Ludovic Brucker, 2018 Cryosphere Early Career Award recipient
Ludovic Brucker

During the Centennial year of AGU, the Cryosphere Sciences section contemplates a past of exploration and discovery and envisions a future of diverse research, technical advances, and improved modeling. Dr. Ludovic Brucker’s research truly embraces this moment with scientific achievement spanning multiple subdisciplines using traditional field methods and basic discovery alongside sophisticated remote sensing techniques and modeling analysis. His body of work, with more than 40 peer-reviewed papers, months of Arctic and Antarctic fieldwork, and leadership roles, advances remote sensing by developing publicly available data sets, algorithms, and models for snow accumulation, sea ice extent, and ocean salinity; advances glaciology by furthering measurements of snow accumulation, melt and water retention; and advances seasonal snow research through leadership within NASA missions.

Dr. Brucker received his doctorate degree from the University of Grenoble in France focusing on passive microwave remote sensing of Antarctica. While his schooling shaped his mathematical and analytical abilities, there is no doubt that Dr. Brucker’s upbringing in Chamonix, France, and the surrounding mountains honed his impeccable field methods. This education and upbringing laid the foundation for Dr. Brucker’s advances in the field of microwave remote sensing, where he blended field measurements, models, and remote sensing time series to investigate surface mass balance processes.

In 2011, Dr. Brucker joined the Universities Space Research Association’s (USRA) GESTAR group as a scientist, and today he also serves USRA as a manager. During this time, Dr. Brucker expanded his research disciplines, focusing his microwave expertise on sea ice extent, snow on sea ice, seasonal snow, and ocean salinity and emerged as both a leader and a skilled teammate for field-based, remote sensing campaigns.

With significant work spanning a large breadth of cryospheric sciences, Dr. Ludovic Brucker has advanced our field and distinguished himself among his peers.

—Lora Koenig, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado Boulder


Warm thanks to the cryospheric community, AGU leadership, colleagues, and fieldwork buddies. I am grateful to be recognized with such an award and truly honored to join past recipients who I have long respected. What a privilege! I refer to that privilege of having phenomenal mentors who share their talent and wisdom; close partners who strive to make our enterprises successful; dedicated collaborators who care about my ideas; strong, professional, joyful field teammates who make it a pleasure to spend days in a wind-shaken tent to collect precious observations; and to that privilege of being a member of a passion-driven community that encourages innovation. This award is a real recognition for my community of international collaborators and their efforts to be inclusive. I simply wish to continue good work with the same level of trust and achievement in our projects.

Back in the 2007–2008 International Polar Year, several folks helped put me on a phenomenal track. The then difficult decision to leave home for NASA Goddard is now being richly rewarded. Thanks to USRA’s management and the GESTAR Integrated Project Team, I have been able to focus on challenging, rewarding work. You have all led me to this AGU recognition, which rewards a decade of partnerships. I am appreciative to those who nominated me, for their vision and for the time and effort they put into the process. I am especially thankful for the trust of my phenomenal boss, Bill Corso. Every hour spent with him was enriching, with the human component always at the forefront. He passed away in September. To put it bluntly, I sorely miss his sharpness, wit, and mentorship.

Thanks to all for an amazing debut. Surely, I am already looking forward, with delight, to the years of collaboration ahead; there is still much to be understood.

Take care out there!

—Ludovic Brucker, Universities Space Research Association GESTAR, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


(2018), Brucker receives 2018 Cryosphere Early Career Award, Eos, 99, Published on 05 November 2018.

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