Fritz to receive Oeschger Medal for climate research

Sherilyn Fritz

Sherilyn Fritz, George Holmes University Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and School of Biological Sciences, has been awarded the 2014 Hans Oeschger Medal from the European Geosciences Union.

Fritz’s research combines geological, ecological and atmospheric sciences and focuses on reconstructing climate and environmental variation during the Quaternary Period, which is the most recent 2.6 million years of Earth’s history. She uses the fossil record from lakes to reconstruct environments of the past and currently has major projects in tropical South America, western North America, and Southeast Asia.

Through her work, she and her colleagues help reconstruct the history of climate change and develop a long-term context to evaluate how humans impact their environment.

The Oeschger medal is named after a Swiss scientist who was a pioneer in ice core research. It recognizes scientists who have made “outstanding achievements in ice research and/or short-term climatic changes (past, present, future),” according to the EGU.

“Hans Oeschger is a luminary in my field, and so this medal is very humbling,” Fritz said. “He made several lasting contributions and it’s an incredible honor to receive an award that bears his name.”

More than 130 scientists from around the world were nominated for the awards. The UNL professor was one of 24 recipients of the organization’s 2014 Division Medals and one of 43 researchers who are being honored overall. Recognized for their important contributions to the Earth, planetary and space sciences, Fritz and her fellow medal winners will receive their prizes at the EGU’s annual General Assembly in April in Vienna, Austria.

“It was quite a surprise to me – I was in the dark about this and was unaware I’d been nominated,” she said. “It’s great to have a colleague that thinks what I do is worthy of recognition. I have a lot of insipiring colleagues and enjoy a supportive environment here at UNL.”

The EGU is Europe’s premier geosciences union and is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the geosciences and the planetary and space sciences for the benefit of humanity. Established in 2002 and headquartered in Munich, Germany, it is a non-profit international union of scientists with more than 12,500 members around the world.

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