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Washington, Warren Morton



  • Existence: 1936-

Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1936, Warren Washington earned a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in meteorology from Oregon State University. After completing his doctorate in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, he joined NCAR in 1963 as a research scientist. He has published more than 100 papers in professional journals. His book, “An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling,” co-authored with Claire Parkinson, is a reference on climate modeling. The second edition was published in May, 2005. Washington is a consultant and advisor to a number of government officials and committees on climate system modeling. From 1978 to 1984, he served on the President's National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere. He participated in several panels of the National Research Council and chaired its Advisory Panel for Climate Puzzle, a film produced for the 1986 PBS television series “Planet Earth.” Washington was a member of the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board from 1990 to 1993 and has been on the Secretary of Energy's Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC) since 1990. From 1996-2006, he served as the chair of the subcommittee on Global Change for BERAC. Washington held the office of President of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in 1994, and was Past President in 1995. He served on the Modernization Transition Committee and the National Centers for Environment Prediction Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Weather Service. In 1998, he was appointed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency Science Advisory Board. In May of 1995, he was appointed by President Clinton to a six-year term on the National Science Board (NSB). The NSB has dual responsibilities as national science policy adviser to the President and Congress, and as governing board for the National Science Foundation. In March 2000 he was nominated by President Clinton for a second six-year term and was confirmed by the Senate in September 2000. In May 2002, the NSB announced that it had elected Washington as its new Chair. He was re-elected to a second term in May of 2004. Washington's term ended on 10 May 2006. Washington is a Fellow of the AMS and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and from 1991 to 1995 he was a member of the AAAS Board of Directors. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Pennsylvania State University and Oregon State University, an Alumni Fellow of Pennsylvania State University and Oregon State University, a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute, and a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). In 1995 Washington received the Le Verrier Medal of the Societé Météorologique de France. In February 1997, he was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences Portrait Collection of African Americans in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. In May 1997, he was awarded the Department of Energy Biological and Environmental Research Program Exceptional Service Award for Atmospheric Sciences in the development and application of advanced coupled atmospheric-ocean general circulation models to study the impacts of anthropogenic activities on future climate. He was selected to be a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for 1998-1999. In 1998 he delivered the UCAR Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture, and a Rice University Computer and Information Technology Institute Distinguished Lecture. In 1999, Washington received the National Weather Service Modernization Award. In 1999, Washington was awarded the Dr. Charles Anderson Award from the AMS "for pioneering efforts as a mentor and passionate support of individuals, educational programs, and outreach initiatives designed to foster a diverse population of atmospheric scientists." In March 2000, Washington received the Celebrating 20th Century Pioneers in Atmospheric Sciences Award at Howard University, and in April 2000, the Colorado Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Award. In 2001, he gave the first Ralph W. Bromery lecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (Bromery was a Tuskegee Airman and later became the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts.) In February 2002, Washington was an invited lecturer at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Explorer Series. Also, in February 2002, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced that it had elected Washington to its membership for “pioneering the development of coupled climate models, their use on parallel supercomputing architectures, and their interpretation." Washington was inducted into the NAE in October 2002. In 2002, he was appointed to the Science Advisory Panel of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the National Academies of Science Coordinating Committee on Global Change. In 2003 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. In 2004 Washington received the Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. In June 2006, he served as commencement speaker and was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Science at Oregon State University. In October 2006 Washington was the Robert D. Cess “Distinguished Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences” Seminar speaker at the State University of New York at Stonybrook. Washington was elected honorary member of the AMS in 2006, and received the Charles Franklin Brooks Award from the AMS for outstanding services to the Society in January 2007. Washington received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Raymond L. Orbach of the U.S. Department of Energy in August 2007. In December 2007, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and Environment. Warren's current research involves use of the Parallel Climate Model (PCM) and the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) to study the impacts of climate change in the 21st century. He currently serves as a co-chair of the Climate Change Working Group within CCSM. The Parallel Climate Model is a DOE-supported effort, and the Community Climate System Model is supported by both the NSF and the DOE.
Author: Diane Rabson
Diane Rabson, former NCAR Archivist

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Warren M. Washington Papers

Identifier:  - 04-03-01-WMW
Scope and Contents The papers of Warren M. Washington document his scientific, professional, and advisory activities, as well as his significant contributions to diversity issues, particularly the enhancement of opportunities for people of color in science. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, speeches, lectures, articles and manuscript drafts, teaching materials, notes and calculations, clippings, awards, publications, motion picture film, and photographs.