Director’s report – December 2017

The heading of this newsletter, Endings and Beginnings, is particularly apt as I step into the role of Director of ARCCSS as it winds down and Andy Pitman moves across to Director of CLeX as it powers up. We also lose one of our key chief investigators in both centres, David Karoly, who will move on to CSIRO in February to take on leadership of the NESP Earth System and Climate Change hub. He has been a powerful voice and advocate for the science, the Centre and its staff and will be sorely missed.

Considering we are a Centre that is supposed to be winding down, this newsletter shows that ARCCSS refuses to rest on its laurels, continuing to produce strong research, housing an exceptional number of award winning staff (the list of awards since the last newsletter is extraordinary) and participating in and hosting a whirlwind of events.

One of our key events is, of course, our annual workshop, which took place in Canberra in November. It was the last workshop for ARCCSS and it attracted the largest number of participants. Once again, the breadth and depth of our science was impressive, not just to me, but to all our guests, which included Graeme Stephens from NASA-JPL and Beth Ebert from the Bureau of Meteorology.

We were able to showcase our wares to the ARC as well as the Department of the Environment and Energy.

Congratulations are due to our award winners with the Director’s prize going to the CMS team, the price for the best paper by a student to Ariaan Purich, and the prize for the best paper by an early career researcher to Claire Vincent. Well done to all of the prizewinners, and in fact to the whole of the Centre for another great year! It would be remiss not to mention the special Director’s award that I was able to present to Andy Pitman for his leadership in establishing and running not one, but two, ARC Centres of Excellence – an extraordinary effort.

While this was the last workshop, we do still have one large event to go, the ARCCSS showcase where we will present the highlights of our seven-year journey to stakeholders and politicians at Old Parliament house in June 2018. We have been developing a range of videos, presentations and interactive displays to highlight our achievements and the difference the Centre has made to the climate science community here and overseas. While it is early days in developing the showcase, it is clear that we have a lot to be proud of and that many of our achievements will have impacts for decades to come.

Perhaps the one things the Chief Investigators and myself are most proud of is the next generation of researchers produced by the Centre who have gone on to enrich the climate science community at leading institutions around the world. If you are one of them, thank you for all your efforts and your contributions to the success of the Centre.

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