2013 Rosenstiel Award Winner Announced

Dr. Cecilia Bitz to receive prestigious Rosenstiel Award from the University of Miami


Virginia Key, FL – April 2, 2013 -- The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is proud to announce that Dr. Cecilia Bitz is the 2013 recipient of The Rosenstiel Award, one of the School's top honors. Dr. Bitz, an associate professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Department at University of Washington, is the 39th recipient of the Rosenstiel Award. Her work focuses on climate and climate change in the high latitudes, especially involving the cryosphere (areas of the Earth covered in the many forms of snow and ice). Dr. Bitz uses a variety of models for her research, from simple, reduced complexity models to sophisticated Earth-system models.

Dr. Bitz has more than 60 refereed papers to her credit. She contributed to the 3rd, 4th and 5th Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change and is a contributing author to the Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) 2011 report. On March 20, 2013 she provided a briefing for congress on Arctic sea ice loss.

Her research group recently published papers about Arctic sea ice predictability and reversibility, as well as the influence of ozone trends on Antarctic climate. She has also investigated global climate change from a geoengineering perspective and worked on understanding climate sensitivity. She traveled to the Greenland Sea with a class as an instructor to observe the record minimum in Arctic sea ice cover recently, as well.

Dr. Bitz currently chairs the advisory board of the NSF Office of Polar Programs and is an active member of the Community Earth System Model project. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Climate Research Committee. Dr. Bitz is currently co-leader of the World Climate Research Program Polar Climate Prediction Initiative and is a member of the American Geophysical Union. She received the Community Climate System Model Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002 in recognition of her contribution to developing the sea ice component of the model. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Washington. Her undergraduate B.S. is from the Oregon State University.

"Professor Bitz has made significant contributions to our understanding of the role of polar regions to the climate system, specifically in making improvements to how the properties and behaviors of these critical regions are represented in numerical models," said Dr. Peter Minnett, professor and chairman of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at UM's Rosenstiel School. "It has been known for over a century that the sea ice in the Arctic would be one of the first sentinels to indicate a climate changing in response to radiative forcing resulting from burning fossil fuels. Recent results from satellite remote sensing reveal the rapid reduction of summer-time Arctic sea ice and confirm the important role of high latitude interactions in the global climate."

"We are very proud to confer the Rosenstiel Award upon a young investigator who is making a significant impact in climate science. This award is a very timely and fitting recognition of Dr. Cecilia Bitz, who has focused her efforts towards the challenge of simulating the Earth climate," added Dr. Roni Avissar, dean of the UM Rosenstiel School, who will present the award at a dinner on April 23.

About the Rosenstiel Award

The Rosenstiel Award honors scientists who, in the past decade, have made significant and growing impacts in their field. It is an award targeted for researchers that are already making outstanding scientific contributions in their early to mid-career stages. The Rosenstiel Award, created through an endowment from the Rosenstiel Foundation, recognizes outstanding scientists for their contributions to marine science and in oceanographically relevant areas of atmospheric science with a $10,000 prize. It is awarded annually to one individual on a rotating basis for achievements in six broad disciplinary areas: marine geology and geophysics; meteorology and physical oceanography; marine and atmospheric chemistry; marine biology and fisheries; applied marine physics; and marine affairs. This year's award to Bitz falls within the discipline of meteorology and physical oceanography.

About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School

The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

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