CARB seeks nominations for premier clean air, climate award
SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is accepting applications through August 10, 2021 for the 2020-2021 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards, California’s premier award recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving air quality.
Considered the “Nobel Prize” in air quality achievement, the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards are bestowed each year upon scientists, policy makers, community leaders, and educators who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of clean air through science, advocacy, or policy. The scope of the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards program is international, due to the global connections between climate change and air quality.
Winners are honored at a Board Meeting with a ceremony for the presentation of trophies, followed by a gala reception. Awardees are also invited to share their work with the public during the Board’s special session entitled “Clean Air Leadership Talks.”
“The Haagen-Smit Award is our way of honoring individuals who have championed public health with innovative and far-reaching contributions to air pollution research, science, and clean air technology,” CARB Research Division Chief Elizabeth Scheehle said. “The award can recognize a lifetime of work in public health on a global scale, or the significant contributions a dedicated individual has made in protecting the health of their community.”
California’s premier air quality award is named for the late Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit, known as the “parent” of air pollution science and control. Originally from the Netherlands, Dr. Haagen-Smit was a biochemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena for 16 years before beginning air pollution research in 1948. Through a series of innovative experiments, he demonstrated that most of California’s smog is the result of motor vehicle exhaust and industrial smokestack pollution reacting with sunlight to create ground-level ozone. This breakthrough provided the foundation for the development of air pollution control programs in California that later influenced regulations and cleaner vehicle technology worldwide. The Haagen-Smit Awards recognize those who continue Dr. Haagen-Smit’s work and leadership.
The next Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards will constitute the combined years of 2020 and 2021, due to the inability to conduct in-person celebrations during the past year.
CARB is accepting 2020-2021 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award nominations through August 10, 2021. New nominations, as well as nominations for outstanding individuals nominated in prior years who have not yet won, are welcome and encouraged.