Ocean scientist Adina Paytan to receive inaugural Dansgaard Award

Award for outstanding contributions to paleoceanography and paleoclimatology will be presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

Adina Paytan

Adina Paytan, a research scientist in the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, will receive the inaugural Dansgaard Award for contributions to paleoceanography and paleoclimatology from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The award will be presented at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December.

The Dansgaard Award recognizes exceptional promise for continued leadership in paleoceanography or paleoclimatology and contributions to the field such as research impact, innovative interdisciplinary work, educational accomplishments and mentoring, and societal impact.

"In addition to being a leading scientific figure in our discipline, Dr. Paytan also finds time to contribute to substantial outreach, education, and professional service," wrote Figen Mekik, president-elect of the AGU's Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology group, in a letter of commendation. "Dr. Paytan is a well-respected, prolific scientist and mentor who tirelessly promotes the professional growth and success of her students and colleagues and contributes to the leadership in paleoceanography and paleoclimatology."

Encompassing both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, Paytan's research includes studies of groundwater discharge into coastal systems, nutrient cycling, ocean acidification, and paleoceanography. She has over 160 scientific publications in prestigious journals such as Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Geophysical Research Letters. Since 2001, she has supervised more than 20 students receiving graduate degrees and 12 postdoctoral scientists, and she currently advises 10 graduate students, three postdocs, and several undergraduate students.

"Paleoceanography is a fascinating field of research," Paytan said. "It is a humbling endeavor to try and read the pages of Earth's history from indirect clues preserved in rocks, mud, and fossils."

These records, she said, hold the key to a better understanding of one of the most fascinating questions of all time: How does our planet work?

"It is a great honor to be a participant in this grand challenge of understanding the processes and feedbacks operating in the Earth system and how they relate to global changes in climate and tectonics," Paytan said.