UCAR and NCAR scientists and staff receive AGU and AMS awards

Honorees are recognized for contributions and research in support of the Earth system science field

Dec 5, 2022 - by Ali Branscombe

Scientists and staff at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have won national awards and distinguished fellowships from two of the nation’s leading Earth system science organizations: the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU). 

The ten award winners have been recognized for their contributions to Earth and space science through innovative research, high-quality reviews, and commitment to higher education. The NCAR and UCAR awardees and fellows are: Jeffrey Anderson, Julie Demuth, Andrew Gettelman, Sarah Gibson, Neil Jacobs, Gerald Meehl, Maria Molina, Angeline Pendergrass, Valerie Sloan, and Ryan Sobash. 

“Congratulations to this year’s prestigious awards winners – this recognition is well deserved,” said UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi. “We are very proud to have such a high number of awardees this year, which highlights our staff’s commitment to world-class science in support of society.” 

AGU honorees will be recognized during the 2022 AGU Fall Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, in December 2022, and the AMS honorees will receive theirs at the 103rd AMS Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, in January 2023.

UCAR manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Jeffrey Anderson

Jeffrey Anderson: Fellow, American Geophysical Union 

Jeffrey Anderson is a scientist and head of the Data Assimilation Research Section at NCAR. In the two decades he has been at NCAR, his team has developed the Data Assimilation Research Testbed, a community facility that provides data assimilation capabilities in many Earth system models including most of NCAR’s community models. Anderson has been named an AGU Fellow for developing novel algorithms and computational tools to accelerate discovery in many earth science applications with data assimilation.

Julie DemuthJulie Demuth: Fellow and Walter Orr Roberts Lecturer, American Meteorological Society

Julie Demuth is an NCAR research scientist who studies hazardous risk communication, risk perceptions, and responses. Her research has improved the way forecast information is disseminated so people respond to weather risks. Demuth has been selected as an AMS fellow, a highly regarded distinction recognizing scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years. Demuth has also been selected as the Walter Orr Roberts lecturer for her groundbreaking interdisciplinary research to improve hazardous weather risk communication and dedicated work promoting the exchange of knowledge across the meteorology and social sciences communities.

Andrew GettelmanAndrew Gettelman: Fellow, American Geophysical Union

Andrew Gettelman is a climate scientist and modeling expert who has been working on the development of climate and chemistry models for almost two decades. His research has been integral in improving advanced microphysics and physical processes of clouds and aerosols in the atmospheric component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM). Gettelman has been named an AGU Fellow in recognition of remarkable innovation and sustained scientific impact.

Sarah GibsonSarah Gibson: Fellow, American Geophysical Union

Sarah Gibson is a senior scientist at the solar-terrestrial laboratory at NCAR. Her research uses theoretical models to understand how the Sun and coronal mass ejections produce space weather phenomena that impact infrastructure here on Earth. Gibson has been named as an AGU Fellow in recognition of her exceptional contributions to Earth and space science and remarkable innovation.

Neil JacobsNeil Jacobs: The Kenneth C. Spengler Award, American Meteorological Society

Neil Jacobs is a scientist with UCAR Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS) and serves as the chief science advisor for the Unified Forecast System (UFS). In his role with UFS, Jacobs helps lead the scientific effort to develop a common, open-source modeling infrastructure with the goal of improving forecast models. Jacobs is awarded this year’s AMS Kenneth C. Spengler Award for leadership in fostering community collaboration across the weather, water, and climate enterprise through the perspectives of science, policy, and business.

Gerald MeehlGerald Meehl: The Sverdrup Gold Medal, American Meteorological Society

Gerald Meehl is a senior scientist at NCAR and heads the section focused on climate change research. Meehl is a globally recognized expert on climate modeling – particularly on distinguishing the anthropogenic signals in the climate system from natural variability – and quantifying future changes to Earth’s climate. Meehl has been awarded the AMS Sverdrup Gold Medal for his seminal work integrating observations, models, and theory to understand variability and change in the ocean and atmosphere.

Maria MolinaMaria Molina: Editor’s Award for Weather and Forecasting/Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, American Meteorological Society

Maria Molina is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland and NCAR scientist. Her research focuses on integrating machine learning tools like neural networks with global climate models to study climate extremes. Molina has received an AMS Editor’s Award for multiple high-quality, thorough, and rapid reviews for the journals Weather and Forecasting and Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.

Angeline PendergrassAngeline Pendergrass: The Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award, American Meteorological Society

Angeline Pendergrass is an assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell and also an NCAR scientist. Pendergrass studies extreme precipitation and the impacts that climate change will have on future rain and snow distribution around the globe. She has earned the AMS Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award for her original insights into the processes associated with precipitation variability and extremes and envisioned changes in variability due to global warming.

Valerie SloanValerie Sloan: Excellence in Earth and Space Science Education Award, American Geophysical Union

NCAR’s Valarie Sloan is the director of the GEO Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) PI Network that connects internship managers in Earth system science across the country with essential resources for running successful scientific internships. Sloan also supports the NCAR/UCAR postdoctoral fellows and interns with professional development. This year she was honored with the AGU’s Earth and Space Science Education Award, which is given to those who demonstrate a sustained commitment to excellence in geophysical education and have made long-lasting impacts in Earth and space science.

Ryan SobashRyan Sobash: Editor’s Award for Cross-Journal, American Meteorological Society

Ryan Sobash is an NCAR scientist whose research interests focus on improving predictions for high-impact weather, like supercells, squall lines, tornadoes and hail, and the hazards this kind of weather phenomena pose to society. Sobash has earned the Cross-Journal Editor’s Award for his meritorious service as a reviewer for five AMS journals, providing numerous high-quality reviews over the past several years.


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