/stories/2019/09/um-professor-elected-fellow-of-the-american-geophysical-union
UM professor elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

UM professor elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

Dennis Hansell on the Ross Ice Shelf, 2013

By Diana Udel

Dennis Hansell on the Ross Ice Shelf, 2013

UM professor elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

By Diana Udel
Dennis Hansell honored for his outstanding contributions to the geosciences

MIAMI—University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Professor Dennis Hansell has been elected a 2019 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a distinguished honor that recognizes scientists for their remarkable contributions in the Earth and space sciences. 

Hansell, a professor of ocean sciences, has been at the Rosenstiel School for over 18 years. His research interests are the biogeochemistry of the major elements—such as carbon and nitrogen—and the role of dissolved organic matter in the ocean’s carbon cycle. During his career, Hansell has spent more than two years at sea aboard research vessels, where his research has taken him to all of the major ocean basins and to all of the continents. In the course of his research, he has flown to and landed on the ice shelves of Antarctica in C130 aircraft operated by the U.S. military, broken ice for great distances on vessels plying polar seas, and met with inhabitants of remote Yupik villages of the Alaska coast. Soviet gunboats escorted his research vessel to Siberia near the end of the Cold War. 

“We are extremely pleased to have Dennis recognized by the American Geophysical Union for his tremendous contributions to ocean sciences and leading much of the early research to understand oceanic dissolved organic carbon and its impact on the Earth system,” said UM Rosenstiel School Dean Roni Avissar.

Hansell’s research was recognized by the American Geophysical Union with the 2014 Sverdrup Lecture, by the American Association for the Advancement of Science with election as a Fellow in 2018, and he has served on numerous national and international science committees. Among these, he served as chair of the United States Carbon Cycle Science Steering Group and vice-chair of the international project Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER). He presently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and as Chair-elect of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) Council.

One of his most widely cited studies, “Dissolved organic matter in the ocean: A controversy stimulates new insights,” discusses the role dissolved organic matter plays in storing carbon in the ocean, which affects the global climate system.

“Dennis is a pioneer in measuring and interpreting the role of dissolved organic carbon in the ocean and its impact on the climate system,” said UM Rosenstiel School Professor and AGU Fellow Rana Fine.

Hansell joins UM Rosenstiel School faculty members and AGU Fellows Roni Avissar, Amy Clement, Rana Fine, Chris Harrison, Frank Millero, Joe Prospero, Sharon Smith and Peter Swart.

Fellowship in the AGU is an honor bestowed on only 0.1% of AGU membership in any given year. Hansell is one of 62 members joining the 2019 class of AGU Fellows who will be honored at the AGU Fall Meeting on Dec. 11 in San Francisco.