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Science Briefing

Three senior scientists in CGD have received prestigious awards from the places where they got their starts in atmospheric science.

Akira Kasahara, an NCAR scientist since 1963, was presented with the Fujiwara Award of the Japanese Meteorological Society at a ceremony near Tokyo on 22 May. Much like the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal of the American Meteorological Society, the Fujiwara Award goes to a distinguished researcher each year for lifetime contributions to understanding of the atmosphere.

The award's namesake, Sakuhei Fujiwara, is a former professor at the University of Tokyo and former director of the Japanese Meteorological Agency. A specialist in tropical cyclones, Fujiwara discovered the phenomenon (named after him) in which two tropical systems rotate around each other.

"I'm certainly pleased," says Akira, "because this award indicates commendation from the JMS, which I belong to." Akira earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the University of Tokyo. Before joining NCAR, he was a research associate at Texas A&M University, the University of Chicago, and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University. He headed CGD's Global Dynamics Section from 1987 to 1992. Akira's research has focused on planetary-scale dynamics and modeling, including computer simulation of the atmosphere, the initialization of numerical prediction models, and the effects of orography and diabatic heating.

The Fujiwara Award is a sequel of sorts for Akira. In 1961, he received one of the JMS's two other major honors: the JMS Award, given annually to a promising new researcher.

Warren Washington
Another NCAR veteran, Warren Washington, has been selected by Oregon State University as this year's recipient of the 1996 E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor of the OSU Alumni Association. Warren received the award at a formal presentation in Corvallis on 17 May. Among the 15 past recipients are Nobel laureate Linus Pauling and atmospheric scientist Robert Cess of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

A native of Portland, Warren 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.

Warren joined NCAR in 1963 and served as CGD director from 1987 until 1995. A member of many national science committees, Warren 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.

Kevin Trenberth
CGD's deputy director, Kevin Trenberth, has been elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. The society is New Zealand's national affiliate to the International Council of Scientific Unions and governs the country's 22 national science committees.

Only 37 other people have been designated honorary fellows of the society, and Kevin is the only atmospheric scientist among them. Honorary fellowship is reserved for New Zealand scientists working overseas or for foreign scientists who have contributed significantly and with excellence to New Zealand science.

Kevin was a meteorologist with the New Zealand Meteorological Service from 1966 to 1977, serving as superintendent of dynamic meteorology for five years. An NCAR scientist since 1984, Kevin specializes in global-scale climate anomalies such as the El Nino/Southern Oscillation and their connection to long-term weather patterns such as extended droughts and floods. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Frequent visits to New Zealand help Kevin to maintain family links and to communicate and collaborate with the country's climate and environmental scientists. He recently addressed the Royal Society's climate committee in Wellington on the state of climate-change science.


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Prepared by Jacque Marshall, jacque@ucar.edu, 303-497-8616