Ascent Award

Established in 2012, the Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award aims to reward exceptional mid-career (academic, government, and private sector) scientists in the fields of the atmospheric and climate sciences. “Mid-career” is defined here as between 8 and 20 years post-Ph.D or the scientist’s highest degree. The only criterion for the award is that the applicant demonstrates excellence in research and leadership in his or her field. Nominations for women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged. It is anticipated that up to 4 awards will be made each year. The Award consists of a certificate, $1000, and dinner at the Section Banquet during the Fall Meeting, where the award will be presented. AGU Fellows are not eligible for this award.

Nominations are accepted annually by the deadline: March 27 2024. Members of the AGU are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals. When considering nominations for next year, the nomination package should consist of four items:

  • A nomination letter, (not to exceed two pages in length)
  • The candidate’s curriculum vitae, (not to exceed two pages in length)
  • The candidate’s list of publications (not to exceed two pages in length)
  • Up to three letters of recommendation (not to exceed two pages in length each)

The nomination and supporting letters should clearly state how the nominated individual’s accomplishments are outstanding for one at his/her stage of career. Nominations must be submitted online via the AGU website before April 12. 

Ascent Award Winners


  • Delphine Farmer, Colorado State University
  • Sarah Kang, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
  • Dylan Millet, University of Minnesota
  • Jun Wang, University of Iowa
  • Ming Zhao, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


  • Benjamin John Murray, University of Leeds
  • Kerri Pratt, University of Michigan
  • Nicole Riemer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Isla Simpson, National Center for Atmospheric Research


  • Yafang Cheng, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
  • Tracey Holloway, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Pavlos Kollias, Stony Brook University
  • Tristan S. L’Ecuyer, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Randall Martin, Washington University in Saint Louis







  • Cecilia Bitz, University of Washington
    For advancing our ability to model climate in numerous ways, especially relating to sea ice.
  • Paul Ginoux, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
    For sustained pioneering work on aerosols.
  • Mark Jacobson, Stanford University
    For his dominating role in the development of models to identify the role of black carbon in climate change.
  • Sergey Nizkorodov, University of California – Irvine
    For elucidating at the molecular level the formation, growth and reactions of organic molecules in the atmosphere.
  • Ping Yang, Texas A&M University
    For fundamental research in radiative transfer and remote sensing.


  • Andrew Dessler, Texas A&M University
    For creative and incisive studies of the influences of water and clouds in the climate system.
  • Jose-Luis Jimenez, University of Colorado
    For shifting the paradigm underlying primary emission, secondary production, and chemical evolution of carbonaceous aerosols.
  • Stephen A. Klein, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    For advancing our ability to model climate in numerous ways, especially relating to sea ice.
  • Athanasios Nenes, Georgia Institute of Technology
    For fundamental advances in research on aerosol impacts on cloud formation, air quality, and climate though a combination of theory, instrumentation development, measurements, and modeling.




Please contact the Award Committee Chair, Allison Steiner.