Antonio Busalacchi, professor of atmospheric and ocean science at the University of Maryland and director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
Busalacchi was recognized for his contributions to our "understanding of tropical oceans in coupled climate systems via remotely sensed observations and for international leadership of climate prediction/projection research."
"I am very appreciative of the environment and opportunities this college and university have provided that have allowed me to thrive and flourish, and I'm grateful to have the privilege of working every day with a cadre of world-class earth system scientists," said Busalacchi.
An oceanographer and climate expert, Busalacchi currently serves as co-chair of the National Research Council's Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space. The survey committee will develop priorities and support observation activities for NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey from 2018 through 2027. Busalacchi also chairs UMD's Council on the Environment and serves as a trustee of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
Busalacchi's extensive National Research Council service includes terms as chair of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) and the BASC Climate Research Committee; chair of the Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft; and co-chair of the Committee on National Security Implications of Climate Change on U.S. Naval Forces. He also chaired the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme for six years.
Busalacchi spent 18 years as a civil servant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center before joining the UMD faculty in 2000. During his final 10 years at NASA, he was chief of the Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes and a member of the Senior Executive Service. He earned his bachelor's degree in physics in 1977, master's degree in oceanography in 1980 and Ph.D. in oceanography in 1982, all from Florida State University.
He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
"This recognition further confirms that Tony is a true pioneer and leader whose climate research has transformed the field and created important new areas of exploration," said Jayanth Banavar, dean of the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. "We are honored to have Tony on the faculty at the University of Maryland."
Today's announcement brings the total number of UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences faculty members in the NAE to six. There are 2,277 NAE members nationwide and 233 foreign members.
Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology. New academy members will be inducted later this year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.