Three CU-Boulder Researchers Elected 2008 American Geophysical Union Fellows

Published: Feb. 28, 2008

Two aerospace engineers and a space scientist from the University of Colorado at Boulder have been elected Fellows of the American Geophysical Union for 2008.

The newly elected Fellows are Professor Jeffrey Forbes and Professor Steve Nerem of the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s aerospace engineering sciences department and physics Professor Mihaly Horanyi, who also is a research associate in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

AGU is an organization made up of about 45,000 geophysical scientists from more than 130 countries that annually recognizes members who have made outstanding science and community contributions. The AGU Fellow awards are conferred to no more than 0.1 percent of AGU members in any given year. A total of 51 AGU Fellows were elected from around the world in 2008, including 43 from the United States.

Forbes, who studies the upper atmospheres of Earth, Mars and other planets, was cited for his exceptional contributions to upper atmospheric physics and comparative studies of planetary atmospheres. Forbes holds the Glenn Murphy Endowed Chair in the aerospace engineering department.

Nerem was cited for his outstanding research in satellite geodesy and contributions to the global determination of sea-level change, Earth’s gravity field, planetary geodesy, satellite altimetry and precise orbit determination. Associate director of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Nerem has participated in a number of NASA satellite missions studying global sea level, including TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and GRACE.

Horanyi was cited by AGU for his outstanding contributions involving studies of the physical processes responsible for shaping the solar system. Horanyi is the chief scientist on the Student Dust Counter, an instrument designed and built at LASP that is now en route to Pluto aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

Jeffrey Kiehl, a senior scientist from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, was the only other Colorado researcher elected to AGU in 2008. Kiehl was cited for his outstanding research contributions to the understanding of many aspects of climate variability and climate change.