Warren Washington

Distinguished Scholar, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Oregon State University, B.S. in Physics
Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Meteorology

Dr. Warren Washington is a Distinguished Scholar at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. The group he is in uses state-of-the-art computer climate models to study present and future climate change. He has engaged in research for more than
fifty years. He has had Presidential Appointments under the Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, Jr. Administrations. More recently, he served on the National Science Board, which governs the National Science Foundation, from 1994 to 2006 and he was Chair from 2002 to 2006. He has over 150 publications and co-authored with Claire Parkinson a book considered a standard reference on climate modeling. Dr. Washington has many awards including being a member of the National Academy of Engineering, President of the American Meteorological Society (1994), a member and now a vice President of the American Philosophical Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has honorary degrees from Oregon State University, Bates College, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Colby College. In November 2010, he was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama, the nation’s highest science award. The citation for this award is for his development and use of global climate models to understand climate and explain the role of human activities and natural processes in the Earth’s climate system and for his work to support a diverse science and engineering workforce. On May 3, 2019, the international environmental Tyler Prize was awarded to him along with Michael Manning. Penn State University named an innovation research building in his honor on May 17, 2019.

In 2020, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has created a new national award in honor of Warren Washington, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and a pioneer in the development of computer models of Earth’s climate. The Warren Washington Research and Leadership Medal will be presented to individuals who are recognized for the combination of highly significant research and distinguished scientific leadership in the atmospheric and related sciences.