Meinrat “Andi” Andreae, a geoscientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, has been selected to receive the 2018 Alfred Wegener Medal & Honorary Membership of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
The Alfred Wegener Medal & Honorary Membership of the EGU are prestigious honors awarded annually to scientists who have achieved exceptional scientific achievements and international standing in atmospheric, hydrological, or ocean sciences.
Andreae is being recognized by the EGU for his “pioneering research, ground-breaking work and outstanding achievements in the atmospheric, biogeochemical, climate, and Earth system sciences.” He will receive the medal and be honored at the EGU 2018 General Assembly, which will take place in Vienna, Austria from April 8-13.
The medal is named after Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), a German polar researcher, geophysicist, and meteorologist best remembered as the originator of the theory of continental drift, which he hypothesized in 1912.
“I feel very honored and grateful for receiving Europe’s most prestigious award in my field, especially since Alfred Wegener is one of my heroes as an explorer scientist,” said Andreae, a Scripps research associate. “It’s also great that it gives recognition to work in biogeochemistry, which is still one of the youngest disciplines in the earth sciences.”
Andreae, a German native, is an alumnus of Scripps Oceanography, having received his PhD in oceanography in 1978. He is also director emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, where he has worked for the past three decades.
Among Andreae’s major scientific discoveries and research themes are the close coupling of the atmospheric and the marine sulfur cycle and its role in climate, the global importance of gas and aerosol emissions from biomass burning and vegetation fires, and the unravelling of aerosol effects on clouds, precipitation, and climate – especially over tropical rainforests and oceans.
In particular, Andreae has pioneered and greatly advanced the investigation and characterization of near-pristine atmospheric conditions at remote locations, which can be taken as a proxy for pre-industrial conditions and are crucial for understanding the influence of human-influenced pollution on climate and global environmental change. He has worked in six continents to conduct scientific research.
The EGU recognized Andreae “for his exceptional ability to grasp the big picture, to identify key scientific questions, and to propose and implement viable pathways to answer them.” They also applauded “his approach and deep scientific understanding of the Earth system” and “leading roles in many successful international geoscientific projects, programs, assessment studies, and long-term collaborations between scientists around the world.”
A prolific author, Andreae has published more than 500 scientific research papers and his work has been cited nearly 39,000 times.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today on every continent and in every ocean. The institution has a staff of more than 1,400 and annual expenditures of approximately $195 million from federal, state, and private sources. Scripps operates oceanographic research vessels recognized worldwide for their outstanding capabilities. Equipped with innovative instruments for ocean exploration, these ships constitute mobile laboratories and observatories that serve students and researchers from institutions throughout the world. Birch Aquarium at Scripps serves as the interpretive center of the institution and showcases Scripps research and a diverse array of marine life through exhibits and programming for more than 430,000 visitors each year. Learn more at scripps.ucsd.edu and follow us at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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