Andrew Slater Memorial Awards
US permafrost community honors our colleague Andrew G. Slater (19712016).
Andrew "Drew" Slater, land modeler extraordinaire, died
on 9 September 2016. He was 44 years old.
Drew was a force within the land modeling community. He transformed
our capabilities to simulate terrestrial processes and change in
cold regions. He was best known for his noteworthy advances in modeling
permafrost, and hydrologic processes in Arctic and mountain regions.
2019 Award Winner
David Rey, Colorado School of Mines
an early career scientist nearing the end of my Ph.D., attending AGU
allowed me to highlight my research and develop new professional relationships.
The Andrew Slater Memorial award provided essential travel funding
that enabled me to plan future collaborative work with existing colleagues
and give my first invited AGU presentation. As a scientist who works
on topics that require multidisciplinary expertise, attending the
AGU conference is always a productive experience. Specifically, it
enables me to interface with multiple science communities and gain
insight into recent research related to my field of study. The experience
of attending the 2019 Fall meeting in San Francisco was an invaluable
as I transition from a Ph.D. student to a more independent early career
scientist, and I would like to thank the USPA and PYRN communities
for making my attendance possible.
2018 Award Winner
Risa Madoff, University of North Dakota
support from the USPA and PYRN through the Andrew Slater Memorial
Award I was able to attend the AGU 2018 annual meeting and give
my first oral presentation of research there. Receiving financial
support to attend AGU to present research is a privilege for anyone.
As an early career, completing my PhD in 2015, attending meetings
has become much more difficult, as there are fewer opportunities
for funding, yet to remain in research pipelines and on radar screens,
attending them is ever more important. This year I discovered the
permafrost community through USPA and PYRN and was delighted by
the sense of fellowship at the annual business and reception meeting
at AGU. Issues of permafrost grow in importance for understanding
soil environments in cold regions and their response to climate
change and for addressing the practical consequences of their thawing.
Studying the response of permafrost as a feature in transitional
environments also contributes significantly to modeling landscape
evolution and environmental change.
In my research I want to investigate the spectrum of transitions
and thresholds that occur in sediment and soil at the landform scale
to develop a framework for understanding how fundamental geomorphic
processes - erosion, sediment transport, soil formation and weathering
- respond to climate change. Permafrost regions are a key benchmark
in this regard. I think we need to improve parametrizations of mechanical
and chemical responses by studying and comparing surface processes
and materials in a variety of climates to understand a full spectrum
of responses to climate change. Such parameters can be used for
landscape evolution modeling through past climate changes, using
a space for time substitution approach. They can also be used for
predicting threshold boundaries of surface processes at various
scales, such as for determining the climatic conditions in various
regions that will initiate mass movement. I look forward to being
a part of the permafrost community and will be a strong advocate
for researchers at all stages to join.
2017 Award Winner
Heidi Rodenhizer - Northern Arizona University
am working on tracking subsidence at a permafrost warming experiment
in Healy, AK and am interested in whether it is possible to track
active layer thickness (the depth to permafrost at the end of summer)
using various remotely sensed products. This year at AGU, I was
able to present a poster quantifying the impact of permafrost warming
on subsidence. Because of very fast subsidence at our warming site,
we have been underestimating changes in active layer thickness,
which means we have been underestimating permafrost thaw. I was
able to meet a lot of scientists working on similar permafrost issues
and get feedback to help with my future research.