National Medal of Science Awarded to a Colorado Scientist

admin November 29, 2010 0

Warren N. Washington was the Colorado scientist that won the National Medal of Science.  President Obama presented it to him from the White House East Room.  Warren N. Washington is an internationally recognized climate change scientist.  He works at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.  He was one of ten scientists, researchers, and engineers that received this medal.  The National Medal of Science is the highest honor bestowed upon scientists, researchers, and engineers by the U.S. Government.

Warren N. Washington, age 74, was credited for developing and using global climate models to help understand climate and to explain the role of human activities and natural processes in the Earth’s climate system.  He has worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research since 1972.  Since 1987, he has been director of its Climate and Global Dynamics Division.  Mr. Washington was also a former chairman of the National Science Foundation.

According to Warren N. Washington’s National Center for Atmospheric Research biography, he has served as a scientist advisor to Presidents Regan, Carter, Clinton, and Bush.  He has published nearly two hundred papers in professional journals and has won many national and international awards.  He has also served on the President’s National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere from 1978 to 1984.

He was one of only four African-Americans to receive a doctorate in meteorology when he graduated in 1964 from Pennsylvania State University when he finished his graduate work.  He earned his master’s degree in meteorology from Oregon State in 1960.  Warren N. Washington became the President of the American Meteorological Society in 1994.  He is also a pioneer in using computer models to study the Earth’s climate.

Along with his colleague, Akira Kasahara, he became one of the first developers of atmospheric computer models when he came to the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the 1960’s.  Warren N. Washington and Claire Parkinson wrote An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling and it is a standard reference on climate modeling in the field.  They wrote it in 1986 and it was updated in 2005.

In 2007, Warren N. Washington and other scientists at National Center for Atmospheric Research and colleagues around the world shared the Nobel Peace Prize.  They were awarded it for their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment.  Now, he is the director of the Climate and Global Dynamics Division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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