Few people can explain why Boston has 70-degree weather in December and snow in April.
But with his recent award of a "genius grant," Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences Daniel P. Schrag has proven he is an expert in the climate research field.
A recipient of this year's MacArthur Fellowship, Schrag, along with 24 other young stars in their respective fields, will be awarded a $500,000 grant, plus health benefits, over a period of five years--no strings attached.
"It was a complete surprise," Schrag said. "It was particularly nice because a colleague called me. He's on the board of the MacArthur Foundation."
"When he left a message saying it was urgent I assumed it was about taking care of his dog or his house," he added.
The Foundation does not hold a nomination or application process, and the winners are only notified after the final decision is made.
Though it was a surprise to Schrag, the award did not shock his colleagues.
"Dan Schrag is exactly the kind of person the foundation had in mind," said James G. Anderson, Weld professor of atmospheric chemistry and chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology.