Acclaimed climatologist Warren M. Washington
The Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology was presented to Warren M. Washington, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and chair of the National Science Board. Washington, a Portland native, is one of the country’s preeminent climate researchers and most influential scientists. He is a pioneer in the development of computer models for the study of global climate and has made key contributions in international assessments of the role of greenhouse gases in climate change.
“You have to think about the world you leave your children,” said Washington in a 2003 article in the 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 responsibility to find ways to deal with it.”
In 1978 President 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 special adviser to chief of staff John Sununu on global warming. President Clinton appointed Washington to two six-year terms on the National Science Board, which advises the executive branch and Congress on science matters. In 1998 he was appointed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency science advisory board.
In 2002 the National Academy of Engineering elected Washington to its membership for pioneering the development of coupled climate models, their use on parallel supercomputing architectures, and their interpretation. He was elected in 2003 to the American Philosophical Society.
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 was endowed by a grant from the Millicent Foundation, now part of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.