Boulder scientists earn early career awards

By Staff


Two University of Colorado at Boulder scientists have received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards.

Assistant Professor David Noone, Ph.D., of the atmospheric and oceanic atmospheric sciences department and Assistant Professor Noah Fierer, Ph.D., of the ecology and evolutionary biology department received the prestigious awards, which provide recipients with monetary grants to further their research. Noone and Fierer also are fellows at CU-Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

The NSF CAREER award supports faculty early in their careers who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research and education as well as the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Noone received a $722,421 CAREER grant to analyze the exchange of water between the land surface and atmosphere to improve climate models and predictions of climate change. He also will deploy a new precipitation-monitoring network in coordination with middle schools in and around Erie to help engage students in the scientific process.

"Professor Noone winning this award highlights the excellent research being undertaken by our faculty," said Waleed Abdalati, director of the Earth Science and Observation Center at CIRES. "David's innovative approach to reinventing traditional water cycle research and his enthusiasm for student training continues to gain recognition and stand out at a time when advancing our understanding of climate is so critical."



Fierer received a $655,000 CAREER grant to study the effects of nutrient addition on soil microbial communities. Pollution and farming practices, such as the addition of fertilizers, are leading to nitrogen and phosphorous levels in the soil far beyond normal levels. Fierer will study the impact of these additions on microbes that maintain soil fertility.

"I think it is great that Noah received this distinction," said Distinguished Professor Norman Pace of the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department. "It's good for everyone – for Noah, CIRES, his department, and the university. The award is a strong stamp of approval for his work. He is working in an interesting and little-known arena, the interface between humans and the microbial world."