I have had the great pleasure of knowing Ian M. Howat over the past seven and a half years and to benefit from his great intellect, rock-solid work ethics, and collegiality. I have been always impressed by his ability to stay focused on science while collecting field data in Antarctica and Iceland, or during long periods of computational work at UCSC. It is terrific to now see Ian receive the 2007 AGU Cryosphere Young Investigator Award for his major contribution to understanding recent, rapid changes in ice discharge from Greenland outlet glaciers.
In 2005, Ian, then still a graduate student, was the first scientist to document that major outlet glaciers in SE Greenland experienced dramatic acceleration and thinning in the first half of this decade. His findings represent a timely addition to the scientific effort aimed at evaluating the stability of the Greenland ice sheet and its potential contribution to near-future sea level rise. Ian's research results drew the attention of national and international media. They also helped motivate a number of subsequent scientific studies of Greenland outlet glaciers. In the process of doing his groundbreaking work, Ian made a significant technological improvement in the feature- tracking software used to calculate glacier flow velocities from satellite images.