The Association of American Geographers has chosen Warren M. Washington to receive the 2014 AAG Honorary Geographer Award for his contributions as a pioneer in the development of coupled climate models and recognizes him as a leading scientist in the area of climate variability and change.

Coupled climate models are now a foundation of climate science, and geographers have been among the many scientists who have extensively employed these models to better understand the complex climate system. The AAG also acknowledges Washington’s leadership role as an advocate for science in general, particularly his service as chair of the National Science Board. Furthermore, this award acknowledges his many contributions as a role model and mentor for young scientists, including members of the geographic community, and his commitment to advancing diversity.

Washington is a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), where he also serves as Chief Scientist of the DOE/UCAR Cooperative Agreement in the Climate Change Research Section in the center’s Climate and Global Dynamics Division. Born in Portland, Ore., Washington developed an interest in science at an early age. His interest led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in meteorology from Oregon State University. He then went on to earn a doctorate in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. According to his NCAR biography, Washington joined the center in 1963 as a research scientist.

Inaugurated in 1997, the AAG bestows its Honorary Geographer Award each year on an individual to recognize excellence in the arts, research, teaching, and writing on geographic topics by non-geographers. Previous awardees have included economist Jeffrey Sachs, biologist Stephen J. Gould, science historian Charles Mann, author Barbara Kingsolver, Nobel Laureate in economics Paul Krugman, authors Calvin Trillin and Barry Lopez, sociologist Saskia Sassen, and architect Maya Lin.

The 2014 AAG Honorary Geographer Award will be presented to Warren M. Washington at the upcoming AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa, Fla., during a special awards luncheon on Saturday, April 12, 2014.