Foufoula-Georgiou Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Efi Foufoula-Georgiou is recognized by in international scientific organization for her “outstanding intellectual leadership in the quantitative analysis of Earth-surface processes and the forms that they produce.” Steve Zylius / UCI

March 25, 2021 - UC Irvine’s Efi Foufoula-Georgiou has been honored with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS), an international scientific organization. Foufoula-Georgiou was recognized for “outstanding intellectual leadership in the quantitative analysis of Earth-surface processes and the forms that they produce.”

Foufoula-Georgiou is a Distinguished Professor of civil and environmental engineering and a Henry Samueli Chair and associate dean for research and innovation in the Samueli School of Engineering. She has been a pioneer in developing mathematical theory and applying innovative data analysis methods to understand Earth-surface dynamics. “Her work has led the research community in learning how to unlock the potential of the ongoing Earth-data revolution and demonstrated the powerful insights that can be achieved,” according to the award citation.

“Understanding how landscapes around us (rivers, deltas, valleys, ecological corridors, coasts) form and evolve, and how they will respond to climate change and human stressors is essential for finding sustainable solutions,” said Foufoula-Georgiou. “I am proud to be part of this dynamic community of scholars and I am greatly honored and humbled by this recognition.”

Her contributions in the field are wide-ranging and include fundamental work on topographic forms, channel networks, deltas, river morphology, hydrodynamics, streamflow, sediment transport, bedforms and stratigraphy. These topics represent only one element of a broader research portfolio with strong roots in precipitation, climate and remote sensing, which encompasses areas as diverse as wildfire, wetlands, delta systems risk assessment and management, agriculture and sustainable development.

In addition, Foufoula-Georgiou has participated significantly at the community level, organizing numerous workshops and conferences, and contributing to leadership of major national organizations and initiatives such as the National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science and the American Geophysical Union. She has trained numerous graduate students, many of whom are now leaders in the academic community.

The CSDMS is a diverse community of experts promoting the modeling of Earth surface processes by developing, supporting and disseminating integrated software modules that predict the movement of fluids and the flux of sediment and solutes in landscapes and their sedimentary basins. Since 2010, the organization has bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding and sustained achievements in Earth-surface processes modeling research and service contributions to the geoscience community. 

– Lori Brandt

Image Gallery