The 2004 Vening Meinesz Medal is awarded to John Wahr for his outstanding and far-ranging contributions in the field of global geodesy.
John Wahr defended his PhD thesis in geophysics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, in 1979. He received the prestigious James B. Macelwane Award of the American Geophysical Union in 1985. This Medal rewards young (less than 36 years old) scientists who have accomplished exceptional research in the early phase of their career and who have the potential to become leaders in their field in the future. It is exactly the case of John Wahr who carried out during the past 25 years research at the highest level in the field of geodesy and global geophysics. His outstanding accomplishments concern a variety of applications of satellite geodesy in the field of geosciences. More specifically, his fundamental scientific contributions concern the rotation of the Earth, the Earth’s 3-D internal structure, the Earth and ocean tides, the time-variable gravity and its applications to global climate change, the ice sheets mass balance, the global mean sea level rise, the interaction of the atmosphere and oceans with the other components of the Earth’s system and more recently global hydrology.
John Wahr has published about 80 publications in international refereed journals, several of them being landmark papers (in particular on Earth rotation, global Earth’ structure and time-variable gravity and its application to hydrology and ice sheet mass balance).