CORVALLIS, Ore. - Warren Washington, one of the world's leading climate scientists and a graduate of Oregon State University, is one of 10 persons named today by President Obama to receive the National Medal of Science.

Washington has a bachelor's degree in physics (1958) and a master's degree in meteorology (1960) from OSU. He will return to campus this Nov. 3, when he is a scheduled speaker in a Memorial Union Program Council series on diversity. He also will deliver the keynote speech on Nov. 4 in Portland for the Urban League of Portland's Equal Opportunity Day dinner.

One of OSU's most distinguished alumni, Washington, who was born in Portland in 1936, has spent his entire career with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and developed an international reputation for his work, according to Mark Abbott, dean of Oregon State's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

"Warren Washington has been one of the leading lights of modern-day climate modeling," Abbott said. "He has been a world leader for more than 40 years in the study of the Earth's climate."

Washington also served as chairman of the National Science Board and completed two terms. He was nominated by both President Clinton and President (George W.) Bush.

The National Medal of Science was created in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, it recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.

In 2006, Washington received an honorary doctorate from OSU and also delivered its June commencement address.

The 10 recipients of the medal include:

  • Yakir Aharonov, Chapman University
  • Stephen J. Benkovic, Pennsylvania State University
  • Esther M. Conwell, University of Rochester
  • Marye Anne Fox, University of California San Diego
  • Susan L. Lindquist, Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mortimer Mishkin, National Institutes of Health
  • David B. Mumford, Brown University
  • Stanley B. Prusiner, University of California San Francisco
  • Warren M. Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Amnon Yariv, California Institute of Technology

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Mark Abbott, 541-737-5195