Eight NCAR, UCAR Scientists Recognized By American Meteorological Society

October 14, 2016 – Eight scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) have won special honors from the American Meteorological Society (AMS), garnering several of the most prestigious awards in the atmospheric sciences.

“The large number of award winners demonstrates the extent to which NCAR and UCAR are important leaders in our field,” said NCAR Director James Hurrell. “Working with collaborators throughout the research community, these scientists are gaining new understanding of critical atmospheric processes in ways that will advance prediction and better protect society.”

The AMS, which has more than 13,000 members, is the nation’s premier scientific and professional organization for the atmospheric and related sciences. It is presenting the awards to 74 individuals and five organizations. The winners will be recognized at a ceremony in January at the AMS annual meeting in Seattle.

NCAR And UCAR Honorees:

Margaret “Peggy” LeMone (Honorary Member of the AMS). LeMone, an NCAR senior scientist emerita and former AMS president, is being recognized by the society as a person of “acknowledged preeminence” in atmospheric science. An expert on storm structure and the interaction of the boundary layer with clouds and the surface, she served as chief scientist of the worldwide GLOBE science and education program and is the author or co-author of nearly 200 peer-reviewed papers.

Richard Rotunno (Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal). Rotunno, an NCAR senior scientist, is a leading expert in tornadoes and other severe storms, usingtheory and computer modeling to develop the understanding needed to improve forecasts. He won the Rossby medal — the top AMS honor — for “elegant, rigorous work that has fundamentally increased our understanding of mesoscale and synoptic-scale dynamics, especially the role of vorticity in the atmosphere.”

Sergey V. Sokolovskiy (Verner E. Suomi Award). Sokolovskiy is a scientist with the UCAR COSMIC program, which uses a satellite-based GPS technology known as radio occultation to measure atmospheric parameters for weather, climate, and space weather applications. He won “for exceptional theoretical and practical contributions to the science and application of radio occultation observations of Earth’s atmosphere.”

Jennifer Kay (Henry Houghton Award). Kay, a visiting NCAR scientist and University of Colorado Boulder professor, uses observations and computer models to better understand climate variability and change. She won the award “for the innovative use of observations and global climate models to better understand the rapidly evolving climate of the polar regions.”

Scott Ellis (Editor’s Award). NCAR scientist Scott Ellis is a radar specialist who focuses on field campaigns and data analysis. An editor of the “Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology,” Ellis won “for consistently excellent reviews.”

Mary Barth (AMS Fellow). AMS Fellows are recognized for “outstanding contributions” to the atmospheric or related sciences over several years. Barth, an NCAR senior scientist, focuses on interactions between clouds and atmospheric chemistry. Her research, which draws on atmospheric measurements and computer models, sheds light on the effect of storms on gases and particles in the atmosphere that can affect weather and climate.

Robert Sharman (AMS Fellow). Sharman is a veteran NCAR scientist who specializes in atmospheric turbulence and its effect on aircraft. His work, with the Federal Aviation Administration and the airline industry, seeks to better predict turbulence and safely guide aircraft away from it.

In addition, the AMS granted a special award to the Earth Science Women’s Network. Co-founded by NCAR scientist Christine Wiedinmyer, the network is dedicated to career development, peer mentoring, and community building for women in the geosciences. The network, which has grown since its founding in 2002 to more than 2,900 members, won “for inspirational commitment to broadening the participation of women in the Earth sciences, providing a supportive environment for peer mentoring and professional development.”

“I commend the honorees for their leadership across a remarkable breadth of research,” said UCAR President Antonio J Busalacchi. “Our organization is truly a nexus for the expertise and creativity needed to better understand and predict the Earth system and its impacts on society.”

Founded in 1919, the AMS is the nation’s premier scientific and professional organization promoting and disseminating information about the atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic sciences. Its more than 13,000 members include scientists, researchers, educators, broadcast meteorologists, students, weather enthusiasts, and other professionals in the fields of weather, water, and climate.