Awards for Contribution or Service to the Society or Profession 2023

Professor Chris Folland is internationally renowned for his research constructing observational datasets of the Earth’s surface climate and observing and predicting climate variability and change. As a founding member of the Met Office Hadley Centre, Chris spent several decades developing observational sea surface temperature (SST) and night marine air temperature data sets and applying them to understand climate change and climate variability. He led the first global analysis of SST which first identified the interhemispheric SST variations now known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (Nature, 1984). His contributions have had enormous impact on governments, scientists and generations of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. 

Chris has made equally crucial contributions to our physical understanding of climate variability and prediction. His early work on West African drought created a new paradigm for the key causes of climate variability in this region (Nature, 1986). Chris also introduced highly skilful real-time global mean surface temperature forecasts in 2000 which captured the early 21st century global temperature slowdown and subsequent global warming surge. In 2009, Chris published another landmark paper on the Summer North Atlantic Oscillation and its past and future changes, motivating many subsequent studies on this important new topic. 

In his early career, Chris also made major achievements in hydrology and hydrometeorology. He led a group of hydrometeorologists at the UK Met Office until 1980 and was a member of the UK government group on hydraulic redesign of storm sewers; providing the meteorological on a topic that grows all the more important to this day as extreme rainfall increases in frequency and intensity. Chris even developed a new aerodynamic collector design for rain gauges that is still manufactured (ARG100 gauge). 

Chris has made major contributions to numerous international science projects and organised research for the IPCC reports on changes in observed surface climate extremes as deputy chair of the WMO Working Group on Climate Change Detection and Indices. He was also a Coordinating Lead Author of the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapters in the First, Supplementary and Third Assessment Reports and a Lead Author of Climate Model Evaluation in the Second IPCC Report. He also created and co-chaired the CLIVAR Climate of the 20th Century Plus project which continues to this day. 

I cannot write this citation for Chris without also mentioning his generosity and deep understanding of what is required to develop upcoming scientists. Chris has helped develop numerous early career scientists and his personal encouragement to think boldly about research as well as his encyclopaedic knowledge of climate science make him an invaluable mentor. There are prominent scientists worldwide that are grateful for his guidance. 

Chris has been recognised through other awards and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Meteorological Society, the Institute of Physics, the Link Foundation of New Zealand, and of course the Royal Meteorological Society. His wide ranging and extensive contributions to meteorology make Professor Folland a very worthy recipient of Honorary Fellowship. 

Professor Chris Folland

"I was certainly surprised and greatly honoured to receive this award. It reflects the excellence of my many collaborators in the Met Office, nationally and abroad. Research and leadership in meteorology is particularly rewarding because of the skill, commitment, and friendliness of so many. My greatest thanks overall must go to my wife who has been unfailingly supportive, especially when I should have done those domestic tasks that fell by the wayside! 

I owe my interest in the subject which came to dominate my main activities, research into climate change and variability, to Prof. Hubert Lamb’s earlier publications and with whom I later corresponded. I also had an excellent mentor in my early career in Brian Wales Smith. He patiently explained the mysteries of hydrometeorology so that I could confidently interact with leading civil engineers, hydrologists and hydraulics experts on a major government funded project involving much of the UKs rainfall data. 

In the main part of my career, I owe a special gratitude to my long-term collaborator in climate science at the Met Office, David Parker. We wrote many papers together on climate data topics, and the patterns and causes of climate variability and change, where his insight and rigour were invaluable. An outstanding example was David’s input into our jointly finding the link between Sahel rainfall and sea temperature patterns. 

Finally, I also wish to thank those who had enough confidence in me to put me forward for this very unexpected honour."


Geoff Jenkins FRMetS

Geoff has given unstinting and invaluable service to the Society spanning some 50 years.  His 15-year contribution to the Society’s field course on Weather Science and Weather Forecasting, beginning in the late-1970s at Nettlecombe Court in Somerset, showed first hand his enthusiasm for and commitment to education.  As well as providing invaluable contributions to numerous Society committees, Geoff was also an inspirational Chair of the Education Committee, and still remains a very active and valued member. Geoff also led on the OPAL project on behalf of the Society, developing a very well-used resource for observers. This includes the much-valued OPAL Cloud Guide. 

Geoff has contributed to several sets of Society resources over the years.  Just one example is the current valuable leadership he is providing on the Society’s investigation into the quality of assessment questions covering climate and weather in GCSE and A-level geography.  This is an important part of the Society’s work to improve the way in which weather and climate is embedded in school curriculum and assessment. 

Geoff Jenkins

Geoff is also hugely valued for the ongoing support he gives to the Society for any help, topics, or queries to do with weather instruments. This includes support to school loan schemes over the years, in sorting through legacy donations, in conducting instrument comparisons and trails, and the installation and continuing support for the Society’s own weather station. 

Geoff’s long association with the Society is characterised by always being ready to help and support and to give so freely his time, knowledge and expertise.  This long and valued service is hugely deserving of recognition.

"I would like to thank the Society for honouring me with the 2023 Outstanding Contribution Award, which I am delighted to accept. 

I have greatly enjoyed being involved in a range of Society activities, particularly in the two important areas of schools and public education, and have undoubtedly got a lot more out of the Society than I have put into it. 

It has been a pleasure to work with so many professional and enthusiastic people, both members of the Society and staff at the headquarters, and I would like to thank them for their help and friendship over many years."


Kate Groom

In recognition of her steadfast commitment to her role and significant contributions to the Royal Meteorological Society over a number of years, we are delighted to present Kate Groom with the well-deserved Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Society or Profession.

Kate had been a cornerstone of the Society for 6 years before leaving the Society in 2023. As Office Manager, Kate played a pivotal role in supporting the Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer and Council of Trustees, and ensuring the smooth functioning of daily operations. Her tireless efforts extended beyond administrative tasks, as she also provided vital support to the team across various projects throughout the year, showcasing her versatility and dedication to the Society’s mission. 

Her willingness to immerse herself in different areas of the business not only made her a great source of knowledge within the office HQ, but also proved instrumental in driving positive change and fostering professional relationships between a variety of stakeholders.

Amidst the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kate demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability. Supporting the swift transition of the whole team to remote working to implementing safety measures upon returning the to office, her contribution ensured the continuity of operations while prioritising the health and well-being of all involved. She also played an important role in keeping the RMetS team connected during periods of lockdown. Without this support the Society may have struggled to continue to work as effectively as it did. 

Moreover, Kate’s attention to enhancing the workplace environment has left a lasting impact on morale and productivity. Through supporting initiatives such as renovating the office kitchen, re-decorating the office and the reimagining of the attic storage room into an alternative meeting space and staff social area, she has helped create a more comfortable and welcoming workspace for all, reflecting her commitment to the well-being of her colleagues.

During the office refurbishment Kate was also coordinating multiple contractors to remove the gas boiler, to implement a new heating system, and to resolve planned and unplanned maintenance work. All of these have ensured that the Society staff have a safe, comfortable and sustainable workplace.

Based upon this substantial and dedicated service to this Society, that includes adapting in unprecedented circumstances and seeing through a major office renovation, Kate Groom is thoroughly deserving of the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Society or Profession. 

Kate Groom

"I am delighted to have received the 2023 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Society or Profession. 

During my time at the Society I saw the organisation through many changes as it grew and developed into the strong position it is in today. Being involved in many of these changes was a privilege and I am proud to have been part of such a wonderful team of passionate and enthusiastic people - both staff and volunteers.

The work of the Society is nothing short of impressive, and the ability to adapt to the ever changing climate crisis, especially during a pandemic, was truly inspiring. 

The commitment to continue delivering a large portfolio of activities during challenging times was really motivating and only increased my aspiration to support the Society on its journey. 

My role enabled me to experience many areas of the business and engage in several projects, growing my skills and developing my knowledge which is so valuable in terms of both personal and professional development. I am grateful for the experiences I had with the Society and look forward to seeing what the future holds as it continues with its mission to promote the understanding and application of meteorology for the benefit of all.

I am honoured to receive this award and wish to extend my sincere gratitude to those involved."

Joan Bech is one of Royal Meteorological Society’s Meteorological Applications journal’s most prolific reviewers who has, over the years, reviewed over 120 manuscripts.  His reviews are of high quality and are reliably sent in good time.

Given his wide meteorological expertise, it is no surprise that Prof Bech has been able to review so many submissions; however, it shows great commitment to the journal that he has accomplished this.

Professor Joan Bech

Prof Bech is also an Associate Editor for Meteorological Applications which means that while being a reviewer, he also handles multiple manuscripts, finding reviewers and making recommendations to the co-Editors-in-Chief for publication. The editors would like to express their deep appreciation to him for his engagement with the review process and the work he does ensuring that authors are given excellent scientific feedback on their work. 

"It is a great honour and a pleasure for me to receive the Meteorological Applications Editor’s Award for 2023. I am very grateful to Dr Peter J.A. Burt, who invited me to join the Editorial Board back in 2007, to current Editors-in-Chief, Dr Cristina Charlton-Perez and Prof. Dino Zardi, to all Editorial Board members, and to editorial staff members with whom I have interacted during these years, always in a very constructive and enjoyable way. 

Being an Editorial Board member of this journal is not only a great opportunity to learn a great deal about current applied meteorological research and developments but also to participate directly in the peer-review process, providing reviews, looking for reviewers, and proposing decisions, which is at the very base of the advancement of our scientific community."

Before beProfessor Athanassios Argirioucoming Associate Editor of the International Journal of Climatology journal, Athanassios Argiriou was a trustable reviewer and he is most likely the Associate Editor handling more articles for two consecutive years. In addition, he coordinated solo a special issue. We unanimously believe he deserves this award.

"I am deeply honoured to accept the RMetS International Journal of Climatology Editors’ Award for 2023. It is with great enthusiasm that I receive this acknowledgment of my contribution to the work of the IJOC, one of the most highly considered international scientific journals in the field of Climatology.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the editorial board for considering me for this award.

As an Associate Editor, I will continue to uphold the standards of scientific excellence and integrity that the International Journal of Climatology represents and to strive for the development of the Journal as a recognition of the scientists that contribute to it."

Jack Hopkins and Keith Grant are nominated for their long service as copy editors for the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. The standard of their work and meteorological expertise, including knowledge of the science and distinctive technical terminology and notation, has played a significant role in ensuring the Quarterly Journal continues to be seen as a high-quality publication.

Jack Hopkins
Jack Hopkins

"I very much appreciate being nominated by the QJ Editors for this award.

It is possible to see the copy-editor's role as providing a final quality-control stage in the publication process, after the scientific assessments have been carried out by the Editorial Board and peer reviewers.

I have always believed that even trivial errors detract from the overall credibility of a piece of written work, so scrutiny to ensure clarity, consistency and adherence to the journal's style should add value to the final product. I am pleased to have contributed  in a small way (over 19 years and 1,400 papers)  to the QJ's reputation. 

The copy-editing role is ideally suited to a meteorologist retired from full-time employment, who can bring his/her experience and critical faculties to bear. So, if you have a keen eye for detail, want to keep in touch with the science and support RMetS journals, why not offer your services?"


Keith Grant
Keith Grant

"I have been freelance copy-editing the RMetS Quarterly Journal (QJ) since 2004, alongside Jack Hopkins and one or two others. At first it was proof-reading with comments in the paper margins, but soon moved to the internet. My Production Editor base moved from Oxford to Manila (Wiley), and I am now overseen by Lumina Datamatics, again in southern Asia.

Programs have been devised to automate some of the corrections needed, but everything still has to be read carefully. UK English is used, and there are some in-house rules. The grammar has improved considerably in papers from many non-English-speaking countries.

The QJ articles do not directly deal with climate change, but are part of finding out more about the atmosphere and how to predict its future, so I feel I am helping to deal with it a little, if only in the background. My career in the Met Office (1963-2003) helped, and I would like to thank Jack for introducing me to the work necessary to ensure meteorologists can smoothly read relevant papers, and to the RMetS for the award."

Valerio FerraciValerio Ferracci is a reliable and punctual Associate Editor of the Royal Meteorological Society’s Atmospheric Science Letters journal, who successfully contributed to the workflow of the journal by ensuring the provision of timely and accurate reviews. 

"It is an honour to receive the Atmospheric Science Letters Editors’ Award for 2023. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve as an associate editor for Atmospheric Science Letters since 2019, and to facilitate that cornerstone of science which is the peer-review process.

Engaging with scientists from all over the world, be it authors, reviewers or fellow editors, has been an immensely fulfilling experience.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the editors and staff at Atmospheric Science Letters for the nomination, as well as thanking the myriad of reviewers I have contacted through the years for their time and efforts. Their invaluable feedback has been key in maintaining the journal's standards and fostering scientific discourse."