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Ian Howat

Distinguished Scholar Award, 2020

Ian Howat, professor in the School of Earth Sciences and director of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, has received the Distinguished Scholar Award, which honors six Ohio State faculty members who demonstrate scholarly activity, research or other creative works representing exceptional achievements in their respective fields.

Howat is among the world’s leaders in the study of glaciers and ice sheets, using a wide range of observations from remote sensing and field studies to understand the dynamics and behavior of large ice sheets and how they respond to climate change.

“His leadership of the development of the Reference Elevation Map of Antarctica has been groundbreaking, allowing scientists — and the public — to view the most remote regions on Earth in ways that both inspire wonder and enable powerful scientific analyses of fundamental glaciological processes through their topographic expressions,” wrote one of Howat’s nominators. “It is a rare scientist who displays such an effective mix of data set development for the community, and personal scientific capability.”

“It is absolutely clear that Professor Howat is not an academic who is simply pursuing his own selfish research agenda but is instead making an enormous contribution to the wider good of his particular research community and university, not to mention all of the outreach and media work that he has done thus educating society more broadly,” wrote another.

Recipients of the award receive a $20,000 research grant and a $3,000 honorarium to pursue their scholarly activity.

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