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Publication Date
20 October 2021

L. Ruby Leung Named a DOE Distinguished Scientist Fellow

L. Ruby Leung is one of the three DOE National Laboratory scientists named as DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows. Photo is by Andrea Starr, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has named atmospheric scientist L. Ruby Leung of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) a DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellow.

The Distinguished Scientist Fellow honor is awarded to DOE National Laboratory scientists with outstanding records of achievement. It provides each Fellow with $1 million over three years to support activities that develop, sustain, and promote scientific and academic excellence in DOE Office of Science research. Leung was cited for “pioneering new approaches in climate modeling, the discovery of unexpected impacts of regional climate change, and understanding extreme weather events and their future changes.”

A virtual ceremony was held on October 20, 2021, in celebration of the outstanding accomplishments of the 2021 Distinguished Scientist Fellows. Read the Office of Science announcement.

“These Distinguished Scientist Fellows are advancing the science behind some of our nation’s greatest challenges, from understanding the impact of climate change to developing the bioeconomy and pursuing fusion as a future energy source,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “I look forward to their continued success in achieving impactful results as they also work to inspire and guide a diverse new generation of scientists.”

“I am deeply honored to be named a Distinguished Scientist Fellow,” says Leung in a recent PNNL feature story.

“I am humbled by any award for work that I believe is essential,” adds Leung, a Battelle Fellow. “Since I joined PNNL, I have been very fortunate to have the Department of Energy support my research interests, and for that, I am very thankful.”

The DOE honor comes just weeks after the American Meteorological Society (AMS) announced that Leung will receive the 2022 Hydrologic Sciences Medal for, according to the citation, “ingenious, groundbreaking contributions which enhance the modeling of land-atmosphere interactions and the hydroclimate.”

The PNNL feature tells the story of Leung’s early interest in science and her lifelong penchant for asking questions. “I was one of those kids in science who always was curious. And then you can find the answers,” she says. “Of course, after you answer one question, then you have the next question. It’s a quest. A quest for thinking deeper and trying to get to the truth.”

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