1996-7 -- FOR RELEASE AFTER: May 1, 1996
Born in Portland, Oregon, Washington earned his bachelor's degree in physics and master's degree in meteorology at Oregon State. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a Ph.D. in meteorology. He joined NCAR in 1963 as a research scientist and served as director of the center's Climate and Global Dynamics Division from 1987 until 1995.
Washington is recognized as a pioneer in the development of computer models to assess future climate change resulting from human activities. Following in his footsteps and those of other early modelers, researchers have made considerable progress in the daunting task of representing the physics and dynamics of the earth's atmosphere, land, oceans, and sea ice through mathematical equations. With the help of such models, scientists are now seeing the long-term climatic effects of increased carbon dioxide and other human-generated pollutants.
A member of many national science committees, Washington has advised every presidential administration since Jimmy Carter's. In May 1995 he was appointed by
President Clinton to a six-year term on the National Science Board, which advises the president and Congress on U.S. policies in science, engineering, and education and helps oversee the National Science Foundation. From within other committees, he advises Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary on health and environmental research and he is helping to guide the modernization of the National Weather Service.
Washington is a past president of the 11,000-member American Meteorological Society and served on the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute and a member of the American Geophysical Union.
His text, An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling, coauthored with Claire Parkinson and published in 1986, quickly became a standard reference. Washington has published more than 100 scientific papers.
NCAR is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.
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