Over the past 10 years Dr. Pavel “Pasha” Groisman, an American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fellow since 2010 and the leading U.S. climate expert on northern Eurasia, has made an outstanding contribution to the scientific community through his leadership and coordination of the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI). Pasha’s dedication and commitment have contributed to NEESPI’s growth into a major international, multi-institutional program with close to 200 projects involving about 800 scientists from 30 countries. Most notably, under Pasha’s leadership, NEESPI has facilitated very close interactions between U.S. and regional scientists, particularly in Russia, during the past decade’s “window of opportunity” when U.S.-Russia scientific relations developed considerably in comparison to the past and present situation.
Pasha’s commitment to education fostered cultivating a new generation of early-career scientists, with several dozens of graduate and postgraduate students engaged in quantifying mechanisms regarding how this carbon-rich, cold region component of the Earth system functions as a regional entity with interaction and feedback to the greater global system. Despite an initial lack of remote sensing background, Pasha became a proponent of incorporating space observations in NEESPI science. Early in the program, he recognized the value of remote sensing tools for studying ecosystem processes across the vast, often inaccessible territory of northern Eurasia.
Pasha’s extraordinary efforts in conducting NEESPI activities have been instrumental in promoting NEESPI’s visibility at scientific assemblies of AGU, the European Geosciences Union, and the Japan Geoscience Union. Consequently, Pasha edited five special journal issues (four in Environmental Research Letters and one in Global and Planetary Change) that comprised over 130 selected papers. Much of the progress that our community has made over the past decade would not have been possible without Pasha’s dedication, leadership, and unselfish coordinating efforts.
In summary, Pasha Groisman’s scientific coordination and facilitation of numerous activities, along with his strong connections to the regional science community, have made NEESPI a real success story. The AGU Edward A. Flinn III Award is given for “unselfish cooperation in research.” Through his dedicated commitment to community service, his motivation, and his leadership, Pasha has clearly earned this recognition from the AGU community.
—Garik Gutman, NASA, Washington, D. C.
I am very grateful for this award. It is my understanding that it is related to my work during the past 15 years on organizing and functioning of the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI). NEESPI began as a joint endeavor of NASA and the Russian Academy of Sciences. However, very quickly (in a few years), the initiative included several hundred scientists from 30 countries having their funded projects that addressed various aspects of functioning of the northern Eurasia environment and its societies. To some extent, we were “lucky” with our subject of study, northern Eurasia. The changes here have been and probably will be among the largest on the Earth. Some aspects of these changes (in the carbon and water cycles, cryosphere, and air pollution) have near-global impact. Socioeconomic experiments here in land use and water management, and in societal life itself, provided us harsh lessons of what to do and, alas, what never should be done to the Earth system. Therefore, it was relatively easy to argue that the studies in northern Eurasia should be done ASAP and that the local scientific communities have to be empowered enough to be ready for new challenges.
This award is given for “unselfish cooperation in research.” But all these years, I have been selfish serving as a NEESPI project scientist. Bringing people from different continents together; organizing special NEESPI journal issues, overview books, and dedicated science sessions around the world; and promoting early-career scientists (more than 80 of them have grown from the NEESPI cradle) gave me a feeling of purpose and actual joy. That’s all. Thank you!
—Pavel Groisman, Hydrology Science and Services Corporation, Asheville, N.C.; and P. P. Shirshov Institute for Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow