Press Release

NASA Climatologists Named in Scientific American Top 50 Scientists

By SpaceRef Editor
November 9, 2004
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For the first time NASA researchers have been awarded the Scientific American Top 50 Scientist Award. Climatologists Dr. Drew Shindell and Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York, received the award given by Scientific American Magazine.

The Scientific American 50 is a prestigious annual list, published in the December edition, recognizing outstanding acts of leadership in science and technology from the past year. Shindell and Schmidt were named Research Leaders in the Environmental Studies for seeking clues in the global warming category.

The scientists were selected by the magazine’s Board of Editors with the help of distinguished outside advisors. The list also recognizes research, business and policy leaders in various technological categories including Agriculture, Chemicals and Materials, Climate, Communications, Computing, Energy, Environment, and Medical Treatments.

Shindell is an atmospheric physicist who investigates climate change and atmospheric chemistry at GISS. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in physics from State University of New York at Stony Brook. After several years of field research in the Arctic and Antarctic, he received the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Service Medal in 1994.

Shindell has authored more than 50 papers during the past decade. He has participated in numerous international assessments and public outreach activities, including consulting for the American Museum of Natural History.

Schmidt is a computer climate modeler who works on developing large-scale models of the atmosphere-ocean climate system. He has worked on understanding climate variability in the past, going back as far as 55 million years and forward to possible future climates.

Schmidt received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oxford University in England and his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from University College London. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University, Montreal until 1996. In 1996 he was awarded a Climate and Global Change Fellowship by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which marked the start of his work at GISS.

Schmidt has more than 30 papers in scientific literature. He is involved in public outreach, most recently at the College de France in Paris, and among high school students in New York, two of which he mentored to the finals of the Intel International Science competition.

To learn more about NASA’s climate change research on the Internet, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.