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NASA Goddard Announces Winners of AMS, AGU and AAS Honors

Several scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, N.Y. received awards from the American Meteorological Society (AMS), American Geophysical Union (AGU) and American Astronomical Society (AAS). Those scientists include Pawan K. Bhartia, the late Arthur Hou, David Rind, Warren Wiscombe, Spiro Antiochos, and Tom Duvall.

"From the beginning of my career at NASA, I have been amazed by the incredible quality and passion of our scientists," said Michelle Thaller, assistant director for science communication and higher education, in the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at NASA Goddard. "Sometimes we feel that the public doesn't view the Federal Government as a true innovator in science, and these awards confirm what we know about our friends and colleagues here: some of the world's best scientists work for NASA."

Photo of David Rind

David Rind is an Emeritus of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. (Image credit: NASA)

The AGU awards were presented at the Honors Tribute held during Fall meeting of the AGU, in San Francisco in December, 2013.  These individuals are recognized for their breakthrough achievements in advancing Earth and space science and their outstanding contributions and service to the scientific community. Their passion, vision, creativity, and leadership have expanded scientific understanding, illuminated new research directions, and made Earth and space science thrilling, immediate, and relevant to audiences beyond as well as within the scientific community.  

David Rind and Warren Wiscombe were named AGU Fellows. The AGU Fellows program recognizes members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by section and focus group committees. This honor may be bestowed on only 0.1% of the membership in any given year.

David Rind is an Emeritus of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. David's fields of interest include past and future climate changes, climate modeling, stratospheric processes, solar-climate studies, sea ice, land surface effects, remote sensing.

Warren Wiscombe is an Emeritus of NASA Goddard and Guest Researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory, N.Y.  Warren's fields of interest include climate and radiation studies, radiative transfer, Mie theory, climate change, clouds, field campaigns, new instruments, and unmanned aerial vehicles.  He retired from NASA in September 2013.

Spiro Antiochos, NASA Goddard received AGU's John Adam Fleming Medal. The
Medal was awarded to Spiro for his work in space science. Fleming served as AGU officer in a number of positions, including: secretary of the Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity section (1920–1929), Union General Secretary (1925–1947), and honorary president (1947–1956).

Spiro is an internationally recognized authority on space physics and plasma physics. His research is distinguished by the development of innovative theories to explain major observational problems, such as coronal mass ejections and solar flares, the primary drivers of destructive space weather here at Earth. Among his many important contributions are his pioneering models for: the observed structure and dynamics of the solar atmosphere including hot coronal loops and the transition region that links the corona to the chromosphere; the formation of prominences/filaments that are the storage locations for the energy that leads to major solar eruptions; the initiation mechanism for the largest explosions in our solar system, coronal mass ejections and eruptive flares, and the origins of the slow solar wind that connects the sun to the Earth. In addition, Spiro has been responsible for major advances in understanding magnetic reconnection, the physical process underlying much of space weather.

The John Adam Fleming Medal recognizes an AGU member for "original research and technical leadership in geomagnetism, atmospheric electricity, aeronomy, space physics, and related sciences." Established in 1960, the Fleming Medal is named in honor of John Adam Fleming, who made important contributions to the establishment of magnetic standards and measurements. It is presented to one member annually.

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) awards are presented at the Annual Meeting, specialized conferences, or other appropriate occasions during the year. The objective of AMS is to advance the atmospheric and related sciences, technologies, applications, and services for the benefit of society.

Pawan K. (P.K.) Bhartia, senior scientist at NASA Goddard was chosen to receive the American Meteorological Society 2014 Remote Sensing Prize. This prestigious award is granted biennially to individuals in recognition of advances in the science and technology of remote sensing, and application to knowledge of Earth, oceans, and atmosphere, and/or to the benefit of society. The citation for Bhartia's award reads “For scientific advances in the remote sensing of global ozone concentration and trends, and for developing new techniques for retrieving aerosol properties from space.”

Arthur Hou (posthumously), project scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) at NASA Goddard was elected a 2014 AMS Fellow. To be elected a Fellow of the AMS is a special tribute for those who have made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period. This designation is conferred upon not more than 0.2% of all AMS members in any given year.

In July of 2013, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced its 2013 awardees, medalists and prize winners. The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. 

Tom Duvall, an astrophysicist at Goddard has been selected to receive the 2014 Hale Prize for his outstanding contributions over an extended period of time in the field of solar astronomy.  Duvall received this outstanding honor for his invention and application of innovative helioseismic methods and resulting groundbreaking discoveries within the solar interior, including internal sound-speed and rotation profiles, meridional circulation, wave perturbations in sunspots, and large scale convection properties.

Duvall will be awarded the Hale Prize during the 2014 American Astronomical Society Meeting in Boston on June 1-5.

Duvall is one of the pioneers of helioseismology and has been working in this area for more than twenty years. He is at least partly responsible for a number of discoveries, including the relation commonly known as Duvall's law, the initial measurements of rotation and sound speed throughout much of the solar interior, and the asymmetry of solar oscillation spectral lines. In recent years he helped invent the technique known as time-distance helioseismology, in which travel times are measured between different surface locations.  

The Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society annually awards the George Ellery Hale Prize, or Hale Prize for outstanding contributions over an extended period of time to the field of solar astronomy. The prize is named in memory of George Ellery Hale, an American solar astronomer.

Related Links

+ AGU awards

+ AMS Prizes

+ Hale Prize

Media Contacts

Leslie McCarthy, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y., 212-678-5507,

This article was originally prepared as NASA GSFC news story.