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Weather Boffins From Around New Zealand Confer

November 28, 2003


A University of Canterbury geographer has been officially presented with the Meteorological Society's inaugural Kidson Medal for his work on Christchurch's air pollution.

Professor Andrew Sturman, along with specialist atmospheric modeller Peyman Zawar-Reza, developed a computer model showing where the air that sits over Christchurch on a smoggy evening has come from. The award was presented at a ceremony during the Meteorological Society's annual conference being held at Chateau on the Park Hotel in Christchurch during this week.

"This is really a special award for the society to make, as it recognizes not only Sturman's outstanding research, but is a reward for his contribution over the years to New Zealand meteorology as well", commented the Society's President, Dr. Richard Turner. "What made the presentation more special was that we were able to persuade John Hickman (a former director of the Meteorological Service and one of the originators of the idea of the Kidson Medal) to present the medal.".

Before presenting the award Hickman informed the conference delegates that the Kidson medal is named after Edward Kidson, the visionary director of the Meteorological Service who in the 1920s and 1930s pushed for a combined operational and scientific research culture for meteorology and weather forecasting in New Zealand. "The Society hopes by awarding the medal that we can not only recognize but also encourage New Zealand research excellence in the fields of meteorology, climatology, and atmospheric science" added. Turner.

The presentation was made at what has turned out to be a highly successful conference with a record number (80) scientists, students, and forecasters from around New Zealand attending. There was a wide variety of interesting talks at the conference. Topics included: ruminant methane emissions, the effect of weather on rugby, rainfall, advances in frost mapping, climate change effects on where wine might be grown in 2100. (Paretai Pinot Noir?), Antarctica wintertime moonlight measurements of ozone-destroying-chemicals, forecasting future flows in the Waitaki, and the newly introduced and much superior UV index.

The society also honoured the late Neil Cherry at the conference by dedicating an air-pollution session to his memory. Geoff Henderson of Windflow Corporation started the special session by paying tribute to Cherry's passion for and contribution to wind energy and other meteorological topics.


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