Upmanu Lall Recognized as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, was one of 61 scholars to be honored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) last week.

Each year, the organization recognizes just 0.01 percent of its members as AGU Fellows. This title is reserved for scientists who have “made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences.”

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, is honored onstage as an AGU fellow.

The organization announced this year’s class of Fellows in July, but the awardees were commemorated in a ceremony and reception on Wednesday at the AGU meeting in New Orleans. Robin Bell, a geophysicist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and president-elect of AGU, presented the class of Fellows.

Lall’s work focuses on global water scarcity, predicting and mitigating floods, and developing sustainable water management strategies. At the ceremony, AGU praised his “incisive contributions to the understanding and predictability of hydrologic processes at regional and global scales.” But Lall feels his colleagues deserve much of the credit. “It’s really a recognition for all the students and postdocs who have been working with me,” he says.

Through the America’s Water project, the Columbia Water Center is working to build a comprehensive picture of water sources and stresses in the U.S. Up next, Lall and his team plan to address the growing number of communities across the U.S. who are losing access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

“AGU Fellows are recognized for their outstanding contributions to scholarship and discovery in the Earth and space sciences,” Eric Davidson, president of AGU, said in a statement in July. “Their work not only expands the realm of human knowledge, but also contributes to the scientific understanding needed for building a sustainable future.”

Earth Institute

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