In announcing the award, the AMS recognized Lee for “for masterfully combining theory and observations to gain new insights into the nature and consequences of biosphere-atmosphere interactions.”
Professor Lee’s research is focused on the interactions between the terrestrial biosphere, the atmosphere, and anthropogenic drivers. In a study published earlier this year, he found for the first time how the primary causes of the “heat island effect” — including changes to surface albedo and heat from human-built industrial systems — have different effects in different climates.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award," Lee said. “It makes you feel like you are up there with the other impressive people who have received this award. But at the same time it suggests that you have made a mark in your field, and that’s quite satisfying.”
Lee’s areas of interest include boundary-layer meteorology, air pollution meteorology, meteorological instrumentation, remote sensing, carbon cycle science, and China's atmospheric environment. One focus of his research activity is on greenhouse gas fluxes in the terrestrial environment, including forests, cropland and lakes.
Other ongoing projects deal with isotopic tracers in the cycling of carbon dioxide and water vapor, haze effects on crop growth and yield, and biogeochemical and biophysical effects of land use on the climate system.