made an AGU Fellow (if the honoree has been an AGU member for three consecutive years and is not already a Fellow)
2Recognition in Eos
3Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
4Four complimentary hotel nights at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
5Two complimentary tickets to the Honors Banquet at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year
Nominees: The nominee should be a senior scientist, but is not required to be an active AGU member. They should be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.
Nominators: Nominators must be active AGU members and in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy. Duplicate nominations for the same individual will not be accepted. However, one co-nominator is permitted (but not required) per nomination.
Supporters: Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members but must be in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.
Your nomination package must contain all of the following files, which should be no more than two pages in length per document. For detailed information on the requirements, review the Union Awards, Medals and Prizes Frequently Asked Questions.
- A nomination letter with one-sentence citation (150 characters or less). Letterhead stationery is preferred. Nominator’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required. The citation should appear at either the beginning or end of the nomination letter.
- A curriculum vitae for the nominee. Include the candidate’s name, address and email, history of employment, degrees, research experience, honors, memberships, and service to the community through committee work, advisory boards, etc.
- A selected bibliography stating the total number, the types of publications and the number published by AGU.
- Three letters of support not including the nomination letter. Letterhead is preferred. Supporter’s name, title, institution, and contact information are required.
James L Burch
Rita R Colwell
Barbara A Romanowicz
Barbara Romanowicz was awarded the 2019 William Bowie Medal at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2019 Honors Ceremony, held on 11 December 2019 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions for fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
With 4 decades of cutting-edge work in seismology, Barbara Romanowicz has transformed our understanding of the Earth’s mantle and core. She has made foundational contributions to geophysical infrastructure, and through the Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research (CIDER), she has brought together hundreds of early-career and senior scientists from across the geosciences to study Earth.
Dr. Romanowicz’s research is characterized by innovative seismological theory, sophisticated numerical methods, and insightful interpretations that have illuminated key Earth processes. Using tomography to image the distribution of seismic wave velocities, anisotropy, and attenuation, she has made groundbreaking connections between large-scale Earth structure and mantle convection. She demonstrated that the two large-scale low shear wave velocity regions at the base of the mantle consist of a bundle of thicker-than-expected hot upwelling plumes connected to major hot spots at the surface and showed that the roots of some of these plumes may contain partially molten material. She also made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the continental lithosphere and how it couples to the deeper mantle, showing that continental and oceanic lithospheres are both underlain by an asthenosphere that is highly anisotropic because of shear caused by plate motion and that the mantle lithosphere of ancient cratons contains two layers of anisotropy that relate to different stages of lithospheric formation. Dr. Romanowicz has been a leader in determining inner core structure, including attenuation and anisotropy and their implications for core formation and evolution. She has also contributed innovative studies of seismic wave sources, including earthquake statistics, scaling relationships, variations in rates of occurrence of great earthquakes, and the origins of the Earth’s “hum” (the continuous excitation of Earth’s free oscillations).
Dr. Romanowicz has given generously of her time to build lasting and open access infrastructure for the geoscience community. She led the development of Geoscope (1981–1990), the first global network of very broadband seismic stations. As the director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (1991–2011) she initiated a real-time earthquake notification system in Northern California, expanding seismic and geodetic networks and data access. She is a key advocate and pioneer of long-term ocean bottom seismic stations.
Dr. Romanowicz was the visionary driving force behind CIDER for 15 years, each summer bringing together an interdisciplinary cohort of junior and senior scientists to engage in a month of lectures, tutorials, and research projects. CIDER has created a new generation of researchers who embrace cross-disciplinary study of Earth’s interior.
—Karen M. Fischer, Brown University, Providence, R.I.
President Bell asked me to sit down before breaking the news to me—this was wise! This unexpected Bowie Medal is both an amazing and humbling honor. The only shadow is the fact that Louise Kellogg, who conominated me with Karen Fischer, is no longer with us. My warmest thanks to both of them, as well as to the other colleagues who supported my nomination.
I was fortunate to come to Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris to pursue a Ph.D. at the time when Claude Allègre was transforming it into a world-class institution. I have a connection with William Bowie: I started my research career in geodesy. High-precision measurements of Earth’s global gravity field were then becoming available owing to satellite geodesy. My Ph.D. advisor, Kurt Lambeck, suggested that I use these data to build a continental-scale model of the upper mantle beneath North America, but this quickly turned into a seismic travel time tomographic model, the first at that scale. My postdoc adviser at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kei Aki, wanted me to work on earthquake prediction, but I chose to play with seismic surface waves instead. Looking back from my own experience as an adviser, I appreciate their open-mindedness and patience.
With the advent of very broadband seismic sensors and digital recording, the expansion of global and regional networks, open access to large-capacity data archives, increasing computer power, and concurrent theoretical developments, global seismic imaging has made tremendous progress in the past 40 years, but we are not done. A costly and technologically challenging task is to improve coverage of the ocean floor, key to further our understanding of the connections between deep mantle circulation and plate motions, and of Earth’s inner core evolution and, with it, of the geomagnetic field. We also need to continue educating ourselves and the successive younger generations across disciplines: Only by bringing together the different pieces of the puzzle can we gain a profound understanding of how Earth works. This is why we founded CIDER with Adam Dziewonski, Louise Kellogg, and Stan Hart. I wish to recognize their contributions, along with many other colleagues, to making it a successful endeavor.
My graduate students, postdocs, collaborators, and colleagues over the past 4 decades deserve to share this honor with me. I owe a big piece of this medal to my husband, Mark Jonikas, and children, Martin and Magda.
—Barbara Romanowicz, University of California, Berkeley; also at Collège de France, Paris
Daniel N Baker
Daniel N. Baker was awarded the 2018 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 12 December 2018 in Washington, D. C. The medal is for “outstanding contributions for fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
Daniel N. Baker’s contribution to our understanding of the Van Allen radiation belts through experiment, discovery, and interpretation of observations is without peer. He has made major scientific contributions across a wide range of topics in space plasma physics and taken a leading role in developing the nation’s space weather program, informing Congress and the public about the potential hazards to humankind of extreme space weather events. His expertise in experimental studies of energetic particle processes in space, their relationship to the radiation belts, and ensuing impacts on technical systems orbiting Earth has been amplified by his leadership at national and academic laboratories and in educating the next generation of space scientists.
Dan has led scientific investigations on numerous NASA missions, including the Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) satellite, NASA’s first Small Explorer (SMEX) mission. His group provided a two–solar cycle baseline for the radiation belts and synoptic basis for interpreting the recent extreme solar minimum. Following community discussion of a potential Maunder Minimum, he demonstrated that a strong coronal mass ejection observed by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft could have caused an extreme “Carrington event”–magnitude geomagnetic storm had it struck Earth in 2012. He was investigator on the Student Nitric Oxide Explorer Mission, was a lead investigator on the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) orbiter mission, and is now lead investigator on the flagship four-spacecraft Magnetosphere Multiscale Mission launched in 2015 to study magnetic reconnection, the process converting magnetic into particle kinetic energy at Earth, Sun, and stars. Dan, as principal investigator for the Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope on the Van Allen Probes twin spacecraft mission launched in 2012 to study the radiation belts, has published many of the major discoveries, from the third “storage ring” early in the mission to the “impenetrable barrier” to highly relativistic electron penetration deep into the inner magnetosphere.
In addition to his scholarship in top journals, Dan has unselfishly served the space research community in significant capacities. He held leadership positions at two national laboratories, Los Alamos and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and since 1994 has been the director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado. He served with great distinction as chair of the most recent National Academies’ decadal survey in heliophysics. Dan has continued to serve as a strong advocate for new scientific missions and strengthening our technological infrastructure through greater understanding of the potential extreme variability of the natural space environment.
—Mary K. Hudson, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; also at High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.
I thank my dear friend, Mary Hudson, for her great generosity and kindness in leading my nomination. I have been blessed with many other friends, none more enduring than Louis Lanzerotti, who played a key nomination role as well and has shaped my career in countless ways.
I think back as a student at the University of Iowa. James Van Allen asked me while I still was an undergrad if I’d like to build an instrument to go to Jupiter. Guess what? I said yes! How many students get such a chance? Going from the University of Iowa to the California Institute of Technology with Edward Stone was a great experience. Ed showed the value of relentless hard work and precision of thinking—I thank him so much for his mentorship.
I was privileged in the 1980s to head a unique, world-class Los Alamos space plasma physics group. My deep sadness and regret is that my great friend from those Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) days—Jack Gosling—passed away this year and could not see this award. Jack had a profound influence on me and every other researcher with whom he interacted. While at LANL, I was befriended by two especially influential scientists: Atsuhiro Nishida (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science director in Japan) and Bob McPherron (University of California, Los Angeles). They got me interested in all aspects of geomagnetic activity and taught me the joy of data analysis.
From Los Alamos to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center was quite a pilgrimage. Being chief of the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics at Goddard gave me central NASA project science roles and let me interact with the leaders of U.S. and international space agencies. It got me into space policy in a big way for both NASA and for the U.S. National Academies.
In moving to the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), I think I’ve had my most exhilarating scientific adventures. I am immensely proud of LASP and the outstanding people who comprise the Lab. I feel that this Bowie Medal is a recognition of each and every LASP scientist, engineer, and student. If there is a space research heaven, it must perforce look a very great deal like Boulder, Colo.
To be able to reach this very special point in my career, I’ve been blessed with many other amazing things. Parents who nurtured my dreams of being a space scientist and brothers who kept me grounded in practicality. Countless colleagues over the many years who stimulated my mind and ambitions. But, most of all, I have been blessed by having the most wonderful wife and amazing daughter. Vicki and Kirsten—you are the greatest among my many great friends, and I love you both so very much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
—Daniel N. Baker, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder
Stanley R Hart
Stanley Robert Hart was awarded the 2016 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 14 December 2016 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions for fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
Stanley Hart’s career began in the early 1960s with a focus on potassium-argon dating applied to continental materials. By the end of the decade, however, his attention was largely redirected to the mantle—and it is upon this critical region of our planet that he has left an indelible imprint that is uniquely his. The research activity stimulated by Stan’s early (~1970) papers on lithophile element depletions in the ocean ridge basalt source blossomed into a subfield of geochemistry (chemical geodynamics) in which he played a leading role for many years and which has remained vigorous and vital up to the present day. His early insights opened the door for many others to follow, and the resulting vast database provides a dynamic picture of the Earth’s interior that serves as an indispensable complement to geophysical models.
Stan Hart brings several extraordinary qualities to the practice of geochemistry. The first is the ability to reduce extremely complex processes to a simple essence that can be treated quantitatively. This has been a distinguishing characteristic of Stan’s career, but he has also played important roles both in the development of geochemical mass spectrometry and in extracting physical and geological meaning from the high-quality measurements he helped make possible.
Stan moves with remarkable ease between pondering big scientific questions and the day-to-day challenges of analytical geochemistry. Perhaps most remarkable of all his scientific qualities is his extraordinarily adventuresome attitude toward research. He is undaunted by the need to develop new analytical techniques and fearless in moving out of his scientific comfort zone. Few geochemists have made major contributions across so diverse an array of topics—which span literally from mantle rocks to seawater to ore deposits.
Stan’s readiness to move beyond his past experience has made it possible for him to bring new ideas and strategies to the study of a diversity of Earth’s chemical systems. His influence upon our field is rooted in a combination of innovation, quantitative and integrative ability, and tenacity. Through the challenges of building and managing laboratories and leading sampling expeditions he has always remained a gracious colleague and a selfless teacher and mentor. For all he has given our science, perhaps we can forgive Stan for his role in the proliferation of the acronyms used to refer to the chemical reservoirs of the mantle.
—E. Bruce Watson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N. Y.
I am touched and deeply honored to receive AGU’s William Bowie Medal. And, Bruce, I read your citation with gratitude, and some amazement. You, so precise in your science, yet so flamboyant in your praise! I, the imposter, would meet this person! And abiding thanks to your cohorts: Don DePaolo, Al Hofmann, and Charlie Langmuir.
I have earlier thanked Pat Hurley at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tom Aldrich at Department of Terrestrial Magnetism for trusting me, as a grad student and postdoc, with their mass spec labs. They fearlessly set me on the road that brings me here tonight. Innumerable fellow travelers had a hand in this as well. Students, colleagues, provocateurs—you all know who you are! I am so grateful for the companionship and excitement you all brought to these travels.
In this mélange, there are several who merit my special recognition for the simple fact that I could have done little without them. For 20 years, at MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Jurek Blusztajn expertly managed my labs, and was a wise and gentle mentor to my students (and to their advisor). Jurek, I am so appreciative for those decades! And kudos to Sonia Esperanca, program director at National Science Foundation, both for her individual efforts on behalf of geochemistry-petrology and for her wise and professional representation of a truly remarkable government agency. Her support, judgment, and advice were vital through much of my career—even bleak words such as “Hart, no more 5-year umbrella grants.” Sigh.
I would also thank geodesist William Bowie, who spent his career at the Coast and Geodetic Survey (1895–1936). He was an astute and highly respected leader in the scientific community and the author of some 250 publications. And he and I share a common thread. In 1929, he was on a National Academy of Sciences committee that recommended formation of an “Atlantic Oceanographic Institute”; just 49 days later, Massachusetts incorporated the WHOI, with Bowie on the first Board of Trustees. Where would I have spent the last 18 years of my career without Bowie’s efforts some 59 years earlier?
Last, and most, my wife Pam always assured me that I could leap tall buildings. My children, Jolene, Elizabeth, and Nathaniel, treated my field travels and long lab nights with apparent equanimity. BTW, I concur with you, Bruce, that I am an incorrigible purveyor of acronyms: some universally acclaimed (MORB), one universally decried (FOZO).
—Stanley R. Hart, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass.
Wilfried H Brutsaert
Wilfried Brutsaert was awarded the 2015 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 16 December 2015 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and𠊏or unselfish cooperation in research.”
Besides his outstanding personal contributions in research, Dr. Brutsaert has made a lasting imprint through the unselfish cooperation he embodies in all his activities. First, this is brought out by the professional success of his former graduate students, who have benefited from his generous and devoted collaborative mentorship in research. Second, since the early 1980s, Dr. Brutsaert has been a worldwide leader in bringing together the hydrologic and atmospheric research communities in the planning, design, and operation of large-scale international field experiments. Finally, Dr. Brutsaert has shown exemplary service commitment to his colleagues. Most notably, he has been directly involved in leadership in several organizations, including AGU, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
Some highlights of his research contributions can be found in the following areas: (1) Physics of evaporation: Dr. Brutsaert was the first to successfully incorporate the effect of molecular diffusivity in the description of evaporation and heat transfer in the environment. (2) -Land--atmosphere interactions: He has largely unraveled the issue of scaling in evaporation, from local scales to various macroscales. (3) Surface runoff: Dr. Brutsaert was the first to provide a realistic description of base flow using groundwater theory rather than by regression or curve fitting. (4) Porous materials: He extended Biot’s theory of poroelasticity to materials containing two fluids, as found in petroleum engineering. (5) Climate change: Dr. Brutsaert is one of the few who have clarified hydrological aspects of global climate change. His 1998 paper in Nature resolved the “evaporation paradox” with evidence of a worldwide accelerating water vapor cycle. Later, he initiated a radically new method to deduce climatic trends from long-term river flow records.
In addition to his articles are his two landmark scholarly books, both international best sellers: Evaporation into the Atmosphere (Springer, 1982) and Hydrology (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
Among the many awards he has received, he was elected to the NAE, AGU awarded him the Hydrologic Sciences Award and the Horton Medal, and the AMS awarded him the Jule G. Charney Award and elected him an Honorary Member, its highest award. The Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources awarded him its International Award and made him an Honorary Member. The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science gave him the Award for Eminent Scientists.
In conclusion, it is difficult to imagine a colleague more deserving of the Bowie Medal.
—Jean-Yves Parlange, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
President Leinen, friends, and colleagues,
Looking back I have to wonder how it all finally came to this because this outcome really was never in the cards. My early years were certainly not a prologue for a scientific career, what with the vagaries of a bloody, cataclysmic world war in Europe and the severe physical and financial limitations with which our parents had to raise my five siblings and me. Then, my secondary education was mainly directed to the study of classical Latin and Greek as an ideal preparation for a career in law, literature, and philosophy, with only perfunctory coverage of mathematics and physics. In spite of this meager science background, but guided by some youthful idealism, I decided to become involved with problems in the developing world.
This led to a major in agricultural water engineering at the University of Ghent, to acquire the practical skills needed for some admittedly vague objectives. But several turnarounds and milestones took me from an intended hydraulic engineering career to—subtle difference—a life in hydrologic science. Among them, there was a student internship with an anti-erosion organization in Africa, starting my fascination with theories of atmospheric turbulent transport. There was also my interaction with Don Kirkham, whose mathematical approach in soil physics left an indelible mark.
A most notable turning point occurred at the University of California – Davis in 1959, when Don Nielsen insisted that I join AGU. I felt immediately at home. Since then, the atmosphere of both scholarship and comradeship at AGU has broadly shaped the remainder of my professional life.
In light of everything I owe AGU, it’s really difficult here to find the proper words to express my gratitude for this ultimate recognition. So, I will simply say thank you, and in the same breath also include Jean-Yves Parlange, Kuo-Nan Liou, and the letter writers for the nomination, as well as the members of the Bowie Medal Committee for their confidence. And although she doesn’t want me to, I gratefully acknowledge the support of my wife Toyo, my best friend and companion for the past half century. Finally, nobody lives in a vacuum and we are all shaped by our environment. Therefore, this award fills me with great satisfaction because it reflects not just on me, but more so on the many colleagues and students with whom I had the privilege and pleasure to work over the years.
—Wilfried Brutsaert, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Hiroo Kanamori was awarded the 2014 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 17 December 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
Hiroo Kanamori has made outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics, earthquake physics, and hazard mitigation, but equally important is his contribution to the global geoscience community through his unselfish cooperation with a myriad of colleagues and students over the years.
Hiroo started research work at the University of Tokyo in the 1960s by designing and building a shipboard gravity meter, which was followed by his study of the crust–mantle structure of Japan. Being so versatile, he soon was engaged in experimental and theoretical research with younger colleagues on the physical properties of rocks and minerals, the shock wave equation of state, elastic waves, thermal diffusivity, and electrical conductivity, to name just a few subjects. All these areas were highly pioneering at that time. These experiences were instrumental in providing Hiroo with an unusually broad scope in his later research. After a few years, around 1970, he decided to concentrate his efforts on seismology and was apparently fascinated by the power of the wave equation.
His monumental works in the early 1970s verified the newly born plate tectonics idea by analyzing great island arc earthquakes and presenting the notion of tsunami earthquakes. After moving to the California Institute of Technology in 1972, his activity bloomed in diverse fields. The introduction of moment magnitude, quantification of great earthquakes, and the diversity of subduction zones are some examples. After around 1980, volcanic eruptions at Saint Helens and Pinatubo were apt targets for his long-period techniques. His discovery of the W phase, establishment of real-time seismology, and its application to the Caltech-USGS Broadcast of Earthquakes (CUBE) system for the mitigation of seismic hazard have followed one after another, with each one being truly epoch making.
Hiroo’s contributions to the field of seismology are clear to anyone familiar with modern seismology and geophysics. His long exemplary track record of unselfish cooperation is also exceptional. Hiroo is a private, self-effacing individual who has always remained focused on scientific research. But he has mentored and inspired generations of students and colleagues. They can all attest to how freely he offered his guidance to anyone and how keenly interested he was in colleagues’ work. It is impossible to count how many publications were critically shaped or even sparked by insights that Hiroo offered.
Hiroo Kanamori is a true gentleman and always most friendly to people regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or race. Not only a great number of students but also the whole geophysical community have profoundly benefitted from him. Together with the late Kei Aki, Hiroo Kanamori is really the “made in Japan and perfected in America” giant star who will remain shining brightly in the history of seismology.
—S. Uyeda, The Japan Academy, Tokyo, Japan
Thank you very much for the kind words from Professor Uyeda. I am extremely honored to be awarded the 2014 AGU Bowie Medal.
I have been fortunate to be at the right place at the right time as a geophysicist and seismologist. Hewitt Dix introduced me to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Bob Sharp, Don Anderson, and Clarence Allen, among others, encouraged me to come to Caltech. Fortunately, my move coincided with a time of spectacular development in seismic instrumentation, theories, and communication technology, which all contributed to making seismology a truly quantitative and exciting field.
I had been fascinated by the exciting geophysical processes I learned at the University of Tokyo working with Hitoshi Takeuchi and Seiya Uyeda, and I wished to strengthen the evidence for various models. Because of the limited quality and quantity of data available then, the progress had been slow; however, the situation has changed drastically. The quality and resolution of the interpretation of data have improved to the extent that we can almost believe the results. This is quite satisfying for observational scientists, and I believe that the situation can only improve, but we should all strive to further advance this science with creative and innovative approaches and hard work.
Although I was happy with my academic work, I had a strong interest in making good use of scientific knowledge for hazard mitigation by using modern technology. Inevitably, natural processes are complex, and no matter how much progress we made in science, it would be difficult to make precise short-term forecasts of natural processes in a way the public would perceive them as useful predictions.
Fortunately, the advancements in instrumental, computational, and communication technology have provided a means to use real-time information effectively for the benefit of society. Working in this area is not always easy in academic environments, but I was again fortunate in getting moral and practical support from the Caltech administration to start initial investigations in this direction. In this endeavor collaboration with government agencies like the U.S. Geological Survey played a key role. It is satisfying to see seismology working for the benefit of people.
I thank my colleagues, my students, and the staff who contributed to all the excitement we have had together in advancing science and in using it to save lives and property. I also thank my family for their wonderful support of my academic life.
—Hiro Kanamori, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
Anny A Cazenave
Anny Cazenave was awarded the 2012 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 5 December 2012 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
It is both an honor and a distinct pleasure for me to nominate our colleague Anny Cazenave for the American Geophysical Union’s highest honor, the Bowie Medal. A French scientist of highest reputation and one who has remained deeply involved in the work and supportive of the mission of the AGU for her entire career, Anny has made, and continues to make, seminal contributions to the success and international impact of our science. Her work is routed in, and has remained at the forefront of, the area of space geodesy, in an era in which this field has been transforming our understanding of the planet.
Anny’s early research from 1975 until the mid-1990s was focused on the solid Earth in examinations of the spatial and temporal variations of gravity. In particular, she was a pioneer in the use of satellite altimetry for understanding geodynamic processes in the deep ocean. This involved the construction of high-resolution gravity fields from Seasat, ERS-1, and Topex. In collaboration with her colleagues and students, Anny used the new gravity models to investigate a wide range of marine tectonic features including lithospheric cooling and subsidence, geoid height variations across fracture zones and deep ocean trenches, and the isostatic compensation of seamount chains.
These applications of space geodetic technology to marine geodesy were followed by work on the problem of global sea level rise using the profoundly important data sets provided by the Topex/Poseidon and Jason-1&2 satellite altimetry missions. She was one of the first to employ the altimetry data to infer a globally averaged rate of sea level rise of approximately 3 mm/yr. This work has been accompanied by work with ocean hydrographic data to estimate the contribution to this global signal due to thermal expansion of the oceans. By incorporating into her analysis, as she has done most recently, the time-dependent gravity field data from the GRACE satellite system, she has been able to address for the first time the problem of the closure of the global budget of sea level rise. For a decade, she has also been deeply involved in studying terrestrial waters from space using altimetry, GRACE, and other remote sensing techniques.
Anny has received many awards in recognition of her contributions to the geophysical sciences based upon the application of space geodetic methods. Major awards include election to the French National Academy of Science in 2004, as a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2008, and to the Indian National Science Academy in 2011. She was awarded the Vening-Meinesz Medal of the EGU in 1999, and the Arthur Holmes Medal in 2006.
In summary, Anny has been a leading scientist in the spectacular success of the joint French/American Topex/Poseidon and Jason altimetry missions that have revolutionized our understanding of the global sea level rise associated with greenhouse gas warming of the lower atmosphere. She is a truly deserving nominee for the American Geophysical Union’s highest honor, the Bowie Medal, named for a geodesist of similarly uncommon accomplishment.
–W. R. Peltier, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
It is a great pleasure, a privilege and an immense honor to receive the AGU Bowie Medal. When I look at the list of previous recipients, with so many prestigious well-known names; I can hardly realize that I have also been awarded this prestigious medal. I feel very humble, following on from these highly distinguished scientists. Thanks very much Dick for your kind citation and thanks to the colleagues who have supported my nomination.
Receiving this medal has a special echo for me. As a European scientist, I consider that AGU is the most prestigious scientific society in Earth sciences worldwide. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to closely work with AGU as International Secretary, and this was an extraordinary experience. I really appreciated the many facets that characterize the AGU, striving for excellence in science, interdisciplinarity, and cultural diversity.
My research field is geodesy. Thus I am very proud to share this with William Bowie, who made so many important contributions to geodesy in the early decades of the 20th century; including the topics of geoid determination, isostasy, and North American Datum establishment, among others.
Although initially I wanted to be an astronomer, I became by chance a space geodesist and never regretted it. Space geodesy is a truly interdisciplinary research field with applications in nearly all areas of Earth sciences. My scientific career indeed illustrates this. After a PhD on the rotation of the Earth, I worked on the gravity field determination from satellite orbits, and later on using satellite altimetry. This led me to work on the link between long wavelength geoid anomalies and mantle convection as well as in several areas of marine geophysics. The ever growing performances of space geodesy techniques were also the opportunity for me and my team to study large scale tectonic deformations, vertical crustal motions, motion of the Earth center of mass, etc. Over the last 15 years, my research has mostly been devoted to climate and environmental science using satellite and other observations, in particular sea level variations and their causes, land hydrology, and the global water cycle. Moving to such different fields is a great challenge that makes us rather humble when we consider the huge amount of new things that need to be learned each time. But on the other hand, this is clearly a rich experience.
I would like to share this Bowie Medal with the many students and colleagues I worked with all along my career, in France, in Europe, in North America and other parts of the world. Owing to their scientific leadership, several of them had a profound influence on my research. Moreover, human relationships are a fundamental component of scientific research, especially nowadays where research is a collaborative enterprise. And I have to say that I have been very lucky on that matter.
To finish let me thank my students, my colleagues, my friends –and of course my family–who have played such an important role all along these years, and again share with them this wonderful recognition.
–Anny Cazenave, LEGOS-CNES, Toulouse Cedex, France
Louis J Lanzerotti
Louis J. Lanzerotti was awarded the 2011 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 7 December 2011 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
Louis J. Lanzerotti has four parallel careers. His first is in ground- and space-based studies of Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere. He joined Bell Laboratories in 1965 to engage in both engineering and scientific research on Earth’s radiation belts. AT&T’s Telstar satellites had just been launched, and data were available for analyzing and interpreting not only the Van Allen belts themselves but also the effects of radiation on space systems, the beginning of Lanzerotti’s leadership in what is now called “space weather.”
Career number two is as a particle experimentalist on NASA deep-space missions, including the ATS-1 and ATS-3 communications satellites, the interplanetary IMP 4 and IMP 5 spacecraft, the Voyager missions to the outer planets and interstellar medium, the Galileo Jupiter Orbiter and Probe missions (principal investigator (PI)), the Ulysses mission over the poles of the Sun (PI), the ACE L1 mission, the Cassini mission to Saturn, and in 2012 the Earth’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (PI)—“back to the future” for him.
Lanzerotti’s third career is in service to his professional community—all of it.
For AGU, he has been associate editor of Journal of Geophysical Research and Geophysical Research Letters, chair of the Meetings Committee, member and chair of the Committee on Public Policy, and chair of a Union visiting committee. He is founding editor of the online AGU journal Space Weather: The International Journal of Research and Applications.
He was chair of NASA’s Space and Earth Science Advisory Committee and a member of the NASA Advisory Council. He was a member of the 1990 Presidential Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program (chaired by Norman Augustine) and a member of the Vice President’s Space Policy Advisory Board (1990–1992).
Lanzerotti has served on some 40 committees and boards of the National Academies, chairing such diverse groups as the Committee on Antarctic Science and Policy, the Space Studies Board, the Committee on Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage, the Committee on Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics. Lanzerotti chaired the U.S. Assessment Committee for the National Space Weather Program in 2005–2006. In 2002 the U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment to the National Science Board; he chaired its Committee on Science and Engineering Indicators in 2006–2010.
By now, it should be no surprise that Lanzerotti has a fourth career. In the 1980s he was elected to three 3-year terms on his Harding Township, N. J., school board, with 6 years as chair of its curriculum committee and 6 years as vice president. Since 1993 he has served six elected terms on the township governing body, including 3 years as mayor.
Given Lou’s stupendous productivity in two research fields, the quantity and quality of his service to NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Academies, AGU, and his local community defy credibility. No matter how busy, he always finds time to help others. He is the personification of “unselfish cooperation in research.”
Besides, how many other mayors have won the AGU William Bowie Medal?
—Daniel N. Baker, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder; and Charles F. Kennel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla
Thank you, Dan and Charlie, for your most gracious and generous remarks.
Mr. President, members of AGU, and guests, I am profoundly honored to be recognized by AGU and by my professional colleagues with this William Bowie Medal. I have been extraordinarily fortunate throughout my life and professional career. I am the fortunate descendant of immigrant parents and grandparents who strongly believed in and supported personal responsibility, gainful work, and education as the means to better one’s own life and one’s family’s lives and as a means to aiding the community in which one lives. Most important of all, I was fortunate in meeting, in a Harvard graduate school quantum mechanics class, a cute little blond from Southern California. The foundation under this Bowie recognition is Mary Yvonne, who for the past 46-plus years has managed to keep our family functioning, pursue her parallel 40-year career as a physical chemist, raise our two children, and put up with my often frantic personality and lifestyle.
The space age was less than a decade old when I was offered the opportunity by Walter Brown, a very talented physicist, to join Bell Labs. I was seeking a stimulating environment in which I might tackle leading-edge problems in both science and engineering. Bell Labs fostered a collaborative culture whereby practical telecommunications problems presented challenges whose solutions often led to new scientific understandings. I soon learned that the conventional linear model view of pure research leading to applications is not the only path to practical outcomes for society, or for a company. It maybe not even the best path, as Bell Labs experience taught.
The Bell Labs culture that most exemplified the opportunities for research advances and for professional volunteerism were the daily lunchtime discussions at a large round table. The ever evolving and revolving population at that table, consisting of physicists, engineers, statisticians, linguists, and mathematicians, spawned many collaborative research projects, joint papers, physical science insights, filed patents, and the occasional political jousting. I was fortunate throughout my career at Bell Labs, now at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and in the numerous organizations with which I have collaborated to be surrounded by exceptionally talented, committed, and congenial colleagues, friends, and students. Several of the most important of these have been Carol Maclennan, Les Medford, David Thomson, Tom Krimigis, and the late Klaus Rinnert. Carol brought an uncanny talent to ferreting “signals” out of gigabytes of data noise from our many spacecraft, ground-based, and laboratory experiments and instruments. Without Les Medford’s perfectionism, the large number of ground-based installations and arrays that he engineered and managed, from the Antarctic to Frobisher Bay to Point Arena to Lac St. Jean and to many locales in between, would not have produced the unexcelled quality and continuity of data sets. Dave Thomson is a unique individual in many ways, from his engineering capabilities to his analysis insights, and a terrific political one-liner besides. The long hours spent with Tom Krimigis in discussions of science, of project operations and management, and of the politics of science sum up to many, many years. Klaus Rinnert of the Max Planck Institute in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, who sadly died too young, was a superb collaborator on our Galileo Jupiter experiments.
In reflecting upon my professional life in the context of this medal, I am most taken by the engineering and scientific insights that were achieved from the diversity of projects and programs in which my colleagues and I participated. There was always something from one or more of these projects that facilitated advances in others and/or that provoked new lines of thinking or new investigations. I am thankful for the diversity of challenging opportunities—in research and in advisory roles—that I have had over the past 2 score and 6 years. I sincerely thank all of my outstanding friends, colleagues, and family for their continuing support and collegiality that have culminated in this wonderful recognition by AGU.
—Louis J. Lanzerotti, Bell Laboratories (Retired) and New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark
Syukuro Manabe was awarded the 2010 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 15 December 2010 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
Suki Manabe has been a pioneer in the development and application of climate models. His pioneering work on the response of climate to increasing carbon dioxide paved the way for the projections of future climate that are used to inform policy makers throughout the world. More important, his emphasis on using models as “virtual laboratories” for understanding fundamental mechanisms of climate variability and change has profoundly influenced subsequent generations of modelers.
Suki came to the United States from the University of Tokyo in 1957 and has spent almost his entire career at what is now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). In the early 1960s, Suki and his colleagues developed a single—column model of the atmosphere in radiative—convective equilibrium. Using this model, he studied the response of surface temperature to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, taking into account the positive feedback effect of water vapor. Suki also played a critical role in the development of the GFDL’s first global general circulation model by devising the model components that were used to simulate radiative transfer, moist convection, and the heat and water budgets over land surfaces. He used this global atmospheric model to simulate, for the first time, the three—dimensional response of climate and the hydrologic cycle to increased carbon dioxide.
More than 40 years ago, Suki collaborated with Kirk Bryan on the first successful coupled atmosphere—ocean general circulation model simulation. Although it was idealized relative to today’s models, their model demonstrated the important influence of ocean dynamics on climate and set the stage for further coupled model development. Two decades later they used a more realistic model to simulate the response of climate to a gradual increase in carbon dioxide, elucidating the ocean’s role in delaying the warming of the climate system and influencing its spatial pattern. Subsequent work by Suki and his research group addressed such topics as the long-term consequences of increasing carbon dioxide on the deep overturning circulation in the ocean as well as the mechanisms that control the variability of surface temperature on interannual to interdecadal time scales. He and his colleagues also applied their models to the study of past climate change, including the role of freshwater input to the North Atlantic Ocean as a potential cause of the millennial-scale variability evident in the paleoclimate record and the processes that maintained the colder climate of glacial periods.
As outstanding as his research accomplishments have been, Suki’s contributions to climate science extend far beyond the papers he has written. He encouraged and nurtured the growth of his students and his research team. His unfailing enthusiasm for science has been inspiring to many. Isaac Newton once wrote that he saw farther than others because he stood on the shoulders of giants. This may have been false modesty on Newton’s part, but similar words could be spoken by the community of climate modelers that continues to stand squarely on Suki’s shoulders. It is a great pleasure to honor him as the 2010 recipient of the AGU William Bowie Medal.
—ANTHONY J. BROCCOLI, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.
I am very grateful for having my name added to the list of recipients of the William Bowie Medal, which contains the names of so many distinguished scientists whose achievements I admire greatly. I thank Tony Broccoli for his most generous citation. On this special occasion I would like to thank the late Joe Smagorinsky, without whom my career in climate modeling would never have been realized.
It was 1958 when Joe invited me to join his group at the U.S. Weather Bureau in order to develop a general circulation model of the atmosphere. Having almost completed my Ph.D. thesis at the University of Tokyo, I accepted his invitation and joined his group. Inspired by his ambitious plan for constructing a comprehensive model of climate, I immediately participated in the development of the model. This was the beginning of my very long career in climate modeling. As the director of the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Joe hired a small group of young, hardworking scientists who helped each other well and were very generous in sharing ideas. He minimized our involvement in red tape and other administrative duties, making it possible for us to focus our attention on research. As a matter of fact, I did not have to write a single research proposal. Joe somehow managed to make expensive, top-of-the-line computers always available at our laboratory. I am very grateful to Joe and to NOAA, who supported him, for creating such an ideal environment for the study of climate.
During much of my career I have collaborated with Kirk Bryan, a pioneer of ocean modeling, in order to develop a coupled atmosphere-ocean-land model that has become very useful for studying and predicting climatic change. I have been extremely fortunate to collaborate with him on this successful project.
In constructing our models, we made the parameterizations of subgrid—scale processes as simple as possible. Nevertheless, these models simulate well the broad-scale features of climate, in particular, that of rainfall. Because of their simplicity, the computational requirements of these models are much less than the so-called Earth system models that have become very useful for studying global change. The model simplicity also facilitates the diagnostic analysis of the result obtained. Using these models, we have conducted countless curiosity—driven experiments, exploring the physical mechanisms that control not only global warming but also climatic changes of the geological past. It has been a great pleasure to work with Tony Broccoli, Tom Delworth, Doug Hahn, Barrie Hunt, Alex Hall, Leith Holloway, Tom Knutson, Ron Stouffer, Dick Wetherald, and others, performing these very enjoyable experiments.
Finally, I would like to thank Noko Manabe, my wife, for encouraging and looking after this absentminded research scientist throughout his research career, which has lasted more than 50 years.
—SYUKURO MANABE, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe was awarded the 2009 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 16 December 2009 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
I am honored to summarize the seminal contributions of Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe to the understanding of water’s role in environmental geophysics and ecology. He is the foremost surface water hydrologist in the world and has expanded the frontiers of geophysics repeatedly by identifying and opening new research areas. I will highlight what I consider to be his three principal contributions.
His work on probabilistic rainfall modeling and measuring, and network design, produced a range of widely used models of the rainfall process. He was first to provide a sound theoretical basis for sampling the rainfall process in space and time. This statistical theory accounts for the multidimensional structure of the process and provides number, location, and operating duration of ground stations needed to sample rainfall with a given degree of accuracy. The work has become a standard reference in Europe and the Americas.
His theory of the geomorphological unit hydrograph was the first to connect the geomorphologic structure of the river basin to its hydrologic response, making a major impact upon the field. It brought understanding of the streamflow response of a river basin in a generalized fashion based upon topography—the “Holy Grail” of surface water hydrologists since before the days of Robert E. Horton! Subsequently, he brought to this problem ideas from fractal theory and the growth of biological networks, leading directly to a pathbreaking book with Andrea Rinaldo, Fractal River Basins: Chance and Self-Organization (Cambridge University Press, 1997), describing landscape formation within the general framework of self-organized criticality. The work provides, for the first time, a sound theoretical basis for the way drainage basins and their networks are arranged, a necessary starting point for theories of geomorphology and for the theory of runoff. My feelings about this contribution are perhaps best expressed in the following excerpt from its foreword:
Professors Rodríguez-Iturbe and Rinaldo bring a fundamental advance to both geomorphic science and hydrologic science by uncovering and exploiting “the deep statistical symmetry” inherent in the scale-free fractal form which unifies the characterization of river networks despite their extraordinary individual diversity…the authors propose and verify a condition of minimum energy expenditure for the entire fractal network which leads to their definition of “Optimal Channel Networks.” In so doing they establish for the first time the connection between optimality and fractal growth, and offer fascinating speculation on the difference between network structures based upon minimum energy expenditure and those resulting in maximum entropy. Finally, they demonstrate that Optimum Channel Networks are spatial examples of large, forced dynamical systems which self-organize into a critical state.
In ecohydrology, Rodríguez-Iturbe is currently focusing on how plants cope with the stress resulting from a variable natural water supply. This effort has produced another pioneering book, Ecohydrology of Water-Controlled Ecosystems (Cambridge University Press, 2004), with Amilcare Porporato. It models the biophysical connections between the hydrologic cycle and plant ecosystems with a rigor that is true to both the physics and the biology, opening another field at the forefront of environmental geoscience.
To summarize, the force of his personality, together with his intellect, and his energy have made Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe a world leader of the movement to deepen and extend the scientific foundations of hydrology. It is indeed fitting that he receive the 2009 AGU William Bowie Medal.
—PETER S. EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Mr. President, ladies, and gentlemen:
It is for me a great honor to receive this medal that is associated with the names of so many giants of the Earth and geophysical sciences.
When I submitted my first paper, handwritten (!), from my hometown of Maracaibo to Water Resources Research and had it reviewed and accepted, I knew how much AGU would mean to me in the years to come. That was 40 years ago, and I want to start by thanking this wonderful community of geoscientists who have always been so generous with me.
I was very lucky to do my Ph.D. under the guidance of Vujica Yevjevich at Colorado State University. Dr. “Y” created a most exciting program responsible for the first advances toward a serious probabilistic approach to hydrologic phenomena. He also taught me to dream about yet unknown problems.
Hydrology has experienced truly dramatic changes in the past 40 years, going from an appendix of hydraulics to occupying its rightful place among the other Earth sciences. I have been extremely fortunate to participate in that exciting transformation in the company of many friends to whom I will be forever grateful. Peter Eagleson, former AGU president and the last Bowie medalist from hydrology, has been my dearest friend since he hired me at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a young Venezuelan with peculiar English. Pete has always been a source of inspiration with his fearless initiative to dive into new and unexplored questions. Andrea Rinaldo and Michael Celia have been a constant source of the most generous support not only on research but also on life in general. I have no words to fully express my gratitude to them. Whatever I may have accomplished, I owe to the best possible group of doctoral and postdoctoral students anyone could ever dream of. Here in the audience are Rafael Bras, Eric Wood, Juan Valdes, Amilcare Porporato, Paolo D’Odorico, Kelly Caylor, Todd Scanlon, Andrew Guswa, Francesco Laio, Stefania Tamea, Rachata Muneepeerakul, and Enrico Bertuzo…an unbeatable team! They are a representative sample of the outstanding excellence of many others throughout the world. To all of them I can only say thanks.
I am grateful to many academic institutions in both the United States and Venezuela that supported my involvement in areas where success was doubtful and funding was scarce. Foremost on this list is Princeton, where I found an ideal academic home where the first priority is the excitement of the intellectual search, and where my links with ecology and the other Earth sciences have brought me close to areas and problems in the intersection of the historically different disciplines of biology and physical science. It is in this intersection—where hydrology plays a fundamental role—that I believe some of the most exciting areas of research are waiting for us: hydrologic drivers of biodiversity; climate change impacts in ecosystem functioning and regional hydrologic dynamics; the metabolic understanding of river basins; and hydrologic controls of disease spread. These are just a few examples of the fascinating landscape where imaginative designs, searching for general principles and marked by a strong aesthetic incentive, will fundamentally advance our understanding of nature.
I finish these words thanking Mercedes, my wife, who has been at the center of each day of the past 45 years of my life and whose generosity in the silent acts of every day reminds me that the world needs more than knowledge: It needs the profound happiness that overcomes sadness and pain. For that happiness, for this medal that AGU so generously awards me today, and for so many other things, not only my heartfelt thanks but also my deepest love go to her.
—IGNACIO RODRÍGUEZ-ITURBE, Princeton University, Princeton, N. J.
Gerald J Wasserburg
Gerald J. Wasserburg was awarded the 2008 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held 17 December 2008 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
It is a great pleasure to give the citation for the 2008 AGU William Bowie medalist, Gerald (“Jerry”) J. Wasserburg. His work on radiogenic isotope geochemistry has had a profound effect on Earth and planetary sciences and astrophysics. Jerry’s Ph.D. thesis tried to determine the branching ratio of 40K decay, and the 40K-40Ar dating of igneous rocks and sediments. Then he made major contributions to 87Rb-87Sr and U-Pb geochronology, cosmochronology (129I), and the significance of K/U ratio difference between the Earth and primitive meteorites and its implications for the Earth’s thermal history. Jerry constructed the first programmable high-precision mass spectrometer, the Lunatic-I, to work on lunar samples returned by the Apollo program. The precision of this instrument opened up a wide range of new problems for study and led to the first precise determination of the solar system’s initial 87Sr/86Sr value based on basaltic meteorites. This value is still in use and is essential for modeling planetary evolution. In 1969, after the Allende meteorite fall in Mexico, Jerry was among the first to collect pieces of it. He found the Allende white inclusions to have lower initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios than the basaltic meteorites and to be the earliest objects formed in the solar system. Concurrently, work on long- and short-lived radionuclides showed that the long-lived chronometers directly date the mean age of the galaxy. Work on the U-Pb system in lunar samples combined with 87Rb-87Sr and 40K-40Ar age data led him to first propose the “terminal lunar cataclysm” at ~3.9 billion years ago. Then the 147Sm-143Nd system was developed for a variety of terrestrial applications, forming the cornerstone of modern geochemistry and understanding the chemical evolution of the Earth’s deep interior. Further work on the white inclusions led to the discovery that short-lived 26Al had been present in the early solar system, implying an injection of fresh nucleosynthetic material into the solar system’s parental molecular cloud. Measurable isotopic anomalies in heavy elements (Ca, Ti, Ba, Sm, Nd) found in so-called fractionated and unknown nuclear (FUN) white inclusions provided direct evidence for incomplete mixing of presolar nucleosynthetic components and survival of some of them in the early solar nebula. His development of precise 230Th and 187Re-187Os chronology provided important tools in the fields of paleoclimatology and mantle geochemistry, respectively. Jerry put forward a new way of interpreting the abundances of the now extinct nuclides in the early solar system by inferring that two distinct supernova sources contributed to the inventory of the isotopes in the interstellar medium over the history of our galaxy. Of course, as the mark of a great leader, Jerry says he could not have done all this alone. He acknowledged this best in the abstract of his Crafoord Prize paper, comparing himself to Tom Sawyer from Mark Twain’s book: “My presence here is due to an ability to attract young talent to help whitewash the fence….” In recruiting these painters, many of them immigrant laborers, he trained and inspired a new generation of isotope geochemists who are continuing his work around the world. In summary, it is hard to imagine where the field of radiogenic isotope geochemistry and cosmochemistry would be today without Jerry. In 1986 he and Claude Allegre were awarded the Crafoord Prize for pioneering work on isotope geology. He was also awarded the Goldschmidt Medal in 1977 for his contributions to the field of geochemistry. He is an excellent choice for AGU’s highest honor, the Bowie Medal.
—STEIN B. JACOBSEN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Mr. President, members of the Union, ladies and gentlemen: I am most pleased and honored to receive the AGU William Bowie Medal. I thank Stein Jacobsen for his most generous presentation and the conominators for so convincing the council. I was instructed by AGU officers to give an oral acceptance that is “informal and light” (which you will hear) and a lengthy one that will appear in Eos that no one will read.
I have spent most of my career developing instruments and techniques with my colleague Dimitri Anastassiou Papanastassiou for the purpose of making high-precision, high-sensitivity measurements of isotopic abundances. This work, in the “Lunatic Asylum” Laboratory at Caltech using the Lunatic-I spectrometer, established a standard of performance that guided the field for 30 years. It was recently acquired by the Smithsonian Institution for archiving (or internment!).
My efforts have been devoted toward measurement, observation, modeling, and theory. Usually my work was toward addressing what I thought was a well-defined problem. It is the interplay of these different aspects that has led me to recognize connections between different problems and very different fields—this has been most stimulating and gratifying to me. It has led to new and exciting endeavors, often in surprising directions. I have always avoided “karaoke” science and recommend such avoidance to all scientists.
Earlier this year I had dinner with some old friends from Leningrad while visiting the physics department at the University of Minnesota. The granddaughter, a high-school senior and just turning 18, was at the table. I asked her what she found most interesting in school. She replied, “Not much.” I asked further, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” She responded, “Why do you ask me this?” I said, “You are just turning 18 and I have just turned 81. I need some guidance or direction from you.” She is quite bright and responded, “You should write a book on a subject about which you know nothing!” Well, that is what I have been doing most of my life. I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with brilliant, dedicated young people who interact with me, discuss with me, argue with me, criticize me, tolerate me, and work toward trying to understand something of interest in nature. It is this lust for trying, often very hard, to understand something of nature that is the driving force. The idea that maybe, maybe, I will understand something gives me a high, even if it is not new. If I hope that it is really something new, then I am elated! The interrelationship between 18 and 81 is not just a switch of digits. It is the interplay between interested players of different ages and vitalities and skills, dedicated to trying to understand. That is both exciting and rejuvenating. It is my belief that whatever I am working on right now is the most important thing I ever did. I recently sent an e-mail to my colleague Yong-Zhong Qian in Minnesota about a possible new project. He responded, “We just got the proofs of our article; let us get that finished. Then we can talk about a grand new adventure.” The new problem is always the most exciting problem.
I have had the privilege of working with brilliant young people who play that game. It is continuing this activity that keeps part of me always closer to 18 than to 81. That is the fountain of youth—drink from it!
There is one other issue I will comment on. Work on selected advisory bodies to branches of government is an important public service. It is also extremely educational. It gives one a broader view of the scientific and technical enterprises of the world and, if one does not just focus on his own area of special interest, leads to a better understanding of science, science management, the structure of government, and the assignment of resources. One comes to recognize three great truths of science management: (1) The primary function of any agency of government/industry is to obtain or maintain the highest possible level of long-term funding, independent of the real scientific or technical virtues of a program, or of national need. (2) If you work at it very hard, it is sometimes possible to get the vector of policy actions closer (by, say, a milliradian) to an objective that may have real scientific virtue. (3) Sometimes there are program manag-ers who focus great effort at identifying and supporting truly innovative work. They are the individuals who make the system work and help science and technology progress.
—GERALD J. WASSERBURG, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Susan Solomon was awarded the 2007 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on 12 December 2007 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
I am particularly pleased tonight to present Susan Solomon, who will receive one of the most prestigious AGU awards: the William Bowie Medal.
As early as the late 1970s, Susan was preparing her Ph.D. thesis at National Center for Atmospheric Research under the scientific supervision of Paul Crutzen and Harold Johnston. Susan became fascinated by the mechanisms that affect ozone and other chemical compounds in the upper atmosphere. She assessed the vulnerability of upper atmosphere ozone to energetic particles of solar origin, and showed how thermospheric perturbations associated with solar activity could propagate down to the middle and even the lower polar atmosphere. When the springtime Antarctic ozone hole was reported in 1984, Susan realized that no known mechanism could explain this dramatic and unpredicted perturbation. She provided a possible explanation: Chlorine atoms originating from the industrially manufactured chlorofluorocarbons, if activated on the surface of ice particles present in polar regions, could destroy most of the lower stratospheric ozone in only a few weeks. This theory was challenged. Atmospheric dynamicists had suggested that changes in the atmospheric circulation were a more likely cause for this observed ozone depletion, while several chemists were invoking the role of the nitrogen oxides produced during high solar activity periods. The solution came a few years later, after the completion of an Antarctic expedition led by Susan: Chlorine was the culprit. Its concentration was indeed elevated in regions where polar stratospheric clouds were present, and ozone was depleted in just a few weeks. Susan provided the leadership to the first measurements showing that halocarbons are the cause of the ozone hole. This discovery played a decisive role in the decision made by the nations of the world to ban the use of chlorofluorocarbons. This year, we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol for the protection of the ozone layer.clouds, and marine boundary layers.
The climate issue is today on the agenda of many nations of the world, but many complex questions remain to be addressed. Susan decided to elucidate the influence of the stratosphere in the climate system, and focused on the effects of ozone and halocarbons on climate.
Susan Solomon soon understood the need to communicate important scientific results to decision-makers and more generally to the public. She decided to contribute to several international environmental assessments and, with many of her colleagues, became instrumental in providing the scientific basis that lies at the foundation for decisions by society. In the past 5 years, she served as the cochair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I. This IPCC report, published in 2007, made headlines and paved the way for actions on climate change. The effort, which took more than 3 years of intense activity and involved scientists from more than a hundred countries, had a major influence on the political agenda that will ultimately lead to mitigation and adaptation measures needed to protect humanity from adverse climate change. Recently, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to former Vice President Al Gore and the IPCC.
Finally, I would like to highlight the important educational role played by Susan Solomon. In addition to her scientific activities, Susan contributed immensely to informing the public on climate change and ozone depletion. She entrained a new generation of scientists who realize the fragility of our planet and, through her enthusiasm and mentoring skills, has fostered the careers of many young researchers.
—GUY BRASSEUR, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.
It’s an overwhelming joy to receive the Bowie Medal, because it comes from one of our field’s key professional societies. It just doesn’t get any better than this kind of recognition from your peers.
I would like to briefly sketch how privileged I’ve been both in terms of what I’ve been able to study, and with whom I’ve been lucky enough to work. The discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by a group of scientists at the British Antarctic Survey sent shock waves around the world a bit more than two decades ago. I had the honor of collaborating with Rolando Garcia in suggesting that reactions involving hydrochloric acid from chlorofluorocarbons on cloud surfaces might be the cause of the mysterious hole; that idea is now well recognized as correct. I was also blessed to have Ryan Sanders as primary collaborator in taking the first data directly implicating this unusual chemistry. Working beside A. R. Ravishankara and colleagues, I benefited hugely from their powerful insights from the laboratory. Most recently, I’ve had the great luck to work with Dave Thompson in showing how ozone depletion affects the surface climate of Antarctica as well as the distribution of stratospheric temperatures. I’ve also enjoyed wonderful collaborations with students and other members of my research group, who helped and inspired me.
I take heart in the belief that the ozone hole and climate change have demonstrated that the planet and its resources are vast but finite, and I’m optimistic that society can make good decisions when armed with good scientific information. I’ve devoted a substantial amount of my time to scientific assessments of ozone depletion and climate change, to bring the best possible information to the public and to policymakers. In doing so I have followed the incomparable traditions of ozone and climate science assessments provided by the founding wisdom of Dan Albritton, Bob Watson, Sir John Houghton, and Bert Bolin.
In co-chairing the Working Group One (WG1) contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007), I’ve benefited enormously from the untiring dedication of the WG1 Technical Support Unit (and especially its head, Martin Manning). I’ve been awed by being able to work with over 170 truly gifted primary authors and review editors in our WG1 team. Their joint devotion to getting it right has been scrupulous and uplifting. The acknowledgment of IPCC in a Nobel Peace Prize shared with Mr. Albert Gore Jr. is an honor that belongs not only to thousands of scientists who worked on the IPCC over decades but more broadly to science as an enterprise. It signals a new message regarding the role of science in peace.
If I’ve been able to motivate younger people, it is mainly because it’s so compelling to work with colleagues such as I’ve enjoyed, on fascinating and important problems, in remarkable places like Antarctica: what a joy it is to be a scientist and what a joy it is to receive this wonderful Bowie Medal. Thank you.
—SUSAN SOLOMON, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.
Carl I Wunsch
Carl Wunsch was awarded the 2006 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on 13 December 2006, in San Francisco, Calif. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.
Carl Wunsch is a visionary in the study of the ocean and its roles in climate change. Through the impact of research, vision, leadership, and unselfish cooperation, he has shaped the landscape of modern oceanography.
He started as a mathematician setting out to seek new approaches to studying the ocean and the solid Earth. His early work made fundamental contributions in diverse topics ranging from ocean tides and internal waves to the Chandler Wobble of the Earth. Since his early career, he has been a crusader, advocating statistical rigor in making inferences from observations, a virtue not fully appreciated by the oceanographic community at the time. His work has showed us how to obtain definitive knowledge with quantified uncertainty about the ocean from limited disparate data records.
Furthermore, his work has often led to the development of new strategies and tools for observing the ocean. His contributions to the design of the landmark Mid-Ocean Dynamics Experiment (MODE) and the POLYMODE experiment in the 1970s to determine the scales of ocean variability are notable examples.
In the late 1970s, Carl introduced the inverse modeling method to tackle the problem of ocean circulation as a grossly under-determined system resulting from the extreme scarcity of observations. With the method, he developed a framework for assessing the information content in the sparse observations of the global oceans. Carl’s effort has transformed observational studies of the ocean from qualitative description to quantitative determination. This transformation has also created a new paradigm in which numerical models of the ocean are not just a theoretical tool but also a tool for applying ocean physics to observations for optimal estimation of the state of the ocean. The emergence of ocean data assimilation in the mid-1990s for a wide range of applications was to a large extent owing to Carl’s contributions.
An entire generation of oceanographers has benefited from Carl’s work. I am fortunate enough to be among Carl’s numerous students who can attest to this achievement firsthand. Recognizing the dire need for global ocean observations, Carl inspired the international community to campaign for global programs to observe the oceans, leading to the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), the largest international effort to date to measure the flow field and water properties of the world’s oceans. WOCE was developed in the 1980s and successfully carried out in the 1990s. Carl was also the intellectual creator of the highly successful U.S./France joint satellite mission of TOPEX/Poseidon as part of WOCE, for measuring the global ocean surface topography from space. The results from WOCE and TOPEX/Poseidon have revolutionized the way we study the oceans, and set an invaluable benchmark against which we will measure the future change of the global oceans and its effects on climate. For the first time in history, oceanographers can answer questions like, How much change in the ocean circulation and heat storage has taken place in the past decade? What is the uncertainty of the estimate?
Carl’s monumental contributions leading to such a fundamental advancement of a branch of Earth science have fully embodied the ideals of the William Bowie Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Geophysical Union.
—Lee-Lueng Fu, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Receiving the William Bowie Medal is both a pleasure and an honor, and I am grateful to Lee Fu and the many others who determined to make it happen. Lee’s nice words are, of course, pleasant to hear, although they make me aware of all of the colleagues, students, and collaborators who should receive much of the credit. My wife, Marjory, will also know how much I owe her.
There is not enough space here to provide an adequate response. In summary, I was very lucky in my career, having been in the right place at the right time. By good fortune, I encountered a remarkable group of senior people who were prepared to foster an inexperienced student and junior colleague. At MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge), Raymond Hide sent me to a new faculty member named Henry Stommel. Hank was so exciting and inspiring that I decided I wanted to work with him. That he was a physical oceanographer, and that I knew nothing of the subject, was not really a consideration, for either of us. Ironically, I left geophysics in the midst of the most exciting time in its history—the plate tectonics revolution. I’ve never regretted it!
Physical oceanography as it was practiced in the 1960s and 1970s presented, by today’s standards, some remarkable opportunities. One got to go to sea, to make measurements that were still largely mechanically based and so intuitively understandable, to be paid to visit exotic locations, to construct new and simple theories that seemed to work, and perhaps the ultimate experimental experience, to have control of a large, transoceanic ship and crew for weeks at a time. The world would have been a much better place had there been no Cold War, but the United States Navy was then rapidly building up new oceanographic programs all across the country. They were searching for people and ideas, and the money was there. To give some idea of how different that period was from today, as a 25-year-old new Ph.D., I became the chief scientist on the R/V Atlantis II for 2 weeks working near Bermuda to understand the island/ocean interaction. With hindsight, it’s probably the scariest thing I ever did, and it’s virtually inconceivable today.
Frank Press, who hired me, understood exactly what was required for a young scientist to make his way. Frank showed me how to be a faculty member, how to work with students and colleagues, how to manage a department, and generally how to be a working scientist. He showed me that if one tried to determine what people were good at, and if one helped them to do it, then everyone benefited.
MIT, which gave me my only job, was a very capably run institution, by people including Frank Press, Jerome Wiesner, Howard Johnson, Jay Stratton, Walter Rosenblith, and William Brace. It was an exceptional place to work, an institution where faculty well-being was paramount—if one had a problem, they understood it, and were prepared to help.
Many of the things that Lee credits to me came about because I had the right people to work with. Walter Munk has loomed large in my professional life. To describe what I took from our relationship over the years requires an essay in itself. There have been others over the years, including my engineering collaborator, John Dahlen, my partner in WOCE, Worth Nowlin, and several others in recent years. More generally, my students and postdocs have all been collaborators in many different senses of the word. Programs like the World Ocean Circulation Experiment and TOPEX/POSEIDON only happen from the willing efforts of thousands of people, and when the world is ripe.
Geophysics, in the widest sense of the word, has advanced immeasurably over the past 40 years. Four of the people instrumental in my own career (Press, Hide, Stommel, Munk) became Bowie Medalists. The job of those of us receiving awards and medals for career-long work is to assure that 40 years from now, the winner then of the Bowie Medal will be able to say that he or she likewise benefited from the ungrudging support of those who came before.
—CARL WUNSCH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.
Johannes Geiss was awarded the 2004 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on 7 December 2005 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish cooperation in research.
I am most pleased and honored to present this citation to Johannes Geiss, a truly great space scientist and investigator of the solar system and universe. His pioneering work, spanning over half a century, has paved the way toward understanding the physical world in which we live, its origins, and its destiny. He is a strong and effective advocate of science and ingenious in his ability to influence science policy and foster good science. Space limitations allow me to highlight only a few of Geiss’ outstanding scientific accomplishments, service to science and society, and contributions to the conduct of science.
Geiss is a world leader and foremost expert on measurements and interpretation of composition that reveals the history, present state, and future of astronomical objects. He was first to measure the composition of the solar wind noble gases in the late 1960s with his brilliant solar wind collecting foil experiments on five Apollo missions to the Moon. Many successful and innovative space experiments followed, aimed at finding the composition of matter near the Earth, of the Sun, planets, comets, and the interstellar gas.
Geiss’s leadership was crucial in the development of modern time-of-flight spectrometers capable of measuring the mass and charge compositions of space plasmas. These instruments have provided the most comprehensive record of the solar wind composition as we know it today, under all solar wind conditions, at all heliolatitudes, with profound implications for the origin of the solar wind and the composition of the Sun.
Discovery and extensive studies of interstellar pickup ions by Geiss and coworkers stimulated and revitalized theoretical work on the interstellar medium and its interaction with the heliosphere. Geiss’ discovery of the ‘inner source’ pickup ions came as a complete surprise, revealing the importance of dust near the Sun in converting solar wind ions to slow moving atoms.
Geiss has contributed many original ideas and interpretations to account for his observations. In 1972, Geiss and Hubert Reeves found the deuterium abundance in the protosolar cloud, using the newly measured solar and meteoritic abundance of helium-3. Later, using measurements of solar and interstellar helium-3, Geiss showed that the deuterium plus helium-3 to hydrogen ratio remained surprisingly constant over the lifetime of the universe, and placed limits on its baryonic density. Most recently, he proposed a galactic mixing model, involving infall of gas from dwarf galaxies to explain the puzzling low metallicity of galactic gas.
As impressive as Geiss’s contributions are to fundamental science, he unselfishly promotes science and is an able spokesman for the societal benefits of scientific research. He was among the key players shaping the science policy and current science program of the European Space Agency. He is a strong advocate for international scientific cooperation and successfully promoted international space missions such as Ulysses, SOHO, and Cassini/Huygens. He is largely responsible for the excellent space science program in Switzerland.
Perhaps Geiss’s most important contribution to the conduct of science came late in his career through his creation and leadership of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI).Today, ISSI is flourishing and is the leading place for topical international space science workshops and team meetings, bringing together scientists from around the world.
Geiss, a pioneering space physicist, is a modest person who freely shares his knowledge and ideas with colleagues, and is most stimulating to interact with. He is devoted to science and its conduct and promotion. He truly epitomizes all those qualities that the William Bowie Medal honors.
—GEORGE GLOECKER, University of Maryland, College Park
Thank you very much, George, for this generous citation.
After receiving my master’s degree in physics at Göttingen University (Germany), I joined Wolfgang Paul’s group and did a Ph.D. thesis on natural variations in the isotopic composition of lead. Later, I brought one of our instruments to Bern (Switzerland) and built up a mass spectrometer laboratory in Fritz Houtermans’ Physics Institute. We investigated, with the help of excellent students, lead isotope variations from the oldest African ores to the lead deposits that were forming in the volcanic region of southern Italy. Soon our group became a known entity in the emerging field of ‘nuclear geology.’
In 1955, Harold Urey at the University of Chicago invited me to work with him on meteorites. This was still a few years before Sputnik, and meteorites were unique messengers from the outside world. I measured argon-potassium ages of a variety of meteorites. The achondrite Shergotti gave an exceptionally low age, so low it could hardly be a piece of an asteroid. Much later, it became clear that Shergotti is a Mars meteorite and indeed the youngest of them all.
In Chicago, Carmen [my wife] and I renewed old friendships and made new friends. From Urey and Edward Anders I learned much about cosmic abundances, Friedrich Begemann and I studied exposure ages of meteorites, and with Cesare Emiliani I went, a few years later, to Miami, where we started a paleotemperature laboratory. There I was reminded of my childhood south of the Baltic Sea, where the landscape with its dunes, hills, and lakes was formed during the Ice Ages. And now, sitting here in hot Florida, I was trying to find out from Caribbean foraminifera, why and when the Scandinavian ice advanced and retreated.
In the mid-1960s I took charge of the Physics Institute in Bern and, with Peter Eberhardt and Norbert Grögler, built up a laboratory for extraterrestrial research, starting with investigations of meteorites and lunar samples. I went to the NASA Center in Houston in the fall of 1968, taking along the Solar Wind Composition device we had developed in Bern. Supported by Bill Hess and his associates, the Swiss experiment was included in the Apollo 11 and later Apollo payloads. The success of our Apollo experiments established the Physics Institute as a space research center. Participation in many European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA missions followed, and this has been continuing very successfully with younger people and new projects. The creation of ISSI has further strengthened Bern’s position in space science. Many Swiss helped start ISSI. But equally important was the international recognition and support offered by Reimar Lüst, Roger Bonnet, David Southwood, and Martin Huber of ESA, Bengt Hultqvist of Sweden, Len Fisk and Wes Huntress of NASA, and Roald Sagdeev of the Russian Academy.
In the1970s, George Gloeckler invented a new type of mass spectrometer, combining time-of-flight measurement with preacceleration. This has revolutionized plasma composition measurement in space. We in Bern were fortunate to join him on the SWICS-Ulysses experiment that for 15 years has provided us with a unique three-dimensional picture of heliospheric ion populations. I am looking forward to continuing this marvelous cooperation.
I am very grateful to receive the William Bowie Medal from the AGU, the world’s strongest union of Earth and solar system scientists. Since the time of my thesis, our understanding of the Earth and the solar system has greatly advanced. Much of this affects society directly. Wisely applied, the new insights will help to minimize natural and man-made disasters, and to develop balanced space programs that advance science and serve society.
—JOHANNES GEISS, International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland
Keiiti Aki was awarded the 2004 William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on 15 December 2004, in San Francisco, California. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.
Kei Aki’s scientific research has expanded the frontiers of seismology for 50 years. He pioneered the electronic processing of seismic data to infer Earth structure and properties of the earthquake source. Much of what we know about large earthquakes follows from his work.
He was the first to measure seismic moment (for the 1964 Niigata earthquake); Aki moment has since replaced Richter magnitude as the fundamental measure of earthquake size. He discovered the fundamental scaling laws for seismic spectra that resolved inconsistencies among different magnitude scales, and he proposed physical models of earthquakes for heterogeneous fault rupture. This work contributed significantly to both the basic understanding of the rupture process and the practical understanding of strong ground motions.
He elucidated the scattering and attenuation processes that govern the propagation of high-frequency seismic waves, from which he derived new methods for measuring earthquake size, scattering distributions, and intrinsic attenuation parameters. He demonstrated, for instance, that the intrinsic attenuation must decrease at high frequencies.
He developed many novel approaches for describing aspects of seismic waves, including free-oscillation splitting, Gaussian beams, and boundary integral methods. In each case, he and his students successfully used these techniques to extract new types of information from seismograms.
He pioneered travel-time tomography as a means to study lithospheric structure beneath dense seismic arrays, publishing seminal papers almost a decade ahead of its widespread application to global seismology. He established new seismological perspectives on volcanic processes, including the relationship of seismicity and harmonic tremor to magma injection and eruption. He detected fault-zone guided waves and used their propagation characteristics to constrain the width and elasticity of the damage zones around faults.
As impressive as this abbreviated list might sound (more topics could easily be added), it fails to communicate Kei’s true impact within the geoscience community. He literally wrote the book Quantitative Seismology, the most influential textbook and reference manual in the history of the field, which he coauthored with Paul Richards in 1980.
As a teacher and mentor, he entrained many bright students in his quest to understand the active Earth, producing over 50 Ph.D.s who now occupy key positions in seismology worldwide. His success in guiding young scientists stems in part from the depth of his understanding, but also from his remarkable personal qualities-charm, wit, and a deep respect for the harmony and poetry of the natural world.
Kei’s quiet leadership in seismology has demonstrated the subtlety and power of unselfish cooperation in research. He has held many positions: president of the Seismology Section of AGU, president of the Seismological Society of America, chair of the NAS Committee on Seismology.
But his greatest leadership achievement was the creation of the Southern California Earthquake Center in 1991. As its founding director, Kei articulated a vision for SCEC in which the investigations by disciplinary working groups would be woven together into a system-level ‘master model’ for earthquake hazard and risk in Southern California. The master-model concept led to many advances in seismic hazard analysis, such as the incorporation of GPS data into long-term earthquake forecasting, and it continues to guide the growing SCEC collaboration.
Some scientists loom so large in their fields that we must mark their impact with special honors. Kei Aki, the 2004 recipient of the William Bowie Medal, is one of our giants.
—THOMAS H. JORDON, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
William Bowie, after whom the Bowie medal is named, was upset by the finding of seismologists in the early 1920s that earthquakes may be occurring at depths of nearly 1,000 km, because he had been living in a harmonious world of isostasy, in which the Earth’s interior is in hydrostatic equilibrium below the 100-km thick crust.
In spite of that, we have a long list of seismologists who were awarded his medal. Jeffreys and Gutenberg received it in 1952 and 1953, respectively. They together completed the classic seismology to such perfection that I felt there was nothing left in seismology to do as a graduate student.
Then the wave-theoretical approach was opened in Earthquake Seismology by Ewing, Benioff, and Press, who were awarded the medal between 1957 and 1979. They started with the long-period waves to which relatively simple deterministic models of the Earth and earthquakes are applicable.
Long-period seismology flourished under the leadership of Anderson, Gilbert, and Dziewonski, who were awarded the medal between 1991 and 2002. It is now called broadband seismology in which the upper bound of its applicable frequency range has been pushed steadily upward.
In my first decade as a seismologist, after being overwhelmed by Jeffreys and Gutenberg, and before Frank Press opened my eyes to the possibility of the deterministic approaches in earthquake seismology, I was trying to introduce stochastic modeling into seismology, motivated by Norbert Wiener’s Cybernetics, published when I was an undergraduate student at Tokyo University. In fact, Japanese seismologists used to call me a statistical seismologist.
The familiarity with both statistical and deterministic approaches, together with the recognition that seismology is at a contact point between two broader fields of knowledge regarding the solid Earth, namely, geology and civil engineering, gave me a vast area to work in a style that matched well with the very open system of doing science in this country. It also helped me to attract numerous talented students and colleagues throughout the world to work together. The prestigious William Bowie Medal given to me surely recognizes the sum of their contributions.
Donald L Turcotte
Donald L.Turcotte was awarded the Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on 10 December 2003, in San Francisco, California. The medal honors “outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.”
“Few have contributed more to fundamental geophysics, or been better at encouraging others to contribute, than Donald L. Turcotte. Don trained as an engineer, receiving a Ph.D. in aeronautics and physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1958. After a year at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, he joined the Cornell Graduate School of Aeronautical Engineering, rising to full professor. He established expertise on seeded combustion, magnetohydrodynamic and electrical phenomena in turbulent boundary layers, and shock waves, and authored a book, Space Propulsion and Statistical Thermodynamics, and co-authored a textbook, Statistical Thermodynamics.
“In 1965 he went on sabbatical to Oxford and returned an Earth scientist. The catalyst was Ron Oxburgh. Plate tectonics was just on the horizon, and Don joined his quantitative abilities and physical intuition with Ron’s skills and knowledge of geology to produce over the next decade a remarkable series of 24 papers that explored topics such as the many implications of the Earth’s thermal boundary layer, ridge melting, subduction zone volcanism, and intraplate tectonics and magmatism, and established the physical bases for many of the processes operating on our planet. Shifting to the Cornell Department of Geological Sciences in 1973, Don explored virtually every aspect of physical Earth geology and became an expert on planetary remote sensing and geophysical interpretation. He published over 150 papers on thermal subsidence in sedimentary basins, two-phase hydrothermal porous media convection, lithosphere flexure, cyclic sedimentation, and stick-slip earthquakes and the lithospheres and mantles of the other planets. He worked and published with outstanding students and colleagues including Ken Torrance, Gerald Schubert, David Spence, Marc Parmentier, Bill Haxby, John Ockendon, Kevin Burke, Jud Ahern, Steve Emerman, and Charlie Angevine. In 1982 he published Geodynamics with Jerry Schubert, a book that became the primary reference in the field.
“In 1985 Don was introduced to fractals by Bob Smalley, and his intellect engaged. He showed how fractals and chaos apply to almost every Earth process and at last explained why geologists place rock hammers in their photographs. In 1992 he published Fractals and Chaos in Geology and Geophysics, a book that became the primary Earth sciences reference in this new field. In 2001 he published a comprehensive book on mantle convection with Jerry Schubert and Peter Olson.
“Don has been a member of innumerable academy committees, editorial boards, and working groups. He is a past president of the Tectonics Section of the AGU, past chair of the Geophysics Section of the National Academy of Sciences, and was chair of the Department of Geology at Cornell for 9 years. Few in the profession will not have interacted with Don in one capacity or another. All appreciate his managerial style and ability to routinely turn mountains into molehills.
“Most amazing is how with such apparent ease and equanimity one person could be so prolific, so effective in applying fundamental physical and chemical principles to understand the Earth and planets, and so successful in establishing long-term and productive collaborations. Few deserve an award honoring ‘outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish collaboration in research’ more than Don Turcotte.”
—LAWRENCE M. CATHLES, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
“I would like to thank Larry Cathles for his kind words. I am very honored to have been selected for this recognition, but must emphasize that all my efforts have been joint with colleagues, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates.
“My career in geophysics over the past 38 years was really defined by two chance meetings. The first was with Ron Oxburgh at Oxford in the fall of 1965. I was on sabbatic leave in engineering and was asked to discuss mantle convection with Ron, a young geology faculty member. He had recently arrived at Oxford from Princeton and was a strong advocate of mantle convection and continental drift. We jointly developed a theory of boundary-layer convection for the mantle which is pretty much the standard model today. Ron and I went on to publish a series of papers maximizing a collaboration between a geologist who didn’t know anything about equations and an aerospace engineer who didn’t and—doesn’t—know one rock from another.
“The second chance meeting was with Jack Oliver at the long gone AGU ‘Smoker’ at the 1967 Spring Meeting in Washington. I was deeply involved in the transfer of Cornell’s Geology Department from the College of Arts and Sciences to the Engineering College and learned that Jack might be available to take a leadership role. Fortunately for all, this worked out and the rest is history. Jack built a wonderful department along with COCORP, and I spent an absolutely wonderful 30 years participating in the adventure.
“I must recognize stimulating and productive collaborations with Ron Oxburgh, Jerry Schubert, Ken Torrance, David Spence, Hilary and John Ockendon, Claude Allegre, John Rundle, Volodya Keilis-Borok, Bill Newman, and Andre Gabrielov among others. I must also recognize the absolutely essential contributions of my graduate students, including Albert Hsui, Marc Parmentier, Bill Haxby, Charlie Angevine, Ray Willemann, Jud Ahern, Steve Emerman, Pat Kenyon, Louise Kellogg, Jie Huang, Cheryl Stewart, Algis Kucinskas, Bruce Malamud, Jon Pelletier, Gleb Morein, and Robert Shcherbakov.
“I found my colleagues at Cornell to be most stimulating. This was particularly true of our luncheon group. I joined this ongoing luncheon group when I joined the Cornell faculty in 1959, and it continues after my departure from Cornell this year. There were certain rules: go to lunch at 11:30, eat quickly, and enjoy wide-ranging discussions over coffee. Regular participants included Bryan Isacks, Sue and Bob Kay, Larry Cathles, Jack Bird, and Syd Kaufman. We provided solutions to a wide range of problems both scientific and political from an extremely diverse range of viewpoints.
“I will conclude with the following comment. When I retired from Cornell in January of this year for the University of California at Davis, the position at Davis was half time. My wife keeps asking me why a half-time position requires that I go into the office seven days a week, often by 7 A.M. The answer is simple. Doing geophysical modeling isn’t work, its fun, and its just as much fun today as it was 35 years ago.”
—DONALD L. TURCOTTE, University of California, Davis
Adam M Dziewonski
Adam Dziewonski was awarded the William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on 8 December 2002, in San Francisco, California. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish cooperation in research.
“The world is different because of Adam Dziewonski, the recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s highest honor, the William Bowie Medal. When I say different, I mean it literally. Open nearly any introductory geoscience textbook and look at the figures representing the structure of the Earth. Where there once was an onionskin Earth with radially symmetric layers, there now are color diagrams showing complex variations of seismic velocity that are representative of a dynamic and ever-changing Earth. Adam pioneered the technique of seismic tomography that has become ubiquitous in geophysics. Countless numbers of freshmen from Maine to Mexico are familiar with Dziewonski’s red and blue blobs painting an image of the mantle in motion. This accomplishment alone is worthy of recognition; in fact, Adam and Don Anderson received the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in 1998 for their work on Earth structure, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the accomplishments of an amazing man.
“Adam was born in Lwów, Poland. This part of Poland was acquired by the Soviet Union after World War II, but make no mistake, Adam is Polish! Adam received an M.S. from the University of Warsaw in 1960, and did his Ph.D. work at the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. After graduation, Adam accepted a position as a research associate at the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies, in Dallas (which became the University of Texas at Dallas). Only one day after Adam arrived in Dallas (which apparently was nothing like Cracow), Adam met Freeman Gilbert at the annual meeting of the SEG. Thus began one of many fruitful collaborations with numerous seismologists. Adam and Freeman developed a technique for determining the source mechanism for earthquakes utilizing modal sums. Adam began routinely applying this methodology to all earthquakes above magnitude of 5.5 and developed the CMT (Centroid Moment Tensor) catalog. This catalog has become one of the most used seismological compendiums in history. Literally thousands of scientists have used the CMT catalog for studies on earthquake mechanisms, seismotectonics, and earthquake scaling laws. The CMT is now the standard way that seismologists learn about earthquakes, as descriptions of the mechanism location and other details are mailed to thousands worldwide within hours of an event occurring. Although the leadership of the project has now passed to one of Adam’s colleagues (and former student), Göran Ekström, it was Adam’s vision that made the CMT an essential part of the seismological research infrastructure.
“Adam enjoyed the company of Anton Hales at UT Dallas. Hales loves the every wiggle on a seismogram, and I believe that inspired Adam to work on improving the radially symmetric models for the Earth’s interior. Don Anderson and Adam published a detailed reference model called PREM (Preliminary Reference Earth Model). This led to work investigating deviations from this model, and eventually to seismic tomography. In a series of pioneering papers, Adam teamed with Hagar and O’Connell to use seismic structure as ‘geophysical input’ for geodynamics and mineral physics studies. Adam and his students and colleagues have continued to refine the structure of the Earth: superplumes beneath Africa, anisotropy in the inner core, the superswell in the Pacific–the list of studies is long.
“Although Adam’s scientific accomplishments are remarkable in their own right, they are equaled by his contribution to building the geophysical community through leadership. Adam was a principal architect of the Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS) and arguably is the ‘father’ of the modern Global Seismic Network (GSN), which is the primary tool in global seismology for the world today. In the late 1970s, the world networks were in grave disorder. Support for an aged WWSSN network disappeared, and various Department of Defense experiments in digital instrumentation had all but dried up and blown away. Adam, along with a few other senior seismologists, decided that only a network operated by an active academic community could be sustained in the long run. Adam doggedly pursued the development of a Global Seismic Network, which is composed of high-gain, broadband seismic stations that distributed data to all researchers. The GSN became one of the central facilities in IRIS and is now the primary source of seismic waveforms worldwide. Adam continues to be involved in IRIS and the GSN and has used his leadership position to promote free exchange of data.
“In summary, Adam Dziewonski is a remarkable geophysicist. He has shaped our understanding of the Earth and led the community to be truly cooperative. It is very hard to imagine a single seismologist who has not been affected by Adam and his contributions. The same can be said for most of the solid Earth geophysical community; he is a true giant in the field.”
—Terry C. Wallace, Jr., University of Arizona, Tucson
“Mr. President, ladies, and gentlemen: I am grateful for having my name added to the list of previous recipients of the Bowie Medal, many of whom are legends. I would like to thank all of my colleagues during the last four decades for making this occasion possible. In particular, I would like to thank Anton Hales for giving me his support, advice, and encouragement. His most important advice was to think of large-scale problems and not be afraid to question established paradigms and authorities. I am also thankful to Don Anderson and Freeman Gilbert for helping me get involved in the most challenging problems in global geophysics. The proof that the inner core is solid and the PREM Earth model came out of this cooperation. It is interesting that last year’s recipient of this medal, Dan McKenzie, also mentioned both of them as having had an important impact on his career; it is only fitting that both of them received this medal some years ago. During the last 20-25 years, I have been fortunate to have John Woodhouse and Göran Ekström as my coworkers and friends. With John, we have established mantle tomography as an indispensable tool for investigating of the Earth’s deep interior. With Göran, we have studied earthquakes and pursued more complex tomographic problems, such as mantle anisotropy; there are now CMT solutions for nearly 20,000 earthquakes. The discovery of strong radial anisotropy in the central Pacific shows that first-order effects in the Earth’s structure can still be found without escaping into the inner core. Thanks are also due students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty colleagues with whom I worked at Harvard during more than 30 years.
“But all this might not have happened. At about the time that I was to be considered for tenure, one of the future recipients of this medal told the chairman of my department that there is not much left to do in seismology. This, and other issues, did not make things easy for a while. But then, on a long transit from Boston to Canberra in May 1974, I came to think that there must be enough information in Bulletins of the International Seismological Centre to resolve large-scale heterogeneity in the Earth’s mantle, if it exists. Upon my arrival, I mobilized Anton Hales to call the ISC director to send copies of magnetic tapes with all the data. I thought the work could be done in a couple of weeks, but I discovered that the tapes were nearly impossible to read. The data, in part, were written in free format; it was not expected that someone might want to extract this information ever again. It took about four months to obtain the first 3-D model of the mantle. Brad Hager, then a first-year graduate student, wrote, at the suggestion of Rick O’Connell, a term paper on the correlation of the geoid with the hypothetical gravity field predicted by the lower mantle velocity anomalies. The correlation was significant, even though the sign might have been wrong, and the rest, as they say, is history, even though it took another decade before most geophysicists were convinced that recovery of 3-D mantle structure is feasible.
“The start of my career coincided with the revolution that digital data and computers have brought to seismology. It was not always easy; manual digitization of some 150 daylong analog seismograms of the great Alaskan earthquake of 1964 took two years of very tedious work. But the gamble has paid off, as the density distribution in the Earth and the rigidity of the inner core became established. So did the digitization of the deep Colombian earthquake of 1970; in addition to further constraints on the structure of the Earth’s interior, the analysis led to the development of the modern way of studying earthquake mechanisms. Since 1975, I have been privileged to participate in a series of efforts to improve the global seismographic network. This turned out to be very successful, even though there are still battles to be won, particularly below the ocean bottom. Yet 35 years after the plate tectonic theory has become accepted, we still are not certain of the scale of mantle convection. It is becoming increasingly clear that seismology cannot by itself solve the problem of the Earth’s dynamics; neither can geochemistry, geodynamics, or mineral physics. We must learn to communicate at a level different from passing to each other what may represent a consensus in a given field. It is very important that we begin a multidisciplinary program of summer schools, workshops, and short and long courses at a level that cannot be afforded at any single institution; it is necessary successfully to bring Earth science into the ‘big science’ world, which it is now entering with the Earthscope program. I hope to be able to witness the beginning of implementation of such a program. “Thank you again.”
—Adam M. Dziewonski, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Dan P McKenzie
Dan McKenzie was awarded the William Bowie Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on 12 December 2001, in San Francisco, California. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research.
“Dan McKenzie has made outstanding contributions in almost all major branches of Earth sciences. He wrote the first paper defining the principles of plate tectonics. His early work on mantle convection created the modern discussion of planetary interiors. Using earthquake source mechanisms as a guide, he initiated first principle modeling of continental deformation. By bringing dynamical considerations to bear, he revolutionized the field of magma genesis and galvanized an important branch of Earth sciences. Above all, he has demonstrated, to an entire field, that simple models based on sound physical reasoning can provide quantitative explanations for most geological and geophysical observations.
“The Bowie medal, AGU’s leading honor, recognizes an individual for his or her outstanding scientific contributions and for unselfish cooperation in research. Dan’s scientific contributions are well known. What is not so well known is the extent of his collaboration with his colleagues and students.
“Dan, together with Bob Parker, published the first paper defining the quantitative principles of plate tectonics. His collaboration with Jason Morgan, who independently had presented the same principles earlier at an AGU meeting, determined the stability of triple junctions, the point where three plate boundaries meet. In addition to working on these topics, he persuaded me to tackle the problem of the heat flow and subsidence across a mid-ocean ridge. Though our initial attempts were unsuccessful, our effort jump-started my career by demonstrating the power of using simple one-parameter physical models to explain a number of related geophysical observations. In 1968, he joined me in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to spend a month at sea on Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s (SIO) R/V Argo. I had been told to study the chemical composition of the Ninety East Ridge. To the consternation of the expedition coordinator, he persuaded me to change the entire ship track once we were at sea. At the time we were in our mid-twenties and both still post-docs! Only the spectacular nature of our magnetic profiles which resolved the post-Cretaceous tectonic history of the entire Indian Ocean stayed a reprimand when I returned to SIO.
“Many others have benefitted from collaboration with Dan. In the early 1970s, his papers with Nigel Weiss, Greg Houseman, Dave White, Gary Jarvis, and Barry Parsons explored a series of issues in mantle convection. They form a coherent whole which these authors and Dan have used to lay down the basic principles of convection in silicate planets. During the same time span, he devoted a significant effort to studying continental deformation using earthquake focal mechanism solutions. His early tectonic model of the continental Anatolian plate has stood the test of time. His approach spurred much additional investigation. James Jackson and he demonstrated the importance of block rotation for understanding the deformation of continents. Phil England studied continental evolution by modeling the lithosphere as a thin viscous sheet with a time-dependent rheology. Countless others, myself included, have investigated the subsidence of continental basins and continental margins using a simple one-parameter approach first presented by Dan.
“In the early 1980s, Dan realized that surface magmas provided much information regarding convection within the mantle. He studied melt migration and the chemical composition of these magmas to solve for their temperature evolution. Not only did this work rescue a moribund field from the doldrums, but also it spurred Mark Spiegleman, Mike Bickle, and Bob White into remarkably profitable areas of research.
“Dan has great passion for the Earth sciences, keen physical insight, a lively imagination, and profound respect for the value of good observations. Those of us who have had the opportunity to work with him over the years and the many others who have benefitted from his insights feel much gratitude for both his encouragement and his support.
“As a group, we believe that Dan’s approach can best be understood by appealing to a horticultural analogy. He deals with us all more from the attitude of the hardy vintner who believes that stressed vines yield the best fruit than from the standpoint of the oversolicitous gardener who pampers his roses with fertilizer.
“His outstanding scientific contributions and his remarkably effective collaboration with so many colleagues make Dan McKenzie an ideal recipient of the Bowie Medal.”
—JOHN G. SCLATER, University of California, San Diego, USA
“I am delighted and profoundly honored to have been chosen to receive this year’s Bowie award. It is wonderful to be acknowledged in this way, and especially by the AGU, which is the foremost society of Earth scientists in the world.
“My scientific career started when I became Teddy Bullard’s graduate student in 1963, and I will always be very grateful to him for starting me off in the right direction. In 1963, most of the major figures in geophysics knew each other well, and I also came to know most of them in my first 2 years as a graduate student, either because they were visiting Teddy or because they were at Cambridge on sabbatical. Most were American, and I quickly took a profound liking to the American way of doing science, feelings which have never changed. What impressed me was the total lack of interest in the incidentals: what nationality you were or whether you were old or young. They were interested in ideas and in understanding how the Earth worked and were wonderfully supportive of a young Englishman at the start of his career. Three people in particular profoundly influenced me-Freeman Gilbert and Walter Munk at Scripps, and Don Anderson at Caltech. I was deeply impressed by their generosity and support, and it is a real pleasure to me that all three are here this evening.
“I was extremely lucky to be a young postdoc when the plate tectonics revolution really got under way, though at the time I had little idea of how anomalous this period was. Bowie would have approved of my first paper on the subject, which showed that ridges are compensated by Pratt, not Airy, isostasy. I recently wrote an article about this time period for a book that Naomi Oreskes has edited, which was released here on Monday. I had forgotten how easy it had then been to solve major problems that had worried generations of Earth scientists. I don’t think any of those involved have experienced anything like it before or since.
“Good times don’t last forever, though, and for me at least they were clearly coming to an end in the 1970s. I cannot decide whether this was true in an absolute sense, or whether I had by then been working in the subject for a long time and had simply run out of new ideas. Whatever the cause, it was time to change direction, and so I thought I would apply some simple physical ideas that had worked so well in plate tectonics to try to understand the relationship between mantle convection, melt generation, and the isotopic anomalies in ocean island basalts. This change took me into one of the most active areas of Earth science. I found the petrological and geochemical community to be very different from the geophysical one I was leaving. I was, and still am, very surprised by the way they behave to each other, and found the isotope geochemists especially to be quite brutal. At the beginning they were very nice and welcoming to me, but I knew they had accepted me when they started to behave to me like they did to each other! Of the various groups of Earth scientists I have worked with, I have found them to be the most scientifically sophisticated. They need to be, because trying to understand physical processes by studying their chemical effects is much more difficult than understanding plate motions.
“I have been a member of the audience at a number of such presentations in the past and am always brought up by the phrase in the citation for this medal that talks about unselfish cooperation in research. Out of curiosity, I counted the number of people, 119, with whom I have published papers, but I cannot claim that this cooperation was for unselfish reasons. I work with people because they know things I don’t, or have data or programs or equipment I want to use. So I cannot claim to live up to the words of the citation, although I don’t intend to refuse the award!”
—DAN MACKENZIE, Bullard Laboratory, University of Cambridge, U.K.
John Alexander Simpson
John A. Simpson was awarded the William Bowie Medal at the AGU Spring Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on June 2, 2000, in Washington, D.C. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish cooperation in research.
“John Simpson is, quite simply, one of the great men of space science. His accomplishments, spanning a half century, both in scientific research and in the realm of science and policy, are unusually significant and important. Some of his contributions have become, over time, so much a part of our world that they may be taken for granted and are, perhaps, unfamiliar to many. Because of space limitations, only a subset of his many accomplishments can be mentioned here.
“Simpson is the father of the neutron monitor, one of the fundamental tools for studying the intensity variations of cosmic rays. Cosmic rays respond to variations in the solar wind and thus probe the heliosphere in remote regions. Today, a worldwide network of neutron monitors continues to be a uniquely valuable system for the study of solar-terrestrial phenomena. Indeed, for nearly 50 years, much of what we know of the heliosphere and solar-terrestrial relations has come from neutron monitors.
“He led in the development of space-borne detector systems and has been responsible for a number of important discoveries regarding cosmic rays and the heliosphere. His early work established the heliospheric nature of cosmic-ray variations. He and collaborators uncovered unusually large fluxes of energetic helium in the heliosphere, a component that we now know as anomalous cosmic rays, which are interstellar pickup ions accelerated at the heliospheric termination shock to energies of hundreds of MeV. His recent discovery of a significant north-south asymmetry of cosmic rays in the heliosphere may prove to be very important. In parallel with his work on the heliosphere, his work on the abundances of galactic cosmic rays has illuminated the nature and origin of galactic cosmic rays.
“An inventor of a number of particle detection techniques, John Simpson led the development and the first use of silicon detector technology for charged particle composition measurements. Among his latest inventions is a fast response mass spectrum detector for cosmic dust. Flying his dust instrument on the USSR’s Vega 1 and 2 spacecraft, he investigated the masses and spatial distribution of dust near Comet Halley.
“With such an impressive and wide-ranging list of scientific contributions, it is almost incredible that the same person was responsible for a number of extremely far-sighted and important contributions to science policy issues over the years. While still quite young, in 1945, he was the first Chairman of both the Atomic Scientists of Chicago and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Simpson was among the early leaders who educated the public and political leaders on the dangers and benefits of the nuclear age. In particular, he was active in supporting what became known as the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, placing the administration of atomic energy in civilian hands. During the 1956-1957 International Geophysical Year, he was responsible for resolving issues of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.
“In 1958, Simpson was a founding member of the Space Science Board (SSB) of the National Academy of Sciences. He chaired the SSB committees to develop experimental and theoretical programs investigating energetic particles, plasmas, and magnetic fields in space and to encourage U.S. investigators to propose to the then new NASA.
“In 1970-1971, Simpson was the first Chairman of the new Division of Cosmic Physics (now Division of Astrophysics) of the American Physical Society, and in 1982 he founded the Space Science Working group to defend space sciences and encourage support in Congress for the U.S. space science programs.
“In spite of all these accomplishments, Simpson remains a very stimulating and easy person to interact with. He shares his knowledge, skills, and dedication with the younger generation. His students have gone on to successful careers as excellent scientists and as directors of major laboratories and members of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been a leader in promoting international collaborations in science.
“In summary, John Simpson is a towering figure in science. In a long and scientifically productive career, he has exhibited unparalleled performance, dedication, generosity, and influence and thus exemplifies those qualities that the Bowie Medal was intended to honor.”
—JACK R. JOKIPII, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
“Thank you, Randy – I am overwhelmed by your generous remarks!
“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, what Randy has really told you is that I have had the good fortune to have mentors and brilliant students and colleagues joining me over these many years to share in the intellectual excitement of our discoveries. Today, I continue to have the satisfaction of following the expanding achievements of my former students–and instructing some new ones.
“It began for me after my parents came to Portland, Oregon, from Scotland in the early part of the last century, and moved to a new home without a car during the Great Depression. As a teenager I set up the empty family garage as my workshop, where I found a new world of working with tools, designs, and dreams of inventions.
“With a scholarship from Grant High School I was lucky to find Reed College nearby, where I reveled in liberal arts while focusing on physics. During my time in graduate school at New York University (uptown), the United States entered World War II. Again, it was my good fortune to receive a visit from an aide to the director of a secret project called the Metallurgical Laboratory on the campus of the University of Chicago, with the offer of the top floor room in the home of Arthur Compton, the Met Lab director. I learned that only some months earlier, a nuclear chain reaction had been achieved by Enrico Fermi and his coworkers.
“Soon after my arrival at the lab, as one of the scientific group leaders, I was invited to attend the regular Friday problem-solving meetings of the project leaders including Fermi, Wigner, and Mullikan. With the charge of solving some radiation instrument detection problems, I was given access to Hanford, Oak Ridge, and Los Alamos. My thoughts turned to what if the nuclear bomb worked….how would it be used? Compton soon approved my bringing together weekly some of the staff–mostly the young physicists and chemists–to discuss these questions under full security, until General Groves tried to stop us. Many of us still have concerns over nuclear issues among nations.
“My good fortune continued when, in the summer of 1945, I had the opportunity to join the Department of Physics and the newly created Institute for Nuclear Studies as instructor, thus began my many years with the University of Chicago. At first I worked alone, then later with students and support staff. We then entered the Space Age. How exciting to have your experimental creations–your “eyes and ears” in space reporting to you some new wonders in nature! For these years in space we have to thank our government agencies for the support that made this possible.
“Above all, I have been most fortunate to share all these years with several generations of brilliant students and colleagues; for it is they, as they move along to independent careers and achievements, with whom I am sharing this award. I recall the great 18th century biologist, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), who said, ‘A professor can never better distinguish himself in his work than by encouraging a clever pupil, for the true discoverers are among them, as comets amongst the stars.’
“Thank you for this honor.”
—JOHN A. SIMPSON, University of Chicago, Ill., USA
James Freeman Gilbert
J. Freeman Gilbert was awarded the William Bowie Medal at the AGU Spring Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on June 2, 1999, in Boston, Massachusetts. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish cooperation in research.
“Freeman Gilbert was a geophysical pioneer, even as a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he used the Whirlwind computer to apply computational methods to seismic problems. Later at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he began his professional university career, he wrote a series of papers on the computation of synthetic seismograms in simple media. While at UCLA he developed the idea of expressing seismic motion in terms of the free oscillations of the Earth. He continued this work after moving to the La Jolla branch of IGPP, and through a very productive collaboration with Adam Dziewonski, applied these ideas with extraordinary effect first to seismic records from the 1964 Alaska earthquake and then to records from the remarkable 1970 Colombian earthquake. The moment tensor description of the seismic source that Gilbert developed at this time revolutionized the way earthquakes are analyzed. The data set of free oscillation frequencies that Gilbert and Dziewonski identified formed the main database from which early reference Earth models (1066A+B and PREM) were built. This database led to many important findings, not least of which is unambiguous evidence that the inner core is indeed solid!
“In the mid-1960s at IGPP, Freeman Gilbert and George Backus collaborated on a brilliant series of papers in an area that was to become known as geophysical inverse theory. Clearly, Freeman and George are the fathers of this field and the research they did at this time changed the course of the geophysical sciences, broadly defined, forever.
“By the late 1960s, it was apparent that the currently available World Wide Standardized Seismographic Network (WWSSN) was no longer able to provide data of the quality needed to advance the field of seismology. Gilbert, through his close relationship with Cecil Green, convinced Green that we needed a modern network of seismographs that would provide the data necessary for global studies of the Earth. The first of 40 stations of the International Deployment of Accelerometers (IDA) ARRAY–the acronym also commemorates Ida Green!–was installed in Australia in 1974, and the data obtained ever since are available to all. Much of Gilbert’s most recent work addresses the attenuation of mechanical energy in the Earth, as deduced from observations of the broadening of the free vibration resonances of the whole Earth.
“Freeman Gilbert has acted as advisor and mentor to many fine seismologists in the United States including Jon Berger, Ray Buland, Ben Chao, Tony Dahlen, Don Helmberger, Guy Masters, and Jeffrey Park. This is an enviable record and clearly demonstrates his prowess as a teacher. He has served as Chairman of the Earth Sciences Board of the National Research Council. Gilbert was largely responsible for starting the supercomputer center at the University of California, San Diego in the late 1980s, and he played a large role in formulating the proposal for the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and 29 other universities and laboratories.
“In all these ventures Freeman Gilbert has demonstrated the qualities that make him the ideal recipient of the Bowie Medal.”
—KARL K. TUREKIAN, Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA
“Let me begin with the traditional ending. My life as a scientist has been strongly influenced by my family. The balance between the intensity of research and the personal interaction with my wife and children has led to a steady course. Yes, there have been obstacles along the way, but the sunny days have outnumbered the cloudy ones by far.
“Karl Turekian is deservedly well known for his generosity of spirit and word, both of which are evident in his citation, for which I am very grateful.
“The letter from John Knauss informing me that I had been selected to receive the Bowie medal left me surprised and pleased, and I tried to recollect the sequence of events that had led to that communication. I have decided that the primary explanation is the variation in the length of day. Let me clarify my remark.
“In 1957, I was a postdoc at the Institute of Geophysics (IGPP) at The University of California, Los Angeles, learning primarily from Leon Knopoff how to be a research scientist. One day I met a youngish man, half a generation older than I, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He was working with Gordon MacDonald on a monograph on the rotation of the Earth. When I first met him he was barefoot, nearly shirtless, and irreverent, but friendly and inquisitive. I am, of course, describing Walter Munk. In 1959, both Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology attempted to hire Walter. Roger Revelle wanted to retain him. The price was permission to establish a branch of IGPP at Scripps plus a few faculty positions. Among Walter’s first appointments were George Backus, from MIT, and Klaus Hasslemann, from Hamburg. Another was myself, then at Texas Instruments. Yet, had it not been for Walter’s study of the variation in the length of day, I probably would not have met him in the late 1950s and would not have come to Scripps.
“At Scripps, George Backus and I began our collaboration on geophysical inverse problems. Sources of inspiration included the prospecting work of the Schlumberger brothers, the theoretical work in electrical engineering on synthesizing circuits to have a desired driving point impedance, and the work of Russian mathematicians on the determination of an ordinary differential equation from its spectrum. George and I had a sort of “odds-and-ends” education that enabled unorthodox thinking and motivated our research.
“Let me give you a few more examples of the importance of good colleagues for whom I have great respect. One is the set of Jim Brune’s provocative questions that led to the moment tensor formalism. Another is the dedication of a graduate student, now the quite mature Bill Farrell, that led to a superb digital recording of the Colombian earthquake of July 31, 1970. This, in turn, led to Project IDA, named in honor of the wife of Cecil Green. It also led to my collaboration with Adam Dziewonski on Earth models and earthquake sources, one result of which was the demonstration that the inner core of the Earth is solid. Very good digital data from the IDA network led to the discovery of anomalous splitting by Guy Masters and to the discovery of the large, aspherical structure in the mantle by Guy Masters and Paul Silver. More recent developments include the matrix autoregressive methods for three-dimensional structure and sources.
“In brief, my good fortune is that I have been in the right place at the right time, with good facilities and excellent colleagues. John Donne has written, ‘No man is an island, entire of itself’; I can only say that I heartily agree.”
—J. FREEMAN GILBERT, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, San Diego, USA
Richard M Goody
Richard M. Goody was awarded the William Bowie Medal at the AGU Spring Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on May 27, 1998, in Boston, Massachusetts. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish cooperation in research.
“It is with great pleasure and distinct honor that I present this citation to Richard M. Goody, Emeritus Professor of Harvard University. It is a particular pleasure, being a student and researcher in the field of atmospheric radiation and remote sensing to which Richard has made pioneering and fundamental contributions.
“Richard’s fundamental contribution began in 1949 with his work at Cambridge University, England, on the understanding of the structure of stratosphere in which radiative processes play the dominant role in its thermal equilibrium state. This study led him to pursue infrared radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres and the manner in which simplified methodologies can be developed for effective calculations of radiative heating in the atmosphere. In particular, Richard discovered that the water vapor absorption lines within a 25 cm-1 spectral interval do not have similarity statistically and appear to be randomly distributed, leading to the development of the so-called Goody’s random model for spectral band [Goody, 1952].
“Although this band model was developed more than 30 years ago, its theoretical foundation is still being used by many to parameterize the transfer of atmospheric radiation involving nongray gases such as water vapor and carbon dioxide for climate models. Richard was the first scientist to recognize the potential of using emission spectra for the detection of ozone and nitrous oxide from space–long before greenhouse warming was a fundamental concern to scientists and lay public. Richard was also the first scientist to investigate interactions between radiation and convection [Goody, 1956]. The one-dimensional radiative-convective models have been used extensively in the last 20 years for investigating the external radiative forcing effects produced by greenhouse gases, aerosols, and clouds on climate.
“After his appointment as Abbott Lawrence Rotch Professor of Dynamic Meteorology and Director of the Blue Hill Observatory at Harvard University in 1958, Richard became the prime academic force in building the Earth and planetary physics program there. He continued research on a number of fundamental programs involving infrared radiation transfer and produced a classic book, ‘Atmospheric radiation: I, Theoretical basis’ published in 1964 by Oxford University Press. For the first time, this book integrated under one cover the fundamentals of radiative transfer, the theory of gaseous absorption, an authoritative treatment of band models and absorption spectra, radiative equilibrium and dynamic interactions, as well as some aspects of scattering. For many years it served as a guide for graduate students and researchers alike who were interested in the fundamental radiative transfer principles and in the application of such principles to remote sensing. This book was revised and updated in 1989, with the discussion of atmospheric scattering topics strengthened, and has already been widely cited in refereed papers. Richard was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1970 and has been playing an important role in the geophysics section of the Academy.
“During the 1960s and 1970s, when the space and satellite programs began to flourish, Richard played a key role in the U.S. exploration program on the atmospheres of other planets, principally Mars and Venus [Hunten and Goody, 1969]. His many important contributions included interpretation of spectroscopy data for the understanding and determination of the planetary compositions and dynamic processes, as well as the instrument design for space probes. As Donald Hunten of the University of Arizona pointed out, Richard is not only a creative scientist but also a practical visionary.
“During the 1980s, critical issues such as ozone depletion, buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as well as acid rain, have dramatized the fact that these important scientific problems are truly global. It is evident that humans have begun to perturb the climate and the biosphere on a planetary scale and that there are significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding about this system which we live. In 1982, Richard, along with two of his colleagues, spearheaded a program referred to as ‘Global Habitability’ to examine the factors affecting the Earth’s ability to sustain life, principally through biogeochemical cycles and climate. It is submitted that Richard Goody was the grandfather of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program.
“Richard formally retired from Harvard in 1991, but he did not retire from his science and the teaching of young scientists and graduate students. As a practical visionary, Richard has been introducing innovative computer techniques for teaching students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about radiative transfer, and actively recruiting scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Harvard, and other universities to get involved in programs that he believes are fundamental and critical to the solution of climate problems. Remote sensing of clouds on the global scale using reflected and emitted line spectra is one area in which he recognizes the potential for applications to climate studies. Richard has a vision that small satellites with focused and low-cost missions will contribute more significantly to science and has proposed that calibrated spectral observations from satellites can be used to validate climate models, a critical component in global climate change research. Indeed, he is still a major force in influencing the future space program. In retirement, Richard completed a textbook, ‘Principles of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry’ published in 1995 by Oxford University Press, designed for first-year graduate students, but at the same time providing the fundamental bases, new ideas, and first principles for climate studies. It has already become a classic for the teaching of atmospheric physics and chemistry and will be one for years to come.
“On a personal level, I have had the great fortune to be associated with Richard since 1984 and have received encouragement from him throughout these many years to pursue academic and research excellence. His generosity and unselfishness in sharing his original ideas, academic views, and immense knowledge with young scientists and graduate students are so characteristic of him.
“In summary, Richard’s research and teaching span half a century, covering the areas of atmospheric radiation, planetary atmospheres and exploration, effects of polar ice on climate, remote sensing, and fundamentals of atmospheric physics and chemistry. He has made a number of original contributions to them that have in-depth and broad impacts on atmospheric and planetary sciences. The presentation of AGU’s highest award–the William Bowie Medal–to Richard not only recognizes his outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish cooperation in research, but also places him in the league of Jule Charney (in dynamic meteorology) and Sydney Chapman (in atmospheric chemistry). It is in this spirit that I present Richard M. Goody to you.”
—K. N. LIOU, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
“I am honored to be included among the recipients of the William Bowie Medal, particularly because the roster of recipients contains so many distinguished names, including those of personal friends and colleagues who might have welcomed me. In response, I would like to say what a career in geophysics has meant to me.
“My first encounter with atmospheric measurements was during the period from 1942-1946, when my job was to test prototype, high-altitude fighters and bombers. At the same airfield, at the same time, Dobson and Brewer were making their pioneering measurements of water vapor in the stratosphere. It was my wartime experiences that led Gordon Sutherland to offer me the opportunity to construct and fly an infrared solar spectrometer to determine the total amount of water vapor in the stratosphere.
“Out of this work, I developed interests in radiative transfer, climate models, the interactions between motions and radiation, quantitative spectroscopy, remote sensing with infrared spectra, the thermodynamics of the mesosphere, and a few other topics that fit no obvious pattern. A major extension of my interests came in 1954 when I reviewed The Physics of the Planet Mars by G. deVaucouleurs, I was an instant convert, and from that time on I have taken a great interest in planetary atmospheres, principally those of the earthlike planets, Mars and Venus.
“My interests were all formed before the beginning of the Space Age and before the rapid increase in government funding for Earth science that started in the late 1950s. I have never been directly involved in the large projects that characterize much of modern geophysics and space physics. I would like to be able to say that, with the freedom of choice I have had, my work has involved some grand design, some overriding objective, but to tell the truth I have been something of a dilettante, picking up interesting topics and moving on to others when something was accomplished.
“I can claim one motivation for everything I have done, namely, delight in a powerful, intellectual process that combines objectivity with creativity. All I have ever wanted to do was scientific research, which is how I have been fortunate enough to spend my life, and I am deeply grateful to the American Geophysical Union for this recognition that my work has made some contribution to a large and important field.”
—RICHARD M. GOODY, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., USA
The 1997 William Bowie Medal, given by AGU for outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and for unselfish cooperation in research, was presented to Raymond Hide at the AGU Spring Meeting Honor Ceremony on May 28 in Baltimore.
“The Bowie Medal is the American Geophysical Union’s highest award honoring `outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics’ and `unselfish cooperation in research.’ Ray Hide’s career abounds with many examples of his fundamental contributions and his injection of new and stimulating ideas, as well as with examples of his leadership and community service. For more than 40 years, Ray has provided the geophysical community with a steady flow of new ideas and fundamental advances on a broad spectrum of topics, including, among others, the basic hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics of spinning fluids, geomagnetism, planetary magnetism, motions in the Earth’s core, fluctuations in the Earth’s rotation, and the dynamics of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets. Ray’s list of over 200 publications covers an amazing range of topics from the Earth’s core to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Here I will highlight only a few of his many accomplishments.
“Ray began his fundamental laboratory experiments as a graduate student, in order to better understand the geodynamo mechanism through the study of the motions of the Earth’s fluid core by which the geomagnetic field is generated. Ray immediately recognized the application of his work to global-scale meteorological phenomena, and his work has had a profound effect on both atmospheric science and on general theoretical studies of nonlinear systems. Many theoreticians and experimentalists, inspired by Ray, followed the road he blazed. Ray saw the great potential of laboratory studies in the exploration of nonlinear fluid dynamics; he concentrated on quantitative measurements with simple geometries and carefully controlled boundary conditions to better study the essence of the phenomenon.
PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES–JUPITER’S GREAT RED SPOT
“Ray’s work on Jupiter’s atmosphere was another pioneering effort that stimulated others to enter the new field of planetary atmospheric dynamics. His early ideas on Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and his later experiments on long-lived eddies in the laboratory represent fundamental advances, not only to our understanding of planetary atmospheres, but also to our understanding of low-frequency fluid dynamics in general.
STUDIES OF THE EARTH’S INTERIOR
In the 1960s, in addition to his work on magnetohydrodynamic oscillations of the Earth’s core and interpretation of the geomagnetic secular variation, Ray pioneered the idea that there must be kilometer-scale irregularities on the interface between the Earth’s fluid core and its mantle due to convection in the deep mantle. Moreover, he felt that these irregularities could play an important role in generating the main features of the geomagnetic secular variation and decadal variations in the length of day. He argued that the magnitude of the viscous and electromagnetic coupling between the core and the mantle might be too small to account for the largest measured decadal fluctuations in the length of day, but that topographic coupling associated with irregularities no larger than 1 km, and therefore undetectable with the resolution of contemporary seismic techniques, could be large enough. Today, a quarter of a century later, topographic coupling and its implications are an active area of research and are leading candidates to account for the observed decadal length-of-day variations. Ray has also been very active in dynamo theory, as evidenced by his recent articles demonstrating the structural instability of the Rikitake disk dynamo and introducing and analyzing new low-dimensional dynamo systems that are physically realistic, mathematically novel, and geophysically relevant.
ATMOSPHERIC EXCITATION OF EARTH’S ROTATION
“Ray first demonstrated the dominance of atmospheric effects in short-period length-of-day (LOD) variations in 1980, through the analysis of Global Weather Experiment atmospheric and geodetic data. In 1983, Hide and his colleagues set forth the fundamental formulation of the effective atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) functions, which serves as a basis for contemporary work in this area. Since then, Ray has been a major force behind the successful efforts to obtain AAM data routinely from the meteorological centers for analysis with Earth rotation data. Ray has ushered in a new era of Earth rotation studies and provided interdisciplinary links between the geodetic and meteorological communities. He has been a fount of knowledge in this area and has shared his ideas freely with the international community.
UNSELFISH COOPERATION IN RESEARCH AND LEADERSHIP
Ray’s sharing nature epitomizes the AGU’s motto, ‘Unselfish Cooperation in Research.’ With his enthusiasm, warmth, and wise counsel, he has encouraged many young scientists to fulfill their goals. Ray is not only a brilliant researcher of the highest caliber, he is an active leader in the international world of science and is heavily involved in the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. He played a key role in the formation of Study of Earth’s Deep Interior (SEDI) and has served as President of the European Geophysical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Royal Meteorological Society. His extraordinary activity in the promotion of science, both within Great Britain and throughout the world, was recognized by the award of ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in 1990. “Ray’s accomplishments have been further recognized with the award of several honorary degrees, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Charles Chree Medal of the Institute of Physics, and the Holweck Medal of the French Physical Society. A Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (since 1967), the Royal Society of London, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also a Member of the Academia Europaea and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and an Honorary Member of the European Geophysical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society. “The presentation of the AGU’s highest award, the Bowie Medal, to Ray Hide not only recognizes but celebrates Ray’s many contributions.”
—K. N. LIOU, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
“Mr. President, members of the American Geophysical Union, and honored guests. I am touched and not a little flattered by the kind and generous remarks we have just heard from the citationist, my friend Jean Dickey, with whose group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory I have enjoyed working from time to time on problems in geodesy. I count it a great honor to join the ranks of those geophysicists who have been awarded the William Bowie Medal by the AGU. They include three fellow countrymen (Harold Jeffreys, who received the award in 1952; Sydney Chapman in 1962; and Teddy Bullard in 1975), and I was lucky enough to meet and talk to all of them during my days as a student, long before my first visit to the United States to attend a scientific meeting at the Johns Hopkins University in this city of Baltimore!
“It was Bullard who in 1947, around the time of his fruitful venture into geodynamo theory, suggested that P. M. S. Blackett’s new `fundamental’ theory of the Earth’s magnetic field could be tested by determining how the field varies with depth, and it was Chapman who with Keith Runcorn then worked out what changes to expect if the theory were true. The experiment, which helped disprove the theory, was duly carried out in several deep coal mines in various parts of Britain under the direction of Blackett and Runcorn. I was one of several fortunate undergraduates from the Physics Department headed by Blackett at Manchester University who were dragooned into helping with the measurements. This was my introduction to scientific research, and I thus became one of the first of many scientists infected at an early stage of their careers by Runcorn’s boundless enthusiasm for geomagnetism.
“At the time of these events, Jeffreys, the first British medallist, was working mainly in seismology. His brilliant reputation as a writer was never quite matched by his lecturing and conversational skills, but as students we were advised that “‘his grunts and murmurs should always be taken seriously, because they were likely to contain pearls of wisdom.’” It was a remark consisting of no more than four words uttered by Jeffreys in 1951 that prompted my own interest and subsequent work in dynamical meteorology, a subject in which Jeffreys had made seminal contributions a quarter of a century earlier. The remark was made as he passed through the large hut where several graduate students in the Department of Geodesy and Geophysics at Cambridge University were engaged in various unrelated laboratory studies. When I showed him some of the flow patterns produced in an apparatus I had designed for investigating thermal convection in a rotating fluid, he muttered “looks like the atmosphere” and wandered off into the field outside the building, leaving me to ponder the implications of what he had said. I should perhaps add that my interest in planets can be traced back to a general discussion over lunch in the Quadrangle Club of the University of Chicago in 1954, when Harold Urey, without giving any kind of warning, demanded to know what I thought about the Great Red Spot on Jupiter!
“Few people in those days knew the meaning of the word ‘geophysics,’ and research in the subject had yet to achieve the recognition it now enjoys. Letters arrived at Cambridge addressed to some imaginary “‘Mr. George Physics,’” and more than a decade was to elapse before the department there could boast a full professor in the subject, i.e., Teddy Bullard. But all branches of geophysics were then on the move in the United States, Britain, and other parts of the world, and the AGU, which deserves great credit for its role in fostering many of the truly astonishing developments of the past half century, was expanding its activities accordingly. Many geophysicists, including members of the American Geophysical Union, have helped and encouraged me in various ways during the course of my own career, usually offering what scientists value most, an interest in what they are trying to do together with informed and constructive criticism of their ideas. These friends are too numerous to name, Mr. President, in this necessarily brief response, but they know who they are, and I take this opportunity to express to them and to AGU as a whole my heartfelt gratitude and all good wishes for the future.
Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen.”
—RAYMOND HIDE, Oxford University, Oxford, England
The 1996 William Bowie Medal, given by AGU for outstanding contributions to fundamental geophysics and unselfish cooperation in research, was presented to Eugene Shoemaker at the AGU Fall Meeting Honor Ceremony on December 17, 1996 in San Francisco.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S OBSERVING
The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to Earth,
from Earth to heaven
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown,
the observers lens
Turns them to shapes, and gives
to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
(Apologies to W. S.)
“Dr. Shoemaker is the leading comet discoverer of this century and has also discovered more than 800 asteroids. Dr. Shoemaker was the key figure in the discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy, the string of pearls comet, providing the opportunity to witness for the first time in recorded history the impacts of worlds with world, heavenly body with a planet, events that galvanized our planet. This discovery was the reward of long and painstaking hours of lonely research in the dead of night in unheated observatories. Dr. Shoemaker has many honors, including the Rittenhouse Medal, Cloos Scholar Scientists of the Year, Cosmos Club Lecture Award, and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. Time does not permit more discussion of Carolyn’s many accomplishments, so I now turn my attention to her husband, Gene.
“Gene Shoemaker has been described in dozens of citations for honorary degrees and awards, and there is really nothing more to say. More importantly, in receiving these awards, he has covered all possible ground so he should have nothing more to say. This part of the ceremony should therefore go very quickly.
“According to Discover Magazine (January 1995), Eugene Shoemaker is a retired planetary geologist and Carolyn is a former housewife.
“This is the kind of modesty one associates with this first family of the nighttime sky, but is perhaps too brief for even this sound byte occasion. I have read over past citations to Gene and they are, of course, full of superlatives and connecting verbs. There is no time to cover this ground again. Accordingly, I will split this citation into two parts: adjectives and adverbs and nouns. To save time, I have eliminated articles and verbs.
“Adjective and Adverbs
“Pioneering, innovative, frontier, first, major, systematic, outstanding, damn, persuasive “Supergene, far-reaching, wide-ranging, climatic, breathtaking, impressive.
“Nouns and Proper Nouns
“California, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Survey, impacts, Chief, craters, Carolyn, coesite, Flagstaff, moon, Superchief, astrogeology, Palomar, asteroids, Pasadena, California Institute of Technology, Professor, Director, Chair, Leader, continents, worlds, solar systems, first life, last life, creation, obliteration.
“Doctorate, Medal, Doctorate, Academy, Medal, Award, Medal, Doctorate, Prize, Award, Medal, Medal, Award, Fellow, Award, Medal. “Uranium to Uranian, Archean to tomorrow, thorium, plateau, Roche and Roach, Paradox, Carolyn, Coes, coesite, Copernicus. Ries, Chao, impact, Gault, Coconino, craters, Moon, Mare Cognitum, Luna, Gold and Green, Kuiper, Schmitt, Trask. Surveyor, Morris, Adams, Dwornik, Muhleman, Swann, Jaffe, Batson, Matson, Manson, Hait, regolith. Tranquility, Carolyn, Dahlem, Mule Ear, Squires, deep hole, Helin, Apollo, Carolyn, Comets, asteroids. Glo, volcano, Smith, Soderblom, Masursky, Williams, Wolfe, extinctions, Ganymede.
“Voyager, Moenkopi, Io, Trojans, Ruth, Ganymede and Callisto, Mercurial to Jovial. Asteroids, Day, Johnson, evolution, Gilbert, Barringer, Leonard, Palomar, Schmidt, Rittenhouse, Uranian. “Venus, landslides, Powell, Whipple, Alvarez, Wilhelms, Trojans, Neptune.
“Arvidson, Europa, paleomagic, Clementine, Kieffer, Steiner, hazards, Toondina, Hassig, Roddy, Morrison. Carolyn, Levy, Hubble, July 16, crash, surge, pearl strings, spreading rings, a comet necklace now buried in the Jovial bosom.
“Gene Shoemaker has estimated that a comet of the size of Shoemaker-Levy 9, which I prefer to call Carolyn’s necklace, impacts Jupiter once every 2000 years. This particular impact happened just after the comet was discovered, and the Hubble space telescope fixed, after the Galileo spacecraft got into position, when detector technology was right, and while the U.S. government was still investing in research. Although Gene calls this a miracle, I call it another impressive feat of persuasion by Super Gene.
“The last one, 2000 years ago, perhaps this time of year, perhaps on Christmas eve, probably was a miracle. For Carolyn and Gene, this one was business as usual.”
—DON L. ANDERSON, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
“Thank you, Don. Now how do you respond to a citation like that?
“When I was a very young man, not even old enough to vote, I had just gone to work for the U.S. Geological Survey and had this sudden vision—me walking on the Moon figuring out the geology. I even figured out how I was going to get there. A committee sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences would select the scientists to go. Sixteen years later, the last part of this epiphany came true, and I chaired that danged committee. Not getting to the Moon and banging on it with my own hammer has been my biggest disappointment in life. But then, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Palomar Observatory to take some 25,000 films of the night sky with Carolyn—she scanned them all—and we wouldn’t have had the thrills of finding those funny things that go bump in the night.
“Can you imagine the feeling, after spending close to 40 years off and on poking around holes in the ground where things did go bump in the night, generally to the skeptical amusement of my geological colleagues, to participate in the discovery of an object that would soon hit a planet and then to witness the event? How lucky can you get? I’m glad it didn’t happen when I was still very young. What would you do for an encore? Now, Carolyn and I just totter off into the outback of Australia and have a whee of a time, completely cut off from the world, just poking around those old holes in the ground.
“Actually, I’m the luckiest guy on this planet: lucky to have found geology at the age of 8, lucky to have found Carolyn at age 22, lucky to have grown up in the USGS, lucky to have been asked to come to Caltech and be associated with a fantastic faculty and incredible students, students much smarter than I am, like Larry Soderblom, Gary Fuis, and Sue Kieffer—boy, am I glad I’m not competing in the job market these days! The smartest thing I ever did was to be born at the right time—so I could be Johnny at the rat hole right at the beginning of space exploration. You only get to be involved once with the first closeup images of the Moon, or the first landing, or the first close look at those fabulous planets and satellites in the outer solar system. Imagine how it feels to see the first image of the grooved terrain on Ganymede or the totally bizarre surface of Miranda and to have the fun of trying to figure it out. Nobody ought to be this lucky. It’s positively scandalous. Just the same, I’m enormously pleased and proud that you think this luck deserves a Bowie Medal.
“Thank you very much!”
—EUGENE SHOEMAKER, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Ariz.