JPL Scientist Receives American Meteorological Society Honor

JPL senior research scientist Tim Liu JPL senior research scientist Tim Liu. Image credit: NASA/JPL
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January 20, 2010

JPL senior research scientist Tim Liu has received the 2010 Verner E. Suomi Award from the American Meteorological Society, the nation's leading professional society for scientists in atmospheric and related sciences.

Liu is being recognized for his "research in space-borne measurements of air-sea interactions and the water cycle, and for inspiring progress through interdisciplinary science team leadership." The Suomi Award is given to individuals in recognition of highly significant technological achievement in the atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. The award is being presented today at the American Meteorological Society's 90th Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

Liu, a JPL research scientist since 1979, developed the first credible method of using satellite data to estimate evaporation and latent heat flux in the 1980s, and was one of the first scientists to use a combination of satellite sensors to study the global relationship between surface thermal forcing and ocean temperature response. He has served in scientific leadership positions on a number of NASA missions, including QuikScat, the NASA Scatterometer, Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1, the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission, Aqua and Aquarius. He has served on NASA's Earth Science and Application Division Advisory Subcommittee and various NASA science working groups. He has also served on numerous science working groups and advisory panels of the World Climate Research Program, and on the editorial boards of scientific journals.

Among Liu's other honors are a NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and numerous NASA group achievement awards and certificates of recognition. He is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society. A native of Hong Kong, Liu earned his bachelor's degree (Summa Cum Laude) at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and completed his master's degree and doctorate at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he also began his career as a research associate.

Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership of more than 13,000 professionals, professors, students and weather enthusiasts. The society publishes 11 atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic journals, sponsors multiple conferences annually, and directs numerous education and outreach programs and services. More information is online at

Media Contacts:

Alan Buis 818-354-0474
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Melissa S. Weston 617-227-2426, ext. 250
American Meteorological Society


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