Remarks preceding the award to Edward S .Epstein, by William H. Klein (University of Maryland)

Excerpts from (Murphy and Zwiers 1993):

"I am very pleased to present this outstanding achievement award to one of the world's leading experts on statistical meteorology and climatology, Edward S. Epstein. His research career began in the mid-1950s when he worked at the Air Force Cambridge Research Center, Arizona State University, and The Pennsylvania State University. Ed's first published paper, as far as I can tell, appeared in the Journal of Meteorology in 1956 on "A New Method for Determining the Vertical Distribution of Ozone from a Ground Station." This was followed by two papers in 1959 on power spectrum analysis of ozone and on vertical velocities in the lower stratosphere.

During the decade of the 1960s, Ed was at the University of Michigan, first as a professor of meteorology and later as department chairman. While there, he published many papers on probability forecasting, quality control, and forecast utility. Some of these were written jointly with Allan Murphy, an important scientific collaboration that has continued to this day.

In the 1968/69 academic year, Ed was a visiting scientist at the University of Stockholm. While in Stockholm, he developed the ranked probability score that is now widely used in forecast verification. Here he also wrote his famous paper on stochastic-dynamic prediction published in Tellus at the end of 1969. This topic was developed further when Ed returned to the University of Michigan, and he published several papers with two of his (now well known) students, Rex Fleming and Eric Pitcher.

Ed and his family underwent a major change in lifestyle in 1973 when they moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Washington, D.C. Here Ed took a high level executive position in the U.S. Department of Commerce as an associate administrator of NOAA. In 1978 he became the director of NOAA's National Climate Program Office, and in 1981 he was named the chief of NOAA's Climate and Earth Sciences Laboratory.

Ed's research career was rejuvenated in 1983 when he was appointed as the chief Scientist of the Climate Analysis Center of the U.S. National Weather Service's National Meteorological Center, a position he. still holds. A most impressive publication appeared two years later as a meteorological monograph (American Meteorological Society) entitled Statistical Inference and Prediction in Climatology. A Bayesian Approach. The seeds of this monograph go back to 1962 when Ed published a paper in the Journal of Applied Meteorology entitled "A Bayesian Approach to Decision Making in Applied Meteorology." Another major contribution during this period was a 162-page NOAA Technical Report in 1988 entitled "A Precipitation Climatology of 5-Day Periods."

When the AMS started a new publication called the journal of Climate in 1988, Ed had a paper in the first issue entitled "A Spectral Climatology." Since then he has published three additional papers in that journal, a paper on 5-day precipitation with Anthony Barnston, a paper on the optimum number of harmonics to represent normals in 1991, and a paper on obtaining climatological values from monthly means, also in 1991'. In addition, Ed wrote an excellent review paper on long-range weather prediction in 1988 in another new AMS journal called Weather and Forecasting. The following year he and Allan Murphy published an important paper in Monthly Weather Review entitled "Skill Scores and Correlation Coefficients in Model Verification."

Ed has also written many informal research papers in the last 10 years. These appeared as NMC office notes, in proceedings of climate diagnostic workshops, and in preprints of AMS conferences. This work focused on removing systematic errors in numerical models, making objective 6-10 day forecasts of temperature and precipitation in probability form, and developing new statistical techniques such as the imperfect prog method and the Kalman filter (which he discussed yesterday at 5IMSC).

Now that I've given you some idea of the wide range of topics covered by Ed's research, I want to close with a few words about his personal characteristics. Most meteorologists and climatologists know that he is very intelligent, bright, and creative, as well as an original thinker and a man of few words. To paraphrase a well known commercial of a few years ago by the E. F. Hutton Company, "When E. S. Epstein talks, people listen." But only his friends know that he is also a great human being-helpful, generous, honest, and unselfish. Ed, I am truly proud to be one of those friends, and I am grateful for the opportunity to present you with this outstanding achievement award."


Murphy, A.H., and F.W. Zwiers, 1993: International Meetings on Statistical Climatology, meeting review. BAMS, 79, 1721-1727.