2018 Jerlov Award Recognizes Optical Oceanographer

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Annick Bricaud has been selected by the Oceanography Society as the 2018 recipient of the Jerlov Award.

Annick Bricaud. Courtesy of Ocean Optics.The award recognizes Bricaud’s groundbreaking contributions to ocean optics, which cover experimental and theoretical studies on seawater optical properties, fieldwork-based bio-optical relationships, and algorithms for deriving biogeochemical products from satellite ocean color. She is a senior research scientist at the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche at the Sorbonne, which she joined in 1976. Her 75 papers received 11,400 citations, and many opened new avenues of research. Bricaud is among the first female researchers in optical oceanography.

“Annick’s early career work then provided, and still provides today, a powerful framework for interpreting the natural variability encountered in field observations and for modeling ocean color for satellite applications,” said Bricaud’s nominating letter. “Annick’s coupled theoretical-experimental studies published in 1981 continue to be among the most cited in optical oceanography. Measuring optical properties, in particular backscattering, was not an easy task at a time where no user-friendly, commercially available instrumentation existed. Hence Annick had to design and build, for her Ph.D. research, her own light backscatterometer equipped with an integrating sphere, which she could do thanks to her strong engineering background in theoretical and empirical physical optics. She was the ideal person, at the right place, and at a critical time.”

The award is named after Nils Gunnar Jerlov, an early leader in the area of ocean optics research. Jerlov’s theoretical and experimental work on ocean optical and related processes helped form the foundation of modern ocean optical research. He proposed the concept of an optical ocean water mass classification, and the Jerlov water types are familiar to many outside of the ocean optics community.

The Oceanography Society was founded in 1988 to advance oceanographic research, technology, and education, and to disseminate knowledge of oceanography and its application through research and education.

Published: October 2018
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