Headshot of Bo Qiu superimposed on photo of ocean
Oceanography Professor Bo Qiu

A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa professor of oceanography in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) has won Japan’s 2019 Prize of the Oceanographic Society, which is awarded annually to a member of the Society who has made outstanding contributions to the progress of oceanography study.

Bo Qiu has been with the Department of Oceanography since 1993 and has focused his research career on ocean circulation and its variability in the North Pacific upper ocean, ranging from the surface to a depth of approximately one mile.

In the more than 50-year history of the prize, Qiu is only the second non-Japanese awardee, and the first non-Japanese physical oceanographer to be so honored.

“Having spent my formative 10 years in Kyoto, first being an undergraduate student and then a graduate student, receiving this prize is tremendously meaningful to me personally,” said Qiu.

Frequently cited by other researchers

Through his seminal work in the North Pacific Ocean, Qiu has discovered many new circulation features. They include the existence of the North Equatorial Undercurrent jets, seasonal changes in the eddies of the Subtropical Countercurrent, decadal changes of the Kuroshio Extension system and the role of the Kuroshio Extension variability in enhancing climatic changes.

He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers in well-respected scientific journals. Qiu’s publications, which are frequently cited by other researchers, have been influential in setting the path for research directions in his field of study.

“The Prize of the Oceanographic Society of Japan is a highly deserved honor, and Bo Qiu’s work on the North Pacific circulation has broken new ground,” said Niklas Schneider, Department of Oceanography chair. “He is a very active collaborator and supporter of close links between UH oceanography and our colleagues in Japan.”

See the full story on the SOEST website.

—By Marcie Grabowski