Our community celebrates the accomplishments of UFS community members at the American Meteorological Society
The EPIC and Unified Forecast System (UFS) Teams are thrilled that so many members of our community were recognized by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) for their leadership and professional excellence! Below are a few individuals who have been integral to developing the UFS and who received an award at the 2023 AMS Annual Meeting:
AMS Fellow: Vijay Tallapragada
Dr. Vijay Tallapragada is the senior scientist for NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center, leading and advancing the development and operational implementation of community-based prediction systems within the UFS framework. He is currently serving as co-lead of the UFS Research to Operations (UFS R2O) project and development manager of the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP). He received a Master of Science in meteorology, a Master of Technology in atmospheric sciences, and a doctorate degree in tropical meteorology from Andhra University, India.
AMS Fellow: Jennifer Mahoney
Jennifer Mahoney is the director of the NOAA Global Systems Laboratory (GSL) and the director of the Earth System Research Laboratories. She leads an organization of nearly 200 meteorologists, software engineers, and support staff who are key contributors to the UFS dedicated to “forecast systems that deliver solutions.” GSL research provides NOAA National Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the public with rapidly-updating environmental models, state-of-the-art decision support tools, innovative visualization systems, and high-performance computing technology to support commerce and a weather-ready nation.
The Kenneth C. Spengler Award: Neil Jacobs
For leadership in fostering community collaboration across the weather, water, and climate enterprise through the perspectives of science, policy, and business.
Dr. Neil Jacobs is the Chief Science Advisor for the UFS within the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s (UCAR’s) Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS). Prior to joining CPAESS, he was the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. He received his doctorate in atmospheric science from North Carolina State University. His research interests include strategic innovation related to public-private-academic partnerships, high-performance computing, and numerical weather prediction.
The Cleveland Abbe Award for Distinguished Service to the Atmospheric and Related Sciences: Stanley Benjamin
For a career of pioneering work that has revolutionized regional to global high-impact weather prediction in the United States and around the world.
Dr. Stan Benjamin is a senior scientist in advancing earth system modeling systems at NOAA GSL. Working with colleagues from positions at NOAA and NCAR, he developed innovative high-resolution numerical weather prediction earth system models and data assimilation approaches that improved operational prediction for severe weather, aviation, energy, hydrology, and the UFS. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in meteorology from Penn State after a bachelor’s in mathematics at Albion College.
Senior Named Scholarship: Jackie Sepulveda
American Meteorological Society (AMS) members sponsor scholarships each year to support the education of outstanding undergraduate students entering their final year of study. Jackie Sepulveda is a rising senior meteorology major with a mathematics minor attending Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana where she is involved in various student activities and is an active member in the meteorology department. Jackie was a William M. Lapenta Intern during the Summer of 2022 where she completed a case study of the Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration (JEDI) — the data assimilation system used in the UFS — to evaluate its usability as a community-based system. Jackie is interested in research and education and hopes to attend graduate school for meteorology after she completes her undergraduate degree. In the future, Jackie would be interested in working for NOAA to help fulfill their mission while pursuing her interests.