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Date: April 09, 2008

UVic Climatologist Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

University of Victoria climatologist Andrew Weaver can add one of North America’s most prestigious fellowships to his list of honours.

Weaver is one of only three Canadians among 190 scientists, scholars and artists selected for 2008 Guggenheim Fellowships, collectively worth $8.2 million US. The annual awards, which are open to US and Canadian applicants, were announced on April 3.

The fellowships are awarded “on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment.” Scores of Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and eminent scientists are past Guggenheim fellows, including Henry Kissinger, Linus Pauling and Ansel Adams.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” says Weaver of his one-year fellowship, worth $42,000 US. “It will allow me to focus dedicated research time to understanding how the thawing of permafrost in Canada’s Arctic will affect climate systems this century.”

Weaver is one of the world’s leading authorities on climate change and the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis. Since he joined UVic in 1992, he and his research team have built one of the most sophisticated climate modelling facilities on the planet, featuring one of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Weaver works extensively with international climate organizations and is one of a handful of Canadian scientists who have been major contributors to global climate assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The organization and its contributors were co-winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

On April 5, Weaver shared a stage with the other winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, environmental activist Al Gore, who was in Montreal to train more than 200 Canadians to host seminars adapted from his acclaimed documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Weaver was Gore’s science advisor for the event, and responded to science-based questions from the audience.

Past Guggenheim winners from UVic include astrophysicist Julio Navarro (2003), English professor Anthony Edwards (1988), ocean physicist Chris Garrett (1981) and biologist Job Kuijt (1964).
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Media contacts:
Dr. Andrew Weaver (Earth and Ocean Sciences) at 250-472-4006 or weaver@uvic.ca
Valerie Shore (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7641 or vshore@uvic.ca

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