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Julia and Johannes Weertman Medal 2022 Regine Hock

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European Geosciences Union

Regine Hock

Regine Hock
Regine Hock

The 2022 Julia and Johannes Weertman Medal is awarded to Regine Hock for outstanding scientific achievements on the study of glacier mass balance and immense service to the global cryospheric community.

Regine Hock is Professor at the Department of Geosciences of the University of Oslo, Norway. Prior to this appointment she held a position of Professor of Geophysics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (USA) for more than a decade.

Since the beginning of her career at the ETH in Zürich, Switzerland, Hock has made landmark contributions to climate and hydrological sciences. Her innovative approaches to computing the surface mass balance of mountain glaciers have unlocked the modelling of glaciers at the global scale, resulting in the first detailed assessments of their future contribution to sea-level rise and regional hydrology. She clearly is the leading scientist in this expanding field of research, performing cutting-edge science for more than two decades. One of her most seminal achievements is the (degree-day) snow and ice melt model proposed in 1999 which has spread globally and is widely used by the glaciological community and beyond. However, Hock has also made substantial and pioneering contributions to several other fields such as the compilation of a global glacier inventory, clearing the way for large-scale glacier studies, and the understanding of various glaciological processes.

Regine Hock’s contribution to the benefit of the global glaciological community is even more impressive. She has been strongly involved and extremely active as a lead-author in the IPCC Special Report on Cryosphere and Oceans in a Changing Climate. As the (just) past president of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) she has taken on the responsibility of re-shaping the organization with a strong personal commitment. Hock has also served for many years for the International Glaciological Society (IGS), including as scientific editor for the Journal of Glaciology. Furthermore, it is thanks to her relentless engagement that a third purely cryosphere-specific specialty journal (besides The Cryosphere and Journal of Glaciology) has been established with Frontiers in Earth Science, of which she has served as Chief Editor since its take-off. Her leadership has also been demonstrated as the coordinator of several highly successful international working groups on some of the most pressing research questions in glaciology, such as the compilation of the Randolph Glacier Inventory. It is no exaggeration to claim that the state of knowledge on global glacier mass balance and its future evolution would be many years behind without her efforts. Where other people saw obstacles, she saw opportunities and took a leading role in organizing the international community to move the field forward.

Hock’s contribution, however, extends far beyond her publication record and the service to the community. With her encouragement, major engagement and guidance, many of her former students have developed into outstanding independent researchers. Regine Hock is also committed to unselfishly share her knowledge and experience with prospective young scientists which is best demonstrated by her organization of the biannual summer school at McCarthy, Alaska. Moreover, Hock also is a very strong supporter of women in science.

It is beyond doubt that Regine Hock is a most appropriate candidate for the honor of receiving the 2022 EGU Julia and Johannes Weertman Medal.