Mitrovica awarded Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship

Jerry Mitrovica

Jerry Mitrovica, an expert on sea level rise, talks about expected sea level rise while visiting the Climate Change exhibit in the Harvard Museum of Natural History at Harvard University. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

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Jerry X. Mitrovica, the Frank Baird Jr. Professor of Science in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has been awarded the 2023 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship for his critical work in advancing the understanding of the complex relationship between sea level and melting ice sheets and their impacts on human societies past and present.

Mitrovica will receive a $50,000 prize and funds to present a series of lectures. The Arthur L. Day Prize is awarded to a scientist making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the Earth and whose lectures will provide solid, timely, and useful additions to the knowledge and literature in the field.

“It is a privilege to be given an opportunity to share my vision for the future of sea level research, and in particular, for me, the pressing importance of making that research impactful to local communities. I’m fortunate to be involved in an extraordinarily exciting project that brings together members of the Harvard community — Emmanual Akyeampong, Daniel Agbiboa, Gareth Doherty and Robert Paarlberg — with a number of West African colleagues to address the impacts of sea level rise, urban flooding and coastal erosion on communities along the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. The effort was just funded by the new Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard, and in my Day Lectures I will probably discuss the challenges and goals of the project . That will be a nice opportunity to bring a discussion of global sea level science down to the most tangible and important local scale,” said Mitrovica, who hopes to lecture at HBCUs.