The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced earlier this month that they will once again award a handful of scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. with the honor of becoming AGU Fellows.

Paul Newman, Randal Koster and Michael Hesse have been bestowed the prestigious honor for fostering their work in Earth and space science. Only one in 1,000 members of the scientific community are elected as Fellows each year.

AGU is dedicated to the promotion and research of Earth and space science from scientists within and outside membership. As an international organization, their mission lies solely in ensuring communication of scientific knowledge pertaining to Earth and space science in order to benefit humanity. Newly elected Fellows are chosen by a Committee of Fellows. In order to become a Fellow, a member must display exceptional contributions to the advancement of geophysical sciences for the public’s understanding and service of their community. They must also have attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences.

Dr. Paul A. Newman is an atmospheric physicist in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch at NASA Goddard. He was awarded with the honor of becoming a Fellow for his long-term contributions to atmospheric science. Although his main involvement is in the analysis of stratospheric meteorological and trace gas observations, he was nominated based upon his “career’s worth of work,” which includes Goddard’s effort to analyze data collected from NASA aircrafts that are the primary sources of high resolution information about the stratosphere. He now resides in Bowie, Md. and dabbles in archaeology in his free time.

“I am really honored and grateful to have been made an AGU Fellow. My work is a result of the education from my teachers, the love of my parents, siblings, children and wife, and the help and wisdom of my science colleagues,” Newman said about his award. “The honor is theirs more than mine.” Michael Hesse, who holds a doctorate in theoretical physics, is the Chief of the Space Weather Laboratory at Goddard. He has been elected an AGU Fellow for his long-term contribution to Earth and space science, specifically Magnetospheric Physics. Currently, Hesse is “heavily engaged in space weather modeling and research.” He is also involved in researching magnetic reconnection processes. Hesse, who lives in Annapolis, Md., is an avid sailor, primarily on the Chesapeake Bay in his down time.

“It is a great and wonderful surprise,” Hesse said about being elected. “To be selected means to me that my work is appreciated by my colleagues in the scientific community. This is very important to me.”

Dr. Randal Koster, who said he has a great respect for the organization, has been a member of AGU for almost 30 years. His long-term research in hydrological modeling has resulted in his nomination for being an AGU Fellow. He is a researcher and senior scientist in the global modeling and assimilation office at Goddard. Dr. Koster leads the development and maintenance of the land surface model component of the GMAO’s Earth system model. He was formally a lecturer for the climate program at George Mason University and has extensive knowledge in land modeling and seasonal predictions. Koster resides in Dayton, Md. When he is not researching hydrological modeling he is an unpublished hack writer of B-grade mystery novels. “This honor came out of the blue and I am surprised, honored, humbled and somewhat speechless,” Koster said.

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