Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., has received several prestigious awards this year. The Professor and Director of Chapman’s Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations (CEESMO), recently returned from a trip to South Korea’s capital where he was elected as a Foreign Member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST).
He was gifted a membership plaque during a ceremony where he provided the keynote address on the New Interdisciplinary Science Paradigm.
“Science is quickly evolving,” he explains. “We have to combine the sciences because no one field has all the answers.”
As a foreign member of KAST, he will work with the academy members to promote science and technology in Korea. This organization is the equivalent of the United States’ National Academy of Sciences.
“I received an emailed letter from the KAST president informing me that I had been elected,” Kafatos said. “It was the best kind of gift that just came out of the blue.”
Professor Kafatos visits South Korea often to speak at international conferences and appear on national television programs such as the popular “15 Minutes to Change the World.” Described as the Korean equivalent of TED talks, guests are given 15 minutes to provide lectures on art, technology, sociology, health, etc. in hopes of changing the world for the better.
He has conducted collaborative research for the past 10 years with faculty and students from Korea University, a top private institution. He visits their campus and provides them an opportunity to help him conduct research with CEESMO on the Orange campus. They focus on studying natural hazards such as climate impact, earthquakes, wildfires, droughts, dust storms and other severe weather.
Aside from his election to KAST, Professor Kafatos published a joint paper in The Journal of Operational Oceanography with five colleagues from across the globe. The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology awarded each co-author the 2017 Denny Medal for their publication titled, “Operational atmospheric and wave modeling in the California’s coastline and offshore area with applications to wave energy monitoring and assessment.”
This medal has been awarded annually since 1893 for the best paper published, and is one of the marine engineering institute’s most prestigious awards. Their research presents a new integrated modeling system for atmospheric forecasting focused on California’s near and offshore areas. The system consists of state of the art numerical prediction models supported by a statistical module for bias reduction.
Kafatos has written 15 books and is a co-author with Dr. Deepak Chopra of the New York Times Bestseller ‘You are the Universe.’ Released in 2017, it has been translated in many languages to more than 25 countries. Kafatos brought Chopra to Chapman University in May 2017 where both men spoke to a sold-out crowd.
Top photo: KAST President Dr. Myung-Chul Lee, Dr. Kafatos and his wife, Chapman Professor Susan Yang, Ph.D.