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Publication Date
11 September 2023

2023 E3SM Outstanding Contribution Awards

From left: Alice Barthel, Kat Smith, LeAnn Conlon and Xujing Davis, ESMD Program Manager.

Every year E3SM recognizes team members who make exceptional contributions to the critical but less visible aspects of E3SM model development. Everyone who uses the E3SM model relies on and benefits from these contributions, but often they do not lead to publications or traditional types of laboratory recognition. The E3SM Executive Committee usually selects two awardees from nominations submitted by Council members at each E3SM all-hands and science team meeting. As E3SM was not able to hold the meeting for 3 years, in 2023 Xujing Davis, the DOE BER ESMD Program manager presneted 7 awards.

This year’s awardees are:

  • LeAnn Conlon, LANL
  • Alice Barthel, LANL
  • Kat Smith, LANL
  • Luca Bertagna, SNL
  • Andrew Roberts, LANL
  • Chris Terai, LLNL
  • Mingxuan Wu, PNNL

LeAnn ConlonAlice Barthel, and Kat Smith were willing to drop everything and devote a huge amount of effort to understanding the AMOC bias. This involved numerous meetings per week for strategy sessions and prioritizing the understanding of the AMOC bias above all else. The work led to very substantial improvements in SST/SSS and AMOC representations. All three worked incredibly hard and became more competent and agile scientists. They have become important contributors to the E3SM project for now and into the future.

  • Citation:  For an outstanding, heroic effort to understand the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) bias in E3SM coupled simulations leading to significant improvements in modeling sea surface temperature and salinity and AMOC.

Luca Bertagna is a quiet “hide in the background” kind of person, but he wrote a large fraction of the EAMxx code, and his intellectual thumbprint can be found in most of the EAMxx design decisions. He is a joy to work with and always happy to help out however he can. Luca is remarkably patient and supportive in explaining things to those who are less computationally inclined. He’s also an excellent writer (as evidenced by the fact that he was the lead author on both HOMMExx publications).

  • Citation: For making both voluminous and critical contributions to the EAMxx code, and driving most of the design decisions for the code architecture.

Andrew Roberts is recognized for his careful, detailed, and essential examination of the sea ice model and sea-ice-ocean-coupling during phase 2. His efforts led to the discovery of numerous bugs and inconsistencies, allowed E3SM to remove an artificial sea-surface-height filter, and ultimately resulted in a significantly improved sea ice climate for v2. Along with much greater confidence in the fidelity of the sea ice model and its coupling, Andrew’s work has led to creative new metrics and improvements to diagnostics and workflow that provide quick yet foundational insights into model behavior. Finally, Andrew is recognized for his careful and caring efforts in mentoring early career staff on the project.

  • Citation:  For his careful, detailed, and essential examination of the sea ice model and sea-ice-ocean-coupling leading to a significantly improved sea ice climate and creative new metrics and improvements to diagnostics and workflow.

Chris Terai showed outstanding leadership in E3SM v3 atmospheric model integration and tuning and convection assessment. This effort led to considerable improvements in E3SM’s simulation of mean climate and variability, and the improved simulation of the observed surface temperature anomaly that has been the biggest issue with E3SM. Chris led the team that met on a regular weekly basis for approximately 18 months to test, evaluate, and address numerous code problems, implementation issues, and model deficiencies found during the model integration and evaluation stage and ensured the timely delivery of the E3SM v3 atmosphere to the coupled group.

  • Citation: For an exceptional job in leading the assessment of convection parameterizations and the E3SM v3 atmospheric model integration and tuning.

Mingxuan Wu has gone above and beyond his efforts in developing the nitrate aerosol capability and working with others to integrate/reconcile changes related to aerosol modeling. During the pandemic, he devoted significant efforts to configure/run E3SM simulations for our CovidMIP contributions. His contributions cross both the atmosphere group and the BGC group.

  • Citation: For his extraordinary effort in developing the nitrate aerosol scheme, integrating the secondary organic aerosol scheme into E3SM, and configuring and completing the E3SM simulations for CovidMIP during the pandemic.
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