Ian Howat, director of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center and professor in the School of Earth Sciences, has been named to an ENGIE-Axium Endowed Professorship, effective September 1, 2022, pending approval of the Board of Trustees. Funds generated by the endowment will support operations and innovative and contemporary programs/initiatives related to the mission of the Byrd Center.
Howat is a glaciologist focused on the dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets, and particularly their rapid response to climate forcing. He uses a wide range of observations from remote sensing, in situ data networks and field campaigns to constrain quantitative models of ice flow. These models are used to predict future changes in ice sheet mass balance and rates of sea level rise. Howat has been a participant and leader on numerous science expeditions to Antarctica, Iceland and Greenland.
He has been director of the Byrd Center since 2018 and the principal investigator of the Glacier Dynamics Group since 2008. Howat received Ohio State’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2020.
Through Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP), ENGIE-Axium contributed $9.5 million in endowment funds to support five faculty positions. These funds are part of a larger $150 million academic collaboration through OSEP, which includes support for student scholarships, sustainability projects and curriculum, and other university initiatives.
In addition to Howat, ENGIE-Axium endowed faculty include: Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa Gilliam (endowed chair); Vice Provost and Dean for Graduate Education Mary Stromberger (endowed dean); and incoming Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Ange-Marie Hancock (endowed professorship).