UCAR breakfast honors AGU Fellows

Inez Fung delivers keynote address

December 19, 2016 | UCAR cemented a new tradition at the fall conference of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco last week by hosting its second annual AGU Fellows breakfast. The event honors newly elected Fellows from NCAR and UCAR member universities as well as those elected in the past.

"I am delighted to recognize and congratulate you on your exceptional scientific contributions and the recognition of your standing in the Earth and space sciences," UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi told the Fellows.

Only one in 1,000 AGU members are elected Fellows in any given year. About 40 percent of this year's Fellows are from NCAR and the 110 member colleges and universities of UCAR.

UCAR breakfast honoring AGU Fellows: Inez Fung and Antonio Busalacchi
Inez Fung and Antonio Busalacchi (©UCAR. Photo by David Hosansky. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)

Inez Fung, professor of atmospheric science at the University of California, Berkeley, and an AGU Fellow, delivered the keynote address at the breakfast. Fung was appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board in 2012, and she focused her remarks on the board.

The National Science Board, which includes the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and establishes the policies of the agency, is apolitical and independent. Fung explained that, in addition to providing the president and Congress with major reports about research in the United States, the board's 25 members are putting more emphasis on building strong relationships with members of Congress.

"Because we represent a wide area of expertise, are spread across the country, and serve on the board for six-year terms, we are well positioned to invest in building professional relationships on Capitol Hill," Fung said. "Our focus has been on relevant congressional committee chairs as well as our own congressional delegations. We have found these meetings very worthwhile and are continuing to cultivate congressional relationships."

Fung also spoke about a personal highlight of her board membership: her trip to Antarctica three years ago. Board members are invited to visit Antarctica because of the importance of the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is funded and managed by NSF.

"I came away from that trip totally in awe of Antarctica—of the scientists working there to understand the geology, atmosphere, ocean, ice and biology of the place and of the men and women who make the science happen in such a faraway and challenging environment," she said.

During a question-and-answer session following her remarks, Fung emphasized the importance of basic research for the United States, as well as Congress's support for research.

"Basic science is the engine of the economy; it is the engine of innovation," she said.  "This is very important for American leadership in the world."


Writer/contact:
David Hosansky, Manager of Media Relations

 


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The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.