Awards and Committees

Suomi received many honors during his scientific career. He was awarded the World Meteorological Organization’s IMO [International Meteorological Organization] Prize; the National Medal of Sciences; Finland’s first Walter Ahlstrom Prize; the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute (Philadelphia); Meisinger, Rossby, Losey, and Brooks awards from the American Meteorological Society (AMS); and awards from NASA and NOAA. On these and many other occasions Suomi humbly acknowledged the help of his colleagues and claimed that others deserved the credit. He was a member of the U.S. Academy of Engineering, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Finnish Academy of Sciences (Helsinki), the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher, the International Academy of Astronautics (Paris), the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia), the Academy of Arts and Sciences (Boston), Phi Kappa Phi, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1968 he was elected president of both the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union’s Atmospheric Science Section. He also served on many influential committees, many of them as a director.
Excerpted from EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, v. 76, no. 45, 1995. Posted with AGU permission.


1961. Meisinger Award, for Aerological research Achievements, by the American Meteorological Society (AMS)

1965.  Foreign Member, Finnish Academy of Sciences

1966. Member, National Academy of Engineering, United States

1968. Carl-Gustaf Rossby AwardAmerican Meteorological Society

1968. Chosen to be president of the American Meteorological Society

1970. Foreign Member, Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher, Germany

1971. Robert M. Losey Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the science of meteorology as applied to aeronautics, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Losey Award article

1974. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Public Service Group Achievement Award

1975. Foreign Member, International Academy of Astronautics, France

1976. Elected Member, American Philosophical Society

1977. Elected Fellow, Academy of Arts and Sciences, United States

1977. Harry Wexler Professorship of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Article from Wisconsin State Journal, Sat. April 16 1977

1977. National Medal of ScienceNational Science Foundation

1980. Charles Franklin Brooks Award, for his many contributions of wisdom and leadership, both formal and informal, but especially as Councilor and President of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)

1980. Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the Pioneer Venus Project, NASA

1980. William T. Pecora Award, for outstanding application of remote sensing of the atmosphere, U.S. Geological Survey

1980. Honorary Membership, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters

1983. Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science for his major role in ushering in a new age of global weather observations, State University of New York-Albany

1984. Franklin Medal for contributions and leadership in the broad field of atmospheric research, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Article from Wisconsin State Journal

1984. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Senior Distinguished Research Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

1985. Commemorative medal for his contributions to international programs in geophysics, Soviet Geophysical Committee

1985. Silver medallion for outstanding pioneering contributions critical to the development of U.S. civil operational satellite systems and services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States

1985. Listed in American Men & Women of Science

1986. Phi Kappa Phi National Scholar

1986. Listed in Who’s Who in America

1987. World Cultural Council certificate of recognition

1988. Honorary Member, American Meteorological Society (AMS)

1988. Nevada Medal (first recipient) Desert Research Institute

1988. National Research Council Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems Certificate of Appreciation

1990. Walter Ahlstrom Prize (first recipient) for his pioneering work in space-based remote sensing of the global environment, The Walter Ahlstrom Foundation, Finland

1992. Honorary Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science

1992. NASA Earth Radiation Budget Experiment certificate of appreciation

1993. 38th International Meteorological Ogranization Prize for pioneering contributions as father of weather satellites, establishing the field of satellite meteorology, World Meteorological Organization
IMO award

1994. NESDIS Silver Medal Award

1997. American Meteorological Society creates Verner Suomi Award

2008. Listed in Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography


The committees on which Dr. Suomi served are listed alphabetically by organization. Years in which Dr. Suomi served are given where known. Unless otherwise mentioned, committees are based in the United States.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Council Nominating Committee, 1982-1984

American Meteorological Society
President, 1968
Planning Commission, 1981-1985
Education and Manpower Commission, Ad Hoc Committee, 1985

Committee on Space Research
Working Group VI, Panel A on Weather and Climate, 1973-1974

Desert Research Institute
National Science Advisory Committee, 1989

Global Atmospheric Research Program
U.S. Committee for the Global Atmospheric Research Program, Chair, 1968-1974

National Academy of Sciences
Interdepartmental Committee on Atmospheric Sciences (ICAS), Select Panel on Weather Modification, 1965
Geophysics Film Committee, 1981-1984
Committee on Science Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP), Research Briefing Panel on Atmospheric Sciences, 1982

National Advisory Committee on Ocean Atmosphere
Chair, 1971

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Science and Mission Requirements Working Group for System Z, 1983
Earth Observing System Science Steering Committee, 1984
NASA/University Relations in Space Science, Study Group, 1984
Space and Earth Sciences Advisory Committee, Task Force on the Scientific Uses of Space Station, 1984-1985

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Chair, Panel on Scientific Use of Balloons, 1961-1964

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Joint U.S./People’s Republic of China Working Group on the Atmospheric Protocol, 1979-1981

National Research Council
Geophysic Research Forum
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC), NOAA Review Panel
Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Resources, BASC Panel on Climate-Related Data, 1982-1985
Space Applications Board, Committee on Practical Applications of Remote Sensing from Space, 1983-1984

National Science Foundation
Advisory Panel on Weather Modification, 1959-1964

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Mesoscale Steering Committee, National STORM Program, 1981
Board of Trustees, 1982-1985
Board of Trustees Budget and Program Committee, 1986
Board of Trustees Executive Committee, Member-at-Large, 1986
UNIDATA Steering Committee
UNIDATA, Local Hardware-Software System (LOHSS) Working Group, 1985

University of Alaska
Geophysical Institute, Advisory Board, 1984-1986

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Library Committee, 1964-1966 (Chair, 1966)
Dept. of Meteorology, Department Chair 1950-1952, 1954-1957
Curriculum Committee, 1966-1970

World Meteorological Organization
Joint Scientific Committee
Committee on Climatic Changes and the Ocean
Working Group on Satellite Observing Systems for Climate Research, Chair, 1983-1985