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EGU news ESA and EGU announce first winners of the Earth Observation Excellence Awards

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European Geosciences Union

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ESA and EGU announce first winners of the Earth Observation Excellence Awards

26 March 2021

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Geosciences Union (EGU) are excited to announce the winners of the first ESA–EGU Earth Observation Excellence Awards.

In late 2020, ESA and EGU opened a competition for two awards in Earth observation excellence. These are aimed at researchers in the early phases of their career who have made an outstanding contribution to the innovative use of Earth observation data primarily from European satellites. Two types of awards were advertised: a team and an individual award.

Following the nomination and selection process, a panel of prominent Earth observation scientists reviewed the 40 nominations and judged the nominees according to the following categories: excellence in science, excellence in innovation, impact in the field of Earth observation, and potential for future Earth observation contributions.

ESA and EGU are delighted to announce that Benoit Meyssignac, a scientist working in the field of ocean remote sensing at France’s National Centre for Space Studies and the Laboratory for Studies in Geophysics and Spatial Oceanography, as the winner of the individual award. Benoit Meyssignac is an internationally renowned expert in the development and analysis of satellite altimetry and space gravimetry observations used to tackle fundamental climate science questions.

The Hydrology Team of the Italian National Research Council – Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection has won the team award. The team, consisting of Luca Brocca, Stefania Camici, Luca Ciabatta, Christian Massari and Angelica Tarpanelli, has a profound expertise in hydrological and hydraulic modelling using satellite and ground-based sensors. The research team has carried out pioneering studies on the assimilation of satellite soil moisture products into hydrological modelling.

ESA’s Director General, Josef Aschbacher, who initiated the award during his time as ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, commented, “We would like to congratulate you on this extraordinary recognition and are sure that you will continue to pioneer European Earth observation scientific achievements in the future.”

EGU President Alberto Montanari likewise honoured the award winners. “EGU would also like to congratulate these outstanding scientists. Their innovative research techniques are helping to usher in a major transformation in Earth observations, which will help create new opportunities for scientific research as well as business applications.”

The awards will be presented during a virtual EGU General Assembly 2021 prize ceremony, which will be held on 19 April at 18:00 CEST. Details about how to join this event will be provided closer to this date.