Here’s the second of three posts from Xubin Zeng (Univ. of Arizona) and Peter Lamb (Univ. of Oklahoma), who congratulated Robert Dickinson, Brian Hoskins, and Qingcun Zeng for joining them in the ranks of AMS Fellows by asking a few questions by email. This is the interview with Dr. Hoskins:
How did you decide to choose atmospheric science or a related field as your profession?
I never really chose it! After I had started using mathematics to study aspects of dynamical phenomena in the atmosphere it just became clearer and clearer that this combination of a superb system to understand and the practical importance of the subject became more and more what I wanted to continue with.
Who influenced you most in your professional life?
There have been so many it would be invidious to choose one. However, it was Francis Bretherton who started me of on the atmospheric science direction at Cambridge. He gave me the first course I had on applying mathematics to the ocean and atmosphere, had a PhD studentship available on atmospheric fronts, accepted me for it and guided me through the next 3 years.
Which accomplishments are you most proud of in your professional life?
Some of my research highlights; helping the Department of Meteorology at Reading and more recently the Grantham Institute at Imperial develop; my role in the international arena, e.g. WCRP and IAMAS; playing a leading role in the UK in its plans for carbon reduction targets.
What are your major pieces of advice to young scientists in our field?
Enjoy your research. Take a wide interest in the subject and lay the foundation so that you can take the opportunity when it arises to put different strands together in a way no one else has.
What are your perspectives for the future direction of our field?
In my research life atmospheric dynamics has gone from being the tops to being quite out of favour. To make major advances in observing and modeling weather and climate we must develop new frameworks of understanding that focus on phenomena, and the dynamics interacting with the range of physical processes in them.