August 2009

Awards and Prizes

International Meteorological Organization Prize / Norbert-Gerbier-MUMM International Award / WMO Research Award for Young Scientists


International Meteorological Organization (IMO) Prize

The 61st session of the Executive Council has awarded the 54th IMO Prize, the Organization’s most prestigious award, to Eugenia Kalnay (Argentina/USA).


Eugenia Kalnay is a leader in the field of global numerical weather prediction and analysis, including data assimilation and ensemble forecasting. She has been involved in several international WMO activities, including the WMO/Thorpex Workshop on 4D-Var and Ensemble Kalman Filter Intercomparisons held in 2008.

Ms Kalnay received her undergraduate degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1965), where her major professor was Rolando Garcia. She then received a research assistantship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Jules Charney was her adviser. She became the first woman to obtain a PhD in Meteorology from MIT (1971) and the first female professor in the Department of Meteorology there.

Ms Kalnay is the author of several publications and has received a number of awards, including the NASA gold medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1981), the American Meteorological Society Jule G. Charney Award (1995) and the First Eugenia Brin Professorship in Data Assimilation (2008).

Eugenia Kalnay is currently “Distinguished University Professor” in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland, USA.


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Norbert-Gerbier-MUMM International Award  2010

The 61st session of the Executive Council conferred the 2010 Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award on J.M. Sánchez (Spain), G. Scavone (Italy), V. Caselles (Spain), E. Valor (Spain), V.A. Copertino (Italy) and V. Telesa (Italy) for their paper entitled “Monitoring daily evapotranspiration at a regional scale from Landsat-TM and ETM+ data: application to the Basilicata region”, published in the Journal of Hydrology in 2008.

Lead author J.M. Sánchez, as well as V. Caselles and E. Valor, are from the Earth Physics and Thermodynamics Department, Faculty of Physics at the University of Valencia, Spain. The other authors are with the Department of Engineering and Environmental Physics of the University of Basilicata, Portenza, Italy. The paper sheds light on water cycle processes using satellite data.


Norbert-Gerbier-MUMM International Award  2009

During the Executive Council session, the Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award 2009 was conferred upon K. Krishna Kumar (India) and Balaji Rajagopalan (USA) on behalf of their co-authors Martin Hoerling  (USA) and Mark Cane (USA) for their joint paper entitled “Unravelling the mystery of Indian Monsoon failure during El Niño”, published in the journal Science in 2006.

Online abstract of the winning paper

image   Geneva, 10 June 2009 — (from left to right): HE M.A. Gopinathan, Ambassador of India; A. Bedritskiy, President of WMO; M. Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO (back row); Mme G. Guiard Gerbier; B. Rajagopalan and K. Krishna Kumar


WMO Research Award for Young Scientists

The 61st session of the Executive Council conferred the 2009 WMO Research Award for Young Scientists upon Alex J. Cannon (Canada) for his paper entitled “Probabilistic multi-site precipitation downscaling by an expanded Bernoulli-gamma density network” published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Hydrometeorology. Demonstrated on a dataset from coastal British Columbia, Canada, the study explored the capability to analyze several facets of precipitation distribution, including predicting precipitation amounts in excess of those in the observational record.

WMO press release No. 851



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