News Center

News from the Reed College public affairs office

Search: or

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications
503/777-7574
beth.sorensen@reed.edu


Acclaimed climatologist Warren M. Washington receives Reed College's Vollum Award

The Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology was presented to Washington, a Portland native, at Reed's convocation ceremonies on August 25


PORTLAND, OR (August 26, 2004) - Reed College president Colin Diver officially opened the 2004-05 academic year at Reed College with convocation ceremonies on Wednesday, August 25, in the Kaul Auditorium on the Reed campus. The Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology was presented to Dr. Warren M. Washington, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Chair of the National Science Board. Dr. Washington, a Portland native, is one of the country's preeminent climate researchers and most influential scientists, is a pioneer in the development of computer models for the study of global climate. He has made key contributions in international assessments of the role of greenhouse gases in climate change.

Reed's convocation ceremony also included a brief lecture on the Odyssey by Elizabeth Drumm, associate professor of Spanish and humanities.

Warren M. Washington
Washington, who was born and raised in Portland, attended Jefferson High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in meteorology at Oregon State University, then went on to earn a doctorate in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

Washington's book An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling, co-authored with Claire Parkinson (NASA), is a reference on climate modeling, and he has published more than 100 papers in professional journals. His research involves is the development of a state-of-the-art climate models and their use for climate change studies.

Washington's first presidential appointment was in 1978, when Jimmy Carter appointed him to a six-year term on the President's National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere. During the first Bush administration he was a special adviser to chief of staff John Sununu on global warming. President Clinton appointed him to two six-year terms on the National Science Board, which advises the Executive Branch and Congress on science related matters. He served on the board's executive committee from 1998 to 2000, and chairs the subcommittee on polar issues. He was elected board chair in 2002 and was re-elected to a second term in May 2004.

Washington chaired the National Research Council's advisory panel for Climate Puzzle, a film produced for the 1986 PBS television series Planet Earth. A member of the Secretary of Energy's advisory board from 1990 to 1993, he has been on the Secretary of Energy's biological and environmental research advisory committee since 1990, serving as chair of the subcommittee on global change since 1996. He served on the modernization transition committee and the National Centers for Environment prediction advisory committee of the U.S. National Weather Service. In 1998 he was appointed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency Science Advisory Board.

Among his many awards and honors, Washington is a fellow and past President of the American Meteorological Society; and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1997 he was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences Portrait Collection of African Americans in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

In 2002 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) elected Washington to its membership "for pioneering the development of coupled climate models, their use on parallel supercomputing architectures, and their interpretation." He was appointed that year to the Science Advisory Panel of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the National Academies of Science Coordinating Committee on Global Change. In 2003 Washington was elected to the American Philosophical Society.

"You have to think about the world you leave your children," said Washington in a 2003 article in The Portland Oregonian. "Climate change is an intergenerational problem--it's not just going to be dealt with in one presidential or congressional term. We all have to look a lot further out--we all have a shared responsibility to find ways to deal with it."

About the Vollum Award
The Vollum Award was created in 1975 as a tribute to the late C. Howard Vollum, a 1936 Reed graduate and lifelong friend of the college. Winners are selected for the perseverance, fresh approach to problems and solutions, and creative imagination that characterized Vollum's career. The award winner receives $5,000 and a silver medal encased in a walnut triptych. The Vollum Award was endowed in 1975 by a grant from the Millicent Foundation, now a part of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Past recipients of the Vollum Award include Leroy Hood, Kenneth N. Raymond, James Russell, Jaen Lubchenco, Russell J. Donelly, Edwin G. Krebs, Adele Goldberg, Brian W. Matthews, Lynwood W. Swanson, Jerry F. Franklin, Steve Jobs, Lewis H. Kleinholz, Michael L. Posner, Harold K. Lonsdale, Gertrude F. Rempfer, David Powell Shoemaker, Howard S. Mason, Bill Gates, George Streisinger, Paul Lutus, Victor Klee, M. Lowell Edwards, Paul H. Emmett, Linus C. Pauling, C. Norman Winningstad, Arthur F. Scott, John M. Fluke, and Douglas C. Strain.

# # #

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit web.reed.edu.