Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholar Award


Award Category


2020 Distinguished Postdoctoral Award


Nominated to a current postdoctoral scholar for outstanding research contributions to science or a singular scholarly work (peer-reviewed article, book, book chapter).

Maximum Award Recipients

  • 1 Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Nomination/Application instructions:

This award is self-nomination, requiring a statement of research that includes a concluding remark on the broader impacts of the research (1-page maximum, 0.5” margins, 12 pt. font), a 2 page resume/CV, and the relevant scholarly work (when appropriate), sent via email as one all-inclusive PDF file. In addition, applications must arrange to have up to two letters of recommendation sent via email directly from the recommender. Letters of reference cannot be provided by an individual who is receiving a letter of reference from the same individual for a different award (i.e., no quid pro quo). Eligibility: Limited to current students/junior specialists/postdoctoral scholars or those within 18 months of affiliation/appointment with the department.

Note: Submit all materials to awardsLAWR@ucdavis.edu by 5:00 pm (PST) on January 15, 2023. The awards committee reserves the right to nominate individuals for awards, withhold an award when no applications are received, and/or increase the number of awards when applications are equivalent in quality. Individuals can receive more than one award when eligible. Awards will be announced in Spring 2023.

Award Recipient

Dr. Chu-Chun Huang The 2021 Distinguished Postdoctoral Award is awarded to Dr. Chu-Chun Huang. Chu-Chun is an atmospheric scientist and model developer in Dr. Shu-Hua Chen’s research group. She receives this award owing to her excellence in (1) conducting research for several projects, and 2) mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in Dr. Chen’s group. Chu-Chun has involved cutting-edge research, including improving aerosol-atmosphere modeling as well as investigating the physical processes and mechanisms of dust-cloud-radiation interactions in weather systems and regional climate modeling. With extensive experience in manipulating and analyzing satellite and model data, she examines and evaluates dust effects quantitatively by integrating numerical models with remote sensing and ground-based observations. For mentorship, Chu-Chun teaches graduate students the scientific modeling and programming techniques, and closely works with undergraduate interns to quickly spin up their projects.


Past Award Recipients 2020

Bin Chen The 2020 Distinguished Postdoctoral Award is awarded to Dr. Bin Chen. Bin is a geographer and remote sensing scientist keen to leverage geospatial and remote sensing data and analytics to address a wide range of global environmental change challenges. While serving his role as a Postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Yufang Jin's Lab, he worked on several projects in agriculture and forest monitoring, and interactions between vegetation, climate change, human activities, and wildfires using quantitative, modeling, and computational skills. He receives this award owing to his research excellence in data-driven agricultural monitoring, historical analysis of California's wildfires, and global land cover and land-use changes. Recently, Bin joined the University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor working in the direction of future urbanity and sustainable environment.


Elad Levintal The 2020 Distinguished Postdoctoral Award is awarded to Dr. Elad Levintal. Elad is a hydrologist in Dr. Helen Dahlke's Lab, focusing on an emerging method for sustainable groundwater management named agricultural managed aquifer recharge. In his research, Elad leads large-scale field experiments at three different sites in California’s Central Valley. The outcomes of his research will be used by California stakeholders to better design and implement projects to overcome California’s growing groundwater overdraft. In addition to his fundamental research, he developed new, inter- and intra-connected open-source monitoring systems that are affordable yet provide high-resolution spatiotemporal data for big data analysis, precision agricultural, and data-driven decisions.


Past Award Recipients 2019

Grodsky, Steve The 2019 Distinguished Postdoctoral Award is awarded to Dr. Steven M. Grodsky. Steve is an ecologist, entomologist, and was a postdoctoral scholar in Rebecca R. Hernandez’s Lab. While serving in this role, Dr. Grodsky co-founded the research initiative, the Wild Energy Initiative (WildEnergy.org) within the Muir Institute at UC Davis. He receives this award owing to his excellence in research focused on understanding relationships between renewable energy and the environment. His research during his postdoctoral tenure emphasized understanding how siting decisions of concentrating solar power plants impacts ecosystem services and indigenous values of plants.