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UMass climatologist Raymond Bradley wins Zuckerberg Leadership Award

July 06, 2014
By Mary Serreze | Special to The Republican 

AMHERST — UMass Amherst climatologist Dr. Raymond S. Bradley has been awarded the Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Award "in recognition of his courage, conviction and selflessness in devoting his time and talent to helping the University of Massachusetts to accomplish its goals."

The Distinguished Professor is director of the Climate System Research Center and co-director of the Northeast Climate Science Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The Zuckerberg award dispenses $100,000 over two years, including $30,000 to support research, teaching or service, and a stipend of $20,000. Applicants for the appointment, effective July 1, must have made an impact as a leader in research, teaching or service on a local, national or international level.

Over the past five years, Bradley has led research at the Climate System Research Center to understand how the climate system operates and how climate has changed over time. The CSRC has placed more than 25 papers in leading scientific journals, such as Science, Nature, Geoscience, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Bradley says communicating accurate information about climate change is of crucial importance so policy makers and the public can make informed decisions.

Bradley has briefed Gov. Patrick, state officials, federal officials, and testified before the U.S. Senate. He has lectured around the world and written articles and books for both professional and lay audiences "to make our current understanding of climate science widely available and broadly accessible."

Bradley says he plans to use the Zuckerberg funds to further his research on natural climate variations.

"Whatever changes in climate may be brought about by human activities, they will be superimposed on the underlying natural variations in climate that began long before global warming became an issue," wrote Bradley in a statement.

He also hopes to convey how climate change may impact the Northeast.

"I believe that the public and their political representatives are not fully aware of the significant changes that are likely to occur if carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current rate," Bradley wrote.

Finally, Bradley plans to hold an academic seminar entitled "Climate Change Impacts on New England."

"Many people in the region are studying this topic from different perspectives such as ecology, hydrology, public health, urban planning, transportation, fisheries, coastal hazards and more," noted Bradley, who said his goal is to promote collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

(Applicants for the two-year appointment that began July 1 were judged by a committee with members from each of the five UMass campuses and the president’s office. UMass Amherst Provost James V. Staros recently announced Bradley’s selection.)