Faculty, alumni honored for commitment to meteorology at annual conference

David Kubarek
February 16, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Members of the Penn State community took home a slew of honors at the recent 2018 American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting.

Evan Pugh University Professor Richard Alley, who was keynote speaker, received honorary membership. According to the society, honorary members present as much of an honor to the society as it is for the individual.

Richard Alley

In a keynote address to scientists and educators at the 2018 American Meteorological Society Conference, world-renowned Penn State geoscientist Richard Alley urged scientists to become better communicators on the value of what they do.

IMAGE: American Meteorological Society

“I’m deeply honored by the award,” Alley said. “I’m a geoscientist so having great people from another field recognize my work is truly wonderful.”

Yvette Richardson, professor of meteorology and associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS), and William Easterling, professor of geography and former dean of EMS, were named AMS Fellows.

Yvette Richardson

Yvette Richardson, professor of meteorology and associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was elected 2018 Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. 

IMAGE: American Meteorological Society

Jose D. Fuentes, professor of atmospheric science, received the outstanding achievement in biometeorology for his work in uncovering the significance and workings of key interactions among flora, fauna, and the atmosphere and their role in regional and global environmental change.

Fuentes contributes to the field in a key research area. His research on the seasonal water and carbon exchanges between mangrove forests and the overlying atmosphere in the Florida Everglades contributes to the development of management strategies aimed at increasing coastal ecosystem resilience. His studies on the air chemistry of gases released by flowers seek to determine how airborne pollutants degrade the scent cues that insects need to locate flowers and then learn the modified foraging patterns of insect pollinators.

“The award confirms that my research has contributed to our understanding of the interaction between the atmosphere and the biosphere,” Fuentes said. “My work seeks answers to questions associated with the interactions between the atmosphere and biological systems such as crops and insect pollinators.”

Fuentes’ research group is pursuing new areas. With help from colleagues in entomology, he is investigating whether insect pollinators such as bees struggle to find floral scents in polluted areas. He is developing new instruments that can be mounted on bees to better monitor their movement patterns in environments with varying levels of air pollutants. Using radar technology, he can map foraging patterns of bees before and after pollutants are introduced. 

“The goal of all these studies is to learn whether the enhanced air pollutants, often observed in and around urban environments, are harming insect pollinators’ efficiency in pollinating plants and crops,” Fuentes said. 

Fuentes was named an AMS Fellow in 2009.

Additional honors include:

  • Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and director of the Institute for CyberScience, was officially named president of the society, beginning her four-year term. She will be president for the 2020 AMS annual meeting in which the society will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Joel Myers

Joel Myers, founder, president and chairman of the board of AccuWeather and trustee emeritus at Penn State, right, received the award for outstanding contribution to the advance of applied meteorology for more than decades of dedication to delivering forecasts and customized weather information to industry, agriculture and the public. AMS President Roger Wakimoto presented the award.

IMAGE: American Meteorological Society
  • Joel Myers, founder, president and chairman of the board of AccuWeather and trustee emeritus at Penn State, received the award for outstanding contribution to the advance of applied meteorology for more than decades of dedication to delivering forecasts and customized weather information to industry, agriculture and the public.
John Dutton

Prescient Weather LTD, a weather and climate company of which John Dutton, professor emeritus of meteorology and dean emeritus of EMS, is chairman and president was awarded by the American Meteorological Society for scientific creativity and technological innovation in transforming climate data, climate variability predictions and climate simulations into probability products valued by the user community. AMS President Roger Wakimoto, left, presents the award to Dutton.

IMAGE: American Meteorological Society
  • Prescient Weather LTD, a weather and climate company of which John Dutton, professor emeritus of meteorology and dean emeritus of EMS, is chairman and president was awarded for scientific creativity and technological innovation in transforming climate data, climate variability predictions and climate simulations into probability products valued by the user community.

The society’s 98th AMS Annual Meeting was Jan. 7 to 11 in Austin, Texas.

  • Richard Alley

    In a keynote address to scientists and educators at the 2018 American Meteorological Society Conference, world-renowned Penn State geoscientist Richard Alley urged scientists to become better communicators on the value of what they do.

    IMAGE: American Meteorological Society
  • Yvette Richardson

    Yvette Richardson, professor of meteorology and associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was elected 2018 Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. 

    IMAGE: American Meteorological Society
  • William Easterling III

    William Easterling III, professor of geography and former dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was elected 2018 Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). 

    IMAGE: American Meteorological Society
  • Joel Myers

    Joel Myers, founder, president and chairman of the board of AccuWeather and trustee emeritus at Penn State, right, received the award for outstanding contribution to the advance of applied meteorology for more than decades of dedication to delivering forecasts and customized weather information to industry, agriculture and the public. AMS President Roger Wakimoto presented the award.

    IMAGE: American Meteorological Society
  • John Dutton

    Prescient Weather LTD, a weather and climate company of which John Dutton, professor emeritus of meteorology and dean emeritus of EMS, is chairman and president was awarded by the American Meteorological Society for scientific creativity and technological innovation in transforming climate data, climate variability predictions and climate simulations into probability products valued by the user community. AMS President Roger Wakimoto, left, presents the award to Dutton.

    IMAGE: American Meteorological Society
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(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 16, 2018