The Rolf Emmermann Medal The Rolf Emmermann Medal as an award of the GFZ was established in 2019. Starting with the year 2020, it was intended to be awarded to personalities who have rendered outstanding services to the GFZ and scientific research in the field of geosciences. A jury of researchers from the GFZ, extended by the Executive Board and the name giver, decides on the award. Due to pandemic restrictions starting in spring 2020, the first award ceremony was not possible until January 2022.
The first award winner is the US geoscientist and research manager Michael M. Watkins. He received the medal “for his outstanding achievements in designing and developing new methods to obtain information on climate change and the global water cycle using satellite- based measurements of the Earth’s gravity field.” The jury stated: “Through his long-standing cooperation with the GFZ in the pioneering Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), one of the most successful satellite missions of GFZ and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, and its succeeding mission GRACE Follow-On, Michael M. Watkins has provided uniquely valuable service to the GFZ and to the whole science community.”