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Klotzsche Receives 2020 Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award

Anja Klotzsche received the inaugural Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award at AGU’s virtual Fall Meeting 2020. The award is given in recognition of “significant contributions to the field of near-surface geophysics by an early-career researcher.”



Anja Klotzsche, winner of the 2020 Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award
Anja Klotzsche

It is a great pleasure to cite Anja Klotzsche as the inaugural winner of the AGU Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award. Dr. Klotzsche’s contributions are remarkable because they combine theoretical methods development with meticulous and creative applications to a range of geological, hydrogeological, and biogeological problems. She brought cross-borehole ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data analysis from ray tracing into full-waveform inversion. Her work overcame both theoretical challenges and significant practical hurdles for dealing with real borehole data. Full-waveform inversion offers significantly higher resolution, facilitating a decimeter-scale resolution of the subsurface that opens the door to a range of problems waiting to be solved. The value of the full-waveform inversion was quickly recognized internationally. Through a series of collaborations, Dr. Klotzsche has demonstrated the impact of the method on questions related to flow in porous media, peatland processes, agricultural monitoring, Mars analogue soils, and more, through both borehole and surface GPR. Remarkably for an early-career investigator, Dr. Klotzsche has cosupervised the work of 11 Ph.D. students and nine M.S. students. Many of her recent papers share student coauthorship. On top of her exceptional collaborations and mentoring, she has been a steady and active contributor to the near-surface geophysics community, within both AGU and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Her impact is a testament to her remarkable ability to solve both theoretical and practical problems and to collaborate productively with investigators from around the globe.

—Sarah Kruse, University of South Florida, Tampa



Thank you, Sarah, for the very kind citation and nomination for the Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award. I am truly honored to receive this award and deeply grateful to Sarah, AGU, and the near-surface geophysics community. Throughout my scientific career, I have had the great chance to be inspired by and to work with great scientists, mentors, collaborators, and friends who guided me and shaped my working life. I would not have received this award without many of them, and I am sorry that I can name here only a few.

Already during my master’s studies, I was blessed with a great supervisor and mentor, Jan van der Kruk. While working with him on my master’s thesis, I got introduced into the concepts of hydrogeophysics, GPR, and the full-waveform inversion. I was so fascinated by these topics that I never left sight of them, and they are now the fundaments of my career. During my Ph.D. and postdoc time at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jan, and also Harry Vereecken, always encouraged me to think big, link disparate fields, and understand processes, but also to maintain a work–life balance. At the Agrosphere Institute, I always found great colleagues and an inspiring environment to broaden my understanding of different fields. Furthermore, I had the chance to visit other labs and universities as a visiting scientist. These visits allowed me to extend and strengthen my research and cooperation and to broaden the field of applications for the GPR full-waveform inversion. It was especially Peter Annan, Andrew Binley, John Bradford, Tony Endres, Antonios Giannopoulos, Susan Hubbard, Rosemary Knight, Sarah Kruse, Niklas Linde, Majken Looms, Lars Nielsen, and Craig Warren who tremendously inspired me in my career. To everyone I have been fortunate enough to work with, to interact with, to exchange ideas with, and to the entire near-surface community: Thank you!

—Anja Klotzsche, Agrosphere IBG-3, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany

Citation: AGU (2021), Klotzsche receives 2020 Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award, Eos, 102, Published on 06 July 2021.
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