David Lea, a UC Santa Barbara professor in the Department of Earth Science, affiliate faculty in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and a member of the Marine Science Institute, has been selected as a 2013 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Lea, the fifth UCSB faculty member to be elected, was chosen for “novel contributions to proxy development and reconstructing Pleistocene-Holocene climate.”

This honor is given to individual AGU members who have attained acknowledged eminence in the fields of Earth and space science. A committee of Fellows chooses new members annually.

“I am honored to be recognized by my peers in climate and ocean science, as represented by the AGU,” said Lea.” The support of my faculty colleagues, administrators Dean Pierre Wiltzius, Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas, and Chancellor Henry T. Yang, as well as many other members of the UCSB community, has been a vital part of my professional success.”

According to the AGU, election as a Fellow is a special tribute for those who have made exceptional scientific contributions. It is a select group that receives this honor; less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all AGU members is elected in any given year.

“David’s pre-eminence in paleoclimate research undoubtedly underpins this award,” says Doug Burbank, chair of UCSB’s Department of Earth Science, “but his public service –– for example, to the State Department as a Jefferson Fellow –– and his eloquence as a communicator must certainly help.”

At least one UCSB alumni was also elected this year. Jeff Severinghaus (now at Scripps Institution of Oceanography) received his Masters of Science from UCSB in 1988 for his work on tectonics. Like Lea, Severinghaus is also a paleoclimatologist.

The 62 individuals elected as 2013 Fellows will be recognized during the Honors Ceremony at the 2013 AGU fall meeting, to be held on December 11 in San Francisco.

With more than 60,000 members from 148 countries, AGU provides a dynamic international forum for Earth, atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic, space, and planetary scientists to advance research and collaborate with colleagues across disciplines.


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