Honorary Member 2013
Professor Yang Zhenniang
Professor Yang Zhenniang has been awarded a lifetime honorary membership of the IGS for her lifetime of achievement in glacier and cold regions hydrological research.
A student in land hydrology, Professor Yang began her professional studies in that field but soon moved to join the Lanzhou Institute when it was founded. In a career spanning 40 years, Professor Yang climbed mountains, built research stations, wrote papers and books, and, when times called for it, minded children at the Lanzhou Institute farm. Her study of glacier-fed streams in the Tien Shan and Qilian Shan was as groundbreaking as it was physically demanding. Her 1991 book Glacier Water Resources in China was the first comprehensive study of its kind and set the standard for future work.
Professor Yang was among the founders of the Chinese glaciological research programme and it seems safe to say that every glaciologist working in China today has a connection to her, through her research and her support of the scientific community. Her dedication to field studies in the Qilian Shan – right up until the year of her retirement – provided important training for a younger generation of scientists. She also served her community as a People’s Representative in provincial government.
A detailed account of Professor Yang’s contribution to glaciology was published in the 200th issue of the Journal of Glaciology.