The Verner E. Suomi Award


The Verner E. Suomi Award is granted to individuals in recognition of highly significant technological achievement in the atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. The term "technological" is here used in the broadest sense; it encompasses the entire spectrum of observational, measurement, data transmission, and data analysis and synthesis methodologies. The award is in the form of a medallion.

Nominations are considered by the Atmospheric Research Awards Committee in even-numbered years and by the Oceanographic Research Awards Committee in odd-numbered years, which makes recommendations for final approval by AMS Council.

Nomination Process

Thank you for your interest in submitting a nomination! AMS membership is not required to submit an award nomination. Nominations are due by 1 May. The nominator is responsible for uploading the entire nomination package.

The nominees for this award remain on the active nomination list for four years. You will be allowed to update an unsuccessful nomination at the beginning of the next award cycle. 


  • citation
  • nomination letter
  • nominee Curriculum Vitae
  • bibliography
  • three (3) letters of support
The Verner E. Suomi Award

Verner E. Suomi (1915–1995)

Verner E. Suomi is considered the father of satellite meteorology.

Suomi was born in Eveleth, Minnesota and received his first degree from Winona Teachers College.  He taught high school science and later, went on to attend the University of Chicago, earning a PhD degree in 1953.

By 1948, Suomi was among the earliest faculty members of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  Together with Robert Parent, in 1965, Suomi founded the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), which designed the first satellite to provide weather imagery from a geostationary orbit.  It was named the Applications Technology Satellite (ATS-1), included a Spin Scan Radiometer, and was launched on 6 December 1966.  Suomi also was a leader in the development of McIDAS (Man-computer Interactive Data Access System) in 1972, displaying the images produced by his satellites such as SMS-1 in 1974.

On January 24, 2012, NASA renamed a recently launched NPP Earth monitoring satellite after Dr. Suomi.  On that occasion, John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said that "Verner Suomi's many scientific and engineering contributions were fundamental to our current ability to learn about Earth's weather and climate from space".