Patrick Minnis Named American Geophysical Union Fellow
By: Jennifer Collings

Patrick Minnis, a senior research scientist in the Science Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center, was recently named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). His election to the rank of AGU Fellow was recognized with a ceremony at the spring AGU meeting in Toronto on May 26.

Pat Minnis.

Pat Minnis, Climate Science Branch.Credit: NASA

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This honor of being named a fellow is bestowed on only 0.1 percent of the AGU membership, and is only for those scientists who have gained distinction within the geophysical science field. Once an individual is nominated, a committee of 11 fellows must approve. Minnis will be one of 44 AGU members to be initiated out of the 50,000-person membership. He has been a member of AGU for almost 30 years.

“I am quite honored and surprised to have been elected a fellow,” explains Minnis. “I have been blessed to have worked with and been supported by so many capable and dedicated colleagues. Their efforts, which have been critical to any accomplishments that this award recognizes, are much appreciated.”

Throughout his career, Minnis has been involved in the study of remote sensing of the atmosphere and the Earth's surface. His research focuses on the characterization and measurement of clouds, aerosols and radiation for the study of climate.

“This is a very prestigious honor and well deserved,” said Lelia Vann, director of the Science Directorate. “We are honored to have a world-class scientist such as Pat in our organization. He has been at the forefront of leading research of contrails and their effects on our climate system for decades.”

This is not Minnis’ first recognition. In 2008, he received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and he was also recognized for contributing to the 2007 IPCC Nobel Peace Prize.

Minnis is a member of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES), Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM), Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) and CloudSat science teams, and also leads the Langley Cloud and Radiation Group. Minnis’ group is developing methods for detecting contrails from space and determining their impact on climate. Minnis is also developing near-real time cloud products, the first assimilation in numerical forecast models, and will be using the data for icing predictions.

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