Charles Kennel, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society (APS), an eminent scholarly organization founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743.
Kennel, who became the ninth director of Scripps Institution in 1998, also serves as UCSD's vice chancellor for marine sciences. He is currently serving on the Pew Oceans Commission, which will issue a landmark report on the state of the world's oceans in June.
The Philadelphia-based APS promotes useful knowledge through scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. Over the years the organization has recognized achievements in science, letters, and the arts. The APS has played a part in a variety of scientific and scholarly enterprises; the Lewis and Clark Expedition is one example in its long history.
Many founders of the United States of America were APS members, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Rush, James Madison, and John Marshall. Other members have included Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, Thomas Edison, and Louis Pasteur.
Kennel's scientific studies have focused on plasma physics combined with space and astrophysics. He was elected to APS Class 1, which includes mathematical and physical sciences. As Scripps celebrates 100 years of scientific achievement in 2003, Kennel is setting the course for the institution's second century of important investigations of Earth's processes and the sustainability of its resources.
A native of Cambridge, Mass., Kennel received a bachelor's degree in astronomy from Harvard College in 1959 and a doctoral degree in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University in 1964. He was appointed an associate professor of physics at UCLA in 1967 and a professor in 1971. He was appointed UCLA's executive vice chancellor in 1996.
Kennel's research has centered on basic plasma turbulence theory and collisionless shocks, the physics of the solar wind and planetary magnetospheres, and the physics of pulsar magnetospheres and active galactic nuclei. He is author or coauthor of more than 250 experimental and theoretical publications.
Kennel was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1991. Previous honors include the Distinguished Service Medal from NASA, the Aurelio Peccei Prize from the Italian Academy of Sciences, the James Clerk Maxwell Prize from the American Physical Society, and the first Hannes Alfvén Medal from the European Geophysical Society.
He has been a Harvard National Scholar, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Brazil, a Fairchild Professor at the California Institute of Technology, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow.