in NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), is this year’s recipient of the George C. and Joan A. Reid Award. Made possible by the Reids’ generous contribution to an endowed scholarship fund, the Reid Award celebrates intellectual contributions to CIRES and leadership within the broader University of Colorado Boulder community.
George Colvin Reid (1929–2011) was an eminent atmospheric scientist who pioneered research into critical environmental issues such as stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change. Always a progressive thinker, he was one of the initial four fellows who founded the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.
Joan A. Reid was one of the first women to enroll in the University of Colorado School of Law. She spent most of her career with the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and was a frequent community volunteer, an avid outdoorsperson, and with her husband George, an inveterate world traveler.
Schnepf works in the NOAA NCEI geomagnetism group and is a PhD student in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Geological Sciences. She is advised by CIRES scientist Manoj Nair (NOAA NCEI) and CIRES Fellow Anne Sheehan (Geological Sciences). Both mentors describe her as exceptional.
Schnepf has already published several papers in her research field—the magnetic field associated with oceanic flow, and using variations in that field to determine more about issues such as tsunami propagation, the electrical structure of the lithosphere, and the circulation of ocean water. She is collaborating with international scientists on research projects and has helped to organize a geomagnetism course that brought together colleagues from the CU Boulder campus and NOAA’s geomagnetism group. Schnepf also has helped to organize three national conferences for women in physics, including one in January here at the University of Colorado Boulder. She and her colleagues brought together female undergraduate physics majors from throughout the western United States, for three days of keynote talks, networking, career workshops, and tours.
Neesha’s geomagnetism research connects a variety of CIRES research from space weather to solid earth sciences to ocean circulation and climate change. “She is an emerging star in the field of geophysics, has a strong publication record, is active in outreach, and has my highest recommendation,” one of her nominators wrote.