2013 Recipients

Prestigious award celebrates leaders whose work has advanced understanding and appreciation of the value of Earth and space science to society

In recognition of their leadership and vision in shaping policy and heightening public awareness of the value of Earth and space science, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has chosen James Balog, Founder/Director of the Extreme Ice Survey, Richard Harris, National Public Radio (NPR) Science Desk Correspondent, and Congressman Rush Holt (D-New Jersey-12) as the recipients of its 2013 Presidential Citation for Science and Society. The awards will be presented at a reception on Tuesday, June 25, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer  as part of AGU’s Science Policy Conference.

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James Balog
Recognized as a leader in photographing and interpreting the natural environment, Balog founded and directed the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) to document the impact of climate change through a photographic survey of glaciers. This led to the award-winning documentary, Chasing Ice, which was released in 2012. An avid mountaineer with a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology, Balog, is passionate about combining art and science to study the changes in nature, as well as communicating both verbally and visually, the impacts to the public. He is the author of eight books, numerous recognitions and awards, and his work is in dozens of public and private art collections.


Harris Photo_200x300Richard Harris
As an award winning journalist and correspondent for NPR, Harris has brought science into the homes of millions of people through his unbiased reporting. Over his career as a journalist, Harris has covered almost all aspects of science, from cell biology to planetary science. His stories have included coverage of important public safety issues such as earthquakes as well as devastating tsunamis. For decades, Harris has closely followed the evolving story of climate change. His reporting on that subject led him to Antarctica; the Greenland Summit; the Arctic Ocean; the Great Barrier Reef and West Africa; and all the U.N. climate talks since Rio de Janeiro in 1992.  Harris continues to give back to the science writing community and is a co-founder of the DC –area Science Writers Association.


Holt PhotoRepresentative Rush Holt
As a scientist and long-time public servant, Congressman Holt is an active member of Congress working to promote STEM education, science, and long-term strategies for a sustainable environment.  He serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Natural Resources and has helped secure more than $700 million in new federal funding for science and technology research. Though his efforts to create jobs and support innovation, the Congressman applies scientific thinking to some difficult policy challenges.  He started the Einstein’s Alley initiative, which seeks to expand and maintain jobs in New Jersey by attracting and supporting innovative companies. Congressman Holt has represented Central New Jersey in Congress since 1999 and has a Ph.D. in Physics.