Sukyoung Lee elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

October 06, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sukyoung Lee, a professor of meteorology in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). She joins 59 other individuals in the 2021 Class of Fellows.

Election as an AGU Fellow is given to members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and attained acknowledged eminence in the fields of Earth and space sciences. Since the establishment of the AGU Fellows Program in 1962, no more than 0.1% of the AGU membership receives this recognition in any given year.

Lee was recognized by AGU for her “fundamental discoveries in atmospheric dynamics, including self-organization of midlatitude storms and tropical impacts on Arctic climate change.”

“I am truly honored to be selected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union,” said Lee. I’m very grateful to the colleagues who nominated and selected me. I also would like to share this honor with my past and current students, as well as my closest colleague, Steven Feldstein. I could not have done the research without them. I also would like to thank my Ph.D. adviser, Isaac Held, for the enduring inspirations that helped lay the groundwork for much of my research.”

Lee’s research interests are on the large-scale circulation of the atmosphere, oceans and planetary atmospheres. Her atmospheric research focuses on mid-latitude storm tracks, westerly jet streams, the tropopause and the stratospheric circulation. She studies climate and climate change from the perspective of general circulation theories, specifically on how the equator-to-pole temperature gradient is maintained, and why the east-west gradient in tropical convective heating is likely to increase as the climate warms. She also studies circulations in the Southern Ocean, including the deep mixed layers that are important for carbon and heat exchanges between the atmosphere and the ocean. For planetary atmospheric research, her primary interest is the origin of the eddies and jets in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

“Professor Lee’s research on the large-scale circulation of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans is incredibly insightful, as she carefully tests a hierarchy of model experiments against observations to increase our understanding of the physical processes important to climate and climate change,” said David Stensrud, head of Penn State’s Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science. “She is truly deserving of this honor and the department is very proud of her.”

Lee received a bachelor of science in meteorology from Seoul National University in South Korea, a master of science in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma, and another master of science and doctorate in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from Princeton University. After earning her doctorate in 1991, Lee worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and as a research associate at the University of Colorado, before joining Penn State’s faculty in 1994. She has co-authored more than 110 papers and has received several honors for her research.

Lee and the other newly elected Fellows will be honored at the annual AGU Fall Meeting, scheduled for Dec. 13-17 in New Orleans.

AGU is a nonprofit scientific organization that galvanizes a community of Earth and space scientists to collaboratively advance and communicate science and its power to ensure a sustainable future. AGU has more than 62,000 members in 142 countries.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 07, 2021