Jacob Bjerknes Lecture

Headshot of Jacob Bjerknes

About the Lecture

The Jacob Bjerknes Lecture is presented annually to a scientist who has made a major scientific impact in advancing the basic understanding of the atmosphere and Earth’s climate. Established in 1993, the Bjerknes Lecture honors the life of Jacob Aall Bonnevie Bjerknes (1897-1975) and his work in developing the basic theory of fronts, cyclogenesis, weather prediction, and creating quantitative models for forecasting.

The Bjerknes Lecture is also a part of the Bowie Lecture Series, established in 1989 to commemorate the 50th presentation of the William Bowie medal, AGU's highest honor.

Lecturer Benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our section honorees. Recipients of the Jacob Bjerknes Lecture will receive the following benefits during the lecture presentation year:
  • Lecture certificate
  • Recognition in Eos
  • Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting
  • An invitation to present the Bjerknes Lecture at the AGU Fall Meeting
  • Complimentary ticket to the Atmospheric Sciences business meeting at the AGU Fall Meeting


Nominations for the Jacob Bjerknes Lecture are being accepted until 15 April 2022. Please submit your nomination package or Bjerknes Lecture inquiries to Paul A. Newman.

Nomination Information

Nomination letters should be no more than two pages in length, and should emphasize a nominee's qualifications to meet the selection criteria and qualifications per the award description.


Members of the general public can submit nominations for the Lecture. Multiple nominators for a single candidate are encouraged to collaborate on the nomination package.


The nominee is required to be an active AGU member. Self-nominations are not accepted.


Members of the general public can write letters supporting nominees for the Lecture.


The following individuals are not eligible to be candidates, nominators, or supporters for the award during their terms of service:

  • AGU Atmospheric Sciences section leadership
  • AGU President
  • AGU President-elect
  • Council Leadership Team members
  • Honors and Recognition Committee members
  • Lecture Committee members
  • All full-time AGU staff

The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to the Award Committee but will not disqualify individuals from participating in the nomination or committee review process. These apply to committee members, nominators, and supporters:

  • Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee)
  • Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years
  • An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.

Individuals with the following relationships are disqualified from participating in the award nomination process as a nominator or supporter:

  • Family member, spouse, or partner.
  • A previous graduate (Master’s or Ph.D.) and/or postdoctoral advisor, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.
  • A former doctoral or graduate student, or a former postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter for a former advisor but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.

List of Bjerknes Lecturers


Kirk Bryan


Richard A. Anthes


Syukuro Manabe


Michael J. Prather


Dieter H. Ehhalt


Robert D. Cess


Eugenia Kalnay

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M. Joan Alexander

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David A. Randall

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Ralph Keeling

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Mario Molina

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Jonathan Overpeck

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Veerabhadran Ramanathan

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Susan Solomon

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Paul A. Newman

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Robert Houze

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Judith Lean

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Brian Hoskins

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Kerry Emanuel

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Issac Held


Clara Deser


Peter Webster


Cecilia Bitz


L. Ruby Leung


Joyce Penner