Meteorologists Wyngaard, Thompson receive high honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The American Meteorological Society has honored two Penn Staterts -- John C. Wyngaard, professor emeritus of meteorology, and Anne M. Thompson, professor of meteorology -- with top awards.

Wyngaard receives the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal "for outstanding contributions to measuring, simulating and understanding atmospheric turbulence." The medal is presented to individuals for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the structure or behavior of the atmosphere. It is the highest honor that the AMS bestows on an atmospheric scientist.

Thompson receives the Verner E. Suomi Award "for exceptional vision and leadership in deploying technologies that have significantly advanced the understanding of ozone dynamics in the atmosphere." The award recognizes individuals for highly significant technological achievement in the atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. The award encompasses technology in its broadest sense including observational, measurement, data transmission and data analysis, and synthesis methodologies.

Wyngaard's career focused on the atmospheric boundary layer, the turbulent region above the surface that is directly affected by the turbulent transfer of heat, momentum and water vapor at the surface. He studied atmospheric turbulence through direct observation including ground-based remote sensing, measurements from towers and aircraft and computer simulation.

Thompson is known for her leadership in the use of aircraft, oceanographic cruises and international field experiments, and for the SHADOZ -- Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes -- and IONS ozonesonde networks. She is planning, conducting and analyzing field data from NASA experiments, particularly those involving the link between chemistry and convection and biomass burning effects on ozone. She is the principal investigator for the SHADOZ Project, archiving tropical southern hemisphere ozonesonde data for satellite validation.

The awards will be presented during a special banquet at the 92nd annual American Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans, Jan. 22-26, 2012.

Last Updated November 23, 2011