Ankur Desai, an affiliate of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research and professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences (AOS) in the College of Letters and Science, was recently awarded the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) 2022 Joanne Simpson Medal for Mid-Career Scientists — one of the highest honors bestowed by AGU. Desai, who will also be conferred as an AGU fellow, was honored by the global Earth and space sciences community for his dedication to advancing Earth and space sciences.
During his 15 year career at the UW, Desai has made scientific advances in broad areas of biogeosciences, atmospheric sciences, and global environmental change, demonstrating strong leadership through field projects, including as principal investigator of the recent CHEESEHEAD19 experiment; promoting collaborations across a wide range of sub-disciplines; developing practices that advance diversity, equity and inclusivity in the department; and providing outstanding service through professional organizations, editorial duties, and communicating science to the public. He is currently department chair of AOS, an editor for AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, and holds the Reid Bryson Professorship in Climate, People, and Environment.
“Nothing in our science to better understand the Earth system and climate is done by one individual or by any one discipline,” Desai says. “This award reflects the privileges I had so that I could have landed here in company of amazing collaborators and colleagues who along with students and staff of the ecometeorology lab that I mentor continually push me to generate and act on new ideas and build a supportive community.”
Desai joins other scientists, leaders, educators, journalists, and communicators from around the world who have made outstanding achievements and contributions by pushing forward the frontiers of science. The criteria for Joanne Simpson Medal for Mid-Career Scientists — named for Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the U.S. to earn a PhD in meteorology — is excellence and impact of the candidate’s scientific contributions, along with leadership in the discipline. AGU will formally recognize this year’s recipients during #AGU22 Fall Meeting this December in Chicago and online everywhere.