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Adcroft wins National AGU Ocean Sciences Award

September 13th, 2021

Alistair Adcroft
Alistair Adcroft

As a Research Oceanographer, Alistair Adcroft knows the importance of teamwork when it comes to advancing global climate science.

For this dedication, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) just honored him among its 2021 Honors Award, which recognizes scientists nationwide for their outstanding career work within their fields.

Adcroft specifically earned the AGU Ocean Sciences Award for his research at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab.

GFDL Director V. “Ram” Ramaswamy said AGU presents this honor biennially to recognize outstanding leadership or service to the ocean sciences by a senior scientist.

The award is a prestigious recognition for Adcroft, Ramaswamy said. It also brings great honor to GFDL, while spotlighting the important work of scientists at the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) program and the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System (CIMES) programs at Princeton University.

Adcroft is the GFDL ocean working group lead, tasked with developing the ocean and sea ice components of the coupled climate and earth system models.

“I develop numerical models because, to a great extent, they encapsulate all we know about the world around us, and are a powerful tool for studying that world and for predicting the future,” he said. “It takes a team to build a comprehensive model and I’ve been lucky enough to be part of great teams, here at NOAA-GFDL, Princeton and before at MIT. But the most rewarding part is seeing a community develop around a model. That means others think the model is useful and we’re enabling them to do new science.”

According to the AGU, award winners are selected on the basis of “meritorious work or service toward the advancement and promotion of discovery and solution science.”

“Each one of you made tremendous personal sacrifices and selflessly dedicated yourselves to advancing Earth and space sciences. Your discoveries and solutions are simply remarkable,” wrote Susan Lozier, President, AGU; and LaToya Myles, Chair, of the Honors and Recognition Committee, AGU.

As a proponent of open-source science and software, Adcroft’s team follows an open development paradigm for building GFDL’s new ocean model, MOM6, available on GitHub.