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December 22, 2008

Castellini, Kelley named AAAS Fellows

Fairbanks, Alaska—Three University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers are among 486 nationwide to be named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

John Kelley and Michael Castellini of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and John Walsh of the International Arctic Research Center will be honored with other fellows during a ceremony at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago in February. The names of this year’s fellows will be published in the Dec. 19 edition of Science.

AAAS fellows are selected by their peers for their efforts to advance science and its applications.

"This very selective honor by the leading national scientific association illustrates the strengths of UAF's research in environmental and marine sciences," said Larry Duffy, interim dean of the UAF graduate school and executive secretary for the AAAS Arctic Division. "Along with their outstanding contributions to understanding the role of arctic influences in the global atmospheric and marine systems, these scientists have have been leaders in policy development and the education of the next generation of arctic scientists."

John Kelley

John Kelley was selected for his "lifetime dedication as a mentor and teacher and for outstanding service to Alaskan, arctic and national organizations." He is a professor of chemical oceanography. At last year’s AAAS Arctic Division meeting, Kelley received an award for 50 years of advancing science in the far north. He also earned one of the university's most prestigious awards this spring--the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award.

Kelley’s research focuses on trace metals, atmospheric gases and contaminants in the ocean, including the study of radioactive materials in the region of Alaska’s Amchitka Island. He received his bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and his doctorate from the University of Nagoya, Japan. He has also served as the director of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, headquartered in Barrow, Alaska.

Michael Castellini

Michael Castellini was selected for his "distinguished contributions as a marine biologist and as an outstanding mentor of young scientists." He is the SFOS associate dean and a professor of marine biology. His research focus is on the health of marine mammal populations, including studies of Weddell seals, harbor seals and Steller sea lions.

Castellini is one of 36 polar scientists participating in Polar-Palooza, a nationwide International Polar Year public education initiative about the Arctic and Antarctic. An Antarctic marine mammal expert, Castellini has been to Antarctica 13 times since 1977 and has spent a total of three and a half years there. Castellini's contributions to Antarctic science resulted in his name being give to Castellini Bluff on the western side of White Island in the Ross Archipelago. Before joining UAF, Castellini served as the director of the Alaska SeaLife Center. He received his doctorate in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

John Walsh
John Walsh was selected for his "fundamental contributions toward understanding feedback and effects of climate change, particularly modeling of Arctic systems and for his leadership of the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report." Walsh, President’s Professor of Climate Change and chief scientist at the International Arctic Research Center, has studied recent climatic change in the polar regions, particularly the interactions between sea ice and the atmosphere. He has synthesized several decades of sea ice data to evaluate trends of ice coverage. More recently, he worked on the synthesis of climate model output to obtain projections of climate change in the Alaska region. Walsh’s other scientific interests include the hydrologic cycle in polar regions, large-scale snow variability and the arctic performance of global climate models.

Walsh also is an advisor and mentor to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at UAF and is a scientist mentor to K-12 students participating in the Arctic Climate Modeling Program, a research-based weather and climate curriculum developed by staff at the UAF Geophysical Institute. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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