Seminal work by EAPS faculty members recognized by the American Philosophical Society. American Geophysical Union, and the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences.
KERRY EMANUEL, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science and co-director of the Lorenz Center, was elected to the American Philosophical Society (APS).As the oldest learned society in the United States, the APS was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of "promoting useful knowledge", and honors extraordinary accomplishments in all fields. Membership is comprised of top scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, having included John Adams, Thomas Jefferson,John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, and Robert Frost. In all, more than 260 members have been Nobel laureates.
A prominent meteorologist and climate scientist, Emanuel specializes in tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, the role of clouds, water vapor, upper-ocean mixing in regulation of climate, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction. He is the author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and three books, including Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, published by Oxford University Press, and What We Know about Climate Change, published by the MIT Press.
LEIGH (WIKI) ROYDEN, professor of geology and geophysics, was awarded the 2019 Walter H. Bucher Medal at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony. The medal is for "original contributions to the basic knowledge of crust and lithosphere." Royden works in the area of regional geology and geophysics, and the mechanics of large-scale continental deformation contributing to the study of geologic processes through quantitative geophysical modeling. She is well known for studies in thermal evolution and geodynamics, like flow in the lower crust and its relevance to the growth and structure of mountain ranges and high plateaus.
Royden made significant strides in the development of integrated basin analysis techniques and developed the initial methodology for reconstructing time-temperature histories of sedimentary rocks and predictions for hydrocarbon maturity. Her research has contributed critical understanding on thermal subsidence at the northeastern continental margin of North America and on retreating subduction boundaries formed during the collision of continental tectonic plates. More recently, Royden's research has focused on subducting slab dynamics and continental mechanics, pulling together her work on extensional basins above subduction zones to fundamental concepts of continental deformation. She has consequently concentrated on the geometry, kinematics and dynamics of subducted slabs and the variations of the subduction process depending upon whether oceanic, continental or intermediate-type lithosphere is subducting.
Previous MIT recipients of the AGU Walter H. Bucher Medal include the late EAPS professors emeriti Samuel Bowring in 2016 and William F. Brace '46,'49, PhD '53 in 1987.
MARIA ZUBER, the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and Vice President for Research at MIT, was awarded the 2019 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science by the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences. The award recognizes her advancements in geophysics, planetary gravity mapping, and laser altimetry.
The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize honors scientists whose lifetime achievements have most advanced society's understanding of the planetary system. Zuber's numerous accomplishments include her seminal 2000 paper in the journal Science combining Mars Global Surveyor laser altimetry data and gravity data to determine the crustal and upper mantle structure of Mars. Zuber became the first woman to lead a NASA spacecraft mission as principal investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. GRAIL constructed a model of the moon's gravitational field to spherical harmonic degree 1800, which exceeded the baseline requirement of the mission by an order of magnitude. Zuber has turned her attention to many different solid bodies in the solar system, focusing on structure and tectonics, including Mercury, Venus, Eros, Vesta, and Ceres. Since 1990, she has held leadership roles associated with scientific experiments or instrumentation on nine NASA missions.
Story Image: (from left) Kerry Emanuel, Leigh Royden and Maria Zuber
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