Lei Meng, a Ph.D. student in Geography, has been awarded the 2009 John Russell Mather Paper of the Year Award from the Climate Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). The award is given annually to authors who utilize innovative research approaches, analyses, and techniques.
The paper was published last year in the Journal of Hydrometeorology and was titled “A comparison of soil moisture models using Soil Climate Analysis Network observations”. It evaluated the accuracy of three models used to predict soil moisture, and found that the time period and use of localized data, rather than the complexity of the model, was most important in determining which model was suitable for each project.
Meng will present his paper at the annual meeting of AAG in Las Vegas this March. He will be recognized at the awards luncheon, where he will receive a cash prize, a commemorative plaque, and a letter of citation.
Meng earned a B.S. degree in Geology from Nanjing University, followed by an M.S. degree in Soil Science from China Agricultural University and an additional M.S. degree in Geology from the University of Illinois.