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Akkihebbal Ravishankara, a senior scientist and atmospheric chemist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aeronomy Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., will receive the American Chemical Society's Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology.
Ravishankara, the leader of the Atmospheric Chemical Kinetics Program at the Aeronomy Laboratory, is the first NOAA scientist to win the award since its inception in 1978.
The award, sponsored by Air Products and Chemicals Inc., “encourages creativity in research and technology or methods of analysis to provide a scientific basis for informed environmental control decision-making processes...” The formal award presentation will take place March 15, 2005, at the ACS national meeting in San Diego, Calif.
”It is always gratifying when NOAA scientists are recognized for their accomplishments by such prestigious organizations as the American Chemical Society," said Richard D. Rosen, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research. "Ravishankara's work, which has significantly advanced our appreciation for the importance of chemical processes in the atmosphere, is certainly worthy of this award.”
Ravishankara is receiving the award for his development of new approaches to study the chemical reactions that occur in the upper and lower atmosphere. The results have led to a better understanding of the chemistry that causes the Antarctic ozone hole, as well as the processes that are important in air quality and climate.
One recent example of his introducing new measurement techniques for atmospheric chemistry is the “cavity ring-down spectrometer,” a creative approach to measure highly reactive, hard-to-measure trace gases that are key players in the nighttime chemistry related to ozone pollution. The new approach has made it possible to study atmospheric processes that were previously impossible to investigate.
In addition, Ravishankara has led the evaluation of the “ozone friendliness” and "climate friendliness" of many substances that have been proposed for use in commercial and industrial applications. He has played leading roles in national and international reports assessing the state-of-the-science understanding of ozone-layer depletion and other issues.
A research scientist with NOAA's Aeronomy Laboratory since 1985, Ravishankara has also been an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of Colorado in Boulder since 1989. Ravishankara's other awards include his election as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, election as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Polanyi Medal of the U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, and the Department of Commerce Silver Medal.
Ravishankara received his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Florida in 1975. He has authored or coauthored over 240 scientific publications.
The Commerce Department's NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research to better understand atmospheric and climate variability and to manage wisely our nation's coastal and marine resources.
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