UCI Earth system science professor Jay Famiglietti has been named the Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer for 2012 by the Geological Society of America’s hydrogeology division. The award is granted annually by a panel of former lecturers. There are no applications; the winner – who gives 40 to 50 talks worldwide – is selected based on research excellence and ability to communicate. “This award is a great honor and is in recognition of your outstanding research achievements in modeling and remote sensing of the terrestrial and global water cycle,” wrote previous winner Susan Hubbard in a letter notifying Famiglietti. “The committee was also impressed with your skills as a speaker, and we think you’d be a wonderful good-will ambassador.” Famiglietti hopes to lecture in regions shown by his team’s research to be facing considerable water stress: the Middle East, Southern Europe, India, China, Australia and parts of Africa.