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Dr. Randal Koster Named Recipient of 2021 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science

08.02.2021
Photo of RandyWe are thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. Randy Koster as the 2021 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science winner.

Dr. Koster is being recognized for research that has provided unique insights in the field of hydrology, combining modeling efforts with space-based observations, putting GSFC at the forefront of Earth science.

Dr. Koster has worked at NASA GSFC since September of 1987, first as a member of the Hydrological Sciences Branch, and currently as a member of the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO). His early work focused on the analysis of global water isotope geochemistry. Most of his tenure at GSFC, though, has been dedicated to two research thrusts: (i) the development of improved treatments of land surface physics for Earth system models, and (ii) the analysis of interactions between the land and atmosphere, using these models. He has examined many questions regarding land-atmosphere feedback, including: Can knowledge of soil moisture conditions at the beginning of a seasonal weather forecast improve the forecast? Can we find evidence in the observational record that variability in land surface states has an effect on rainfall, air temperature, and other atmospheric variables? He has coordinated multi-institutional analyses of land-atmosphere feedback for two components of the World Climate Research Programme. He serves on the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Science Team, focusing on making sure that SMAP satellite-based soil moisture data is useful for climate studies and other applications.

With the advent of the GMAO in 2003, Dr. Koster was given the responsibility of coordinating the land surface modeling activities at GSFC into a single land surface modeling system. This ever-evolving system is used extensively by the GMAO and is available for use by the NASA community.

Randy will be presented with the William Nordberg Memorial Award during a future Scientific Colloquium that will be scheduled once we are all back on Center.
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Overview

The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) works to maximize the impact of satellite observations in climate, weather and atmospheric composition prediction using comprehensive global models and data assimilation. To achieve this goal, the GMAO develops models and assimilation systems, generates products to support NASA instrument teams and the NASA Earth science program, and undertakes scientific research to inform system development pathways.

Assimilation systems have been developed for the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface. GMAO's long-term goal is an integrated Earth system model and assimilation system that treats the individual components in a more coupled and interactive manner. GMAO works within numerous national and international collaborations to support its mission.

For further details about the research, systems, and products of the GMAO, see GMAO Research

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