American Meteorological Society names award after pioneer and leader in meteorology

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – The American Meteorological Society (AMS) recently created a national award in honor of Penn State meteorological alumnus and weather pioneer Warren Washington.

The Warren Washington Medal for Research and Leadership will be awarded to individuals recognized for the combination of highly significant research and distinguished scientific leadership in atmospheric and related sciences, according to AMS.

Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and atmospheric sciences and director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences at Penn State, was delighted that this new medal was approved when she was president of the AMS and that the medal recipients of Washington will be recognized as scientific leaders. and more widely in the field.

“I am deeply honored that this medal bears my name,” Washington said. “There is a need to have an award honoring scientists who devote time and energy to both leadership and research. “

Washington, which is a pioneer of climate models, in 1964 became the second African-American to receive a doctorate in meteorology.

“Learning that AMS has created a medal in honor of Warren Washington was the highlight of the 2020 AMS annual meeting,” said David Stensrud, head of the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences. “Warren has had a tremendous influence in our field through his groundbreaking research and dedication to nurturing the next generation of scientists and leaders. He is an inspiration to all of us.

Washington has spent his career – spanning more than 50 years – mentoring under-represented members on the ground. He worked at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research from 1963 until his retirement in 2018.

Washington contributed to the assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. It received the 2009 National Science Medal from President Barack Obama for his ” development and use of global climate models to understand climate and explain the role of human activities and natural processes in the Earth’s climate system ”and for its work to support a diverse scientific and technical workforce. In 2019, he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement with Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Penn State. In 2019, Washington became the first “innovator and pioneer” to be recognized by Penn State by bearing his name on the Warren M. Washington Building.

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