Richard Gross

It is my great pleasure to write this citation for Richard Gross, winner of the 2018 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership in recognition of his outstanding and tireless service in our geodesy community. Richard is an extraordinary geodesist, a respected leader who has been promoting geodesy within AGU and other international scientific organizations over the past ~30 years.

Richard earned his academic reputation for researches on Earth rotation, reference frames, and the time-variable gravity field. But I believe Richard should also be viewed as a respected leader. For several decades, Richard has been among the most visible leaders of many globally well known geodesy organizations. He has been serving as the chair of the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) Science Panel since 2006; chair of the IERS Global Geophysical Fluids Center, Special Bureau for the Oceans, since 1998; president of International Association of Geodesy (IAG) Commission 3, Earth Rotation and Geodynamics, from 2011 to 2015; and president of International Astronomical Union (IAU) Commission A2, Rotation of the Earth, from 2015 to present. His achievements are enviable, and he fully deserves recognition for this.

Richard has been deeply committed to the service of AGU and other geodesy communities and has worked diligently on many productive activities that have significantly promoted geodesy. Richard has generously given his time organizing geodesy conferences and workshops. For many years, Richard has been chairing two geodetic sessions, “Earth and Planetary Rotation” and “The Global Geodetic Observing System,” at AGU Fall Meetings.

Based in Pasadena, Calif., Richard regularly travels cross the Atlantic and leads or participates in scientific conferences in Europe. He will certainly continue to remain engaged in the leadership and service activities for our geodesy community.

—Veronique Dehant, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels


It is a great honor to receive the Ivan I. Mueller Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership from the Geodesy section of AGU, and I thank everyone involved in this nomination, especially Veronique Dehant and Yuning Fu. Ivan Mueller greatly contributed to the growth of international geodesy, and it is especially rewarding to receive an award bearing his name.

I have been fortunate during my career to have had the opportunity to work in many different areas of geodesy, from Earth rotation, to time-variable gravity, to terrestrial reference frame determination. Throughout this journey, I have benefited from the advice of many mentors and colleagues, but especially from my Ph.D. thesis advisor, Martin Smith; from Martin’s first Ph.D. student, John Wahr; and most recently from my friend and colleague Zuheir Altamimi. Friends and colleagues like these are what make working in geodesy such a pleasure.

There is a long history of international cooperation in geodesy, from early determinations of the figure of the Earth to current space–geodetic measurement systems. This tradition of cooperation and friendly competition has been essential to advancing geodetic practice and to gaining greater understanding of the geodetic properties of the Earth. It also makes it a pleasure to represent the community of geodesists to international organizations like the Group on Earth Observations and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites. Geodesy may be one of the smaller scientific disciplines, but our reach is broad, our community is congenial, and it has been a privilege to be part of it during the past 3 decades.

—Richard Gross, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena


(2018), Gross receives 2018 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership, Eos, 99, Published on 07 November 2018.

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