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July 20, 2010

Kevin Gurney Named 2010 Sigma Xi Young Investigator

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Kevin Gurney, whose work on tracking CO2 emissions has been groundbreaking, will receive Sigma Xi's 2010 Young Investigator Award.

Gurney is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Purdue University, where he is also associate director of the Climate Change Research Center.

His work focuses on the global carbon cycle, understanding sinks for atmospheric CO2, how CO2 changes connect to climate change and how to connect good climate science to development of sound public policy.

He was the lead author on a 2002 publication in Nature addressing CO2 inversions. It is listed in the top 1 percent of Nature papers. He received a grant from NASA to build a CO2 emissions inventory for the U.S. and led a project to create a high-resolution, interactive map of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

The maps and system, called Vulcan, show CO2 emissions at more than 100 times more detail than was available before. The model examines CO2 emissions at local levels on an hourly basis.

Gurney has worked extensively with NGOs and with United Nations' negotiators. He received B.A. and M.P.P. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He earned a Ph.D. in ecology from Colorado State University. A member of Sigma Xi, he also belongs to the American Geophysical Union, Phi Kappa Phi and the Ecological Society of America. He is the co-author of Mending the Ozone Hole: Science, Technology and Policy (MIT Press, 1995).

Sigma Xi's annual Young Investigator Award recognizes excellence in research and includes a certificate of recognition and a $5,000 honorarium. Any active (dues-paying) member of Sigma Xi within 10 years of his or her highest earned degree at the time of nomination is eligible.

The award alternates between the physical sciences and engineering, including mathematics, and the life and social sciences. The nomination deadline for this and other Sigma Xi awards is October 1 annually.

About Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist magazine, the non-profit Society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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