The Center for
Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies

Shukla Receives Carl-Gustaf Rossby Medal

shukla Dr. Jagadish Shukla, Professor and Chair of the Climate Dynamics Program at George Mason University and President of the Institute of Global Environment and Society has received the 2005 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal of the American Meteorological Society.

The Rossby Medal is presented to individuals on the basis of outstanding contributions to the understanding of the structure or behavior of the atmosphere. The award, in the form of a medallion, represents the highest honor that the Society can bestow upon an atmospheric scientist. Dr. Shukla is being recognized for "fundamental contributions and inspired leadership in understanding the variability and predictability of the climate system on seasonal to interannual time scales."

Shukla received his Ph.D. from Benaras Hindu University, India and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He has received the Walker Gold Medal of the Indian Meteorological Society and the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, a Fellow of the Indian Meteorological Society and an Associate Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences. He is currently a member of the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Program of the World Meteorological Organization.

Shukla is the author or co-author of over 150 scientific papers. He has served as chairman or member of numerous national and international panels and committees. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of the predictability of short-term climate fluctuations including the Asian monsoon. His scientific contributions include research on monsoon dynamics, deforestation, desertification, tropical predictability, and climate variability. His research has established that there is predictability in the midst of chaos and that there is a scientific basis for short-term climate prediction.

Shukla founded the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), a premier scientific research center devoted to developing an improved understanding of climate variability and predictability on intraseasonal to decadal time scales within a changing climate. The COLA scientists make major contributions to the independent evaluation of the Nation’s leading models for climate change, provide leadership within the research community working toward improved prediction of climate, and highly valued and widely used information technology infrastructure for the efficient exchange of climate model and observational data. COLA scientists were the first to suggest the use of numerical weather prediction models to reanalyze past observations of the atmosphere and oceans to produce climate research data sets. They have advocated the importance of land-atmosphere interactions in climate variability as well as the existence of predictability for monthly and seasonal time scales. The group has made significant contributions to the understanding of the Indian monsoon, the climate effects of deforestation and desertification.

Shukla is a distinguished professor in the School of Computational Sciences (SCS) and chair of the Ph.D. program in Climate Dynamics. The SCS is the primary academic unit of George Mason University (GMU) that integrates computation in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering and social sciences to advance understanding of complex problems and find solutions for the benefit of society.

Shukla was instrumental in the creation of the weather and climate research group at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy and led the group’s activities from their inception until 1997. He was the scientific leader who helped establish the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting in New Delhi, India and he helped in the establishment of several research institutions in the USA and abroad. He helped establish the Gandhi College in his birth village of Mirdha, India, for the education of rural students in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh.

The Rossby Medal was presented on Wednesday, 12 January 2005 at the 85th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), being held in San Diego, California. George Mason University celebrated Shukla’s award on the evening of 25 January 2005 in the Atrium of Mason Hall on the George Mason Campus.