For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas—Today at the 2013 American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wanda Ferrell is receiving the prestigious “Cleveland Abbe Award for Distinguished Service to Atmospheric Sciences.” The award recognizes Ferrell “for skillful, dedicated leadership in managing the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, which has improved knowledge about the interactions among clouds, radiation, and aerosols.” By virtue of the award, Ferrell also joined the newly elected class of AMS Fellows recognized on Sunday evening.
Nominations for the Cleveland Abbe Award, presented annually since 1963, are considered by the AMS Awards Oversight Committee, which makes recommendations for final approval by the AMS Council. New AMS Fellows are elected each year by the Council at the AMS fall meeting from nominees submitted by the Fellows Committee of not more than two-tenths of 1 percent of all AMS Members.
The ARM Climate Research Facility is a global network of strategically located and highly instrumented atmospheric observation stations, as well as the systems and infrastructure necessary to archive and share the data. As program manager, Ferrell oversees all aspects of the Facility, which is managed and operated by nine DOE national laboratories. In addition to the ARM Facility, Ferrell is also the program manager for the Climate Information & Data Management group within the Energy Department’s Office of Biological & Environmental Research.
Ferrell joined the ARM program management team in 1994, and led the ARM science team from 2000 to 2006. In 2001, she restructured the program to ensure that the infrastructure would be continually maintained and updated to include new and innovative measurement technologies for atmospheric observations relevant to the program’s scientific objectives. In 2005, after a decade of successful operation as an observational test bed, the ARM infrastructure was designated a DOE Office of Science national user facility.
In the past decade, Ferrell has grown the ARM Facility to reach under-sampled climate regimes through the development and deployment of mobile facilities—smaller, compact versions of the fixed stations. She also guided investments from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to significantly enhance and expand the Facility’s observational infrastructure and associated computing capabilities. She is very active in establishing international collaborations to further advance the contributions of remote sensing technologies for improving climate models both regionally and globally.
Ferrell is a member of several professional scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Geophysical Union. She earned a master’s degree in physics from Clemson University and a doctorate in physics from the University of Tennessee. Her academic research included general relativity theory and nonlinear optics. Ferrell has been a faculty member at Clemson University and Appalachian State University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where she conducted studies of various nonlinear optical phenomena.
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Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility
The ARM Climate Research Facility is a U.S. DOE Office of Science user facility with heavily instrumented fixed research sites in Oklahoma, Alaska, and the tropical Western Pacific. It also operates mobile and aerial measurement platforms to support research around the world. Researchers worldwide can propose to conduct their own field studies using these capabilities. All ARM data are freely available.