Fabrice Veron Awarded Director's Prize


Fabrice Veron of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the Edward A. Frieman Director’s Prize in recognition of excellence in graduate student research.

The prize was established to celebrate the 70th birthday of Scripps Institution Director Edward A. Frieman, who led the institution for 10 years. Since its inception in 1996, the Frieman Prize has been given each year to a Scripps graduate student who has published an outstanding research paper in the past 12 months as evaluated by a faculty committee.

Veron, now a postdoctoral researcher at Scripps, was lead author of "Experiments on the stability and transition of wind-driven water surfaces," co-authored by Scripps Professor Ken Melville. Veron conducted the research as a Scripps graduate student.

The paper addresses the critical air-sea interface, an area of wind, wave, and circulation interactions that controls the fluxes of heat, gas, momentum, and energy between the atmosphere and the ocean. Veron and Melville developed laboratory-based techniques and theory to explain small-scale processes at the air-sea interface that have a significant effect on the larger scales and on ocean remote sensing. They then applied their measurement techniques in the field and showed that the dynamics observed in the laboratory also are observed in natural water bodies.

According to the Frieman Award Committee, made up of Scripps scientists, the paper made several important contributions to future research on air-sea interactions.

"This work is likely to become a classic in the field, forming the basis for new theories on the three-dimensionality of wind-wave-circulation interactions, and enabling improved parameterizations of air-sea fluxes for numerical climate models," the committee, chaired by Scripps Professor Peter Franks, observed in its selection notice.

Veron received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the Universite Bordeaux 1 in France. He entered the Applied Ocean Science curricular group at Scripps in 1995 and was awarded a Ph.D. in September 2000.

Veron will take up an assistant professorship at the University of Delaware in January 2002. The National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research will fund Veron and Melville to continue their studies of air-sea interaction processes from Scripps’s Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) off the coast of California over the next four years.

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