Dr. Mark A. Lander (1954-2022) was a world-recognized tropical meteorologist and tropical cyclone expert. His cutting-edge research contributed significantly to world-wide understanding of western Pacific weather phenomena and their roles in global weather systems. His vast knowledge in these areas placed him in high demand at professional conferences and workshops around the world. As a member of the faculty of the Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific, University of Guam, from 1999 to 2022, Dr. Lander was highly regarded for his firm commitment to free scientific inquiry and empirically-validated scientific truth. In his academic teaching career, he taught undergraduate courses in meteorology, astronomy, and the climatic history of Guam. For the University of Guam’s graduate Environmental Science Program, he team-taught introductory hydrology, Scientific Competence and Integrity, and Pacific Island Geologic and Climatic History, along with three courses of his own: Tropical Cyclones, Climate and Climate Variability, and Remote Sensing. It is fitting, therefore, that the University establish this scholarship to honor Dr. Lander’s memory and preserve his legacy for new environmental scientists whose careers are beginning with their education and training at the University of Guam..
This shall be an endowed scholarship with an initial base of at least $25,000, by which to produce an anticipated annual return of at least $1,000. A commensurate award could thus be given annually to a graduating environmental science student whose thesis results are worthy of presentation at a professional conference or publication in the peer-reviewed professional literature, and whose academic performance and personal character exemplify the virtues that Dr. Lander stood for, most especially a commitment to doing honest and reliable science based on sound data and forthright interpretations of it. The award shall be used to support registration or travel to a professional conference, or publication costs of an article for a conference proceedings volume or a peer-reviewed professional journal. No more than one award shall be given each year, and no award shall be given unless at least one candidate is found who meets all of the criteria for top-quality research or professional thesis, outstanding academic performance, and exemplary personal character.
The WERI faculty shall establish specific criteria for eligibility and selection based on the principles cited above. The WERI Director shall issue an annual call for nominations in February, which will invite the Environmental Science Program Executive Committee to nominate worthy candidates by the end of March. The winner shall be selected by vote of the WERI faculty convened by the WERI Director by the end of April. The award will be presented by the WERI faculty at the annual University Awards Ceremony. Family members interested in contributing to the selection of candidates or the presentation of awards may, at the discretion of the Foundation and WERI faculty, be invited to play appropriate roles, as determined by the faculty and agreed to by the Foundation.