Scientist Warren Washington will receive the Tyler Prize for outstanding achievement in the field of climate change.
Since the 1970s, Washington has advised presidential administrations on the effect global warming has on the planet. The 82-year-old recently retired after working 54 years for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, but he holds an unofficial post where he still offers his expertise.
He achieved many things, but his journey began at Oregon State University. Graduating in 1958, Washington earned his bachelor's degree in physics despite racists not believing in him.
“My freshman advisor told me I shouldn’t stay in physics because it was probably too hard for me,” he said.
Then, he obtained his master's in meteorology from Oregon State and a doctorate in atmospheric science from Penn State.
In his career, Washington was one of the first people to develop a computer that made atmospheric models using physics to predict future climatic conditions.
We are extremely pleased to award Dr. Warren M. Washington the 2019 Tyler Prize for his pioneering contributions to climate modeling & enhancing our understanding of climate change. He has also been a champion for diversity in the science arena. @NCAR_Science #environment #prize pic.twitter.com/qqsi2LO6Db— Tyler Prize (@TylerPrize) February 12, 2019
Washington's work has served as a benchmark for future scientists in the field, Nexus Media reports. While there isn't an official Nobel Prize for the environment, the Tyler Prize comes close. The Tyler Prize committee will also honor Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University.
“The Tyler Prize Executive Committee is honored to recognize two outstanding scientists, who have not only advanced our knowledge of climate change but also demonstrated exceptional courage and commitment to public policy,” said Tyler Prize Chair Julia Marton-Lefèvre in a press release.
Both men will give lectures on May 2 during the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. On May 3, they will be honored in a private ceremony.
“I am quiet, but not to the extreme,” Washington said via Nexus Media. “I’m just not as vocal as some people in the field, but that’s OK. [Some] people say I’m a legend, while others joke about the fact that I am still alive.”
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