Paul Wessel selected for AGU Earth, Space Science Informatics Greg Leptoukh Lecture

SOEST Earth Sciences professor Paul Wessel was announced as American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) 2022 Earth and Space Science Informatics Greg Leptoukh Lecture recipient. Being selected as a Section Honoree is bestowed upon individuals for meritorious work or service toward the advancement and promotion of discovery and solution science. AGU, a nonprofit organization that supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences, annually recognizes a select number of individuals as part of its Honors and Recognition program.

Wessel is recognized by the global Earth and space sciences community for his tremendous personal sacrifices and selfless dedication to advancing Earth and space sciences. 

The Earth and Space Science Informatics section chose Paul Wessel because of his pioneering effort in developing widely used open-source software for the Earth science community, specifically the globally recognized Generic Mapping Tools (GMT).

With fellow Columbia University graduate student Walter H.F. Smith, Wessel initiated the GMT development in the late 1980s. While at UH he has secured continuous US National Science Foundation funding for GMT since 1993. Today a whole generation of scientists has used GMT for almost 30 years, and it is ingrained in their mission-critical workflows.

GMT is widely used in marine geology and geophysics, solid earth geophysics, geodynamics and oceanography, as well as planetary geoscience applications. GMT also provides a foundation for other open-source software used by the scientific community and is available for all operating systems and via wrappers for the Python, Julia, and MATLAB environments.

“I am grateful to AGU and receive this honour on behalf of the whole GMT team as we continue to expand the capability and availability of GMT in new ways,” Wessel said. “Open-source software is essential to ensure transparent science.”

AGU will formally recognize this year’s recipients during #AGU22 Fall Meeting, 12-16 December 2022 in Chicago, IL and online everywhere. This celebration is a chance for AGU’s community to recognize the outstanding work of our colleagues and be inspired by their accomplishments and stories.