Kristie Boering and Whendee Silver elected American Geophysical Union Fellows

September 28, 2021

Professors Kristie Boering and Whendee Silver

Professors Kristie Boering and Whendee Silver. Photos courtesy UC Berkeley.

The College of Chemistry is delighted to announce that UC Berkeley faculty members Kristie A. Boering (Professor of Chemistry and of Earth and Planetary Science) and Whendee L. Silver (Rudy Grah Chair and Professor of Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry) have joined 57 other individuals in the 2021 Class of Fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Since 1962, the AGU Fellows Committee has selected less than 0.1% of members as new Fellows. AGU, a nonprofit organization that supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences, annually recognizes a select number of individuals as part of its Honors and Recognition program.

Profs. Boering and Silver were selected for their outstanding achievements and contributions pushing forward the frontiers of geophysical science. They also embody AGU’s vision of a thriving, sustainable, and equitable future powered by discovery, innovation, and action. Equally important is that they conducted themselves with integrity, respect, and collaboration while creating deep engagement in education, diversity, and outreach. 

Prof. Boering works at the interface of chemical physics and atmospheric science applied to understanding the influence of human activities on the atmosphere, such as global warming and ozone depletion through laboratory experiments and instruments flown on U2 spyplanes and enormous stratospheric balloons. Prof. Silver’s work spans the fields of biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology and seeks to determine the effects of climate change and human impacts on the environment, and the potential for mitigating these effects; her recent work focuses on drought and hurricane impacts on tropical forests, climate change mitigation potential of grasslands, and greenhouse gas dynamics of peatlands and wetlands.]

AGU will formally recognize this year’s recipients during the AGU21 Fall Meeting, 13-17 December 2021 in New Orleans, LA and online everywhere. This celebration is a chance for AGU’s community to recognize the outstanding work of our colleagues and be inspired by their accomplishments and stories. 

The Fellows program was established in 1962 and recognizes AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space science through a breakthrough, discovery, or innovation in their field. Fellows act as external experts, capable of advising government agencies and other organizations outside the sciences upon request. The program enhances the prestige of AGU and motivates members to achieve excellence in research.

More about Professor Kristie Boering's research

The coupling of atmospheric chemistry and climate on Earth and other planets on time scales ranging from months to billions of years is studied through observations from aircraft, balloon and ground-based platforms, 2D and 3D computer simulations, and laboratory experiments. Of particular interest are studies of photochemical isotope effects. These studies range from crossed molecular beam laboratory experiments to observations in the stratosphere. Photochemistry and reaction dynamics experiments are aimed at providing an understanding of unusual isotope effects on the molecular scale. Global-scale field measurements and computer simulations are aimed at using stable isotopes as tracers of atmospheric chemistry and transport in today's atmosphere and of the exchange of gases between the atmosphere and biosphere on annual to millennial to billion year time scales from atmospheric, ice core, and rock measurements, respectively. This insight is extended to the early Earth and other planets through laboratory investigations of photochemical haze production and other atmospheric phenomena that could serve as significant regulators of climate and habitability.

Professor Boering is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the UC Berkeley Atmospheric Science Center, the UC Berkeley Center for Integrative Planetary Science, and was elected into the National Academy of Science in 2018.