21 May 2018
Recognition of research achievements and other accomplishments of CSD staff who have received recent awards and honors.
The University of Colorado CIRES Rendezvous on May 18th recognized several of our colleagues with the 2018 CIRES Outstanding Performance Award. The following details on the CIRES awards are from the 2018 CIRES Rendezvous Program
In the category of Science and Engineering, Andy Neuman and Rich McLaughlin, along with federal colleague Patrick Veres, were recognized for first identifying the atmospheric chemistry need: a sophisticated new instrument and a "ride" for it to help scientists fill in gaps in our understanding of the chemistry of the global atmosphere. The team successfully advocated for the new instrument in 2015, obtaining funds to obtain a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Then they found it a ride, on NASA's Atmospheric Tomography mission (ATom). In record time, they ruggedized and integrated the instrument into the aircraft, meeting stringent weight, cofiguration, and power requirements. Among many critical innovations: Newman and McLaughlin innovated an inlet and sampling scheme that provided a constant sample mass flow with extraordinary pressure stability.
The CIMS data are of particular interest to those studying the oxidation chemistry that determines the lifetimes of ozone and methane in the atmosphere – with implications for climate and air quality.
"My conclusion is that I would love to have a copy of their instrument," one person wrote in support of the nomination. "The deployment was nearly flawless and the data they collected was unique and of the highest quality."
Brian McDonald received the award in the Science and Engineering category for his cutting-edge work to improve scientific understanding of how human activities affect air quality. McDonald's inventory development and analyses have improved the way scientists and policy makers consider impacts of various sources of pollutants. His nominated research included assessments of nitrogen oxide emissions in a Utah oil and gas basin, and volatile organic compound emissions in the Los Angeles region. In both areas, he has been able to elegantly combine emissions estimates, atmospheric observations, and models to provide insight into air quality challenges with important human health considerations. McDonald's work has also inspired new fields of research. He finds, for example, that indoor emissions (eg, from consumer products) can have substantial effects on outdoor particulate matter levels; that discovery is inspiring new lines of research at NOAA and beyond.
According to a letter from an internationally recognized scientist who supported McDonald's nomination: "In summary, Dr. McDonald's research has had a major impact on atmospheric science and environmental policy... he's well on his way to becoming a true leader in air quality and atmospheric chemistry research."
CIRES recognized researchers that were part of the team that won a NOAA Technology Transfer Award from NOAA for improving forecasts of turbine-height winds and solar irradiance from the HRRR weather model to improve usage of renewable power by industry in summer 2017. Wayne Angevine, Timothy Bonin, Aditya Choukulkar, and Yelena Pichugina received a CIRES Technology Transfer Award with Laura Bianco, Irina Djalalova, Jeffrey Hamilton, Ming Hu, Eric James, Jaymes Kenyon, Terra Ladwig, Joseph Olson, Kathleen Lantz, Chuck Long, Katherine McCaffrey, and Tanya Smirnova. Robert Banta received the NOAA Technology Transfer Award from NOAA with Melinda Marquis, Curtis Alexander, Stan Benjamin, John M. Brown, James Wilczak, and Allison McComiskey in 2017.
During the last five years, CIRES, NOAA, and other researchers across all ESRL divisions worked with the Department of Energy and the private sector to develop foundational improvements in wind and solar forecasts in the NOAA hourly-updated 13-km Rapid Refresh (RAP) and 3-km High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) models. Those model changes allow improved decision-making for power generation from different sources, supporting the renewable energy industry and the larger energy industry. They also benefit all users of the RAP and HRRR models, including those in aviation, surface transportation, severe weather, and fire weather. CIRES scientists and other NOAA affiliates were essential parts of the team that earned this NOAA Technology Transfer Award (which can only be given to federal employees).
The CIRES Innovative Research Program (IRP) is designed to stimulate a creative research environment within CIRES and to encourage synergy between disciplines and research colleagues. The intent is to support small research efforts that can quickly provide concept viability or rule out further consideration. The program encourages novel, unconventional or fundamental research that might otherwise be difficult to fund. 2018 award recipients include CSD investigators for two projects:
Kara Lamb is selected from over 150 scientists as a finalist in the written category of The Flame Challenge™ 2018. Thousands of 11-year-olds from all over the U.S. and abroad reviewed and scored this year's entries on how much they learned, how clear and interesting the answer was, and if the answer made them want to learn more about Climate and Science. Kara is passionate about science communication and public outreach. Her posted contribution is well written and clearly engaging for young people.
Steve Brown is awarded a 2018 NOAA Bronze Medal for his work on the Utah Winter Fine Particle Study (UWFPS). The highest honor award granted by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, the Bronze Medal recognizes federal employees for superior performance. Specifically, Steve was credited with conceiving, organizing, and leading the airborne field project that delivered time-sensitive information on a major air quality problem in the West. He receives the award at a ceremony on May 22 at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Jim Burkholder is recognized with the 2018 NOAA Distinguished Career Award. He was cited for sustained contributions in conducting laboratory studies of atmospheric chemical processes at the atomic and molecular level and interpreting them to provide fundamental information about how human activities influence important societal issues such as stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, and air quality. Jim is highly deserving of this award for his many years of laboratory studies and leadership. He receives this well-deserved recognition at the award ceremony on May 22 at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
CSD Director David Fahey was recognized by the University of Wisconsin - Madison with an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree on 11 May 2018. Honorary doctorates "recognize individuals with careers of extraordinary accomplishment." Dave conducts leading-edge research on atmospheric trace gases and aerosols. He's considered one of the world's top climate scientists, credited with helping prevent great harm to humanity through his contributions to an international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol.
Several CSD scientists are recognized for milestones in their years of service with CIRES: Owen Cooper (15), Richard Tisinai (15), Claire Granier, (15), Roy Miller (20), Andy Neuman (20), Ann Weickmann (30), and Stu McKeen (35).
CSD representatives Alessandro (Ale) Franchin and Chelsea Thompson on the CIRES Members' Council provided leadership and support for the very successful 2018 CIRES Rendezvous on May 18th. Several in CSD contributed posters and attended the event.