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UD prof named a top minority scientist

Xiao-Hai Yan, Mary A. S. Lighthipe Professor of Marine Studies
3:28 p.m., July 18, 2005--Xiao-Hai Yan, Mary A. S. Lighthipe Professor of Marine Studies and co-director of the Center for Remote Sensing at UD, has been named one of the “top minorities in science today” by Science Spectrum magazine.

Published in Baltimore by Career Communications Inc., the magazine has a circulation of more than 15,000 professionals and graduate and undergraduate students across the United States. Its mission is to increase the number of minorities entering scientific fields.

Yan was selected by the magazine’s editors as one of 66 “Science Spectrum Trailblazers,” representing outstanding Asian American, black, Hispanic, and American Indian professionals in science “whose exemplary work on the job and in the community extends throughout and beyond their industry.”

In addition to the University of Delaware, the “trailblazers” hail from a variety of corporate, governmental, military and academic institutions, including DuPont, IBM, Motorola, the National Institutes of Health, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Air Force, Cornell University, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University and many others.

Yan, who was born and raised in Shanghai, China, is internationally known for his research in satellite oceanography. Since he joined the faculty of the UD College of Marine Studies in 1990, he has pioneered the use of satellites in tracking the notorious weather-maker El Niņo, in predicting the path of oil spills and in developing new techniques for monitoring global climate change.

He’s now refining new methods of processing satellite data that will enable scientists to use satellites to “break through” the ocean’s surface and detect what lies beneath the waves.

Yan also has had a significant impact on students. So far, he has advised a total of nearly 50 graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers, who have gone on to successful careers in academia, government and industry. He also has published more than 200 scientific articles and technical reports.

Among his many honors, Yan received the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from the president of the United States in 1994. It is presented each year to 30 promising scholars early in their academic careers.

In 2000, Ocean University in Qingdao, China, awarded Yan the honorary Cheung Kong Chaired Professorship. Sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Foundation of Hong Kong and the Ministry of Education in China, the permanent chair is awarded to only a few scientists in the world.

Last year, the University of Delaware named Yan the Mary A. S. Lighthipe Professor of Marine Studies for his “notable record as a scholar and educator” and for his service to the University.

Yan and his fellow trailblazers will be recognized at a luncheon hosted by Career Communications, Inc., the parent company of Science Spectrum, at the Minorities in Research Science conference on Sept. 16 in Baltimore.

Article by Tracey Bryant
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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