NCAR scientists win prestigious AMS, AGU honors

Researchers recognized for work on climate, weather models

Dec 3, 2019 - by David Hosansky

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have won national awards from two of the nation's leading science organizations: the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the American Geophysical Union.

"These dedicated researchers exemplify the world-class science at NCAR and our ongoing commitment to science in support of society," said NCAR Director Everette Joseph. "We congratulate them on these important honors."

Peter R. Gent, a senior scientist, won the AMS Sverdrup Gold Medal for making fundamental contributions to understanding the ocean's role in climate and representing it in Earth system models. Gent, who first came to NCAR in 1976, has focused on the development and improvement of the ocean component of the Community Earth System Model, an NCAR-based computer model that has enabled groundbreaking research into the climate system by simulating climate processes.

Robert Sharman won the AMS Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advance of Applied Meteorology. Sharman, a veteran NCAR scientist who has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration and airline industry to improve flying safety, was honored for transformative research into aircraft turbulence leading to the development of innovative operational turbulence reporting and forecasting systems.

An NCAR team won the AMS Kenneth C. Spengler Award for their work on the Advanced Research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF-ARW). This is a state-of-the-art numerical weather and atmospheric simulation system, designed by NCAR with government agencies and university scientists, and freely available for use by the scientific community.

The award, for enabling and supporting a community of research and operational modeling through WRF-ARW, went to Joseph B. Klemp, William C. Skamarock, John Michalakes, Jimy Dudhia, Wei Wang, Jordan Powers, David O. Gill, Michael Duda, Kelly Werner, Ming Chen, Cindy Bruyere, James Bresch, Ying-Hwa (Bill) Kuo, Zhiquan Liu, Dale Barker, Xiang-Yu Huang, and Jamie Bresch.

Five NCAR scientists were named AMS Fellows: Michael B. Ek, Wojciech W. Grabowski, Wen-Chau Lee, Juanzhen (Jenny) Sun, and Tammy M. Weckwerth. AMS Fellows are recognized for outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years. No more than 0.2 percent of AMS members may be elected new Fellows in any year.

In addition, Peter Gent was named an AGU Fellow. AGU Fellows are recognized for their scientific eminence in the Earth and space sciences. Their breadth of interests and the scope of their contributions are remarkable and often groundbreaking. Only 0.1% of AGU membership receives this recognition in any given year.

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