DRI is pleased to announce that the 25th annual Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences has been awarded to Andrea Gordon of the University of Oklahoma. An award ceremony commemorating her achievement was held at the DRI campus in Reno on Sep. 21, 2023.
The Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences is an annual competition recognizing the published works of women pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in the atmospheric sciences or any related program at a university in the United States. The award is presented to women graduate students with outstanding academic publications and includes a $1,500 prize. This award has been presented annually by DRI since 1998 and is the only such honor designated for graduate women in the atmospheric sciences in the United States.
Gordon, a third-year Ph.D. student in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, is receiving this award for her paper Sensitivities of Cross-Tropopause Transport in Midlatitude Overshooting Convection to the Lower Stratosphere Environment. She is a member of the Convection, Chemistry, and Climate (CCC) Research Group, led by Dr. Cameron Homeyer, studying the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. She earned her B.S. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 2021 while working as an undergraduate researcher with the CCC group.
Gordon’s research focuses on severe thunderstorms that stretch through atmospheric layers (from the troposphere into the stratosphere) and how they move air between these layers. Known as overshooting convection, they eject water vapor and other greenhouse gases and pollutants into the middle atmosphere. Due to the atmospheric layers having distinct chemical compositions, these interactions alter Earth’s atmosphere and impact the changing climate.
“I want to say thank you to Sue Wagner,” Gordon said. “Being recognized with this award has been so meaningful. This award has been so validating for all of the hard work that I’ve put in, and will continue to put in, for grad school and beyond.”
Finalists for the 2023 award include: 2nd place – Ursula A. Jongebloed from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington for the paper Underestimated passive volcanic degassing implies overestimated aerosol forcing.
3rd place – Clare E. Singer, Ph.D., from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at California Institute of Technology for the paper CO2-driven stratocumulus cloud breakup in a bulk boundary layer model.
About the Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award
Ms. Sue Wagner — former Nevada Gaming Commissioner, Nevada Lieutenant Governor, and widow of DRI Atmospheric Scientist, Dr. Peter B. Wagner — created the Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences in 1998. Dr. Wagner, a faculty member at DRI since 1968, was killed while conducting research in a 1980 plane crash that also claimed the lives of three other Institute employees.
In 1981, Dr. Wagner’s family and friends established a memorial scholarship to provide promising graduate students in DRI’s Atmospheric Sciences Program an award to further pursue their professional careers. Since 1998, this opportunity has extended specifically to women pursuing graduate education across the nation.
The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. For more information, please visit www.dri.edu.